This Chapter taken from The book ‘Crumbs from His Table’ by Ramanananda Swarnagiri

Living with The Master

In the early hours of 14th September, 1935, at 4 a.m., the writer was not able to obtain the usual internal quiet. He therefore mentally remonstrated with Sri Bhagavan that He had not showered His grace on him and that was why he was not able to consistently maintain his equanimity of mind. At that moment, however, he heard the still small voice within saying, “if you feel disappointed you had better come back to me.” He did not make up his mind what to do, but left home with a determination not to return, until he had some solace from some Swami and could get back good concentration. It struck him then that it might be possible to get something from Sri Ramananda who was so near his home and about whom Sri Shankaracharya had spoken so highly. He therefore left for that place the same evening. Having missed the Swami that night, he stayed with a friend and in the morning he had a bath in the river Cauvery. Soon after, when he sat for meditation on its bank, he not only had good meditation, but it lasted longer than usual. At about 11 a.m. he saw the Swami, who asked him, not what he had read, but what his experiences and difficulties were. When the writer narrated these the Swami remarked that it appeared to him that the writer had obtained manolaya (For the meaning of this see Chapter 8. ) and should go in search of a Sad-Guru. He desired him to concentrate on Gayatri Japa. The writer felt very happy in his presence and enjoyed internal quiet. When the writer asked him informally why, contrary to what he had stated in his book The Hindu Ideal, he had tolerated the writer (a modernised Brahmin, with short hair and lacking Sanskrit knowledge and orthodox Brahmanical daily observances), he said that he had only written his book to show the way to Self- realization, but that it did not mean that a person who had reached the stage the writer had, obviously due to past actions (karmas), should begin his education anew. His instructions were very illuminating and illustrative.

The writer returned home on Sunday night with the feeling that he would get some visible confirmation of the Maharshi’s call, and sure enough on reaching his office on Monday he had a letter dated 14-9-1935 (the very date on which he had all the trouble and the response from within) from one of Bhagavan’s long-standing disciples, which contained amongst other things, the following sentence:

By Bhagavan’s grace, I hope you will make it convenient to come here at once, at the earliest opportunity, and earn His blessings in person.

This he considered a confirmation of the message from within, and he therefore took leave for a couple of months from his employer, in the hope that if, within this period, there was any tangible evidence of further progress he would completely break the ties of family, give up his job and devote himself entirely to Self-realization. His mother, who was then 70 years of age, wept at the prospect of his leaving home, a step which appeared to her like desertion. He then prayed to Sri Ramana to enable him to console her, and a Tamil couplet came to his mind, the meaning of which is that just as it is impossible to put a chicken back into the shell of an egg out of which it has hatched, so also a soul that has come out of its shell of ignorance, can no more fall back into it. With the destruction of ignorance, with the destruction of the illusion that the body is the Self, the soul can never come back to birth and death.