This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine – Ramana Reminiscences
With the increase in distant visitors, the atmosphere at Ramanashram is growing more lively and Sri Maharshi often brings home a point by narrating stories from the past.
One day, last week, the photo of a piece of architecture at the Madurai temple was missing. A few minutes earlier, it had been seen by many people who had gathered in the hall but when Mr. Maurice Frydman wanted to see it, the photo could not be traced. The Maharshi asked some of the inmates what had become of it and the most surprising part of it was that the French lady who was stated to have obtained it was not herself aware of having done so.
Mr. Frydman utilised the occasion to ask a pointed question as to how this disappearance was viewed by the Maharshi himself.
The reply was, “Suppose you dream that you are taking me to Poland. You wake up and ask me, I dreamt so and so. Did you dream so or know it? And how do you view it?”
Frydman further asked, “But are you not aware of the happenings in front of you?”
Sri Maharshi replied, “These are all workings of the mind and the questions also.”
Then Sri Maharshi narrated a story.
“When Sita was missed and Rama went about in search of her, Parvati was surprised and asked Siva, ‘You had praised Rama as the perfect being. See how he behaves now and grieves at the loss of Sita.’
“Siva replied, ‘If you are sceptical about Sri Rama’s perfection then put him to the test. Transform yourself into Sita and appear before him.’
“Parvati did so and to her astonishment, Rama ignored her appearance and still cried. ‘Ha Sita, Ha Sita’, and moved like a blind man. Parvati was then convinced.”
In the course of a conversation Dr. Henry Hand asked Maharshi, “Are you conscious of a brotherhood of invisible rishis?”
Sri Maharshi replied with a question, “If invisible, how to see them?”
Dr. Hand, “In consciousness”.
Sri Maharshi continued, “In consciousness there is nothing external.”
Dr. Hand asked, “Is there not individuality? I fear to lose my individual being.”
Sri Maharshi, “Why fear to lose individuality? What is your state in dreamless sleep? Are you conscious of your individuality then?”
Dr. Hand, “It is possible.”
Sri Maharshi, “But what is your experience? If the individuality be there would it be asleep?”
Dr. Hand, “That depends on the interpretation. What does Maharshi say?”
Sri Maharshi, “Maharshi does not speak for your experience. He does not force anything down your throat.”
Dr. Hand, “I know. That is what I like so much about the Maharshi and his teachings.”
Sri Maharshi, “Do you not really take great care to get sound sleep? Do you not prepare your bed carefully? And are you not anxious to lose your individuality in deep steep? Then why fear it?”
One visitor asked him, “How can one root out the sex idea?”
Sri Maharshi’s reply was, “By rooting out the false idea of the body being the Self. There is no sex in the Self.”
The visitor again asked, “How is one to realise it?”
Sri Maharshi said, “Because you think you are the body, you see another as the body. Difference in sex arises. But, you are not the body. Be the real Self and there is no sex.”