During my 16 or 17 annual visits, I was generally a silent though an observing member of the group of devotees that used to assemble at the Ashram and seek blessings from Bhagavan. I was, in particular, very keen on observing the attitude of various disciples towards Bhagavan and his response to them in his inimitable ways. I remember one occasion when a great spiritual seeker had come from the West, highly perturbed over the then darkening clouds of the international situation. (This was some time before World War II broke out in September, 1939). He
came into the hall almost in a challenging and quarrelsome mood. He had brought a catalogue of questions for answer by Bhagavan. He almost took Bhagavan to task “for wasting his time and energies in a secluded corner of the earth”, though according to him Bhagavan ought to have taken active steps to turn the attention of the world from the ways of the devil to those of Divine. He gave expression to his sense of disapprobation at Bhagavan’s apparent inactivity in this respect. He challenged Bhagavan to answer his questions. His rebellious mood struck us dumb in the hall. He demanded an immediate answer from Bhagavan. Bhagavan quietly told him that he would have it. He remained quiet without saying anything further. I still visualize before me the very tense half-an-hour that passed when everybody, including Bhagavan and the stormy questioner, were all silent. I was anxious to know how the tension would be eased. We were all sitting anxiously in the tense atmosphere when, after half-an-hour, quite suddenly, the questioner broke the silence by exclaiming that he had got the answer. Bhagavan asked him to write it. He did so, and when it was read out it breathed a sense of complete submission to Bhagavan, though the questioner had begun with a challenge. He had confessed in the writing that he was satisfied that Bhagavan was serving the best interests of mankind in his own unobtrusive and silent ways, and that what was required from a seeker was not a mood of challenge but one of submission to the higher forces which were working in their own inscrutable ways through great sages like the Saint of Arunachalam.
This is how Bhagavan worked on the minds of his visitors and brought them to peace when they were itching for a fight. This man, from that time onwards, has become one of the gentlest of Bhagavan’s devotees.
I should like to mention here a very striking event that happened on the day when Bhagavan left this world. A few days before this event the Station Superintendent of the All India Radio at Dharwar had requested me to broadcast a short talk on the great personages that had influenced my life. I naturally chose to speak on Bhagavan’s influence on me. I prepared my speech and had sent it to him to be broadcast by me on a date to be settled later on. As destiny would have it, it was fixed for 14th April 1950, between 7.30 and 7.45 p.m. I went to Dharwar and gave the talk and proceeded to Hubli where I had an engagement for the next day.
Within half-an-hour after I reached Hubli, a friend came and told me that Bhagavan had left his mortal coil only a few minutes ago. He congratulated me upon my good fortune in having broadcast to the world my tributes to Bhagavan, just one hour before that soul departed from this world. I treat this as the highest blessing that I have received from Bhagavan, because it was really the greatest gift of my life that my tribute was accepted by him before, in the world’s language, he breathed his last. I treat it as the greatest treasure of my life.
Thereafter, within a few days I paid a visit to Ramanasramam, and returned to my place. Even though Bhagavan is not with us in human form, I have never felt his absence because he is living in my house and before my eyes where ever I go. I feel the experience at every moment of my life that he has been guiding every action of mine.