What next? Bhagavan once said, “So long as Swami is there, nothing will happen. Later, voices will be raised.”
Bhagavan Ramana’s sanctitiy was enveloped by the physical body composed of the five elements, that is now buried at Ramanasramam. Even now the vibrations which were experienced during Bhagavan’s lifetime can be felt there. A moment’s dhyana at Ramana samadhi or in the meditation hall can make one experience Bhagavan’s force even now. That current of peace still flows there. It is also the place where the dust of Bhagavan’s feet is available and is it not enough if that dust envelops us? So also this is the place where the dust of the feet of Ramana bhaktas is available which again is sacred. The Ramana teertha owes its origin to Ramana himself. This is the air Bhagavan breathed. This is the sky which reflected in his heart. Like Krishna at Mathura, Bhagavan Ramana is very close here.
At eight o’clock Bhagavan wanted to be kept in the sitting posture and this was done by propping him against the pillows. A little later his breathing became difficult. Dr. Krishnaswami wanted to give oxygen but Bhagavan declined it. Half an hour passed this way during which Bhagavan could breathe through his mouth with great difficulty. Outside, the devotees began reciting Aksharamanamalai with the refrain “Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva. . .” A few tear drops trickled from his eyes on listening to it.
Bhagavan said on a number of occasions, “This (the body) has come into being according to your desire.” He meant the devotees’ desire. He also added, “It will go if you do not need it.” This meant that Bhagavan’s life was entirely dependent on the wishes of others. If that be so, another question could arise – “Who is it that says the body’s work is no longer needed?” There can be no answer to it.
Among the final acts before Bhagavan’s departure the first one was the Kumbhabhishekam (consecration) of Matrubhuteswar shrine. Commenced in 1939, the shrine was very small with just the samadhi and a linga thereon covered by a thatched roof. This was not satisfactory to many and devotees wished to build a marble shrine in its place. But money, people’s cooperation and above all God’s will are essential for anything.
In the South there is a practice of writing an epitaph after the death of a great sadhu and getting it engraved on a stone to be placed on the samadhi. On the death of Lakshmi, Bhagavan himself wrote an epitaph in Tamil. Therein, Bhagavan referred to Lakshmi as having attainted mukti. Because of this a view was expressed that Bhagavan granted liberation to Lakshmi. It was also said that Devaraja Mudaliar had asked Bhagavan himself about this matter when the latter clarified that vimukti meant mukti. Bhagavan never denied anything to anyone.