We present in this volume the reminiscences and reflections on Ramana’s teaching by his devotees. These articles are taken from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine.
In this collection of articles those devotees who were blessed enough to sit at his feet share their experiences with the reader. Here one can find that there is an underlying unity of deep devotion and love for the Master.
What was the first impression on seeing him? From the moment Bhagavan’s eyes fell on a devotee, the latter’s heart went out to him in spontaneous love and reverence. The visit to Ramanasramam was a shattering experience for some of them. They literally fell in love with him. This love which had been awakened was the kind which totally transcended the physical and material and created an awareness of a different kind of consciousness which can only be described as a mindless rapture, pure joy.
What was their experience while they sat in his proximity? Sitting in his presence one was convinced for the time being that all troubles were ended and one was forced back on oneself in spite of all obstacles. And this was the wonder of his presence. They saw before their eyes the grand manifestation of that majestic light. They saw the grandeur of that spiritual light before them. If one could not see it, it was one’s fault.
The most remarkable feature about Bhagavan’s form were his eyes, extremely penetrating and profoundly fascinating. Once you had come within the range of those eyes beaming with love and affection there was no need for any other sadhana.
Once those eyes had rested upon you there was no more fear or worry for you.
In a great many ways did he shower his love and grace on them. It is said that love was the force that created the universe. Perhaps it is. The force of such unselfish love as his, purifies our hearts, when all other methods prove futile. No other discipline can give the disciple the true peace which the Master gives. His affection was always there; and as fire melts ice so his affection made worries melt.
Sri Maharshi was a centre of love to his disciples. He left us his love and where else in the world could be found a purifying power such as this to bring peace to our hearts.
The devotees’s hearts were kindled to deep affection while he taught them by word and example, while he silently showered the nectar of grace upon them all.
What was the change in their life after coming to him? It is an unlocated, pervasive state of being sparked off by some kind of recognition and it stays with you and you are never the same again. We may not claim that the devotees’s life was transformed after seeing him.
No. Most of them got married, set up house, had children, started a career of their own. Their grihasthasramam became their main preoccupation. But their visits to Ramanasramam had done something to them. It had left a mark on their minds and hearts. Although some of their material circumstances underwent changes for the worse their inner life was tranquil, always, since the day they had his darshan; for invariably they experienced his grace, particularly when they were most dejected.
Whenever they felt that, that they wanted to go away some where, away from home, family, friends, books, mistakes, fears and sorrows, their mind automatically turned to Ramanasramam. And their body follows. They make the journey to Tiruvannmalai, walk into the Ashram, enter the Hall, and they are ‘home’ and totally at peace.
The picture of the Ashram and of the Maharshi are always in their minds like the background curtain of a stage. Whenever they found that “the world was too much with them” the wish to go to Ramanasramam possesses them like a hunger. Even during their busiest hour a sudden look at a picture of the Maharshi hanging on the wall would momentarily root them to the spot and the mind would suddenly go blank. Such was,such is and such ever will be the Maharshi’s influence upon those who approach with piety and devotion.
In the following pages they speak of him in awed tones and with overwhelming sensitivity and love. The reader is invited to participate in this spiritual feast.
V.S. Ramanan President
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai 606 603
16th May 2001
That light whose smile kindles the Universe,
That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst; now beams on me
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.
– P. B. Shelly
1. Reminiscences-I — Viswanatha Swami
—At the Feet of Bhagavan Ramana
—In the Proximity of Bhagavan
—With the Two Great Poet-Disciples
—Two Great Men Meet Bhagavan
2. From Early Days
3. Scenes from Ramana’s Life — B.V. Narasimha Swami
4. How Bhagavan Came to Me
—Sadhu Trivenigiri Swami
—Santhanam Iyengar —Santha Rangachary
5. Incidents Connected with the Life of Sri Bhagavan — M.V. Krishnan
6. Lessons from Bhagavan’s Life — K.R.K. Murthy
7. Loving Devotion — T.P.R.
8. Memorable Days with the Sage of Arunachala
9. Sri Bhagavan’s Replies to Questions
10.Remembering Ramana — Chagganlal Yogi
—Sri Ramana — The Destroyer of Miseries
—Sri Ramana The Nameless
—Sri Ramana’s Sense of Equality
—Sri Ramana’s Sermon of Love
—Homage to Sri Ramana
—Ramana — An Embodiment of Silence
—Dr. Haribhai M. Adalja
—S. Subramania Iyer
—R. Narayana Iyer (Sub-Registrar)
—Panthalu Lakshmi Narayana Sastri
—Srimat Puragra Parampanthi
12.Humour of Sri Bhagavan — Evelyn Kaselow
13.Conversations with Bhagavan —Swami Madhava Thirtha
14.Dreams — A.W. Chadwick
15.Lest We Forget
16.The Turning Point — Natanananda
17.Beyond Categories — “Sein”
18.Arunachala Ashtaka and Siddha Purusha— Dr M. Anantanarayana Rao
19.In To Bhagavan’s Fold — K. Padmanabhan
20.More than a Dream? — T.P.R.
21.Ramana As I Know Him
—P.S. Jivanna Rao
—Swami Sivananda, Rishikesh —Dr M. Anantanarayana Rao
—Dr T.M.P. Mahadevan
—M.S. Madhava Rao
—Dr S.S. Sastry
22.Silent and Solid Grace — K.R.K. Murthy
23. Sri Ramana Maharshi
—Kundalmal A. Mahatani
—Prof. D. Gurumurti
24.What is Life? — Dr M. Anantanarayana Rao
25.With the Sage of the Holy Hill — Dilip Kumar Roy
26. Peace That Passeth All Understanding
—Swami Prasannananda Guru
27.Grapefruit — S.S. Cohen
28.Gospel of Sri Ramana — Swami Pragnananda
29.Liberation During Last Moments — Viswanatha Swami
30.The Great Event — R. Narayana Iyer
31.A Dialogue — A.W. Chadwick
32.Bhagavan Sri Ramana — Mrs. Eleanor P. Noye
33.I Am! I Am! I Am! — P.S. Jivanna Rao
34.Means and Ends — A.W. Chadwick
35.Portrait of the Guru — Atmananda Giri
36.Ramana Lives — A.W. Chadwick
37.Ramanashram Today — Arthur Osborne
38.Seekers and “Seekers” — S.S. Cohen
39.The Maharshi of Arunachala — Sadhu Ekarasa
40.The Unfinished Game — Ratanlal Joshi
41.Bhagavan on Reincarnation
42.Effect of Maharshi’s Picture — A Polish Devotee
43.Ever-Present — Duncan Greenless