Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     572 posts


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BHAGAVAN DISCUSSES AUROBINDO WITH SWAMI MADHAVATHIRTA

Sri Aurobindo believes that the human body is not the last on this earth. Establishment in the Self, according to him, is not perfectly attained in a human body, for Self-knowledge does not operate there in its natural way. Therefore the vijnanamaya sarira [the body made of pure knowledge] in which Self-knowledge can work naturally must be brought down on this earth.
M: Self-knowledge can shine very well in the human body, so there is no need of any other body.

Q: Sri Aurobindo believes that the vijnanamaya sarira will not be attacked by disease, will not grow old, and will not die without one’s desire.

M: The body itself is a disease. To wish for a long stay of that disease is not the aim of the jnani. Anyhow, one has to give up identification with the body. Just as the I-am-the-body consciousness prevents one from attaining Self-knowledge, in the same way, one who has got the conviction that he is not the body will become liberated even if he doesn’t desire it.

Q: Sri Aurobindo wants to bring the power of God into the human body.

M: If, after surrendering, one still has this desire, then surrender has not been successful. If one has the attitude, ‘If the higher power is to come down, it must come into my body’, this will only increase identification with the body. Truly speaking, there is no need of any such descent. After the destruction of the I-am-the-body idea, the individual becomes the form of the absolute. In that state, there is no above or below, front or back.

Q: If the individual becomes the form of the absolute, then who will enjoy the bliss of the absolute? To enjoy the bliss of the absolute, we must be slightly separate from it, like the fly that tastes sugar from a little distance.

M: The bliss of the absolute is the bliss of one’s own nature. It is not born, nor has it been created. Pleasure that is created is destroyed. Sugar, being insentient, cannot taste itself. The fly has to keep a little distance to taste it. But the absolute is awareness and consciousness. It can give its own bliss, but its nature cannot be understood without attaining that state.

Q: Sri Aurobindo wants to bring down to earth a new divine race.
M: Whatever is to be attained in the future is to be understood as impermanent. Learn to understand properly what you have now so that there will be no need of thinking about the future.

Q: Sri Aurobindo says that God has created various kinds of worlds and is still going to create a new world.

M: Our present world is not real. Each one sees a different imaginary world according to his imagination, so where is the guarantee that the new world will be real? The jiva [the individual person], the world and God, all of these are relative ideas. So long as there is the individual sense of ‘I’, these three are also there.
From this individual sense of ‘I’, from the mind, these three have arisen.

If you stop the mind, the three will not remain, but Brahman alone will remain, as it remains and abides even now. We see things because of an error. This misperception will be rectified by enquiring into the real nature of this jiva. Even if this jiva enters Supermind, it will remain in the mind, but after surrendering the mind, there will be nothing left but Brahman. Whether this world is real or unreal, consciousness or inert, a place of happiness or a place of misery, all these states arise in the state of ignorance. They are not useful after realization.

The state of Atmanishta [being fixed in the Self], devoid of the individual feeling of ‘I’, is the supreme state. In this state, there is no room for thinking of objects, nor this feeling of individual being. There is no doubt of any kind in this natural state of being-consciousness-bliss.

So long as there is the perception of name and form in oneself, God will appear with form, but when the vision of the formless reality is achieved there will be no modifications of seer, seeing and seen. That vision is the nature of consciousness itself, non-dual and undivided. It is limitless, infinite and perfect.

When the individual sense of ‘I’ arises in the body, the world is seen. If this sense is absent, who then will see the world?

- The Power of the Presence

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The mind is by nature restless.
Begin liberating it from its restlessness;
give it peace;
make it free from distractions;
train it to look inward;
make this a habit.

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Muruganar (C.K.Subramania Iyer) (1893-1973), an outstanding devotee of Sri Ramana and a great poet, composed thousands of poems praising Sri Ramana, or recording his teachings, or expressing gratitude to him for having established him in the Self. His poems are an ocean of devotion and veneration for the Maharshi. Muruganar was a well-respected Tamil scholar before visiting Sri Ramana. His father-in-law Dandapani Swami, an ardent devotee of Sri Ramana, once gave him a copy of Aksharamanamalai,1 a reading of which prompted him to go to Tiruvannamalai in 1923. He immediately recognized that the Maharshi was the Guru he had been actively seeking. He has described his visit and the background that led up to it in his poetical compositions translated below:

I heard from devotees who have redeemed themselves by the grace of one at Tiruvannamalai, who is the embodiment of true jnana and who shines as the flame of true tapas... Hearing them I was lost in admiration and unceasing joy... Like one suffering from thirst comes across a Ganges of cold water, I went to Ramana Maharshi with eleven verses and met the ocean of mauna, the bestower of jnana...On seeing him my mind dissolved in the same way as wax melts on encountering fire. The hair on my body stood on end. Devotion surged in me like an ocean that has seen the full moon.
I read the eleven verses with an unsteady and quivering voice. At that very moment, he graciously looked at me with his lotus eyes. From that day on, the praises given out by my impartial tongue belonged only to him...

From the way he bestowed his grace becoming my Lord and Master, I was completely convinced that he was Siva himself. As my new ‘owner’ he made my ‘I’ and ‘mine’ his own.

In the succeeding months, I came to visit him on many occasions. I was gradually influenced by him and my outlook on life was getting altered. Sometime after my mother’s death, I left my job in 1926 and came to Tiruvannamalai, making it my permanent residence.

The following extracts are from Muruganar’s Sri Ramana Anubhuti first published in 1948, more than twenty years after he had the experiences described below:

I was a learned fool. My flawed mind knew nothing till I came to dwell with him whose glance filled my heart with the light of awareness. I entered into union with the deathless state of knowledge of the Reality.

As the deadly delusion of a body-bound ego faded, a flower of pure light unfolded at his holy feet. That radiance grew ever brighter with my love until I realized the flawless knowledge of the Self, manifesting as the unbroken awareness ‘I-I’ within my heart.

I was wandering deluded in the mind’s labyrinth of dreams, rushing hither and thither, desiring one thing then another until the joy of union with the Lord welled up within me. My body merged into the infinite light of divine wisdom and my heart was filled with deep inner tranquility.

He is the teacher of the eternal law through whose glance the truth unfolded, filling my heart with the dazzling radiance of blissful consummate grace so that the body, ego, and intellect were all no more. I became merged in the divine silence, which is abiding knowledge of Lord Siva.

A noble lion, he fixed the victorious gaze of true knowledge upon the rutting elephant of my ego, which was drunk with self-conceit, filling me with the sweet nectar of union with Lord Siva, so that the inner experience of divine wisdom became my whole existence.

My poor helpless mind was swept along in the swirling torrent of objective phenomena until my Lord guided my deluded understanding into the broad calm of his holy silence so that the light of his majesty shined in my heart.
I read the scriptures but my mind could not grasp their meaning. It was only through the gracious intervention of my wise teacher and Master, working inwardly, that his own state of unbroken meditation became permanent within me and my heart was penetrated and held in Reality’s eternal grasp.
Languishing in the slough of my soul’s defilement, I knew not a single moment of clear understanding until my Lord revealed to me myself as Brahman. Transporting me into a realm of pure bliss, the vision of the authentic Self expanded within my heart and I attained the state of grace whose essence is love.

I, poor sinner, gripped by the bonds of excessive desire, I was deluded by my ruinous attachment to the pleasures of the senses. But when he conferred upon me the bliss of his true knowledge, all delusion was dispelled. Dwelling thus as one with Sri Ramana is nothing less than union with Lord Siva.
Setting me on the straight path of true knowledge he led me to the glorious goal of union with him in the one-pointed state of holy silence. My heart’s gracious jewel, true wisdom’s sun, he dissipated the dark clouds of the senses’ illusory world.

And now within my heart full of joy I made for him a home I can receive no other. Only he remains, the Supreme Self, manifesting as consciousness, pure light, empty and yet replete.

Gaining a new life, I spent it singing praises to the lofty truth of his glorious name, albeit in feeble words of little worth. But my Lord did not deem my hymns unworthy. Embracing me in the outpouring of his affection, with more than mother’s love, he banished my deadly delusion and made me his servant.

Beneath my Guru’s gaze, my heart was emptied of guile so that the false understanding that has usurped my heart disappeared completely, and there, in the silence of his holy feet, the pure ocean of the Self swept me into the deep bliss of the absolute Godhead.

Surrounded by desires that led me astray, my heart was hardened and my understanding was tricked by the illusion of a personal self. Hail to the Lord who through his love refreshed my heart, banishing my deluded attachment to land ownership, wealth and women.

In the late 1920s, Muruganar recorded the teachings of Sri Ramana in 1,254 Tamil verses. The Maharshi himself went through them, making innumerable changes and corrections, and also composed 28 new verses which were added at appropriate places in the text. These were published as Guruvachaka-Kovai (A collection of the Guru’s sayings). Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai of 1851 verses gives further details of the circumstances that brought Muruganar to Sri Ramana and the later events. A few extracts from the latter collection are:

The Supreme Being Siva abides as the real nature of one’s own Self. It cannot be reached by those indulging in fallacious arguments. Tolerating my immature conduct and treating me as if I have attained freedom from impurities, [Siva] considered admitting me to the group of his companions.

He became the incomparable sage at Arunachala, which is praised even by the gods. Like the worm that becomes a wasp on being stung by a wasp, through his mere presence and glance my ‘I’ and ‘mine’ were destroyed. Seeing me as his own Self, he enabled me to experience Myself as enduring, pure being consciousness. With my body and mind absent, I became full of Self. This is how he bestowed his grace on this pitiable one.

You are the unmoving one; you are the compassionate one; you are the skillful Lord of true knowledge. To poor me, who was totally lost by not seeking consciousness, you are like the store laid down to be used in times of adversity. You are the god who saved me from the mouth of the crocodile, my past karma.

Human beings wallow in samsara regarding themselves as forms, without realizing the rarity of the grace-embodied form of the sadguru.
Through this form, he has manifested to destroy the mass of their dark vasanas. Those who are under the spell of the ‘I am the body’ delusion, through their simple-minded view, which is prompted by ignorance, extend the same notion [‘he is a body’] to the sadguru.

The Lord of Arunachala, which is solidified consciousness, is Ramana, a delight to my mind. It is difficult to say whether he has a form or is formless, whether he is masculine, feminine or neuter, one or many, atomic or cosmic, Self or non-Self, joy or misery. So it is extremely difficult to define his nature, his actions, his ways, and their propriety. In essence, Ramana’s real nature defies definition.

- Face to Face

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THE PATH OF LOVE (Letter 179)
This morning a Tamil youth approached Bhagavan and asked, “Swami, it is good to love God, is it not? Then why not follow the path of Love?”
“Who said you couldn’t follow it? You can do so. But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not — the person who loves and the entity called God who is loved? The individual is not separate from God. Hence love means one has love towards one’s own Self. For this, i.e., loving one’s own Self, examples have been given in the 'Vasudevan Mananam', stage by stage. Man loves money most; but he loves his son more than money; his own body more than the son; his indriyas (the organs of the body) more than the body; the eye most among the organs; life more than the eye; and the self (atma) more than life. This is exemplified thus: If the son does something untoward and the government decides to punish him for it, the parents offer money and even bribes to set him free. Hence the love towards the son is more than money. If, however, the government does not accept money but say that they will let off the son if the father agrees to undergo the punishment himself instead, then the father will say, ‘Do whatever you like with the boy; I have nothing to do with him’. Hence the father loves his own body more than his son. If a man does something for which the powers that be say that his eyes must be plucked out, he tries to save his eyes by agreeing to bodily torture; so bodily torture is preferred to loss of an organ. If, however, they decide to take his life by beheading him, he would be prepared to lose his eyes or any other organ rather than lose his life; so life (prana) is loved more than the organs. In the same manner, a person who desires to have Atma-Anandam (bliss of the Self) would be prepared to lose his life even, if necessary; so the Self is loved more than life. Hence the idea of a person in loving God, is only with a view to being happy himself. He is, however, the embodiment of happiness and that happiness is God. Who else is to be loved? Love itself is God,” said Bhagavan.
“That is why I am asking you whether God could be worshipped through the path of love?” said the questioner.
“That is exactly what I have been saying. Love itself is the actual form of God. If by saying, ‘I do not love this; I do not love that’, you reject all things, that which remains is Swarupa, i.e., the innate Self. That is pure bliss. Call it pure bliss, God, atma or what you will. That is devotion; that is realization and that is everything,” said Bhagavan.
“The meaning of what you say now is that we should reject all outside things which are bad, and also all those which are good, and love God alone. Is it possible for anyone to reject everything, saying this is no good, that is no good, unless one experiences them?” said some other.
“That is true. To reject the bad, you must love the good. In due course that good also will appear to be an obstacle and will be rejected. Hence, you must necessarily first love what is good. That means you must first love and then reject the thing you love. If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self alone. That is real love. One who knows the secret of that love finds the world itself full of universal love,” said Bhagavan and resumed silence.

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One day, while going up the Hill, Bhagavan referred to the misunderstanding between two prominent devotees and wanted me to convey to them the following message: “Whoever condemns us is our friend. For he condemns only our body, which is our enemy. The enemy’s enemy is the best friend. We should really beware of those who praise us.” The next morning, I met the two devotees to convey Bhagavan’s message. Even before I opened my mouth, they both expressed their eagerness to make up their quarrel.

- Prof Subbaramayya, Face to Face

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Devotion to Guru
-----------------------------
If Siva (God) is angry, the Guru will protect you, but if the Guru is angry, no one can save you. Therefore with all your efforts take refuge in Him.

Even Gods and Sages can not save one who has been cursed by the Guru. Such a wretch soon perishes, without the least shadow of doubt.

- Sri Guru Gita, v. 79 and 106

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If the longing is there, realization will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Long for it intensely so that the mind melts in devotion. After camphor burns away no residue is left. The mind is the camphor. When it has resolved itself into the Self without leaving even the slightest trace behind, it is realization of the Self.

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Till you reach the state of jnana and thus wake out of maya you must do social service by relieving suffering whenever you see it. But even then you must do it without ahankara, i.e., without the sense of 'I am the doer', but with the feeling 'I am the Lord’s tool'".

~ Day by Day with Bhagavan (5-1-46).

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Attainment of Lord

The Lord is impossible to attain by any strength.
Yet for those who in their minds are clearly convinced that to attain Him is not within their power,
who have become wearied by their efforts,
and in whom the mischievous antics of the ego have become thoroughly stilled,
He will easily fall into their [Lords] grasp.

~ Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai

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Question: How is the ego to be destroyed ?

Ramana Maharshi: Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks this question ?
It is the ego.
Can the ego ever agree to kill itself ?
This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it.
If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist.
That is the way to destroy it.

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The Last Days of RAMANA MAHARISHI

Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi gave the first indication of dropping His body during the end of 1948 and early 1949, when He kept rubbing His left elbow. On closer examination it was found that a growth, the size of a peanut first showed itself. That peanut size boil began to grow in size and pain had commenced. Ramana Maharishi without consulting any doctors from outside the ashram asked those in charge of His health to remove the growth. The simple operation was performed in the bathroom just before breakfast. Realising that the sight of the bandage would get His devotees worried Ramana Maharishi draped a towel on His left hand which covered the elbow and when inquired as to what He had on His arm or why was He draping His hand with a towel, He jokingly replied that it was a bracelet or a Lingam had decided to erupt from His arm.

In a few months time that growth had been detected as a tumour. It was removed and miraculously the wound healed in a week and everybody heaved a sigh of relief. Ramana Maharishi all through seemed to be oblivious of the tumour or its pain. A month later, the tumour returned on the same part and was removed and after tests were done it was detected to be malignant. The tests showed that the tumour was a sarcoma, which is a kind of malignant cancer. Radium treatment had to be commenced as the wound refused to heal till a point came when the doctors insisted that the arm should be amputated. Raman Maharishi refused saying that the body itself is a disease and it should have a natural end. Why try to mutilate it? He insisted that the affected part should be covered by a simple dressing. All through the process and the operations, Raman Maharishi showed complete disregard to the tumour and the pain.

Some of the doctors suggested that the healing rays of the Sun would help heal the wound, so every day Ramana Maharishi would sit behind the cow shed, with the bandage removed, the wound cleaned and the arm exposed to sun rays. He continued to joke about the wound, calling it a precious ruby that glowed when the sun rays touched it, and was an ornament to His arm.

But the cancer cells began to spread through His blood stream and another operation was performed and in matter of no time the wound reappeared more fierce in its malignancy. In fact after His third operation within hours Ramana Maharishi gave darshan to the multitude of devotees longing to just have a sight of Him, much to the helplessness of the medical team. The next day once the doctors had left, Ramana Maharishi returned to the darshan Hall, to meet His devotees, saying that it was not right of Him to disturb other patients who would get inconvenienced by the devotees who wanted His darshan.

In December 1949, another operation was performed where it was realized that surgery in fact aggravated the cancer rather than heal the body.

Thus other forms of treatment commenced. Homeopathy, ayurveda and other alternative medications. Returning from His daily walk, one evening, shivering with fever, barely able to walk, Ramana Maharishi sat on His couch devoid of any strength much to the grief of all those present. When inquired about His body Ramana Maharishi said, ‘ what about the body? What if the body is shivering? What all want is that there should be life in the body? Is there not life in this body? Aren’t you all satisfied that life still remains in this body? This is the Natrajana dance going on. Every day the dance is not visible today it is giving the Tandava Darshan. Don’t be worried about this.’



Then one morning, Ramana Maharishi while entering the bathroom, trying to cross the threshold, stumbled and fell down. Refusing all help from the devotees He stood up. His clothes were covered in blood and though He had suffered a fracture, the news of His fall was not allowed to be made public. The fall and the ensuing injury was painful but Ramana Maharishi gave darshan from early morning to the countless devotees who wanted a glimpse of Him. Nobody was aware of the fall nor could anybody see Him in any discomfort.



Slowly Ramana Maharishi found it difficult to climb steps and as His daily routine required Him to climb the steps from the eastern entrance many suggested that He should use the northern part of the Hall. He refused, saying that the northern part of the Hall was meant for women devotees and He did not want to cause any bother to His women followers. Whenever He was not giving Darshan, He began to remain in a very small room which was on the eastern side of the Hall. Eventually this room came to be known as the Nirvana Room as Ramana Maharishi left His body from this room.

By early April 1950 it became clear to all that Ramana Maharishi would not be long in His body but He continued to give Darshan to all, even though now He could barely sit. Everybody realized that their beloved Master would not be long with them in the physical body. Though He was physically dying, His body began to glow with a radiance visible to all. Every time a devotee broke down seeing the pain and discomfort He was in He would tenderly tell them, ‘ they say I am dying, but I am not going anyway. Where can I go? I am here.’



Many of His intimate followers have described Ramana Maharishi’s last days in the physical body. According to S.S.Cohen, on the 10th of April the devotees that thronged to get a glimpse of their Master was immense. He has noted down that, “this darshan is no doubt a very great strain on the Maharshi, who, in his infinite compassion, keeps his face constantly turned towards the devotees the whole time the darshan lasts. His couch has east-west position and the door through which he looks at the devotees’ faces south, so that for one full hour he keeps his head turned in that direction and strains his neck. In his present state of health the strain on him must be great; yet he refuses to stop the darshan, or even reduce it to once a day. His nourishment consisted today of a little fruit juice, tomato juice and some coconut water with glucose.”



On the 12th of April, S.S.Cohen wrote down that, “today he is stretched full length on the sofa, with hollow eyes, sunken cheeks, pale, waxy skin and drained of vitality. Three attendants are massaging hard his legs. The upper half of the body is exceedingly sensitive and cannot be touched without causing him severe pain. During the half-hour running darshan at 9 a.m. he could only at times turn his face to the devotees, but mostly he is listless. Doctors stopped testing and examining him and strictly forbade all access to his room.”

Narayana Iyer in a letter to Professor Subbaramayya described Ramana Maharishi’s last days. ‘Bhagavan’s condition was considered very critical. No liquid food even. No motions, no urine. Pulse very, very feeble. Blood-pressure very low. Heart weak. Temperature 96.8° and frequent hiccoughs ... Bhagavan asked in the evening if there was the queue in the morning. Sarvadhikari replied that it was suspended for sometime. Bhagavan said that He would suspend taking even a drop of water till all that came had their darshan. So there was the queue last evening’.

On 13th April when a doctor had wanted to give Ramana Maharishi some medicine to relieve the congestion in the Master’s lungs, the Master refused saying that within two days everything would be all right.

Hours later Ramana Maharishi asked all to leave as He wanted to be alone. Only His attendant Rangaswami was present with the Master. In the morning Ramana Maharishi told Rangaswami, in English, ‘ thanks’. The attendant understood no English and Ramana Maharishi smiled and told him, ‘the English have a word thanks, but we only say santosham (I am pleased)’.

All through the morning and afternoon, devotees passed by His open door to get a glimpse of their beloved Master. His body had become very weak and He had lost immense weight. His ribs were heart achingly visible and His skin had darkened. Most of the devotees would begin to cry seeing His weakened body and His clear suffering.



Many people are under some misconception that Masters feel no pain. Pain is real. Christ felt it on the Cross and even asked God as to why had He forsaken Christ? Similarly Ramana Maharishi felt the pain. Many of His intimate devotees had mentioned that Ramana Maharishi suffered terribly when alone, especially at night, when He thought that nobody could witness His pain, He would on His couch, moan out in pain. He would tell often that pain was natural. I guess when the body is cut with a knife, the body will bleed, whether it is the body of a Saint or a sinner, the body would bleed, how one reacted to the cut, the bleeding, and whether one identified with the pain made all the difference.

But with all the pain and discomfort, Ramana till the very end of His physical journey made certain that His devotees always got a glimpse of Him and He got a glimpse of them. His love and concern for His animals and birds also remained till the very end. Hours before He dropped His body He heard His beloved peacocks screeching and He immediately asked His attendants if His peacocks had been fed properly. The peacocks walked continuously around His room, and His cows, dogs and monkeys all showed their restlessness for their Master’s wellbeing. There was a white peacock that stood on the Nirvana room’s roof screeching nonstop.



All through devotees would complain to Ramana Maharishi that He was abandoning them. His reply to them was, ‘you attach too much importance to the body….the Guru is not in the physical form, thus contact with the Guru will remain even after His physical form vanishes…You are and always were one with Me. You are Me’. To a few He would say, ‘ forget being my devotee…forget pleading and weeping and finding a new excuse or avenue for suffering….there is nothing you can give me, nothing……just sit still and enjoy My love, My devotion to you….enjoy how I love you and do nothing else…’

But on the 14th evening everybody realized that in all probability the Master would leave the body at any moment. The Master’s body was supported by large pillows and He sat upright with His head tilted backward and His mouth open. He found it impossible to breathe and He was given oxygen for a few minutes but it brought Him no relief and He indicated that He wanted the equipment detached from Himself.



O.P. Ramaswami Reddiyar, the retired Chief Minister, was with the Master during the last moments. He says, ‘seeing the difficulty that Bhagavan was experiencing, I drew a screen across and didn't allow any more darshan. O. P. Ramaswani Reddiyar came, and I told him that he could come in, but he declined’, unable to see the Master suffer so much.

Ramana Maharishi then asked to be seated upright. From outside, His lovers began to sing, ‘ Arunachala Shiva’….Lord Shiva of Arunachala Mountain and when the Master heard the song, He opened His eyes wide. They were radiant and He smiled for a few seconds and then tears rolled down His divine eyes. Then He sat in the Padmasana pose and it was in the Padmasana pose that He exhaled one final time and then became very still. The time was 8.47 p.m and the devotees fanning Him stopped and as soon as the devotees outside saw the fans no longer moving fanning Their Master, they knew He had left His body and with broken hearts they began to cry for their beloved Master.

It has been noted in various journals and papers that exact 8.47 p.m. a shooting star or some say a meteor moved slowly across the sky, above Arunachala Mountain and then disappeared behind its peak.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the famous French photographer who had been staying at the Ashram, says thus, “I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it. Because of its singularity we all guessed its import and immediately looked at our watches – it was 8.47 – and then raced to the Ashram only to find that our premonition had been only too sadly true: the Master had passed into mahanirvana at that very minute.”

Lord Shiva of Tiruvannamalai, Lord Shiva of Arunachala, had left His physical body, to remain in the hearts of His lovers for ever and ever more.

Be blessed always.

JAI BABA

Ruzbeh N Bharucha is the author of Devi’s Emerald, The Last Marathon, The Aum of All Things, The Fakir Trilogy and The Ramblings of The 110th, RABDA My Sai…My Sigh, ANANDA - Musings of the Fakir, The Perfect Ones, Conversations with DADA VASWANI, The Musk Syndrome, ICE with very unusual SPIRITS , Dancing with Swans and SAI BABA;The Messiah Of Oneness.

Website : http://www.ruzbehbharucha.net
Source: https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-last-days-of-ramana-maharishi

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Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The point is that occult powers are sought and gained for the benefit of others by Self-Realised persons also. But the sages are not deluded by the possession of such powers.

Devotee: Does the sage use occult powers for making others realise the Self or is the mere fact of his Self-Realisation enough for it?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The force of his Self-Realisation is far more powerful than the use of all other powers.
Inasmuch as there is no ego in him, there are not others for him. What is the highest benefit that can be conferred on others? It is happiness. Happiness is born of Peace. Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise in the mind. When the mind itself is absent there will be perfect Peace. Unless a person had annihilated his mind he cannot gain peace and be happy. Unless he himself is happy he cannot bestow happiness on others. When there is no mind he cannot be aware of others. So the mere fact of his Self-Realisation is itself enough to make all others happy.

Devotee: Can samadhi come and go?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: What is samadhi? Samadhi is one’s essential nature. How then
can it come or go? If you do not realise your essential nature, your sight remains obstructed. What is the obstruction? Find it and remove it. So one’s efforts are meant only for the removal of obstructions which hide the true vision. The real nature remains the same. When once it is realised it is permanent.

Devotee: But Mr. Brunton says that he had one hour’s samadhi. Therefore I asked the question.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: A practiser gains peace of mind and is happy. That peace is the result of his efforts. But the real state must be effortless. The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is permanent. The efforts are spasmodic and so also their results. When the real, effortless, permanent, happy nature is realised it will be found to be not inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life. The samadhi reached after efforts looks like abstraction from the external activities. A person might be so abstracted or live freely among people without detriment to his Peace and Happiness because that is his true nature or the Self.
Talk—597

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DO NOT WAIT …

Question: We know that the pleasures of this world are useless and even painful, yet we long for them. What is the way of ending that longing?

Bhagavan: Think of God and attachments will gradually drop from you. If you wait till all desires disappear to start your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait a very, very long time indeed.

- ‘Guru Ramana’, S.S Cohen

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Ask, It Will Be Given

-----------------------------

A new visitor to the Asramam was telling Bhagavan that he had been worshipping Lord Subrahmanya with great devotion for ten years, but the Lord had not chosen to appear before him. The devotee was obviously in anguish, and might have expected Bhagavan to give him some advice. But Bhagavan merely nodded his head and said, “Is that so?”

Muruganar who was sitting in the hall became emotional and said to the devotee, “Sir! Your prayers have been effective indeed! Look before you! Who is this, in front of your eyes?” The devotee opened his eyes wide and gazed at Bhagavan. Within moments, his eyes filled with tears of ecstasy and he exulted, “Yes! My prayers have been granted! My Subrahmanya is right here! I am fortunate indeed!”

Later in the evening, this devotee went to Muruganar and told him, “Thank you, Sir, for directing me. I looked at Bhagavan and saw Lord Subrahmanya with His two Consorts. Bhagavan Sri Ramana is none other than Lord Subrahmanya!”

- Saranagati, Oct 2008

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The word mukti (liberation) is so provoking. Why should one seek it? He believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation. Why call it by a name and seek it?

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Sundaram (Sadhu Trivenigiri) was a spiritually-minded person. He came to the Ashram in 1933 and was taken on the staff. He worked for long years in the kitchen.
In 1932, as I stood before the deity of the Subramaniyam temple, the following words flashed into my consciousness: “Here I am God who does not talk. Go to Tiruvannamalai. The Maharshi is a god who talks.” This was how the Maharshi’s grace manifested itself to me. I had not even seen him at that time.

In 1933, after my wife’s death, I gave up my job and came to Sri Ramanasramam. As the sarvadhikari knew my family very well, he immediately engaged me for the Ashram work.

Prior to my arrival, I had been suffering from asthma for many years. It gave me a lot of trouble, but I did not mention it to Bhagavan. Once Bhagavan gave me a pinch of chutney he had prepared and said, “This is medicine for you.” I swallowed the same. Later I realized that I was completely cured of my asthma.
At night, after visitors had left, we would all collect around Bhagavan. We felt like a big family assembled after a day’s work. During those short hours, Bhagavan would inquire about our welfare, chat with us, make us laugh and also give us instructions for the next day.
Bhagavan always felt concerned about the welfare of his devotees. One day, for example, when Major Chadwick was down with a fever, Bhagavan asked, “How is he now?” When I replied that I did not know and had not seen him, he directed me to go and see him. He added, “He left his country and traveled thousands of miles, staying with us and making us his own. Should we not take care of him and look after his needs?”

Once, when I served food to Bhagavan, he asked, “Why did you serve me more than usual? How you dare make distinctions like this?” The people nearby pleaded for me. “No Bhagavan,” they said, “Sundaram did not serve you more. Look, we got as much as you did.” But Bhagavan would not be so easily appeased. “You do not know, the ego is strong in him. His giving preference to me is the working of his ego”, he said.

One morning when I was cutting vegetables along with Bhagavan, he said, “Sundaram! Take this hurricane light and pick up the mangoes that have fallen from the tree.” I said, “Yes”, but continued cutting the vegetables. Bhagavan said, “Sundaram, attend to what ‘I’ said first. It is from me that everything arises. Attend to it first.” I took this as an adesha and upadesa (order and instruction) to make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ My friends also felt so.

One day the attendant Madhavan was binding a book. A devotee wanted a book from the library. Bhagavan asked Madhavan to get it saying, “You do my work; I will do your work.” And Bhagavan took the book and went on with the binding while Madhavan got the library book.

Once while meditating in the presence of Bhagavan, my mind persisted in wandering. I couldn’t control it. So I gave up meditation and opened my eyes. Bhagavan at once sat up on his couch and said, “Oh! You abandon it thinking it is the swabhava (nature) of the mind to wander. Whatever we practice becomes the swabhava. If control is practiced persistently that will become the swabhava.” Yet another upadesa for me.

The injunction against the leftover food from the previous day is very much respected in the higher castes of South India. But Bhagavan insisted that avoidance of waste overruled everything else, and he would never permit God’s gift to be thrown away. As for giving the leftovers to beggars, it was not possible because Bhagavan insisted that beggars be given the same food as everyone else, and not some inferior stuff. Even dogs had to be fed from the common meal. Bhagavan would come to the kitchen in the early hours, see the leftovers from the night before, warm them up, dilute them, and add some more ingredients to make them palatable.

Bhagavan was neither a rebel nor a reformer. He did not discourage people from following their religious customs at home, but in the Ashram, he would not take any custom for granted. At Sri Ramanasramam he was both the religion and the custom.

- Face to Face

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Muruganar Swami speaks of Ramana Maharshi's Grace

I heard from devotees who had redeemed themselves by taking as their support the grace of the one at Tiruvannamalai, who is the embodiment of true jnana, and who shines as the flame of true tapas. When they spoke of the greatness of HIS grace, they melted in joy. Hearing them, I was lost in admiration and unceasing joy….

I went with eleven verses that began with 'Leaving Mount Kailas…’ and met the excellent Sage, the Jnana Guru, the ocean of mauna (silence), the bestower of Jnana.

In the same way that wax melts on encountering fire, on seeing HIS feet, my mind dissolved and lost its form. Like a calf finding its mother, my heart melted and rejoiced in HIS feet. The hair on my body stood on end. Devotion surged in me like an ocean that has seen the full moon. Through the grace of chitshakti (power inherent in consciousness), my soul was in ecstasy.

With an unsteady and quivering voice, I read the eleven verses and placed them at HIS feet. At that very moment HE graciously looked at me with HIS Lotus eyes. From that day on, the praises given out by my impartial tongue belonged only to HIM.

From the way HE bestowed HIS grace, becoming my Lord and Master, I was convinced that HE was Shiva himself. As my new ‘owner’, HE made my 'I’ and 'mine’ HIS own.

Even if I get submerged in the miry mud (of hell), I will not forget the mighty nobility of the bountiful bestower of grace.

- Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai

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Bhagavan on Superstition

Many people consider it most auspicious to handle anything that their Guru has touched intimately. Old ladies would wait outside the bathroom to sip the water running from Bhagavan's bath, or the water on the ground left after HE had washed HIS feet on returning from a stroll. So it was considered especially blessed to eat from a leaf that Bhagavan had already used for HIS meal.
But Bhagavan himself was dead against such things and did HIS best to discourage them.
One day Bhagavan noticed a young girl hanging round and watching Him eating. She was obviously waiting for something. Eventually HE asked the dotting parents, who were watching with admiration, what it was all about. They explained that she was waiting for His leaf from which to take her own meal.
Bhagavan was very angry. So as a punishment to all who had allowed such things to happen, HE said that in future HE would remove HIS own leaf and and throw it outside, so that no one might get hold of it. Everybody was upset at this, one reason being that by then Bhagavan's rheumatism was so bad that to try and carry HIS leaf and at the same time support Himself with His stick would render Him unable to onto the rails at the side of the steep steps that led out of the dining room. But Bhagavan was adamant.
So a compromise was reached. In future all leaves were to be left in the dining room and were removed together by one of the servants and this custom persists to this day.

- A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharishi, Page 86

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Bhagavan on Suicide
-------------------------------------------
On another occasion I (Chadwick) asked Bhagavan about suicide. I had been cycling round the hill and on meeting a bus the thought had come into my head : "Why should I not concentrate on the Self and throw myself in front of the bus, so that in this way I may attain Moksha (liberation)!"
I told this to Bhagavan, but HE said that it would not work. Thoughts would spring up involuntarily as I fell, fear and shock would cause them, and thoughts coming, life would continue so that I would have to take another body. If I could still my mind sufficiently so that such a thing would not happen, then what was the need of suicide?

- A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharishi, Page 87

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As an example of eloquent silence can be for the sincere seeker, the following episode which I (Maj Chadwick) personally witnessed in the old hall will illustrate:

A gentleman from Kashmir came to the Ashram with his servant who could not speak a word of any other language except Kashmiri. One night when the hall was almost dark except for the pale grimmer of a single hurricane lantern, the servant came into the hall and stood before Bhagavan in a respectful manner jabbering something rapidly in his own language. Bhagavan said nothing, but lay quietly gazing at him. After a while the servant saluted and left the hall.

Next morning his master came to Bhagavan and complained. “Bhagavan, you never told me you could speak Kashmiri, was it fair?”

“Why, what do you mean?” asked Bhagavan. “I know not a single word of your language.”

Bhagavan asked the gentleman how he had got hold of this absurd idea and the latter explained:

“Last night my servant came to you and asked you several questions in his language. He tells me that you answered him in the same language and cleared his doubts.”

“But I never opened my mouth,” Bhagavan replied !!!!

- A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi, Page 62

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When Narayana Iyer’s eldest daughter was to be married, Narayana Iyer had no money for the betrothal. According to Hindu tradition, there is a ceremony and a pooja for which a few things are necessary. Narayana Iyer’s wife said, “Why don’t you go and appeal to Bhagavan?” He replied, “I will never go and appeal to Bhagavan for material things.” She prayed to Bhagavan silently, telling him of the importance of the betrothal.

The couple then went to see Bhagavan and prostrated before him. They did not breathe a word of the matter. The next morning, the postman arrived with a money order of fifty one rupees. (I myself have seen the counterfoil of this money order - Narayana Iyer has shown it to me.) It had come from Ahmedabad, which is a good thousand miles away from Tiruvannamalai. There was a message saying, “Letter follows.” The couple bought whatever they needed with the money. The prospective groom came and was received well and the wedding was fixed. The couple waited anxiously for the letter that was to follow. The letter arrived later from a Gujarati gentleman in Ahmedabad. The couple did not know him at all. He wrote, “Dear Narayana Iyer, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi appeared in my dream and told me that I have to immediately telegraph a money order of rupees fifty one. He also gave me your address. I do not know you and I do not know what the money is for. Please do not refuse the money. Please accept it.” (I have seen that letter too.) Narayana Iyer, his wife and their daughter went before Bhagavan. They wept and prostrated before him and said, “Bhagavan, what grace are you showering on us!” Bhagavan read the letter as though someone else had showered the grace! He then focused his attention on both of them and said, “Why doubt? Why should you not ask me?”

This is what I want to share with you. It is not just for spiritual fulfillment that we have come to the master. When the supreme master is capable of granting you the highest thing, which is Self realization, will he not fulfill your prayers for mundane things?

- ‘Ramana Periya Puranam’ by V.Ganesan
(Inner Journey of 75 Old Devotees)

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'IF YOU WORSHIP A STONE...'

Two visitors came to Bhagavan and one of them said: 'My friend has taken as his guru a man who is not even a sadhu. I brought him here so that he would give up his guru and follow you, Bhagavan. Please make him do so'.

Bhagavan replied sternly: 'Who are you to say who is the right guru for him? By what power can you make out what a man really is? And are you sure that the guru counts so much? All depends on the disciple! Even if you worship a stone with great devotion, it will be seen as God.'

- Kanakammal, Cherished memories

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8th January 1946

(22) MOKSHA

A few days ago, a lady, a recent arrival, came into the hall at about 3 p.m. and sat down. All the time she was there, she was trying to get up and ask something of Sri Bhagavan. As Bhagavan appeared not to have noticed her and was reading a book, she waited for a while.

As soon as Bhagavan put the book aside, she got up, approached the sofa and said without any fear or hesitation,

“Swami, I have only one desire. May I tell you what it is?” “Yes,” said Bhagavan, “What do you want?” “I want moksha,” she said. “Oh, is that so?” remarked Bhagavan. “Yes, Swamiji, I do not want anything else. Is it enough if you give me moksha,” said she.

Suppressing a smile that had almost escaped his lips, Bhagavan said, “Yes, yes, that is all right; that is good.” “It will not do if you say that you will give it sometime later. You must give it to me here and now,” she said. “It is all right,” said Bhagavan. “Will you give it now? I must be going,” said she. Bhagavan nodded.

As soon as she left the hall, Bhagavan burst out laughing and said, turning towards us, “She says that it is enough if only moksha is given to her. She does not want anything else.”

Subbalakshmamma, who was seated by my side, took up the thread of the conversation and quietly said, “We have come and are staying here for the same purpose. We do not want anything more. It is enough if you give us moksha.”

“If you renounce, and give up everything, what remains is only moksha. What is there for others to give you? It is there always. THAT IS,” said Bhagavan.

“We do not know all that. Bhagavan himself must give us moksha.” So saying she left the hall. Looking at the attendants who were by his side, Bhagavan remarked,

“I should give them moksha, they say. It is enough if moksha alone is given to them. Is not that itself a desire? If you give up all the desires that you have, what remains is only moksha. And you require sadhana to get rid of all those desires.”

The same bhava (idea) is found in Maharatnamala:
‘It is said that the complete destruction of vasanas is Brahman and moksha.’

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

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Free from Vasanas and yet their Core

D.: Distractions result from inherited tendencies. Can they be cast off too?

M.: Yes. Many have done so. Believe it! They did so because they believed they could. Vasanas (predispositions) can be obliterated. It is done by concentration on that which is free from vasanas and yet is their core.

D.: How long is the practice to continue?
M.: Till success is achieved and until yoga-liberation becomes permanent. Success begets success. If one distraction is conquered the next is conquered and so on until all are finally conquered. The process is like reducing an enemy’s fort by slaying its man-power - one by one, as each issues out.

D.: What is the goal of this process?

M.: Realizing the Real.
D.: What is the nature of the Reality?

M.: (a) Existence without beginning or end - eternal.
(b) Existence everywhere, endless, infinite.
(c) Existence underlying all forms, all changes, all forces, all matter and all spirit.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, ch 29

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HAND YOUR BURDEN TO THE LORD TO HOLD

D. When I am here I am convinced; I am impressed.
But when I go out and think of society or of my country
and I remember your answer 'know thyself.'

M. What can you do to society or your country when you are weak? You must become strong first.
But I tell you, Self-attainment is the supreme strength.
Do not fear that you will lose strength to act when you become a jnani.

D. I have that fear.

M. You should not have it. If you are destined or chosen to do a particular thing, it will be done.

D. Then should I resign everything? Can I not perform tapas and ask God to grant my desires?

M. You can. But there must be some Abhyasa, some sadhana for tapas or for your prayers to reach God. When you are in the Sadhana whether it is medi-
tation or prayer, will you be thinking of your desires or of God?

D. If I think of my desires in meditation, it is no dhyana at all.

M. Then take it that there is the same dhyana, the same tapas, the same meditation, for both. Sakama or nishkama, whether it is actuated by desire or is disinterested.
Even when your desires are fulfilled, the tapas grows. It does not cease. That is the true character of tapas. It is the same in the case of bhakti also.

Now I put a question to you. When a man with luggage gets into a railway carriage where does he keep it?

D. He keeps it in his compartment or in the luggage-van.

M. So he does not carry it upon his head or on his lap?

D. None but a fool would do so.

M. If you call him a fool who keeps it on his head, thousand times more foolish is it to bear your burden when you get into the spiritual life, whether it is vichara-marga, the path of knowledge or bhakti-marga, the path of devotion.

D. But can I throw off all my responsibilities, all my commitments?

M. Now, look at the temple tower, gopura. There are many statues in it and there is a big statue, one in each corner. Have you seen them?

D. Yes. I have.

M. Now I tell you this. The big tall tower is sup-
ported by those statues.

D. How can that be? What do you mean?

M. I mean when speaking thus, that it is not more
foolish than your attitude when you say that you have
to carry and are carrying all cares, burdens, responsibilities,
etc

The Lord of the universe carries the whole burden.
You imagine you do. You can hand all your burden to his care. Whatever you have to do you will be made an instrument for doing that at the right time. Do not think you cannot do it unless you have the desire to do it. Desire does not give you the strength to do. The strength is the Lord's.

D. Am I to understand that you are giving me the essence of Karma yoga.

M. It is the essence of Karma yoga, of bhakti yoga, why, even of jnana yoga, for even though the paths, in the beginning, may differ, they all eventually lead to this position.

- Sat Darshana Bhashya and Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

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At about 4 p.m. Sri Bhagavan, who was writing something intently, turned His eyes slowly towards the window to the north; He closed the fountain pen with the cap and put it in its case: He closed the notebook and put it aside; He removed the spectacles, folded them in the case and left them aside. He leaned back a little, looked up overhead, turned His face this way and that; and looked here and there. He passed His hand over His face and looked contemplative. Then He turned to someone in the hall and said softly:

Maharshi: The pair of sparrows just came here and complained to me that their nest had been removed. I looked up and found their nest missing."

Then He called for the attendant, Madhava Swami, and asked: "Madhava, did anyone remove the sparrows' nest?

The attendant, who walked in leisurely, answered with an air of unconcern: "I removed the nests as often as they were built. I removed the last one this very afternoon."

Maharshi: That's it. That is why the sparrows complained. The poor little ones! How they take the pieces of straw and shreds in their tiny beaks and struggle to build their nests!

Attendant: But, why should they build here, over our heads?

Maharshi: Well - well. Let us see who succeeds in the end (After a short time Sri Bhagavan went out).

(3rd March, 1939, Talk 640)

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