‘Self has no space or time’

Ramana Maharishi’s aradana falls on May 4.

April 28, 2016 04:46 pm | Updated 04:46 pm IST

Ramana Maharishi .

Ramana Maharishi .

The sage of Tiruvannamalai will be remembered on May 4, the day he merged with Arunachala, through special prayers, bhajan, etc. Though much has been written about Ramana Maharishi and his philososphy, the aradana gives an occasion to recall traits, which made Bhagavan special. He could maintain stoic silence and also overwhelm devotees with fluent conversation and benevolent gestures, all of which contained messages.

One of his disciples, T.K. Sundaresa Iyer, in his book, “At the feet of Bhagavan,” narrates an episode. A poor couple from Peru, who considered Sri Ramana as Christ, was determined to meet him. So they saved money, sailed for many weeks because they could only afford cheap deck tickets, and landed in India.

On reaching Tiruvannamalai, they were taken to the presence of Bhagavan, who listened to their travails. Then he said, `You needn’t have gone through this ordeal. Your thoughts would have brought me close to you.” They did not comprehend the message and he did not elaborate.

Later in the evening, Sri Ramana again engaged them in a conversation during the course of which, the couple described Peru, its landscape, the sea coast and the splendour of the beach in their town. Maharishi supplemented by asking, “Is not that beach paved with marble slabs with coconut and palm trees neatly lined up? Aren’t there rows of marble benches facing the sea and both of you often sit on the fifth of those.”

The two devotees were stunned. How did he know, he who did not leave the hill? Reading their thought, Maharishi said, “It does not matter how I know all this. Enough if you know that in Self, there is no space and time.’ Now the couple understood what he meant in the morning.

Aiming to do penance (1908), Kavya Kanta Ganapathi Muni, a staunch follower, got the consent of Bhagavan and arrived at a Ganesa temple in Thiruvottriyur, Chennai. The meditation began and on the 18th day, he had difficulty in concentrating. Helpless, he wished he were in the company of Bhagavan, who would have guided him. He dozed off and in his vision saw Bhagavan arriving and sitting by his side. He prevented his disciple from getting up (as a gesture of respect) by pressing down his head. At that moment Ganapati felt as if electricity was passing through him. Later he would describe it as hasta diksha. He resumed meditation which continued without a problem.

It was interesting to hear Bhagavan corroborate this experience, years later. He said, “ “Yes. Several years ago, when I was in the Virupaksha cave, I suddenly felt as if my body was floating. Soon material objects vanished from my sight. Earthly objects became visible as I seemed to be landing somewhere. I knew it was Tiruvottriyur and walked along a main road. I noticed a Ganesa temple and just walked in. I do not remember anything else but when I woke up I was back in Virupaksha cave.”

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