End of Depression
In 1948, when I was 24 years old, I first visited Sri Ramanasramam. At that time I was very much inclined toward Communism. I was also very much depressed, owing to the death of my closest relative who suddenly died at the age of twenty.
My father had already visited Sri Ramana twice. He had gone to him with a list of doubts and twice all his doubts were cleared, without even a single word spoken. He experienced complete peace in the Maharshi’s presence. Because I was depressed my father was urging me to visit the Maharshi. I was working as an attorney in the High Court of Madras when I was finally persuaded to travel to Tiruvannamalai and visit the Sage.
It was about 9 a.m. during the last week of April in 1948 when I first reached the Ashrama. I was asked by the management to stay in the Guest House for Gents, which was east of the well and near the kitchen. I entered the long guest house and placed down my bedding. As fate would have it, the late Sri N. Balaram Reddy was occupying the space next to me.
In addition to my work in the courts, I also wrote articles for various journals on Telugu literature, dabbled in poetry and had some familiarity with Sanskrit. Sri Reddy garu and I immediately struck up a conversation and, finding me interested in literature, he discussed with me the Ramayana and the character of Rama. He then took me the kitchen and got me iddlies for breakfast, as everyone had already eaten.
After eating he took me to where Ramana was reclining on a sofa and asked me to sit with my eyes closed. Although there was absolute silence in the hall I could not sit with my eyes closed. I was restless and I felt as if the time was dragging. Slowing, my mind began to reflect on all my miseries, one after another. Every day, for three days, I accompanied Sri Reddy garu to the hall, and every time I sat down my thoughts would take off at high speed and my misery increased. So, on the evening of the third day, I told Sri Reddy garu that I had come to the Maharshi for peace but I was only experiencing an increase of pain and misery. Sri Reddy garu asked me to stay on for one more day.
On the morning of the fourth day I was sitting in the hall with my eyes closed. At one point I happened to open my eyes and saw the Maharshi looking at me intently. Suddenly, all thoughts vanished from my mind and I experienced a delightful blank, or void. Then a resplendent light enveloped me fully. I was empty of thoughts but full of immense happiness. I was one with that immense peace and resplendent glory.
After some time I again became aware of my body. This experience made me believe in God for the first time. In spite of all my theories of Marxism, dialectic materialism and atheism I could not deny the truth of this wonderful experience. This condition continued for three days. I witnessed my body go through its daily activities but I remained fixed in that immense peace. The Maharshi’s look pierced into me when I sat before him and even when I was not before him. The eyes of the Maharshi are the kindest and most powerful energy of the universe, and it brings me to ecstasy remembering those first days with him in his Ashrama. I left the Ashrama after six days, but even after leaving I would suddenly go into meditation. Such was the effect of the Sage’s presence.