V. Kameswara Rao, a government employee, met Sri Ramana in the late 1940s, after revelation in a dream.
Once I had a dream in which a saintly old man with a radiant smile beckoned me to him. I told my wife about my dream, but could not identify the saint I had seen. Could it be Ramana Maharshi, about whom I had read in the book Self Realization?^ I asked a friend of mine, who often went to Sri Ramanasramam, whether he would take me with him and he agreed. We set off that very day, arriving at the Ashram next morning.
We went to the hall and there on a couch sat the Maharshi, the saint of my dream. I felt that I was in the presence of God. I fell prostrate before Bhagavan (for this was the name my friend used in addressing him). A group of men and women were seated silently on the floor on either side of him. Close to him sat an elderly bearded man binding a small book.
Bhagavan asked me whether I had had my coffee. So I went out, had my bath and breakfast.When I got BackI found that Bhagavan himself was stitching the book. I wondered why he should do it, and then I noticed how carefully he worked at it and showed the bearded man how to do it.
As a government servant I had to pass an examination in a second language within a prescribed period. I decided to take it in Tamil, although I knew very little of the language. I was a bit worried about it and wanted Bhagavan’s blessings for my success.When I told my problem to Bhagavan, he replied ‘parava illai’ (don’t worry), which made me feel very happy. He advised me to take the little book Nan Yar? (Who am I?) and read it with the help of a Tamil tutor.
Next morning, I went and prostrated before Bhagavan and asked his permission to leave. He gave it but asked why I was in such a hurry. My friend expressed a doubt whether I would be able to go that day, in view of what Bhagavan had said; but I had to get back. I bought the books from the Ashram bookstall and went to the station to find a two-day strike on the railway. When we went Backand told Bhagavan about it, he smiled.
Two days later when I asked for leave to go, he said, ‘Very well’. This time we walked to the station and a cart followed us with our baggage. When we arrived, the train was already in but the cart was not yet in sight, so I thought I would miss the train. I went to the stationmaster and
told him that this was my second attempt to leave the Ashram and asked him to detain the train for a few minutes till my baggage arrived; he agreed.
When I got home, I engaged a tutor and stayed at home during the summer recess of the law courts, for reading Who am I? in Tamil. The written test came along. I had to translate an English speech into Tamil. I cleared the test without much difficulty.Then there was the more frightening oral test in Madras, but it also was made very easy and I passed that too.
In February 1949, my eldest son had a severe attack of smallpox. After a few days the doctor warned me that many people were dying of it and the chances of recovery were slight. I sat at the boy’s bedside reading religious poems so as to keep his mind on God, since he was not expected to live. Then, the idea suddenly came to me to ask Bhagavan for his blessings. So I wrote to him: “I pray for your blessings on the suffering child and his parents.“
Early next morning my sister, who had been taking her turn sitting by the boy during the night, told us that she had a vision ofAmmavaru (the spirit of smallpox) leaving our house and asking her to take care of the boy. I also lece ived a letter from the Ashram stating, “Prasadam (sacred ash) is sent herewith with Sri Bhagavan’s gracious blessings for your child laid up with pox.” The letter thrilled me. But how did Bhagavan know that my son had smallpox? Anyway, my son survived and is in good health. My faith in Bhagavan increased enormously as a result of this, because it was a matter of life and death for my boy and Bhagavan gave him life.
In March, 1949 a big ceremony was held at the Ashram for the consecration of the temple over the samadhi of Bhagavan’s mother. I decided to go and take my wife and my mother with me. A car was waiting at the door to take us to the station. Suddenly I felt that I should not go. My wife and mother naturally protested. Everyone was annoyed but I merely said, “Perhaps Bhagavan doesn’t want me to see the function. I am sorry but I can’t help it.“
At about nine o’clock that evening I received a telegram that the only son of my sister was dangerously ill with meningitis, and that I should send my mother there at once. I put her on the train together with my sister. On arrival, the sister wrote me a frantic letter saying that the case of my nephew was hopeless and the only chance of saving him, if at all, was to invoke the blessings of Bhagavan. So, I again wrote to the Ashram.
In reply I received Sri Bhagavan’s blessing for the child and his parents. My nephew recovered. We understood then why I suddenly had
to cancel my journey to Timvannamalai. If we had gone, the telegram would not have reached me, my mother and sister would not have gone in time, and I would not have written asking for Bhagavan’s blessings. My erratic decision, prompted by something unknown to me, saved the child.
1. First biography of Sri Ramana (1931) by B.V. Narasimha Swami.