Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – G.Lakshmi Narasimham

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Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – G.Lakshmi NarasimhamBack


G.Lakshmi Narasimham, B.L., greatly helped the Ashram management through his services during the 1930s and 40s. He translated into Telugu Five Hymns to Arunachala and Reality in Forty Verses, works of Sri Ramana.

My contact with Bhagavan began in 1930, and I spent a continuous period of three years at Sri Ramanasramam. It was a great blessing.

I was a science graduate. I had learned about the atomic structure of the universe and how the matter finally resolves into energy, and that the mind also is a form of energy. So the entire world of the mind and the matter, when traced to its source, is one uniform Energy or God, or whatever you choose to call it.

This was the attitude of my mind when I first went to Sri Ramanasramam. Bhagavan was then translating his Ulladu Narpadu into Telugu. After completing it he gave the manuscript to me and said, “You are an Andhra: see if there are any grammatical mistakes in it.” It was this translation which made my mind turn inwards and set it on the right path.

The essence of what Bhagavan said in my talks with him was: “You say that on final analysis all that I see or think or do is one; but that really comprises two notions: the all that is seen; and the ‘I’ that does the seeing, thinking and doing, and says ‘I’.Which of these two is the more real, true and important? Obviously the seer, since the ‘seen’ is dependent on it. So, turn your attention to the seer who is the source of your ‘I’ and realize it. This is the real task. Up till now you have been studying the object, not the subject. Now find out for what reality this ‘I’ stands. Find the entity which is the source of the expression ‘I’. That is the Self, the Self of all selves.

This direct, simple teaching was like a tonic to me. It swept away the unrest and confusion that till then had haunted my mind. It is, of course, the essence of Ulladu Narpadu and the central theme of all Bhagavan’s writings. The simplicity of it made me burst out, “Then Bhagavan, Selfrealization is very easy, just as you say in the poem Atma Vidya!

Bhagavan smiled and said, “Yes, yes, it seems so at first, but there is a difficulty. You have to overcome your present false values and wrong identification. The quest requires concentrated effort and steadfast abidance in the Source, when reached.” However, while warning me, he also added words of solace: “But don’t let that deter you. The rise of the urge to seek the ‘I’ is itself an act of Divine Grace, for which one has to pray.

Once my mother said to Bhagavan, “You are God, kindly help me.” He replied, “I, a God – I am only a believer in God’s existence. Don’t say I am God. Then everyone will try to pick a hair of mine.

My three-year old son suffering from acute liver ailment was taken to the Ashram for a few days but died after two months. The incident was brought to Bhagavan’s notice. When Bhagavan appeared in dream to a close relation, he asked Bhagavan: “The child died even though he was brought to you.” Bhagavan replied, “So many clients come to the lawyer in your family. Does he not always say, “I will do my best.”? Does he always win the case? So is the case with God also.

When a devotee failed in his attempt to get a suitable bridegroom for his daughter, he sought Bhagavan’s help. He was given a Tamil verse for chanting a certain number of times daily. The verse was a prayer to Siva to take Parvati as his consort. After a month or two the devotee succeeded in celebrating his daughter’s marriage.

My daughter was also of marriageable age and I thought of following the same device. For getting Bhagavan’s clearance in the matter I wrote down the verse on a piece of paper and showed it to him saying whether there was any mistake in it. Bhagavan saw through it and asked, “Why do you want this? You need not do all these things.When the time comes, the bridegroom himself will come and take her away by hand.” I gave up the idea; and my daughter was married as predicted by Bhagavan.

In December 1930, my brother’s newborn daughter was brought to the Ashram for being named by Bhagavan.The two names familiar to him were Lakshmi and Saraswathi. So, looking at the baby Bhagavan said, “Why not give her the name Saraswathi?” When told that there was already one Saraswathi, he named her Bala Saraswathi (Bala means younger).

Bhagavan insisted on parayana (repetition of sacred texts). He felt that though one may not be able to understand them in the first instance, gradually the ultimate meaning would flash by itself. Bhagavan also said that writing once is equivalent to reading ten times.

In the early 1930s, a dog called Jackie fell sick. Bhagavan arranged a soft bed for it in the hall and was tending it affectionately. After a few days it got more sick and started emitting a bad smell. It made no difference to Bhagavan’s attention on it. Finally, it expired in his hands. It lies buried in the Ashram precincts, with a small monument over it.

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