P.V. Sastri, a lawyer, came to Sri Ramana in 1945 in the aftermath of death of his 23-year-old married son.
The event was so terrible and caused such grief that I thought I would not survive it. I neglected practically all my worldly duties for some time. Later, I got somehow attracted to Sri Ramanasramam and went there with my whole family. Having read about Sri Krishna’s bringing His guru Sandipani’s son Backto life, we were so mad as to think to get our son restored to life by the grace of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.1
We reached Tiruvannamalai and entered the hall where Bhagavan used to sit. Our one idea was to beseech him to bring our son Backto life; but despite our intense desire we found that we could not open our mouths to speak. We simply sat silent till Bhagavan rose for dinner and everyone went out. Then we too went Backto the place where we stayed. We went to the hall again in the afternoon with the same purpose but with the same result.
In this way, we went to the hall each morning and afternoon continuously for seven days to implore Bhagavan to bring our son Backto life but we could not utter a word in his presence. On the eighth day we talked it over together after coming out of the hall and decided that it was no use staying any longer since our purpose had not been fulfilled, and we decided to leave next morning.
At this time, a gentleman Subbarao met us. He was formerly a pleader at Nellore and had come to Tiruvannamalai and settled down as one of the resident devotees. We became friends perhaps because I also was a pleader. He asked me what we were talking about, and I told him the whole story. I admitted that we felt peace in Bhagavan’s presence, but the moment we left the hall our grief bursts out again like a volcanic eruption; and yet, we were unable to speak out and put our desire before Bhagavan.
Subbarao promised to take us to Bhagavan next day and introduce us to him. We agreed. The next day, on being introduced, we told Bhagavan about our grief and in a general way asked for his help. Bhagavan nodded his head and said, Seri, Seri (All right, all right), but we still found ourselves unable to talk any more, still less to tell him what it was that we really wanted. Again, we felt constrained to sit there speechless. That evening we decided to leave, since even the intervention of Subbarao had not helped us.
But Sri Ramana would not let us go. A thought occurred to me that I should buy some books published by the Ashram. When I went to the bookstall, the gentleman in charge was in meditation but opened his eyes immediately and asked us to come in. On being questioned by him, I repeated the whole story. He said that the Maharshi was capable of bringing the boy Backto life, but since the boy was a highly religious and a devout young man he would have gone to better regions and would not like to come back to us. I assured him that he loved us so much and we loved him so much that he would really come back, if it were possible. The gentlemen then put me another question.
“Suppose Bhagavan brings him Backto you and then both of you die, what will the position be then?” This question dispelled the thick cloud of illusion that had enveloped us and at last we saw that our attempt to get our son Backwas sheer madness. I felt at the time and feel even now that it was not the bookseller talking to me, but really Sri Bhagavan was speaking through him.
We abandoned the hope of getting our son Backto life and also our plan of leaving immediately. We stayed for about twelve more days. The rest of our stay at the Ashram was only for the purpose of obtaining peace. Sri Ramana’s ‘all right’ had been meant to help us in the only way in which a realized guru will help. His grace was bestowed on us and he began to work silently in our hearts to remove the thick clouds of sorrow and end the volcanic outbursts of grief. He began to instil peace and develop real knowledge in us. Silently and slowly the grace is still working in that direction. We were blessed with his grace and felt uplifted in the right way.
1. The legend has it that Lord Krishna brought Backin flesh and blood his guru Sandipani’s son, who was washed away by the sea.