Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – M.M. Menon

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M.M. Menon from Palghat (Kerala) came to Sri Ramana in the late 1940s. He wrote articles for The Call Divine on Advaita and great Indian sages.

During my second visit in May 1948, I was seated in the hall a few yards away from the couch of Bhagavan, immersed in the serenity and the peaceful silence emanating from him. After food, I approached the young sannyasi who was attending on Bhagavan and requested him to communicate to Bhagavan whether he would graciously clear a doubt of mine. Bhagavan readily consented and cast his encouraging look at me. It was easy for me to make the request, but I felt hopelessly embarrassed to carry out my decision. I thought that it would be an unpardonable crime to disturb the silence of the hall by my attempt to address Bhagavan and that the people in the hall might not look with favour at my audacity. I was confused and did not know how to start. I perspired profusely and felt very shy. I had no courage to open my mouth, even though I felt a great urge to talk to Bhagavan.

After about fifteen minutes Bhagavan beckoned to the sannyasi and asked him to tell me to go ahead with my doubt. Again I felt very shy and nervous and could not speak. Another quarter of an hour elapsed and still I did not address Bhagavan, when Bhagavan told the sannyasi again to ask me what my doubt was. Seeing how merciful and interested Bhagavan was, I could not delay any longer and I blurted out in Malayalam: “Bhagavan! I have heard about the vichara marga of yours, but have no clear conception of it. Is it to sit in a quiet place and ask oneself the question ‘Who am I?’ repeatedly or meditate on that question as on a mantra?

On hearing my words all eyes turned towards me. Bhagavan replied tersely and clearly in Malayalam.”No, it is not repeating or meditating on ‘Who am I?’. It is to dive deep into yourself and seek the place from which the ‘I’ thought arises in you and to hold on to it firmly to the exclusion of any other thought. Continuous and persistent attempt will lead you to the Self.”

I was overwhelmed with happiness.Though I had some vague idea akin to what Bhagavan has said, I felt Bhagavan had initiated me and that His Grace had descended on me. The bliss I felt could not be described. I could not contain myself and felt like sobbing. The happiness I felt then I am able to recall even now in all its intensity and I consider myself especially blessed by Bhagavan. I cannot recall the incident in my mind without realising how infinitely merciful Bhagavan was.

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