Madhavi Ammal was a sincere lady devotee who wrested diksha from Sri Ramana.
I knew fully well that Bhagavan gave no formal initiation, but I kept on asking for it whenever an opportunity presented itself. Invariably Bhagavan used to reply, “Who is the Guru and who is the sishya [Disciple]? They are not two. There is but One Reality. It is in you and it can neither be given nor taken.” 1
On March 12, 1934 I went to the hall. Only the attendant Madhava Swami was there. When I made my usual request Bhagavan laid aside the newspaper he was reading and sat in padmasana, quite absorbed. I then recited a hymn of praise to the guru in Telugu and also Akshar-amanamalai.2
Bhagavan turned to Madhava Swami and said, “She has prayed to Sri Arunachala.” This struck me as meaning that Sri Arunachala will give the initiation and also that Bhagavan and Sri Arunachala are not two. Bhagavan resumed his state of absorption and I had my persistent request for upadesa. But he continued to sit motionless. Finally, I begged of him, “Am I not a competent person to receive upadesa? Bhagavan should himself tell me about this.”
Immediately on speaking thus, I found a bright light emanating from Bhagavan’s face, and the el^lgence filled the whole hall. I could not see Bhagavan’s body but only the brilliance. I shed tears in profusion. The whole incident lasted for a few seconds. I prostrated to Bhagavan. There was a smile on his face but no movement otherwise. After a while he turned to me as if to ask, “Have you got rid of your mania?” He then took a piece of paper, wrote a sloka on it and gave it to me saying, “You can make use of it in meditation.” The sloka was: “I adore Guha the Dweller in the Cave of the Heart, the Son of the Protector of the Universe, the pure light of Awareness beyond thought, the wielder of the weapon of jnana sakti and the Remover of ignorance of blemishless devotees.“
1. It is of interest here to note Sri Ramana’s response to Brunton’s request, made in 1930, to accept him as a disciple. Brunton writes: “In my heart I know that I come as one seeking to take up the position of a disciple, and that there will be no rest for my mind until I hear the Maharshi’s decision. I put my request briefly and bluntly. He continues to smile at me but says nothing. I repeat my question with some emphasis. There is another protracted pause, but at length he answers me, disdaining to call for the services of an interpreter and expresses himself directly in English. ‘What is all this talk of masters and disciples? All these differences exist only from the disciple’s standpoint. To the one who has realised the true Self there is neither master nor disciple. Such a one regards all people with equal eye.’ I am slightly conscious of an initial rebuff, and though I press my request in other ways, the Maharshi refuses to yield on the point. But in the end he does say, ‘You must find the Master within you, within your spiritual self. You must regard his body in the same way that he himself regards it, the body is not the true self’. ” A Search in Secret India, chapter xiv.
2. One hundred and eight hymns on Arunachala by Sri Ramana, refer p. 425.