Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Raja (V.Rajasubrahmania) Iyer

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Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Raja (V.Rajasubrahmania) IyerBack


Raja (V.Rajasubrahmania) Iyer was the first postmaster at Sri Ramanasramam.

My mother and elder sister had the utmost reverence for Bhagavan. In the first few years after Bhagavan’s arrival at Arunachala, they would not miss the opportunity of offering food to him.

I first met Bhagavan in 1911. Thereafter I used to go and see him every now and then. From 1935 onwards, I began to stay permanently at the Ashram. The circumstances under which I became a permanent inmate are interesting. One day, I had a dream in which I saw Bhagavan ordering me to pull the punkah overhead. I obeyed him with great joy. During my next visit Bhagavan looked up as soon as I had prostrated and asked me to pull the punkah. This was surprising and I connected it immediately to my dream. I pulled the punkah joyously for a while, when Bhagavan asked me to stop. By this Bhagavan had gently drawn me to his service.

The rule was that the inmates should do some work in return for the permission to stay in the Ashram. I was assigned the job of making iddlies. The grinding involved in the process was difficult. Bhagavan sometimes would give useful tips to make it easy. Often Bhagavan would work with us side by side, cutting vegetables, etc. He was very particular about avoiding waste. He showed me how to use a ladle to avoid spilling while pouring, and how to start a fire with just a few drops of kerosene.

In 1937, Sri Ramanasramam post office was opened and I was appointed the first postmaster. Prior to that I used to bring post from the town. Bhagavan humorously remarked, “Yesterday’s postman is today’s postmaster.

Bhagavan used to wake up at four in the morning. Till nine at night there would be a continuous stream of visitors and his solicitude for each of them was touching. To provide some relief, the management decided to close the the doors of the hall for two hours after lunch. When Bhagavan learnt about it, he sat outside the hall after lunch saying that people come to see him from long distances; they may have some other urgent work. The management was welcome to close the doors but he was free to meet the visitors outside. It took a lot of persuasion to make Bhagavan relent.

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