Sadhu Bramanian, earlier Dr.R. Subramanian, was Director of Public Health in Madras Government. He was instrumental in ensuring the best medical treatment during Sri Ramana’s terminal illness.
One day, Dr. Anantanarayana Rao [No.88] brought a ripe guava to Bhagavan saying it was the first produce from his garden. Bhagavan asked for a knife, a plate and some chilli powder. He cut the fruit into small pieces, sprinkled the chilli powder over them, took a piece himself and asked the rest to be given to those around him. That was the only dish prepared by Bhagavan himself which I ever ate. It was also the most delicious morsel I ever tasted.
Once Bhagavan had a mild attack of jaundice. As a part of the treatment, his diet was reduced to bare buttermilk and rice. Dr. Shiva Rao of the Ashram dispensary felt that Bhagavan was getting weaker. He requested him to take some protein foods and vitamins, but he declined. I happened to be in the Ashram then. One day as Bhagavan came out of the bathroom, I prostrated before him and said, “Dr. Shiva Rao and others in the Ashram are very anxious about Bhagavan’s health and want Bhagavan to take some protein foods and vitamins. At least for their satisfaction I request Bhagavan to agree.” He smiled and said, “Yes, you may arrange whatever is necessary.” I came and told this to Dr. Shiva Rao.
Vitamins were available in the Ashram dispensary, but not the protein food. I returned to Madras immediately and searched all prominent drug stores. Since it was wartime, drugs were scarce and the protein food was available only in one shop. I bought all the seven bottles available and took them to the Ashram. I went to the hall with one bottle and a spoon, and gave one spoonful to each of the few devotees present and then gave one to Bhagavan. He took it and asked what it was. I said that it was protein food and that he could mix one spoonful with the food thrice daily. He asked me to give the bottle to Sama Thatha with instructions. After a few days some overzealous devotee served two spoonfuls on his leaf-plate. He immediately stopped taking it and asked the bottles to be given to the dispensary for the use of the patients.
After his last operation, visitors were prohibited. But Bhagavan, despite doctors’ instructions, insisted on lying outside the dispensary room, where he was operated. This he thought was necessary to save disappointment to the devotees many of whom were coming from distant places to have his darshan.