Swami Satyananda was a personal attendant of Sri Ramana from 1946 till the Maharshi’s mahanirvana in April 1950.
I was born in 1916 in Kerala. My mother being ofa pious disposition used to serve sadhus and help them in various ways. Her piety made me turn to spiritual path when I was only eighteen. Once I went on a pilgrimage to Rameswaram in the company of some sadhus. On the way, we stayed at a math managed by one Narayanaswami. He spoke to me of the greatness of Bhagavan and gave me the address of the Ashram on a piece of paper.
From Rameswaram I went to Tiruvannamalai. When we arrived, Bhagavan was sitting in the hall alone. He looked at us and smiled. I can never forget that smile. I spent seven years at the Ashram, begging my food in the town. I then obtained, by Bhagavan’s grace, the good fortune of serving him as his personal attendant.
On the evening of April 14, 1950, we were massaging Bhagavan’s body. At about 5 p.m. he asked us to help him sit up. Precisely at that moment devotees started singing ‘Arunachala Siva.’ 1When Bhagavan heard the singing, his face lit up with radiant joy. Tears began to flow from his eyes and continued to flow for a long time. I was wiping them from time to time. I was also giving him spoonfuls of water boiled with ginger. Bhagavan’s breathing became gradually slower and slower and at 8.47 p.m. subsided quietly. There was no struggle, no spasm, none of the signs of death. At that very moment, devotees who were outside saw a bright meteor in the sky, which reached the summit of the holy hill Arunachala and disappeared high in the sky.
1. The 108-verse poem addressed to mountain Arunachala.