B.C. Sengupta, M.A., B.L., Principal, K.C. College, Hetampur, Bengal, came to Sri Ramana in early 1940s.
My visit to Ramanasramam coincided with the Maharshi’s birthday. He was seated in a big enclosure outside the hall. A continuous stream of people passed before him for a couple of hours. I waited and waited and went closer, but could not attract his attention. My whole being was irresistibly getting drawn towards him. I was eager to put my case before him, but was not getting an opportunity to do so.
On the third day of my visit I entreated an inmate of the Ashram to help me put my case before the Maharshi. As advised by him, I wrote down what I intended to say on a piece of paper. He kindly took the paper and went to the hall, followed by me, and placed it before the
Maharshi, speaking something to him in Tamil. The Maharshi read it and smiled. I was sitting there. As he looked at me I was overwhelmed and a violent emotion convulsed my body, which set the Maharshi laughing. He laughed merrily for sometime and then silently folded the paper and left it on the book-shelf, which stood nearby. He did not speak to me nor did he seem to pay any further attention to me. This made me very depressed. There was nothing more to be done. I must return home. After the night meal I sat in the hall and felt a pleasant coolness inundating me. Is this the spiritual fragrance spoken of as emanating from the Maharshi? [Refer Brunton’s experience, p. 14]
The next day, while sitting before the Maharshi, I experienced a sudden pull in the region of the heart. I was astonished and as I sought to observe it, it passed away. On the fifth day of my stay I thought that I have obtained what I deserved and that nothing more would be gained by a further stay at the Ashram. I wrote my intention to go home and placed it before the Maharshi. He read it and kept it aside. I felt it was yet another rebuff.
Next morning, I attended the usual prayers. Some discussion was going on in the hall. As they were talking mostly in Tamil, my attention was not attracted till I found some persons turning their heads and laughing at me. On enquiry, I learnt that they were discussing the subject matter of my note to the Maharshi. Though I was the laughing-stock, I was still glad to find that the Maharshi had taken notice of me. As I was in the Backrow, they asked me to come nearer to the Maharshi. The discussions over, I heard the Maharshi say, “He is concentrating on the reflection and complains that he cannot see the original.” It struck me forcefully. What did he mean by the reflection and what was the original? I shut my eyes and tried to find the meaning. Immediately I felt a pull in the region of my heart. My mind was completely arrested – stilled, but I was wide awake. Suddenly, without any break in my consciousness, the ‘I’ flashed forth! It was self-awareness, pure and simple, steady, unbroken and intensely bright, but as much brighter than ordinary consciousness as is sunlight brighter than the dim light of a lamp. The world was not, neither the body nor the mind – no thought, no motion; time also ceased to exist. I alone existed and that I was consciousness itself, self–luminous and alone, without a second. Suddenly, without any break in my consciousness, I was brought Backto my normal, ordinary consciousness.
A great miracle had been performed in broad daylight in the presence of so many people, without their knowing it. No argument of the greatest philosophers and scientists of the world will now make me doubt the possibility of experiencing the ‘I’ in its pure state or pure consciousness, without any subject-object relationship. I, an insignificant creature, wallowing in the mud of mundane existence, and without any sadhana, being granted this supreme experience !- an experience which is rarely obtained even by great yogis after austerest spiritual practices strenuously performed for ages together. Such is the wonder of His Grace – immeasurable and unfathomable Grace! Truly it has been said – “Unasked Thou give, this is Thy imperishable fame.“
As soon as I was brought to my normal consciousness, I opened my eyes and looked at the Maharshi, but he appeared to be quite unconcerned, as if nothing had happened. He was not even looking at me. How could he have performed this miracle? Who can comprehend? The experience so much amazed me that I even forgot to express my heart-felt gratitude to the Maharshi. I could not at that time even properly evaluate the supreme experience, which caused a very cheerful mood in me. I felt completely carefree.
I stayed at the Ashram for a few more days. The thoughts of home did not trouble me any further.