Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Dhiruben Patel

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Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Dhiruben PatelBack


Dhiruben Patel of Bombay, a popular novelist of Gujarat, had received Sri Ramana’s guidance in 1940s. When she visited the Ashram in 2007, she agreed for a video graph of her experiences.

My mother was badly shaken at a tragic misfortune in 1944, when my brother met with a drowning accident witnessed by her from the shore. Chhaganlal Yogi [No. 55] suggested her to visit the Ashram. When she saw Bhagavan she was so much impressed that she came Backto take the whole family to the Ashram. At that time I was 18 [now 81].

I had no interest in Bhagavan or his darshan. As I could not defy my mother, I bowed to him with folded hands and closed eyes. But as I raised my head, Bhagavan looked at me and in that very second I was annihilated totally by his gaze. I didn’t exist any longer and there was a great sense of release and peace. I felt a soft moon light around me, with no boundaries and barriers. It was as if I was lost in a sky of light and peace. I don’t know how many minutes or seconds I was in that state; it seemed a life-time. When I came Backto my material existence,

I could not accept what had happened.

We stayed five more days and I had Bhagavan’s darshan many times, but that experience never got repeated. The event, however, made me think very deeply and continuously: What was it? And how could I be in that state constantly?

One day during our stay, we along with other devotees were watching Bhagavan going for his walk on the hill after lunch. Suddenly, my two-year-old nephew left us and caught hold of Bhagavan’s walking stick. Everybody was aghast. The child was called Backagain and again and asked not to bother Bhagavan. He just wouldn’t listen and went on staring at Bhagavan. But as soon as Bhagavan put his hand on his head, he let go of the stick and started weeping, not loudly, but tears were streaming down his eyes, while he just stood looking at Bhagavan.

I saw Bhagavan again in 1950. There was a heavy bandage on his arm and people filed by, single file, quietly. When I came near him I couldn’t help saying, “Bhagavan call me again”. With infinite compassion and immense love he looked at me and said, “Sari, sari. “[O.K.]. Now I have come Backafter 57 years, and I am sure that he has called me. It is a very strange thing that I do not feel the absence of Bhagavan. Perhaps it is because during all these years I have always felt that he was near me. I have at some level communicated with him, and have received his grace. When you are facing a big problem and you do not know where to turn or what to do, then Bhagavan really gives the answer in your heart of hearts. I may be anywhere, Bhagavan is always with me, and it is all due to the first wonderful moment when he had looked at me.

My mother used to rent a cottage near the Ashram, stay for two or three months at a time, and meditate very regularly. What she experienced, she spoke little. Backhome, once she suffered a paralytic stroke and was not able to speak. After a month or so her speech came Backbut it was halting. Everybody was depressed about it. One evening I happened to recite one or two lines of Upadesa Saram to her. Mother picked up the recitation and concluded the thirty verses without a single mistake. After this she was able to recite Bhagavan’s other works and slowly became normal. In her last illness she made me promise that Bhagavan should be with her when she goes and I was to be responsible for this request. And by God’s grace and Bhagavan’s blessings it so happened that during her last moments we could hold a big framed photograph of Bhagavan before her eyes. She quietly gazed at it, slightly turned her face and passed away.

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