Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Vithoba Kamath

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K. Vithoba Kamath (1924 – ), a Gandhian, is an agriculturist. He lives in Brahmavar, Karnataka, with his son.

I had read about the Maharshi from an article by M.S. Kamath, and later when I read his book about the Maharshi, a magnetic attraction arose in me to see him. Visiting the Ashram in 1946, I beheld the Maharshi in the hall. I felt that he was not in any way attached to or connected with anything around him. He radiated spiritual splendour through sublime silence.

I used to sit in the hall in the last row. One day, an idea flashed that I should see Lord Krishna. I intently looked at Bhagavan and saw a dark cloud engulfing him and within that emerged the Lord. I was at my wit’s end. I thought it was a hallucination and a projection of my own mind. I wanted to try again. This time I thought of Gandhiji. Ramana was nowhere, but in his place there was Gandhiji. Being bewildered, I looked at Bhagavan. There! He was looking straight at me with a benign smile on his face. I felt highly blessed.

Prior to my departure, I took courage to sit near Sri Ramana.

Being the morning hour, there were few visitors. I verily felt vibrations emanating from him which thrilled me. I asked Bhagavan with much hesitation as to how to control the tossing of the mind. He simply looked at me but didn’t give a reply. I thought it was not proper on my part, a raw graduate, to have asked him. Meanwhile Devaraja Mudaliar [No. 35] came and sat by my side. Bhagavan, though he knows English, rarely replied in that language. He asked me through Mudaliar, as to who was asking this question: “Is it you or your mind?” I replied, “It is my mind.Bhagavan’s response was, “Mind is a bundle of thoughts. See who you are, then these oscillations of the mind cease to exist.

In the dining hall, I had the fortune of sitting in the row opposite to Bhagavan. The Maharshi would observe the leaves of all and direct the servers (mostly ladies) to restore any shortfall. He would take a small quantity of food and mash it well with his fingers.

I remember well, as if it just happened today, the figure of Bhagavan Ramana returning from his walk on the hill, radiating spiritual aura, with eyes glittering like live stars, emanating bliss. Decades later, the scene of that uplifting influence is still so fresh and inspiring.

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