Apa B. Pant was High Commissioner for India in U.K. He visited Sri Ramana in 1937 along with Maurice Frydman (no. 36).
I well remember the day Maurice and I reached Sri Ramanasramam. There was some festival and the Maharshi’s hall was overflowing. We found a seat in a corner and fell silent. In a minute or two, I felt that there was radiance alight that was filling the whole hall. It was so quiet, so still. The impression was so indelible.
I had just returned from England after doing my course on philosophy, and thought I knew answers to the eternal questions. I wanted to put those before Bhagavan. But, somehow, in his presence, I did not feel like opening my mouth.
At night, as it was hot, we slept in the open. There was so much of turmoil and noise all around. The whole night it was impossible to sleep. In the morning I spoke to Maurice about it. He asked, “What noise? There was no noise whatsoever; everything was peaceful.” I was stunned! I was sure I had not slept a wink and here was Maurice saying that there no noise at all. Then it dawned on me that Bhagavan had given me a message. He had spoken without speaking that the mind creates the noise and is chattering and arguing illusions and unless one goes beyond this turmoil there can be no living in Truth, or Liberation. He had given me in a flash the message that ‘Awareness is all’.
The same evening, Maurice said to Bhagavan that I do surya namaskars [A type of physical exercise]. Bhagavan looked at me very straight and said, “Let me see how you do it.” So, in front of all I did 12 surya namaskars with breathing and mantras as my father had taught me. Bhagavan smilingly said, “Yes, it is a good exercise to be done after you have been sitting for hours in meditation and your knees and other joints feel a little stiff.” I never used to do any meditation at that time. But I know now [30 years later] that it were these words which kept me on the surya namaskars and led me to daily meditation.