Manu Subedar was a member of the Central Legislative Assembly in pre-Independence era.
I was alone in the car from Katpadi to Tiruvannamalai and wanted to go over my questions and revise them, if necessary. As I formulated each question, I found I knew the answer! So when I went and had the darshan of the Maharshi, I had really no question to ask.
I presented to the Maharshi the Avadhoota Gita and the Ashtavakra Gita published by the Sastu Sahitya Mudranalaya Trust, Ahemadabad, of which I am the chairman, and drew his attention to the first verse of the Avadhoota Gita, which says: “It is only through the Grace of God that in men with knowledge is born a desire to experience cosmic unity, a desire which protects them from the great dangers of samsara.”
With infinite compassion in his eyes the Maharshi looked at me and instructed one of the followers to bring a book. This was the Maha Bhakta Vijayam of Nabhaji. Bhagavan opened the book and began to read. (I noted with awe that the book opened exactly at the page where he intended to read.) The Maharshi seemed to relish reading the discourse.
There are teachers who mystify in order to impress the pupil. The Maharshi, on the contrary, has the direct method. He discloses the truth and the whole truth in the simplest form in which he has not only formulated it as a thought, but lived it as an experience.
The look, which the Maharshi gives you, is a question. At least I felt it so. The question is: “I see a unity, but you keep grasping at the variety. Why don’t you know yourself properly and realise your true self? You can then march on to the realisation of the unity of self with the Self.” Nothing is so helpful as the august presence of the Maharshi for those who seriously intend to progress on the spiritual path.
There is spiritual communication and kindliness in his looks, eliciting what is best in a person. His presence during the silent hour acts as a catalyst, enabling us to secure our spiritual yearning. There is grace and benignity in the way he looks at the devotees as a mother looks at her children.
William S. Spaulding (Jr.) of New York City visited Sri Ramana in the 1930s.
As I sat in His Presence for the first time, the most powerful impression was that of what I can only call an almost palpable ‘golden radiance’, the visual effect of a tremendous spiritual force. There was an intense and subtle radiation that seems to flow from Him continually -and once having sensed this, words, questions, techniques of meditation, etc., seemed to dissolve immediately. The Maharshi also possessed to a high degree of that quality which is described as ‘divine indifference’, attributed to certain saints of the Christian Church. This must not be taken to mean what is generally associated with the term ‘indifference’, but rather as a beneficent, unfettered out-pouring of healing radiations of a Realised Being.
Grant Duff (Douglas Ainslie), a scholar and a senior government official in Madras Presidency in the 1930s, was nephew of Sir Mountstaurt Grant Duff, Governor of Madras in the 1880s.
I do not know what happened when I saw the Maharshi for the first time, but the moment he looked at me, I felt he was the Truth and the Light. There could be no doubt about it, and all the doubts and speculations I had accumulated during the past many years disappeared in the Radiance of the Holy One. Though my visits to the Ashram were brief, I felt that every moment I was there I was building up within me what could never be destroyed.
There it did not take me long to see that I was in direct contact with one who has passed beyond the boundaries of the senses and was indeed already merged in the Absolute of his true Self, though manifesting here for our benefit for a few brief years. [When asked how he got such an impression, he frankly confessed] I cannot reply; as I should to one who asked me how I saw the sun on looking out of the window, by saying that I did so by the use of my eyes and incidentally of all other senses collaborating. I do not need any algebraic or other proof of the existence of the sun. I do not need any other proof of the divinity of Ramana Maharshi.
Should those who have it in their power to visit the Ashram delay, they will have only themselves to blame in future lives. Never perhaps in world history was the Supreme Truth – Reality, Sat – placed within such easy reach of so vast a multitude. Here and now through no special merit of our own, we may approach Reality. The sole difficulty is that of paying for the journey1 but the reward is Knowledge of the Self.
The Maharshi has extraordinary insight into other beings. He sees and knows everything about all those who come before him. The Maharshi has particularly appealed to me because of his extreme politeness and gentleness. He is gentle to a degree that surpasses gentleness. My visit to the Sage of Arunachala has been the greatest event in my life.
Extracts from his poem:
With Sri Ramana of Arunachala
I’ve wandered far: Yes I have been From land to land to land:
Sages I’ve seen, great kings and queens The lovely, wise and grand.
But only there – at the Asramam By Arunachalam -Have I known that joy without alloy,
I am! I am! I am!
1. This was written from London in 1935. Refer ‘Introduction’ to SriRamana Gita published by Sri Ramanasramam.