Ramanatha Brahmachari, a student of the Veda Pathasala (school) in Tiruvannamalai had a strong yearning for God. In 1912, when he heard about the Maharshi, he went to the Virupaksha Cave to see him. It was a defining moment in his life; one look from the Maharshi stopped his mind and captured his heart. He gave up his family to be with the Maharshi. When the news of his death reached the Ashram in 1946, Tamil verses from Ramana Stotra Anubhuti were being sung before the Maharshi, who said with some feeling, “Look! These are verses written by Ramanatha himself.” Brief extracts from this 32-verse Stotra, reflect Brahmachari’s sentiments and emotions about the Maharshi.
The moment compassionate Ramana, who is God Subramaniam, came and manifested in my heart, the bondage-producing evil karma was destroyed and my anubhuti [experience] arose.
I had evil karma and did not know of any refuge. I was ignorant and totally worthless; even so, he established me in the blissful ocean of silence, the indescribable treasure of grace, severing all bonds.
Ramana who abides as embodiment of grace, granted me the state that is totally free of ignorance in order to destroy the disease of the mind which assumes the form of delusion, taking sense objects and their enjoyment to be real.
My Lord at Arunachala stands alone as the human embodiment of the fire of knowledge. With his feet as the raft to cross the ocean of samsara which only causes trouble, he put me ashore.
Jnani – who made me rest, without letting me return to the forest of delusion in which I was wandering, brother of the one who destroys the family of sorrows [Reference to Ganapati], you are the inner light of those who are intent upon merging with you, get to see!
The one who reigns over me is the Guru-Lord, the Lord who has the form of the formless heart, the Lord who gives the bliss of the Self shining within, and the incomparable Lord of this poor one.
The transmuting glance of the sage of Arunachala penetrated my heart in a way that I, a worthless soul without true love, was redeemed completely.
Venkata! You are the one who is both with form and formless, the shining Gum, the dweller in the Heart-cave. You are the mountain of virtues, the expanding space of consciousness which is awesome like an ocean.