Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Swami Desikananda

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Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – Swami DesikanandaBack


Swami Desikananda – a sannyasi of the Ramakrishna Order, was head of the Vedanta College, Mysore, for many years.

It was divine grace that brought me to the presence of Sri Ramana in 1927. Entering the Ashram I saw the Maharshi seated on a couch, surrounded by devotees sitting at his feet. The whole scene was reminiscent of sages of yore. The Maharshi looked at me casually and made kind enquiries as to where I came from and about my stay.

Next morning, I went to the Ashram and sat before the Maharshi in meditation. I found I could easily concentrate in his presence and had progressively longer spells of undisturbed meditation such as I had never been able to achieve before anywhere else. When I told the Maharshi about it and how enjoyable it was, he asked me whether I was sleeping at the time of meditation. On my replying in the negative, he laughed and enquired about my mode of meditation, which was to concentrate on the light in the heart and offer a flower to my ishta daivam (chosen god) whenever the mind wavered, as instructed by Swami Sivanandji Maharaj, second president of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.The Maharshi said it was all right for me and I could continue in that way.

Bhagavan’s routine was to sit on the couch mostly in silence till noon and again after food, and a little rest. He used to look through the mail twice a day and go for a short walk on the Hill. He said on one occasion that since there was no mind at all, there was also no concept of anything. All was one full expanse in peace and happiness. He quickly added that we cannot even say one expanse, as there was no second. He was always immersed in sat – chit – ananda (existence -consciousness – bliss).

I told Bhagavan on the ninth day of my stay that I had to leave. Kneeling before him, I wept profusely. Consoling me, he said, “You can stay on. Nobody asked you to go.” However, I took leave of him the next day.

By Bhagavan’s grace not only was I drawn into the fold of a sage who had the highest realisation, but was helped in every way to experience periods of supreme peace and bliss. This indeed forms the sheet anchor of my life that was, that is, and that will be.

The silent aid and relief provided by Bhagavan will indeed remain an eternal spring of spiritual joy and peace.

In the end:

A Stanza in Sri Maharshi’s Praise

How gracious art Thou Lord Dakshinamurthi To have blessed mankind by Thy ministrations in human form.

To Bhagavan who is but the form of Satyam, Sivam and Sundaram I offer my salutations again and again.

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