Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – F.H. Humphreys

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Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi – F.H. HumphreysBack


F.H. Humphreys came to India in January 1911 to join the Police Department as an Assistant Superintendent. His deep-seated spiritual inclination resulted in his meeting Ganapati Muni (previous entry), and through the help of S.Narasimham, who was the munshi to teach him Telugu, he along with Ganapati

Muni had an audience with Sri Ramana. The following account is from his letters to a friend in England, which were later published in the International Psychic Gazette.

Yesterday I got a day’s leave and went to the Maharshi along with the munshi and Ganapati Muni. At two in the afternoon we went up the Hill. On reaching the cave we sat at his feet and said nothing. I felt lifted out of myself. For half an hour I looked into the Maharshi’s eyes, which never changed their expression of deep contemplation. I began to realize that his body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; I could only feel that the Maharshi’s body was not the man; it was the instrument of God, merely a sitting, motionless corpse from which God was radiating terrifically. My own feelings were indescribable.

The Muni then said I might speak. I asked for enlightenment and teaching. The Maharshi spoke a few sentences of broken English and in Telugu, which conveyed worlds of meaning. The most touching sight was the number of tiny children up to about seven years of age, who climb the hill, all on their own, to come and sit near the Maharshi, even though he may not speak a word or even look at them for days together. They do not play, but just sit there quietly, in perfect contentment.

The Maharshi is a man beyond description in his expression of dignity, gentleness, self-control and calm strength of conviction.

For his second visit, Humphreys was accompanied by Ragha-vachariar (next entry). This time A.S.Krishnaswami Aiyar (the District Munsif), who happened to be present, acted as interpreter. In the words of the Englishman:

I went by motorcycle and climbed up to the cave. The sage smiled when he saw me, but was not in the least surprised. He asked me a private question, only known to him and me. Evidently, he recognised me the moment he saw me. Everyone who comes to him is an open book, and a single glance suffices to reveal to him its contents.

“You have not had your food” he said, “and are hungry.” I admitted that it was so. He immediately called a disciple to bring food – rice, ghee, fruit etc., eaten with the fingers, as Indians do not use spoons. Though I have practised eating this way, I lack dexterity. So he gave me a coconut spoon to eat with, smiling and talking during the time I ate. You can imagine nothing more beautiful than his smile. When I finished, I was still hungry, and he knew it and ordered more. He knows everything, and when others pressed me to eat fruit when I had had enough he stopped them at once.

Whilst I was eating, he was relating my past history to others and accurately too.Yet he had seen me but once before, and many hundreds in between. He simply turned, as it were, on clairvoyance. Later on I was thirsty, for it had been a hot ride, but I would not show it, come what may. Yet he knew and told a disciple to bring some lemonade. I sat for about three hours listening to his teachings. It is strange what a change it makes in one to have been in his presence. [Humphreys retired from service some years later and became a Roman Catholic monk.]

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