Guru Ramana – Pilgrimage

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Yatra: Pilgrimage

Three years, I said, had passed since that grihapravesham day, years of great soul-searching, of incessant attempts to penetrate the Master’s mind, of reflection, study, meditation, and what not; years of extreme efforts to adjust myself to the entirely new conditions of life, of physical and psychical strain. They were admittedly intense years, in fact so intense, that I then felt that I must quit immediately, and informed the Master accordingly.

“Bhagavan,” I said on a day then near my hut, “I feel a strong urge to go on a yatra (pilgrimage) to the South – Chidambaram, Srirangam, Rameshwaram ….” but lo! a look on Bhagavan’s face struck me forcibly with the thought “Yatra! what for? Are you still in doubt?” I instantly remembered his words of long ago: “Where is the room for doubt? and, as if in reply to a verbal question from him, I continued: “No, Bhagavan, now I feel that I need a change for some months, which I intend spending in Hindu holy places.” He smiled approval and enquired about the date and time of my starting, and whether I had made arrangements for my stay in the various places I was to visit. Extremely touched by his solicitude, I answered that I was going as a sadhu, trusting to chance for accommodation.

For three months thereafter I lay on a mat in Cape Comorin, immensely relieved of the mental tension which the Master’s physical form had caused me. In solitude I plunged in reflections of his blissful silence and calm response. The stillness of his mind haunted me everywhere I went – in the beautiful, gem-like temple of the youthful Virgin Goddess, on the shores of the vast blue ocean around me and the sand dunes, in the fishing villages and the endless stretches of coconut groves, which ran along the seashore and the interior of the Cape. I felt his influence in the depths of my soul and cried: “O Bhagavan, how mighty you are and how sublime and all-pervasive is the immaculate purity of your mind! With what tender emotions do we, your disciples, think of your incomparable qualities, your gentleness; your serene, adorable countenance; your cool, refreshing smiles; the sweetness of the words that come our of your mouth; the radiance of your all-embracing love; your equal vision towards one and all, even towards diseased stray animals.

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