22. Victorious Ramana
I had to be away from the Ashram for nearly two months and when I returned I saw Sri Cohen in a much worse condition and confined to a wheel-chair. His talk was no longer coherent: “See, Ganesan, I am maimed. Yet, the management has suddenly shifted me to a room on the seventh floor and there is no water there. What can I do?” – “They say they have given me an exclusive room for myself, but see, in the night nearly 12 people sleep here, squatting around me.” – “Don’t think there is only one Kannan (servant), there are nine Kannans, all looking alike!”
I cried on seeing his pathetic condition and told Him: “Mr. Cohen! You are the most intelligent sadhak I have met. Why are you talking so incoherently?” He then adjusted himself and squarely looked at my face and said: “When the body becomes old, you lose control over it. And so over the mind also. But you are not the body and you are not the mind! So, don’t give any importance to how the body or the mind behaves. They are not ‘me’.” I was astounded when he said that since just a few minutes Backhe was talking sheer nonsense! Then, I asked him “If you are not the mind nor the body, who is speaking to me? Who are you? In which state are you, now?”
“I am pure spirit, witnessing what takes place through the body and mind. I have nothing to do with them. I am in the presence of my Master: Guru Ramana, enjoying His benign and blissful presence! I am pure ananda!” As he uttered these words I saw a different Mr. Cohen, the one we had known for years with all his brightness and serenity.
After some time, he again started talking incoherently. It was a great revelation, a clinical laboratory demonstration of the fact ‘I-am-not-the-body-mind’!
While Mr. Cohen thus saw the light in the midst of darkness, Mr. Chadwick saw life in the face of death. Major Chadwick was admitted in the C.M.C. Hospital in Vellore. His tongue had swollen so much that it filled the entire mouth, preventing him from even making noises. The doctors put questions to him and he could not reply. His end was nearing. A few devotees from the Ashram went to Vellore to see him and comfort him. Surprisingly, Sri Chadwick, started speaking to them: “Today is Easter!” he said. When it was pointed out to him that Easter was a few days hence, he clearly answered them, in his usual loud, clear voice: “Yes! I know. But, for me, today is Easter!”
Yes! That was the day of resurrection for this Ramana bhakta. Who spoke those words but the Spirit within?
When Mr. Arthur Osborne was in Bangalore and the end near, he could not speak at all. As a ritual farewell Mrs. Lucia Osborne went round (clock-wise) the prostrate body of her beloved husband. Suddenly, she heard distinctly in her husband’s voice: “Thank you!”. Who spoke those words if not His Self?
Spiritual being beyond name and form, mind and body, is our real nature, affirms Victorious Ramana, Conquerer of Death.