Author Topic: Final Part - Shantamma A disciple of ramana maharshi experiences  (Read 1978 times)

ramana_maharshi

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At the instance of Sri Muruganar, Shantammal came to the Ashram from Ramnad in 1927. She worked in the kitchen and her devotion to Sri Bhagavan was total. Since she served all with love, everyone at the Ashram loved her, and wherever she stayed people surrounded her to listen to her expositions describing her life with Sri Bhagavan.

A villager had a dream in which he was told to offer his next calf to Ramanasramam. He brought his cow and the calf to Bhagavan. The jungle around the Ashram was thick at that time and there were cheetahs. The Ashram people were perplexed and refused the offer, but the villager was taking his dream seriously and would not take the calf away. The mother cow had to remain with the calf to feed her. Finally, the cow and the calf were entrusted to a devotee in the town. The calf became the famous cow Lakshmi. She grew up and had three calves within a few years. She would come daily to the Ashram to have her meals, graze on the Ashram land, enter the Hall and sit contentedly near Bhagavan. In the evening, she would go back to the town as other women did.

Once Lakshmi came into the Hall. She was pregnant at that time. It was after lunch time when Bhagavan was reading the newspapers. Lakshmi came near and started licking the papers. Bhagavan looked up and said: "Wait a little, Lakshmi." But Lakshmi went on licking. Bhagavan laid his paper aside, put his hands behind Lakshmi's horns and his head against hers. Like this they stayed for quite a long time. I stood nearby looking at the wonderful scene. After some ten minutes or so, Bhagavan turned to me and said: "Do you know what Lakshmi is doing? She is in Samadhi."

I looked at her and tears were flowing in streams down her broad cheeks. Her breathing had stopped and her eyes were fixed on Bhagavan. After some time Bhagavan changed his position and asked: "Lakshmi, how do you feel now?" Lakshmi moved backward, as if reluctant to turn her tail towards Bhagavan, walked round the Hall and went out.


On the fourth day Lakshmi gave birth to a calf. The man with whom Lakshmi used to stay brought her with her progeny and left them in the Ashram for good. Lakshmi, with her three calves, came into the Hall and lay down by the sofa. Bhagavan saw her and said: "All these days Lakshmi had to go in the evening to the town and she was always leaving in tears. Today she is delighted for she need not go away anymore. She knows that her home is here now. We have to look after her. Look at her. With what self-assurance she has stretched herself out!"

In those days, before Bhagavan took his meals he would go around and see if all the animals, like dogs and birds, had been properly fed. Then he would go and see if the cattle were looked after well. Even iddlies had to be given to the cows and calves. Sometimes the Ashram iddlies were all eaten up by the cows and we had to send to the town for more, lest Bhagavan should reproach us for stingy cooking. Then he would see that the beggars at the Ashram gate were also fed. If there was no bean soup (rassam) ready for the beggars, to go with their rice, he would order sambar to be distributed.

During the Kartikai festival beggars from all over South India would collect at Tiruvannamalai in vast crowds and they would flock to the Ashram for an assured meal. Once they became so unruly that the attendants refused to serve them. The matter was discussed among the workers and it was decided to abandon the distribution of food to beggars.

That night I had the following dream: Bhagavan's Hall was full of devotees. On the sofa appeared a small creature which gradually grew until it became a huge, bright-red horse. The horse went round the Hall, sniffing at each devotee in turn. I was afraid he would come near me, but the horse went to Bhagavan, licked him all over the body and disappeared. Bhagavan called me near and asked me not to be afraid. A divine perfume emanated from him. He said: "Don't think it is an ordinary horse. As soon as the flags are hoisted at Arunachaleshwara Temple for the Kartikai festival, gods come down to partake in the celebrations. They join the crowd and some mix with the beggars at the Ashram gate. So never stop feeding sadhus and beggars at festivals." I told the dream to Chinnaswami Swami, and that day he ordered seven measures of rice to be cooked for the beggars.

Two women came from Kumbakonam to meet Bhagavan. One of them was a guru and the other her disciple. They were leaving by train the same evening. In the afternoon the disciple brought her guru into the Hall and made an elaborate seat for her in front of Bhagavan. Every now and then the disciple would go up to Bhagavan's sofa and whisper. "In everything, she is just like you, Swami...she is in the same state as yourself.... Please let us have your blessings.... Will you teach us briefly the path of salvation? What is attachment? How to be free from Maya?" She was going on like this for quite a long time. Bhagavan never replied. Evening was nearing. The disciple felt hurt. "Swami, please instruct us...Swami, proceed with initiation quickly, it is getting late.... Be quick, Swami. You know we have to catch the train. Hurry!" The poor lady was getting desperate. "At least tell us something. They all speak of ignorance, what is ignorance?" Bhagavan turned to Muruganar and, in his mercy, said: "Ask her to inquire within. Who is ignorant?" Muruganar told them: "Now you go, your initiation is over." And they went away.

Bhagavan talked about it later: "Everything must be done in a hurry. Everybody has some train to catch. They visit Swami in a rush and want to carry away a parcel of liberation. They read something here and there and think they are quite learned." (Whenever there was a chance to snub our ego, Bhagavan would never miss it). He continued: "Before the people come here, everyone has the most sincere desire to work for his own liberation, but when they settle down, the ego goes to their heads and they forget why they came. They imagine they are doing me great service by feeding me and think altogether too much of themselves. The feeling of self-importance that they have when they serve their guru destroys their hope of enlightenment. Only humility can destroy the ego. The ego keeps you far away from God. The door to God is open, but the lintel is very low. To enter one has to bend.

In the kitchen, there were no proper jars for foodstuffs and everything was kept in tins and pots which would leak and spill and make the floor in the kitchen mucky and slippery. Once I scrubbed the kitchen floor very carefully and Bhagavan congratulated me on the neatness in the kitchen. I sighed: "What is the use, Swami. People will come and spill the oil and scatter the flour and it will return to how it was before. We must have proper jars and containers." Ten days later they called me to the Hall. Attendants were opening wooden boxes and there were six beautiful jars. "You wanted jars, now you have jars. Take them to the kitchen," said Bhagavan. On inquiry it was found that some station master had booked them to the Ashram for no ostensible reason.

One day there was talk in the Hall about one of Bhagavan's old devotees who had come under Sri Sai Baba's influence. Bhagavan said: "Once a man has surrendered his life here, he belongs here. Wherever he may go, he shall return. For him this is the door to liberation."

The next day Bhagavan refused to drink coffee. I gave up coffee too, as a penance, and a hard penance it was! A month passed like this. One day I burst out in tears before Bhagavan: "Swami, I did offend you, but there must be an end to punishment. Please have your coffee.''

"No, do not think I gave up coffee to punish you. Why should I punish anybody? I gave up coffee because it does not agree with me. Ask the doctor, he will tell you. He advised me to avoid coffee." Then, turning to the audience, Bhagavan added: "It was the same on the hill. I did not take coffee, nobody would touch it and all would curse the swami for depriving them of coffee."

A few days later Janakiamma brought a huge pot of coffee and put it before Bhagavan. "What am I to do now? Coffee has come by itself; nobody asked Janaki to bring it. Now, if I do not drink it, nobody will touch it and Janaki will be sorry." He did taste some of Janaki's coffee and started taking it again soon after that.

- from Ramana Smrti Souvenir

Sources:

1) http://www.arunachala.org/newsletters/1999/?pg=jan-feb
2) http://www.arunachala.org/newsletters/1999/?pg=mar-apr

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Final Part - Shantamma A disciple of ramana maharshi experiences
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 04:40:48 PM »
well said grhluna garu.

matthias

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Re: Final Part - Shantamma A disciple of ramana maharshi experiences
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 08:44:03 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonglen

dear grhluna, your post made me painfully aware that I have more work to do, up there is a link to a meditaiton technique that I also use sometimes but not that often, its hard you know, because this kind of meditation makes me cry everytime :)

but you inspired me to consider working on htis again

much love
matthias

matthias

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Re: Final Part - Shantamma A disciple of ramana maharshi experiences
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 10:54:17 PM »
yes I see