Author Topic: Grandson Of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi V. S. Ramanan  (Read 3403 times)


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Grandson Of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi V. S. Ramanan
« on: May 04, 2010, 01:03:51 PM »
SRI V. S. RAMANAN'S TALK At Arunachala Ashrama on April 13, 1997

WHEN dear Dennis asked me the other day to talk on "Sri Maharshi, My Grandfather," I readily agreed. Yes, I do belong to His lineage, being the eldest grandson of Swami Niranjanananda, His younger brother, whom I remember very well. Swami Niranjanananda's Ekabhakti to Bhagavan never once demonstrated his family link with Him. He always exhorted others to worship and cling to Bhagavan as the one and only Master.

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel proud to call myself the grandson of Swami Niranjanananda because he was one of the greatest devotees of our Master. I distinctly recollect what he once told a relative who prostrated before him. This relative, according to custom, was taking her child to Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati to have the baby's hair cut for the first time. The Swami advised her that "When Lord Venkateswara is right HERE, why go to Tirupati at all!." Such was his unshakeable faith in Bhagavan, his Guru.

To me, also, Bhagavan is not just the grandfather, but the Guru. If He is my grandfather, He is the grandfather for all of us here. To Bhagavatji, of course, He is the father!

Until I left for higher studies at a university, I lived with my family in the then sleepy town of Tiruvannamalai. My first recollection of Bhagavan is when I was about seven. On all Sundays, school holidays and festivals our entire family was in the Ashram from early morning until about 6 p.m. At that time the Vedic chanting in front of Sri Bhagavan would be concluding with the chanting of Bhagavan's Upadesa Saram. In those days I never failed to rush to the Old Hall and recite Upadesa Saram along with the Veda Patasala boys. It is the only composition of His I knew since my childhood.

Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, my revered teacher, once dictated a story to me and I wrote it down. He showed it to Bhagavan and told Him that it was my handwriting. I was very happy to hear that Bhagavan said that my handwriting was good. I may say here that it is not bad even now!

I also remember Bhagavan grinding chutney for the breakfast in the long verandah east of the Ashram kitchen, and His offering a small quantity of it with His own hand to me to taste! I can't claim I was aware of His exalted state in those early years of my youth, but I was certainly aware that He was always natural, and most of the first-time visitors also felt that they somehow had always known Him. As Major Chadwick observed, "He was like a mirror which seemed to reflect back your own feelings." If you responded quite naturally to the all-embracing love of His presence, he treated you as one of His own.

Once a pair of pigeons were brought to the Ashram as an offering. Although Bhagavan was at first reluctant to add to the Ashram duties the care of the pigeons, He accepted them. He took them in His hands, patted them affectionately and then became silent, absorbed in samadhi. In the meantime it took the attendants nearly an hour to find a cage for the pigeons and bring it to the hall. All that time the pigeons quietly sat on the Maharshi's lap without moving, as if they were themselves a pair of yogis similarly absorbed in samadhi. Bhagavan said, "They came. They refuse to go back. Another family has joined me - as if I have not enough family already."

Similar is the story of my own family. In 1938, when some devotees proposed to Bhagavan that Venkatoo (my father) and his family could come to Tiruvannamalai and work in the Ashram office, Bhagavan agreed. Then from the year 1938 onwards, our family has been under the care of the Ashram.

We all know He gave moksha to His mother while in Skandashram. My daily prayer to Him ever since I came permanently to the Ashram in 1992, is: "Bhagavan, make me serve your devotees as the first servant of the Ashram and when my end comes, liberate me as You liberated Your mother."

I have often wondered about the great event which formed a turning point in Bhagavan's life, the dramatisation of the act of death he conducted about six weeks before he left Madurai for good. Was it this dramatisation alone that transformed the school boy into a sage? Was he not purna (complete) even from the instant of His birth on December 30th, 1879? Did not the blind lady who delivered Him see a bright light as he was born? Was there not a link between this light and the meteor that cut a golden path across the sky and faded over Arunachala at the moment of His passing? Did He not at the age of ten contemplate on death when His father died? Was it not a fact that in His youth nobody could wake Him up from sleep, even by severely beating Him? I sincerely feel that out of compassion for us, and so we may not swerve from His teachings, he chose to hide the Supreme State He was experiencing from the very day of His birth. His decision to wear only a kaupina (loin cloth) after throwing away all his possessions on September 1st, 1896 was not for His own edification. It was for us He did this. He Himself later observed "Some power acts through the body of a Jivanmukta and uses his body to get the work done."

When Paramahansa Yogananda asked Bhagavan why God permitted suffering in the world. Bhagavan replied, "Suffering was the way for realization of God." And when further questioned why should there be suffering, His characteristic reply was "Who suffers? What is suffering?" Bhagavan always takes us back to the single question "Who am I?" - to cultivate Self-knowledge at all times. Self-knowledge serves the practical purpose of destroying pain and suffering caused by ignorance.

There is a poem composed by Bhagavan entitled Atma Vidya which begins: "Lo, very easy is Self-knowledge, Lo very easy indeed - even for the most infirm..." After hearing this poem, Prof. G. V Subbaramayya asked Bhagavan why he was not getting it if it was that easy. Also, Sri Balarama Reddy endorsed G. V. S.'s doubt by quoting a verse from the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavan looked at them with compassion and confirmed "What is written in Atma Vidya is true. Why do you doubt it? So real is the Self that compared with it even the gooseberry in the palm of one's hand appears a mere illusion." This categorical assertion is not only meant for those two great devotees, but for all of us who have been attracted to Him and have experienced His Grace. Yes, He continues to live in our midst as Awareness, as the Person in all persons; He lives in all and as all life!

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!