Author Topic: Scientist Turned Vedantin - Benefit of a Darshan of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi  (Read 1255 times)


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An anonymous author, a scientist, sent the following article to Sri Ramanasramam on April 14, 1946. It was written in Tamil and only recently retrieved from the Ashram's archives and published in the 1996 Tamil souvenir commemorating the 100th anniversary of Sri Bhagavan's Advent at Arunachala. Prakash Adiseshan of Ann Arbor, Michigan has translated it to English, condensed it and sent it to us for publication.

A youngster was pursuing study in the scientific discipline in college.

He would attend lectures in science given by eminent scientists such as Sir C. V. Raman. He was convinced that a career in scientific research would provide fulfilment in his life. On the eve of graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree, he wanted to visit a few places before returning to his hometown. He happened to think of Tiruvannamalai, a town where his father used to frequently visit Sri Ramanasramam. Having never seen a Sage in person, an urge to visit the Sage's Ashram arose in him. After arriving in Tiruvannamalai and entering the Ashram, he obtained the Maharshi's darshan. This Sage he saw did not appear like the one he had seen in the movies. The Sage was wearing koupinam and appeared to be an ordinary person. The youngster bowed down before the Sage and sat in the hall in front of him. Maharshi was seated and remained silent. There were many people present in the hall, but the hall was quiet.

Some time passed in this manner. After a while, the youngster was unable to continue sitting in a quiet manner. He did not know what to speak to the Maharshi. Fortunately, there were a few books near Maharshi. He picked up one of them and began to read. It was an English translation of Ulladu Narpadu with explanations.

In that book, concepts such as "Being is One," "The world is unreal," were enunciated. But the youngster could not understand them. At that time, his knowledge was confined to science. He could not help feeling confused in the following line of thoughts: "Why should God create me? Where was I? Where will I be? Why should I remain here? Is all that I see false? I do know the presence of objects using my five senses. Don't I see the Maharshi sitting in front of me?" He could not read the book anymore. He fell into a contemplative mood. Just at that time, the Maharshi addressed the youngster thus: "What is the doubt?" The youngster raised his head and said, "There is a human figure on the sofa. There is one on the floor. Upon looking with my eyes, I perceive these two very clearly. But you say that in Reality there is only One. How can that be true?" Maharshi smiled and kept quiet for a little while.

After the passing of a few minutes, he replied to the youngster's question and said, "You must be used to performing experiments in your laboratory. Let us say that you are examining an object. The amount of detail you see depends on the quality of the instrument you use to examine the object; the more detail your instrument shows, the more you know about the object. Even in the presence of such a fine instrument, if your eyesight is poor you will know very little about the object. If your eyesight is good and if the brain is not normal, the object's true nature is not known to you. Similarly, if your brain is fine but if your mind does not pay attention to what you are observing, the less you will know about the object.

In summary, the amount you know about an object is dependent on an entity called mind. What is mind? It is thoughts. All the thoughts spring up from a single thought. This single thought forms the source of all the other thoughts comprising the mind. This thought is the I-am-this-body thought. Without such a thought, the other thoughts that identify various external objects and cause the body to be identified separately from the external objects cannot occur. In deep sleep, devoid of I-am-the-body thought, this alienation of external objects does not happen; further, there are no other thoughts in that state. Upon waking up, the first thought to occur is the I-am-this-body thought. There are two components in this thought. One component is body and the other component is I. The body is of transient nature; it is subject to change and it depends on external factors for its existence, such as food. But the nature of 'I' is opposite from that of the body. What exists in truth should be existing always. The body does not exist all the time, so that is not the truth. The 'I' exists in all states including waking, dream sleep and deep sleep. Hence 'I' is the truth; body is untrue.

Both of these combined cannot exist as one entity that is true. How will night and day, light and darkness coexist? When there is light, there is no darkness; when there is darkness, there is no light. Similarly, there is no entity that has as its basis the coexistence of 'I' and body. So the I-am-the-body thought has no basis in truth. If we examine the world with this untrue thought as the basis, how could we learn the Truth?".

At that moment, he felt that the foundation of his knowledge being shaken up and his conviction in scientific pursuit providing the ultimate fulfilment suddenly disappeared. Further, the Maharshi said that one can realize the truth about the world after knowing the Truth about oneself. He spoke about Self-Enquiry as the means to knowing Oneself.

The upadesa the youngster received changed his mental attitude and, subsequently, his daily activities. The youngster pursued life in the same environment he had before. But he looked for life's fulfilment in the spiritual path, blessed by the Maharshi. He took up graduate studies and further undertook a career in teaching. However, he had no desire to achieve fame anymore. He felt that the Grace of Maharshi allowed him to lead a harmonious life.

The Light that shines as Maharshi is the source of all and in all beings and is Iswara Himself. Let us pray in our hearts to the Maharshi and live joyously.



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Dear prasanth,

I have written recently that atomic scientists who were speaking
only about force, mass and acceleration, (Newtonian physics) later
went up to energy, mass and velocity of light (Einstein's theory
of relativity) and later had come to the conclusion that the basic
particle is either in the form of corpuscles or waves.  This is all
reduced to energy.  There is only Space and Energy, Matter and
Energy, non moving and moving!  Siva and Sakti!

Arunachala Siva.