Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi Devotee Yogi Ramaiah Shares His Experiences  (Read 1644 times)

ramana_maharshi

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B. V. Narasimha Swami was the first English biographer of Sri Ramana Maharshi. He asked many devotees and disciples to write about their lives and experiences with the Master. Yogi Ramiah submitted a 2000 word essay, from which B.V.N. extracted a short edited account to print in his book, titled Self-Realization.

The following is B. V. Narasimha Swami's edited account published in Self Realization, followed by the full autobiographical essay written by the Yogi himself. All this text has been printed in Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace, Book II, published by Sri Ramanasramam and available at the Ashram Bookstall in Tiruvannamalai.

Yogi Ramiah belongs to the community of Reddiars and was a wealthy land proprietor of Annareddipalayam, near Buchi Reddipalayam, Nellore District. He received hardly any education. Being the sole owner of his properties he had every inducement to pass his days merrily with his thoughtless companions, boys of his own age. But at about the age of eighteen his thoughts took a serious turn and he gave up his former associates and took an interest in religion.

A Brahmin Guru imparted to him the Rama Taraka Mantram and asked him to repeat it five thousand times daily. "If the number is exceeded, what then?" asked the ardent youth.

"So much the better," was the Guru's reply.

"If I repeat it always?" was the next query. The Guru was delighted at the keenness of the disciple's enthusiasm and expressed warm approval.

Ramiah went on with his japam from morning till night, whatever he might be doing. He also began to practice pranayanam, breath control. Consequently, vairagya, or disgust with his worldly surroundings, grew so strong in his breast that he suddenly left home to go north to perform tapas in holy places like Kasi, etc.

For many years he still continued with his life of yoga, with mounam (silence) and tapas, as its support. He ate little, controlled his breath and stayed many hours at a stretch in blissful ecstasy, mostly in the cottage of his own garden. He would also stay for a few months each year with Maharshi at Ramanasramam. He loved and was loved by the Maharshi. As Yogi Ramiah did not know Tamil, the Maharshi translated his Tamil poems .Upadesa Saram. and .Ulladu Narpadu. into Telugu. In appreciation, Yogi Ramiah helped in repairing Palithirtam, in the construction of Asramam hall and the Asramam well.

The original manuscript, wherein Yogi Ramiah tells in his own words about his life and experiences:

From my boyhood I had great devotion (bhakti) towards Sri Rama Namam. Till I was nineteen years old I was generally of a rajasic temperament and was fearless. I used to listen attentively whenever elders recited stories of God or taught dharma; and I used to make friendship with such elders.Though I was not a bhakta from childhood like Kabir, I got vairagyam and wanted to do penance (tapas) like Valmiki, until the body is covered with ant hills. Subsequently love for the body (dehabhimanam) disappeared.

Formerly I had many friends, but the feeling of friendship for them left me. I couldn't leave the continuous dhyanam (meditation) even for a minute. I used to feel sorry that the nights were being wasted in sleep. I used to feel that I was meditating even in my sleep. I used to be in meditation when I awoke. I used to get up at 3 o.clock in the morning, bathe and, sitting in a secluded place, would meditate till 8 o.clock. From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. I would read Bhagavatam. After meals I would listen to Bhagavatam read by a Brahmin. In the evenings, I would go outside the town and meditate sitting alone. Even if such a place be the pathway used by men and cattle, I would neither know of or hear anything during meditation. I used to offer puja, imagining the form of Vishnu in my heart.

Without telling anybody I wanted to go to Dandaka Forest and do penance like Valmiki and the rishis. Before traveling north, I got down from the train to meet my Guru at Bapatla, in the Guntur District. As soon as he saw me he asked whether I had left home after informing my people. I told him the truth, that is, that I did not inform anyone. He then told me, "You cannot stay there (Dandaka Forest) and do penance. There are many difficulties there. Have an asramam in your village and do penance there. I will come and see you occasionally. Go back home to your village." Before leaving to return to my home, he gave me upadesam.

There was no desire to eat anything. In spite of bodily difficulties the mind was always happy. I was thinking of Rama in saguna aspect and offering puja to Hari in my heart.

As the external vision decreased, I wanted to go to experienced gurus with Brahma Nishta and tell them about my experiences and to find out what their experiences were. By enquiry I found out that there were many who had read books only, without experiencing the Self and I could not find any with Brahma Nishta. In my boyhood when I came on a pilgrimage to Arunagiri I saw Bhagavan. Since then, at times, I used to think of him. Learning that Bhagavan knows Telugu, I went to him, offered my respects, sat in his presence and was looking at him.

I asked him some questions:

Q. What is Nirvikalpa Samadhi?
A. That which has no sankalpam to Nirvikalpa.
Q. In Samadhi, will there not be even the Brahma Bhava?
A. If there is Bhava, it will not be Nirvikalpa.
Q. What is meant by Rama?
A. That in which everything takes its origin, exists and disappears, is Rama.

I then determined that all practices are only means to attain this final stage. I was giving up my former spiritual practices little by little. I felt immensely attracted to Bhagavan and felt quite at home in Ramanasrmam. Bhagavan was all love. After meeting Bhagavan I did not go to any other Guru.

I then read the life of Maharshi. By reading it one acquires vairagyam and dispassion. Just to see him is upadesam; to sit in his presence gives peace. This is my firm belief.

After some time, with Bhagavan's permission, I went back to my native place. I would come twice every year to see him.

He had composed "Upadesa Saram" in Tamil. I prayed that he might translate it into Telugu. He rendered it in dwipada (couplets) form in Telugu. I then stayed in the Asramam for some days, went abroad for some time, and then returned to my Asramam. I then gave up everything. When I returned to Tiruvannamalai I would sometimes stay in the Mango Tree Cave near Mulaipal Thirtham.

After Bhagavan had composed "Ulladu Narpadu" in Tamil (.Reality in Forty Verses.), I prayed to him to teach it to me in Telegu. He rendered it into Telegu prose and taught it to me. Reflecting on what he taught me the mind was subdued and dissolved in the Self. Now nothing different from Self is seen.

Source: http://www.arunachala.org/newsletters/2008/?pg=jul-aug#article.1

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi Devotee Yogi Ramaiah Shares His Experiences
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:31:46 AM »

Yogi Ramaiah was one of the greatest devotees of Bhagavan.
But for this 2000 word essay, he never wrote any book.  Once
when some Westerner came and was living in a cottage, he
became afraid one day, because a serpent was lying at the entrance.
He called out for Yogi Ramaiah for help.  Yogi Ramaiah came to the
entrance of the cottage, and told the serpent:  Please go away.
This man is afraid.  Do not threaten us with your presence.  Do not
try to harm these people.  Go away.

The serpent, as if it has heard the Yogi's advice, quickly moved
away to the Hill.

Arunachala Siva.