Author Topic: A Long Life with the Ramana Maharshi By Sri K. Natesan  (Read 2421 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
    • View Profile
A Long Life with the Ramana Maharshi By Sri K. Natesan
« on: May 11, 2010, 09:43:46 AM »
In 1993, he gave us the following article about his life. Reading it again after all these years we realize what a fortunate soul he was, and also how fortunate we all were to have moved closely with him for more than 35 years.

I WAS BORN into a very orthodox Brahmin family on November 26, 1913, in the village of Mondakurathur, near Polur, North Arcot District. That was also the birthplace of the Maharshi's renowned devotee, Echammal, who was related to me on my mother's side of the family. My father, Brahmasri Krishna Ganapati, was a great Vedic scholar who taught Krishna Yajur Veda for thirty years in the local Vedapatasala.

I had my first darshan of Bhagavan Maharshi at Skandashram in 1921 when I was eight years old. Sri Vasudeva Sastry, one of the earliest devotees of Bhagavan, took me to see him. Vasudeva Sastry was at that time teaching me Sanskrit in the Patasala of the Arunachaleshwara Temple.

Later in 1923, when Bhagavan came down to the present ashram, I used to visit the ashram often and sit in front of the Maharshi. At that time I was studying in the Municipal High School where Sri T.K.Sundaresa Iyer was a teacher. After completing high school in 1930, I waited two years before joining an engineering college in Madras. During those two intervening years I was at the ashram almost daily, along with T.K.S. I used to spend time there even at odd hours of the day or night.

In 1936, after earning a diploma in civil engineering in Madras, I worked for six months under Sri K.K.Nambiar. K.K.Nambiar, already a staunch devotee of Bhagavan, had at that time the good fortune of being posted as the District Board Engineer right in Tiruvannamalai itself. By Bhagavan's grace, I was almost constantly at the ashram between 1935 and 1945, though I was employed off and on in various places. I often quit jobs to come to Sri Ramanasramam and be near Sri Maharshi. My attachment to Bhagavan was such that I could not remain employed continuously until, by Bhagavan's grace, Sri K.K.Nambiar, who was then the Chief Engineer of the Madras Corporation in 1945, got me employed by that Corporation. That ended the rolling-stone phase of my life, as I retained this job until my retirement in January of 1969. Throughout all these years I would never miss an opportunity to come to Bhagavan's ashram.

On the occasion of my wedding on July 5, 1942, T. N. Venkataraman, now the [late] President of Sri Ramanasramam, came straight to Vellore from Karaikudi to attend the ceremony. The train passed through and stopped at the Tiruvannamalai station, but T.N.V., along with his eight-year-old son, stayed on the train and came straight to my marriage. When T.N.V.'s father, Chinnaswami, heard about it he began to scold his son and criticised him for going to Vellore to attend the wedding. Bhagavan overheard this from the Old Hall and said, "Why is he shouting? Ambi (T.N.V.) has gone to attend his friend's marriage. There is nothing wrong in this."

After I got married I came to the ashram with my new wife and did pranams to Bhagavan in the Old Hall. My wife, Jnanambal, was already deeply devoted to Bhagavan and had had his darshan even as a girl of eight.

That day, after leaving the Old Hall, my wife and I went and visited Major Chadwick in his cottage. I had known Chadwick since his arrival in the ashram in 1935. He congratulated us on our marriage and remarked about the appropriateness of the bride's name, saying, "Jnana you wanted and Jnana you have gained."

In the earlier days some people used to sleep in the Old Hall. Once I slept there near the southern door at the west side of the hall. I did not get up even after 5 a.m. Bhagavan came near me and touched me with his right toe saying, "Get up. Day has already broken." I immediately got up and had the darshan of Bhagavan. This is called Visvarupa darshanam, the first darshan of the chosen deity in the morning.

There was Veda Parayana every evening at the hall in the presence of Bhagavan. He would be mostly indrawn at that time. Following the Veda Parayana, from 7 to 7:30 p.m., recitations of the Maharshi's works in Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, and Malayalam would take place. Devotees like Ramaswami Pillai, Kunjuswami, T.K.Sudaresa Iyer and some others used to take part in it. In the earlier days I was also participating. During Tamil Parayanam I noticed Bhagavan appeared quite unconcerned with things around him, though he remained fully attentive to the recitation. He wouldn’t hesitate to correct our pronunciation of the verses, as he was particular to obey all the rules of prosody. Once I recited incorrectly the last verse in "Arunachala Pancharatnam" and Bhagavan pointed it out to me, demonstrating how it should be pronounced. He was satisfied only when I repeated it to him correctly.

Another time I was sitting before Bhagavan and Vaidyanathan Stapati was showing Bhagavan the sculpture he was making of him. The Stapati asked Bhagavan for his opinion as to whether it was a good likeness of him. Bhagavan said, "I can't say. Only Natesan knows."

Vaidyanathan Stapati looked at me and Bhagavan said, "Not that Natesan, the barber Natesan." He considered the barber to be the best authority on artistic representations of his body.

After retirement from service I have come back to the ashram to serve the devotees. The ashram President, Sri T.N.Venkataraman, being a close friend of mine since 1934, found me very useful to the new devotees since I could function as both a receptionist and an instructor. The president had entrusted me with the accounts of the Mountain Path magazine, etc. I served in the office until 1987. I ceased to work in the office due to glaucoma and cataract. Again, by the grace of Sri Bhagavan, I was completely cured of my eye trouble and normal sight has been restored. Since I am getting aged, the ashram president was kind enough to accommodate me as an old resident devotee in the ashram.



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Re: A Long Life with the Ramana Maharshi By Sri K. Natesan
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:27:53 AM »

Dear prasanth,

You mentioned about Barber Natesan.  I had been to Tiruvannamalai,
on 10th, 11th and 12th to attend the celebrations of Bhagavan
Ramana's 60th Aradhana, death anniversary.  A few posts about this,
later.  When I was going into the town to have darshan of Arunachaleswarar and Apeetakuchambal, I found one barber shop
named Natesan Barber Shop.  I thought this must be run by the
descendents of Natesan.

Barber Natesan served Bhagavan for quite some years.  He had
the good fortune of touching Bhagavan Ramana's head and cheeks
for the work.  He was a great soul.  Once when Natesan was to
leave quickly to outstation, for some work (someone had died),
he requested for some coffee.  Bhagavan Ramana told the Asramam
kitchen workers, to give not only coffee but also some hot hot iddlis!

I bow to Him, the best among the bipeds,
The Hill of Fire, by thinking of whom,
One attains liberation without fail.

Arunachala Siva.     

Arunachala Siva.     


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
    • View Profile
Re: A Long Life with the Ramana Maharshi By Sri K. Natesan
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 12:53:43 PM »
yes sir Barber Natesan is indeed a lucky soul.

Its amazing Subramanian garu that you see that you are at Tiruvannamalai for all important occasions.

Please do share those valuable experiences.