Author Topic: Incidents Related To Ramana Maharshi during His Final Years  (Read 4022 times)


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Ramachandra Rao, an ayurvedic healer and devotee, wanted to prepare a special tonic for him and wrote a long list with all the ingredients and presented it to Ramana. The Maharshi went through it with interest, but then said that he had not the money to buy such expensive things. “If that medicine is good for me, it must necessarily be good for all the others here. Can you give it to them also as well as to me? If people who do physical work don’t need a body-building tonic, how do I who merely sits here and eats? No, no, that can’t be!”

In 1942 Ramana had a bad fall. A dog was chasing a squirrel and he wanted to hold the dog back and so stretched out his walking stick, as a result he slipped and broke his collarbone.

Sri Ramana always read the newspapers and he and his devotees listened to the news on the radio. Occasionally politics were discussed in the Hall. Professor Subbaramayya reports the following interesting conversation, “It was June 10, 1940. The radio announced the fall of Paris to Germany and the entry of Italy into the war against the Allies. … I had just heard a rumour that to counteract the action of Italy, Turkey had declared war on the side of the Allies. I asked Narayana Iyer, who was the latest arrival from the town whether he had heard any such announcement on the radio. Before Narayana Iyer could reply, Sri Bhagavan Himself said ‘No, it cannot be true.’ Narayana Iyer confirmed this rare reply of Sri Bhagavan, and turning to me, observed ‘France, a first-rate Power has fallen in three days, Then do you think our Britain can hold out longer than three weeks at the most?’ Upon this, Sri Bhagavan again observed ‘Um! – but Russia – ‘ Abruptly Sri Bhagavan cut short his speech and resumed silence. Neither of us had the courage to ask Sri Bhagavan what Russia was going to do, though it appeared strange that Sri Bhagavan should mention Russia who was at that time friendly to Germany. It will be remembered that war broke out between Germany and Russia only one year afterwards,and it was in fact Germany’s attack on Russia that turned the tide of fortune in favour of the Allies.”

When on 30th January 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi, the whole of India went into mourning. A newspaper reporter came to the Ashram to ask the Maharshi his opinion about the tragedy. Ramana said with a shaking voice, “For the Mahatma’s death in this tragic manner, every person’s heart is mourning.What is there in particular that I could say? Who is there who is not grieved? If I say anything, you will publish it and then, one after another, people will come and ask me. What is the good of it?” With these words he sent the reporter away and went for his walk. At half past four the women sang ‘Raghupati Raghava Rajaram’ (one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs). With tears in his eyes Ramana indicated that they should continue with the singing.At 5 p.m. a conch was blown and an arati-celebration (waving of lights) was held in the Mother’s Temple for the death of the Mahatma.

After Gandhi's assassination the whole country was plunged into turmoil. There were arson attacks and murders everywhere. The radio in the Hall reported that the situation was very serious. In Tiruvannamalai too people were worried and the town was placed under police guard. Sri Ramana’s grand nephew V. Ganesan reports,“It was 9.30 in the morning. Suddenly loud cries of ‘Catch them, kill them’ were heard. One mad crowd was chasing another and all of them entered the Ashram from the hill-side. There was panic inside the Ashram. A devotee in the Old Hall rushed to the doors and bolted them; the meditating devotees were naturally disturbed. In the midst of all the tense commotion, Bhagavan was unperturbed, a picture of attention, correcting some proof.”

The first signs of Ramana’s illness appeared in early 1949, when he would often rub his left elbow. An attendant who examined the spot found a boil the size of a pea, which rapidly grew and was soon as big as a marble. Although it seemed to be harmless it was nevertheless removed on 9th February by the Ashram doctor Dr. Shankar Rao and the retired surgeon Dr. Srinivasa Rao, without consulting any other doctors. The operation was performed in the bathroom before breakfast.

After the operation Ramana did his best to hide the wound with his towel. When people asked what he had on his arm, he joked, “I am wearing a bracelet” or “A lingam is born.” The wound took about ten days to heal.

It was not long, however, before another, larger and more painful growth appeared. Renowned doctors from Madras were consulted and they diagnosed it as a malignant tumour.

On 1st May Dr. Raghavachari declared that amputation of the arm was unavoidable. But Ramana refused, “There is no need for alarm. The body is itself a disease. Let it have its natural end. Why mutilate it? Simple dressing of the affected part is enough.”

The doctors also thought that the sun would be beneficial for the sick arm. So they would arrange a seat for Ramana outside behind the cow shed, remove the bandage there and clean the wound. The affected part was then exposed to the sun’s rays for some time. On one occasion devotees again expressed their worries and fears, but he merely joked about his bleeding ulcer, “See how nice it is! It is like a precious ruby. It has become an ornament to my arm. See how red it is! It is glowing brilliantly with the sun’s rays falling on it. Look at it!”

The ayurvedic healer who had successfully treated Ramana’s broken collarbone, tried a treatment using a poultice of healing green leaves. One evening Ramana returned from his walk shivering with fever and, walking with an extremely unsteady gait, was barely able to reach his couch. Shantamma, who could not control her grief at this sight, cried out, “Oh! Your body….”, but before she was able to complete the sentence the Maharshi interrupted her, “Oho! The body? What about it? What has happened? Shivering? What if it is shivering? What you want is that there should be life in this body.Life is in it. Are you satisfied?” Finally he managed to control the shivering, and looking at the people around him, said, “This is Nataraja’s dance. Daily it is a stationary darshan. Today it is tandava darshan [dancing darshan]. Why should there be any worry on that account?” Then he kept silent. The suspicion was that the shivering was caused by an infection brought on by the green leaves. So this treatment was stopped.

Sri Ramana found it increasingly difficult to climb the steps of the eastern entrance of the New Hall. When it was suggested that he should use the northern entrance, where the steps were not so high, he refused, as the northern part of the Hall was the women’s area and he did not want to disturb them by entering there. But from now on, whenever he was not giving darshan, he remained in the small room on the eastern side of the New Hall, which had its own bath. This room became known as the ‘Nirvana room’, as it was here that he died.

On 19th March, the Telugu New Year, Sri Ramana had a bad accident.When he entered his bathroom in the morning, he stumbled over the threshold and fell. A devotee wanted to help him up, but he refused and stood up by himself, albeit with difficulty. His koupina and his towel were covered in blood. He probably had a fracture, but his attendant was not allowed to make it public. The part of his body on which he had fallen, started to suppurate and was very painful, but this too was concealed. That day Ramana sat as usual from 9 a.m. onwards on the veranda of the little room to give darshan.

On the night before the 14th April Sri Ramana asked everyone to go to bed or to meditate and leave him alone. Even his attendants he sent away. The next morning he said in English to his attendant Rangaswami, who had just finished massaging him, “thanks”. Rangaswami, who knew no English, looked astonished, so Sri Ramana smiled and explained the meaning to him, “The English have a word ‘thanks’, but we only say ‘santosham’ (I am pleased).”

Until the last Sri Ramana showed his concern for the animals.Some hours before his death he asked if the peacocks, whom he heard screeching, had had their food. The animals reacted to his approaching end. The peacocks walked round his room, the cows,dogs, monkeys, birds, all showed their affection in their own way.But the white peacock stood on the roof of the Nirvana room screeching uninterruptedly.

On 14th April 1950 At 8.47 p.m., without any struggle, his breathing stopped. There was no other sign of death,only that the next breath did not come.

The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson,who had been staying at the Ashram for two weeks, rushed into the Nirvana room shortly after the moment of the Maharshi’s death and asked those present for the exact minute of his death.He later reported, “I was in the open space in front of my house,when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it. Because of its singularity we all guessed its import and immediately looked at our watches – it was 8.47 – and then raced to the Ashram only to find that our premonition had been only too sadly true: the Master had passed into mahanirvana at that very minute.”

This unusual phenomenon was witnessed by large numbers of people over a wide area. On 16th April all English and Tamil newspapers published reports on the death of the Maharshi and also about the appearance of the shooting star.

The crowd of people was so large that the twenty policemen were barely able to keep them under control. Cohen reports that about 40,000 people came during the day to pay their last respects to Sri Ramana.

But as the Maharshi spent 54 years of his life in Tiruvannamalai and 28 of them at Ramanashram,his presence is felt there with special intensity.

It is, nevertheless, very important to point out that the true experience of the presence of Ramana and Arunachala must be in the Heart, it is not bound by time or place, and everything else has only the limited value of a manifestation. “Where could I go? I am here” means that he is the Heart of all living beings, the Self, as it states in Chapter X, verse 20 of the Bhagavad Gita, his favourite verse, “I am the Self, Oh Gudakesa, dwelling in the Heart of every being; I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all living beings.”

Ramana describes Realization of the Self as follows, “In a pinhole camera, when the hole is small, you see shapes and colours. When the hole is made big, the images disappear and one sees only clear light. Similarly when the mind is small and narrow, it is full of shapes and words. When it broadens, it sees pure light. When the box is destroyed altogether, only the light remains.”

Source: Ramana Maharshi: His Life A biography by Gabriele Ebert


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Re: Incidents Related To Ramana Maharshi during His Final Years
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 09:41:32 AM »

Dr. Guruswami Mudaliar a famous surgeon those years, had said:
"The pain on the left arm would be so excruciating like a spindle
rotating on the wound.  It will be as if a lorry is passing on your
extended hand.  But this person is saying that he is not having
much pain.  I am not simply able to believe it."

Arunachala Siva.