Author Topic: Bhagavan & Chalam  (Read 3898 times)


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Bhagavan & Chalam
« on: August 07, 2010, 12:05:11 PM »
I remember in particular one devotee who had both faith and the intellectual simplicity that I lacked. he was an old Telugu man living in the Draupadi Temple about 300 meters from Sri Ramanashramam. His only possessions were an iron pot and an axe that he used to cut firewood for cooking. He would beg food in the town and cook it in his pot. Each day, for hours together, he could be seen standing and looking at Bhagavan, He would spend the night in the Temple, which was then dilapidated, abandoned and surrounded by jungle.

I once found him standing alone in front of the Temple. When I asked him what he was doing in such a remote spot, he told me that he slept there. I exclaimed, "You sleep here all alone. Are you not afraid?" "Afraid of what?" retorted the old man: "Bhagavan throws his light on me. All night I am surrounded by a blue radiance. So long as his light is with me, how can I be afraid?"

This encounted made me deeply humble. Bhagavan's love and light are given in full measure to a poor old beggar, but there are many in the Ashramam like myself, who called themselves his devotees but who had failed to receive such grace because we were too busy attending to the contents of our mind.

Salutations to Sri Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta


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Re: Bhagavan & Chalam
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 10:22:35 AM »

Chalam was a radical and militant social campaigner when he first
encountered Bhagavan Ramana in the 1930s.  Gradually over the
years that followed, he fell under Bhagavan's spell and finally
surrendered to Him.  He moved to Arunachala in 1950 and spent
the remaining thirty years of his life there.

Chalam's daughter Souris accompanied him on many of his early
visits to Bhagavan Ramana and moved to Arunachala with him in

Chalam did not have any great regard for swamis.  During his first
visit with Sri Dikshitulu in 1936, he even refused to buy fruits
for Him and did not prostrate to Him until Sri Dikshitulu forced him
to do.  From the moment, he arrived at the Asramam, he was restless and wanted to get out. 

On the second day, he was in the Hall and when Bhagavan came
nearer, he even refused to give space for Him and move a little.
Again Sri Dikshitulu pulled him away.  As Bhagavan Ramana walked past him, He suddenly turned back and looked at him.
He then gave a great smile and went on His way.  At that time,
Chalam did not have any particular feeling for Him, but when he recollected on the incident later, he felt that Bhagavan won his heart in that one brief moment.

Chalam later compiled Bhagavan Smirtulu [Bhagavan Remembered] a book that recorded the experiences of many of Ramana Maharshi's devotees.

[From David Godman's book, the Power of the Presence, Part I]

Arunachala Siva.