Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi Devotee Sundarammal Recalls Her Experiences  (Read 823 times)


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Sundarammal By Swami Abhishiktananda

One day, towards the end of her retreat, she invited me and some other sadhus to share a meal at her cell. It was the Telugu New Year's Day. It was then, before the meal began, that she told me her story.

She belonged to a wealthy Telugu family of Madras. She married young but very soon lost her husband. As a widow, she continued to live at home, surrounded by the love of her parents and brothers. She rarely went out, and when she did, it was always with her father. One day he took her to the neighboring temple to hear a talk given by a sadhu. This sadhu was a devotee of the Maharshi. He told his audience about the sage's `conversion,' his disappearance from the world [leaving Madurai], his resort to the mountain of Arunachala, and the rest.

Sundarammal was deeply moved. She begged her father to allow her to accompany some pilgrims to Arunachala. He refused, but promised that he would soon take her there himself.

Some weeks later, she was alone one night in her room, weeping and calling on the Maharshi. Then, quite worn out, she fell asleep. Suddenly she felt a blow on her side and awoke with a start. It was about three o' clock in the morning. There was the Maharshi standing by the head of her cot. "Come," was all he said.

She followed him downstairs, crossed the hall and came out on the verandah. Hardly had she reached it when to her alarm she found herself alone. The Maharshi had disappeared. She sat down uneasily.

Soon a rickshaw appeared and the rickshaw puller said: "Is this Number 12, and are you Sundarammal? An old sadhu told me to come here and take you to the bus. Get in." Sundarammal thought quite simply, "It is Bhagavan, the Maharshi," and got into the rickshaw.

At the bus stand she and the rickshaw puller were both surprised not to find the old sadhu. However, she asked for the Tiruvannamalai bus and got in.

Somewhere on the way her bus passed another one from which someone alighted and then entered the Tiruvannamalai bus. "Are you Sundarammal?" he asked. "Yes, I am," she replied. "Good. Bhagavan has sent me to look for you."

In the evening she reached Tiruvannamalai and retired for the night in one of the large halls kept for pilgrims. She prepared a cake to offer to Bhagavan and fell asleep full of joy.

The next morning she went to the Ashram and fell at the feet of Bhagavan. "Here you are at last," he said to her.

Some days later her brothers arrived, unable to understand how this child, who by herself had never set foot outside her home, could have managed to reach Tiruvannamalai. But Sundarammal was so deeply absorbed that she never even saw her brothers, either in the hall or at midday in the dining hall. Only in the evening were they able to approach her. They told her how upset everyone was at home and begged her to return. If she wanted, they would build her a hermitage in the garden. But nothing moved her and the brothers even spoke of taking her home by force. "If you do, I will throw myself into a well," she said. Her brothers had to yield, but they soon returned with their father. They found her in a cottage near the Ashram and arranged for her continued stay there as well as they could.

During the fifteen years that remained of the Maharshi's life, she never left Tiruvannamalai even for a day.

This was the story that Sundarammal told me that morning—Sundarammal who could never speak of God without her voice breaking with emotion and her eyes filling with tears.

(Rendered from French into English by Father James Stuart)
— The Mountain Path, Oct. 1980
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Re: Ramana Maharshi Devotee Sundarammal Recalls Her Experiences
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 03:27:24 PM »

and Uplifting Reminiscences of 160 persons, we find a reference about
Swami Abhishikatananda.  Earlier in his life, he was called Father
Henri Le Saux, a Christian monk.  In fact, his first meeting with
Bhagavan Ramana, (he went with Ether Merston who had been in
the Asramam), was disappointing.  But later, the Truth revealed
to him through Bhagavan Ramana's Grace. 

But, there is no reference about Sundarammal in this book.

Arunachala Siva.