Author Topic: Dr Hafiz Syed, Bhagavan Sri Ramana as I Knew Him  (Read 970 times)


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Dr Hafiz Syed, Bhagavan Sri Ramana as I Knew Him
« on: June 07, 2011, 10:11:25 AM »
The following account has been taken from David Godman's blog.

Dr Hafiz Syed, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt., Allahabad

It was in March 1935 that a friend of mine, Mr. Bertram Keightly gave me a copy of A Search In Secret India by Paul Brunton. I devoured it, felt interested in Ramana Maharshi, and longed to meet him. The same year during the Christmas week I paid my first visit to Madras to attend the Theosophical Society convention. From there I went to Mysore in response to the invitation of Sir Mirza Mohd Ismail. On my return to Bangalore I accidentally met Maurice Frydman. His ascetic life made me curious to know who he was and what made him lead an austere life. It was he who told me a great deal about Ramana Maharshi and roused my sleeping interest in him.

Through his good offices I arrived in Tiruvannamalai one morning and was ushered into Maharshi’s presence by Paul Brunton himself. After three days’ stay there, while taking leave of the Maharshi, I begged him to give me his ashirvad [blessings] before I left him. He was gracious enough to nod his assent, which meant a great deal to me.

Next year, 1936, I visited him again during Dassara holidays. In 1937, the most momentous year in my life, I was attacked by a series of misfortunes. I had to stay in one of the rooms in the ashram itself for more than a month on account of a serious illness. It was during those days that I realised vividly his greatness as a divine man who was endowed with all spiritual and human qualities. While I was lying ill with a high fever, Maharshi was considerate enough to visit me three times and prepared upma for me with his own hand. My eyesight was affected by the high fever. When parting with him to start for Madras for treatment, I took hold of his toes and touched my eyes with them. For me, that was a sufficient guarantee that my eyesight would not fail me. So it has not. I shall never forget the grace he gave me during my serious illness. I had no idea what it was till I returned to my place in North India and felt its purifying effect on my life. I never felt so light and free from all taint of desire as I did in those days.

In 1939 I went on a sacred pilgrimage to him during the summer vacation. As there was a big crowd in the ashram, I could not take leave of Maharshi before leaving Tiruvannamalai. The result was that, somehow or other, I was deprived of the inestimable privilege of having Maharshi’s darshan for three years. From 1943 onwards I never let a year pass without visiting him. I was present during his final illness and saw him undergoing an operation for sarcoma without any sigh, shriek or anaesthetic. The doctors were amazed at his composure and an unheard-of peace of mind.

During his serious illness he was so considerate and thoughtful of the feelings of others that, despite his intense suffering, he did not deprive any one of the privilege of having his darshan. His sense of humanity was as great as his sense of spirituality.

Once, during one of his birthday celebrations, I read out an article in the hall that contained the statement, ‘The more a person is spiritual, the more he is human’. I asked about this, and he agreed that it was true. The sight of suffering, or a mere tale of it, touched his heart.

I invariably noticed during my close contact with him that he was indifferent to his body, as he believed that it was transitory. The real in him, and in others, was beyond any change.

One of the plainest teachings he gave to seekers of truth was self-surrender to God or Guru. He recommended it because he himself had surrendered himself to the divine and reaped its fruit. This method of approach to truth, he said, was the easiest and the safest if one had an earnest desire to attain liberation. I have often felt strongly that his method of approaching truth was so definite, clear and direct, it must appeal to the modern mind because it is essentially scientific. Maharshi never expected anyone to pin his faith in any particular scripture, or practise any sadhana, or repeat any mantra. All he expected of us was to closely and critically analyse the content of our own being, to discover what we really were to see if there was any thing in us which survived the decay of our bodily frame. His words went straight into our heart because he lived what he taught. His grace was ready for those who were ready for it; in other words, those who had made themselves fit recipients of his grace.

The dominating feature of his philosophy was the unity of life, the oneness of the divine essence which is the indwelling Self of all. In view of this deep-seated conviction of his, we noticed that he made no distinction in everyday life between great and small, rich or poor, holy or profane. He treated all alike. He habitually saw the one life vibrant in all. Another remarkable and distinguishing feature of his life was that he showered grace on every one whom he considered eligible for it, whether they were frequent visitors to his ashram and attached to him or not. Those who came from other ashrams and were the disciples of other Gurus received the same transmissions of grace, if they were ready.

I heard him repeatedly say that there is one who governs the world and that it is his task to look after the world. He who has given life to the world knows how to look after it also. It is he and not us who bears the burden of the world. He would also say that each was helped according to his nature, in proportion to his understanding and devotion.
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