Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi Devotee Sri M. S. Madhava Rau Shares His Experiences  (Read 767 times)


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Sri M. S. Madhava Rau, Mangalore

My first visit was in the company of Maurice Frydman from Bangalore. Suddenly one morning, early in 1934, he said that he was going to Tiruvannamalai that night. He asked us if we would like to accompany him. He had been there many times before but never invited us. Nor had we ever thought to ask if we could accompany him. This time, though, the question and our own wishes were beating in unison.

At the ashram Maurice introduced us to the Maharshi. He welcomed us with a gracious smile and made enquiries about where we were from. When we replied ‘Mangalore’, the Maharshi said that M. S. Kamath (of the ‘Sunday Times’) was a frequent visitor to the ashram. He then told the other people in the hall a few interesting tidbits about the languages, customs and so on of that part of the country. When he learnt from us that for some years we had lived and worked in the Theosophical Society, Adyar, he smiled again and said that we would then easily make ourselves at home in the ashram. And we did, very happily too.

The Maharshi’s serene and busy life reminded us of Dr Annie Besant in several respects. In the evening a visitor arrived, a big and prosperous-looking Punjabi Sikh gentleman, dressed completely in European clothes. Noting his discomfort while he was attempting to perform the full pranam that Indian etiquette requires, the Maharshi immediately set him at rest, saying it was unnecessary. He also arranged for a chair for him to sit in. The gentleman said plaintively that he was pining for peace of mind. The Maharshi asked who it was that was pining. The visitor was puzzled. In humble and anxious tones he pleaded that he was too ignorant and busy for such deep introspection. However, he added that he would be grateful for some japa, prescribed in the Maharshi’s own words, and conveyed with his blessings. He promised to do the japa in whatever spare time he had.

The Maharshi told him that devoting the same amount of time he had to spare for his japa to enquiry instead would be more beneficial, and that, with practice, it would amply repay his efforts and could even be done at the times when he was busy at work. This was not what the Sikh visitor wanted to hear. After he had failed in his repeated attempts to persuade the Maharshi to give him some japa, he asked, sadly, whether, having come with such high hopes, the Maharshi was now going to send him away empty handed. The Maharshi assured him in a compassionate way that he should not think in this way.

The following morning the Maharshi cited some verses to the Sikh visitor that came from an edition of Yoga Vasishta that had been printed by Maurice Frydman. This appeared to revive his spirits and he left for his train in a good mood.

On one afternoon there was discussion among a small group over an ignorant questioning of the Maharshi’s teaching in some British or American philosophical journal. The Maharshi joined in with a few brief remarks, and resolved the doubts of those who had raised questions about the contents of the article. He ended the discussion in a humorous way, speaking partly in English and partly in Tamil, by saying, ‘<span style="font-style:italic;">Indian philosophy begins where western philosophy ends’. [/b]

One experience impressed itself on me indelibly. Before beginning meditation in his presence, I decided that at some point during that day I should ask the Maharshi about a personal problem I had been agonising over for some time. As I sat there meditating, the answer flashed before me, and along with it I was filled with an indescribable flow of happiness. Without needing to vocalise the problem to him, I had received both an answer and the experience of his power and grace. This experience in his presence was sufficient for me to sense the truth of both his message and his silent teaching.

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