Welcome to the Website dedicated to
Arunachala & Bhagavan
Sri Ramana Maharshi
Welcome to the Website dedicated to
Arunachala & Bhagavan
Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

The Guiding Presence of Sri Ramana
By K. K. Nambiar - First Edition 1984

Preface

In The Guiding Presence of Sri Ramana, Sri. K. K. Nambiar, an ardent devotee, has given us an ultimate glimpse into his life as guided by his Master, Bhagavan Sri Ramana. We are grateful to the Ramana Kendra, Madras, for requesting its Chairman, Sri. K. K. Nambiar, to give a series of talks on his reminiscences of Sri Bhagavan. These reminiscences which span over five decades of service and devotion to Sri Bhagavan and Sri Ramanasramam, have now been collected to form this book.

Foreword

A friend of mine an IAS Officer, Commissioner and Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu called on me most unexpectedly and mentioned that he had an inner mystic urge to come and tell me that I should, without further delay, publish all my reminiscences about Ramana Maharshi, either in a book form or through a series of articles in the journal The Mountain Path. I too had a dream on 14.9.83 that I should commence writing the reminiscences and that Bhagavan would help me to see it through - K. K. Nambiar.

Notebook incident

I had a vivid dream, or vision, whatever one may call it. I saw Bhagavan standing on a lawn with half a dozen Brahmin boys sitting around him in a circle. Bhagavan was reciting some Sanskrit verses which the boys were repeating. Actually he was reciting Shyamala Dandakam itself which I used to recite - part of stotras in praise of the Goddess. This appeared to me a straight answer from Bhagavan to the question I had failed to put to him the previous night. Then the scene changed in the dream. The boys doing parayana were not there. Bhagavan beckoned me to go near him and asked me for a note-book to write something. When I told him that I had only an octavo size notebook ready to spare, he said that it was all right. The dream ended there, but it made such a deep impression on my mind that I could not delay carrying out the behest, however strange it might seem to others. After an early bath, I traced out the spare note-book, dusted it and hurried to the Ashram. Prostrating before Bhagavan as usual I handed over the note-book to him. He received it smilingly and asked me what made me take the notebook to him, when I related to him in a whisper all about the dream I had early that morning. Immediately he called his personal attendant, the late Madhavaswami, and asked, him, "Madhava, did I not ask you last evening to fetch a note-book to write down a Malayalam Translation of the Sanskrit text of Ramana-Gita? You didn't bring one. Here is Nambiar who has brought it for me. It seems he had a dream in which I asked him for such a book and he has brought it.'' Bhagavan also asked me to speak all about the dream so that other devotees in the hall could all hear it. This incident aroused a great deal of interest among the devotees.

A Bet on my Prayer

I was talking to Sri Venkataratnam at his residence about my implicit faith in Bhagavan looking after his devotees, when he said "let us see about your journey to Madras; getting accommodation in the connecting train at Villupuram at night is always a gamble. There are three trains all near about midnight and one has to take a chance. It is very seldom that you get seats in the first train. Besides you are a party of five and that makes it extremely difficult''. I said I had no worry as Bhagavan would take good care of us. At this, he interjected, "Let us have a bet on this'' and we decided to make it a crucial test.

On the return journey Mr. Venkataratnam saw us off at Tiruvannamalai station, where comfortable accommodation in a first class compartment was secured for us. He also sent a peon to accompany us in the same train up to Villupuram junction with the twofold objective of rendering us any assistance necessary until we were safely berthed in a connecting train at Villupuram, as also to check up on our bet how Bhagavan would come to our rescue to solve the usual difficulty expected at Villupuram Junction.

We alighted at Villupuram and waited for the first Madras bound train to arrive. We introduced ourselves to the Ticket Examiner, who promised his assistance to find suitable berths for all of us. When the train steamed in, we walked past all the upper class compartments, the Ticket Examiner keeping count of the vacant berths available. There were only two berths available in two different compartments.

Those two were upper berths and we were five in all. We could not accept the two berths and could not break up the party and travel by night. All that the friendly Ticket Examiner could do was to suggest that we try our luck with the next train. But I would not give up hope. I was all the while praying to Sri Bhagavan and could not reconcile myself to the idea that we would be left stranded. Musing thus within myself, I felt like walking up to the front end of the train, where there were a few closed bogies adjacent to the engine. No passenger coaches are generally connected there but on that night, there was a brand-new looking first class bogey next to the engine nicely done up and polished and completely shuttered and closed being towed to Madras for some special purpose. On seeing it, I ran back along the platform and spoke to the Ticket Examiner about it. The sceptical Railway official came up with me and was surprised to find a new coach with all the doors and windows locked. On opening it with a key, we found an exquisite compartment with all the seats empty. With his permission all of us entered the compartment - six berths, all to ourselves - specially reserved! I repeated aloud "Om Namo Bhagavathe Sri Ramanaya! I have won the bet!'' Need we have any doubt whether Sri Bhagavan would answer the silent prayers of his devotees?

Mr. Venkataratnam's peon went back to Tiruvannamalai and narrated to him details about this miraculous incident. He was very pleasantly surprised and wrote to me admitting that he lost the bet and his faith in Sri Bhagavan increased by leaps and bounds as it were. For me this was one more addition to my ever increasing list of miraculous incidents attributable solely to Bhagavan's Grace towards this devotee whose surrender at his feet some years ago is now constantly repeated day and night.

Mrs. Victoria Doe

After reaching London, I took an early opportunity to go to Epsom, which was about three quarters of an hour journey by train to meet Mrs. Victoria Doe at her quiet residence, at 17, St. Martins Avenue. It was on 19.5.46, Mrs. Doe, who was nearing 80, lived with her only daughter, Miss Leena Doe. She had never come to India, never seen Bhagavan Sri Ramana in flesh and blood. Yet I was deeply moved by her devotion to Him. She had read about Him, prayed to Him, meditated on Him and lived in Him day in and day out. There was something trans-mundane, something related to a sphere other than the physical world that occasioned my visit to this elderly lady, who was a recluse to the social life in England. It seems she had written to the Ashram that much as she would have liked to go over to India to have a darshan of Sri Bhagavan, her circumstances did not permit it, and that she was very desirous if at least meeting some one who had seen him and had the good fortune to sit at his feet. Hence, the visit I paid her on the suggestion from the Ashram, was, in fact, the fulfilment of her long cherished desire.

Mrs. Doe with shaking hands took from her shelves sheaves of letters received from the Ashram and after kissing them with great reverence handed them over to me for perusal. All those were letters from the Ashram and had been meticulously preserved by her for many years. She had also with her all the English Publications of Sri Ramanasramam. She opened one of the books and running her shaky finger along the inscription on the first page "with Gracious Blessings from Sri Bhagavan'', burst into tears of joy and devotion. When she composed herself, she said "Mr. Nambiar, how lucky you are to have been able to be with Him, to see Him and hear Him speak. Here we treasure these books and letters as representing Him. Now he has sent you here. I feel that He is with us now''. Such love, such devotion to the Sage, so tenderly expressed, moved me to the depths of my being. Verily His Kingdom is the Heart of the devotee, and I have always found Him there enthroned.

Meteor in the sky

Later in the evening, after dinner, my wife and I with children came out into the courtyard and were discussing among ourselves where to have a sit out, where to locate the benches, when suddenly my younger son , Vijayan started looking at the sky. "Papa, see what is in the sky, a big star?'' We all looked up. Somewhere in the western sky was a bright meteor moving at an unusual speed, too slow for a shooting star, and too fast for an aircraft. My immediate intuition was about Bhagavan and I exclaimed, "It is Bhagavan passing away'' and started reciting the sloka

Aparasatchit Sukhavariraser
Yasyormimatram bhuvanam samastam
Guhahitam tam Ramanam gabheeram
cintaviheenam hridi cintayami

Meanwhile we were watching the meteor moving across the firmament and finally vanishing in the eastern horizon. The time was 8.47 p.m. We had no doubt that the heavenly indication was about Bhagavan's Mahanirvana. I was so sure about it that I even mentioned to my wife that I should leave for Tiruvannamalai immediately. Soon after, we got a telephone message from my friend Sri. P. S. G. Rao who lived nearby that he got the news of Bhagavan's passing away from his friend in the P.T.I. (Press Trust of India).

Later in the evening, after dinner, my wife and I with children came out into the courtyard and were discussing among ourselves where to have a sit out, where to locate the benches, when suddenly my younger son , Vijayan started looking at the sky. "Papa, see what is in the sky, a big star?'' We all looked up. Somewhere in the western sky was a bright meteor moving at an unusual speed, too slow for a shooting star, and too fast for an aircraft. My immediate intuition was about Bhagavan and I exclaimed, "It is Bhagavan passing away'' and started reciting the sloka

Aparasatchit Sukhavariraser
Yasyormimatram bhuvanam samastam
Guhahitam tam Ramanam gabheeram
cintaviheenam hridi cintayami


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