சக்தி விகடன் - 20 Sep, 2011   Revised 2018-06-23

                    Ramana Maharishi


Once, the District Collector and his assistant came to visit with Bhagavan. Where there is power, the official feels he is eminently qualified to give advice.  He wants to be in the forefront with bombast and bluster. The collector rattled off his erudition in spiritual matters and what he liked in his perusal. He spoke at length. The Assistant Collector too spoke at length about his body tingling with spiritual experiences.

Bhagavan did not utter one word during their harangue.  He did not express alternate views. He listened to them with patience… Seeing Bhagavan remaining silent, they had the feeling whether they should be more lucid in their presentation. They talked again and explicated their presentation. They came to the end giving the impression, they exhausted everything. They became quiet. Bhagavan kept a careful watch on them; they were tired and blinking.

The collector addressed Bhagavan, “We spoke at length. You did not respond to us. Why?” Bhagavan spoke, “I was speaking to you in my language (of silence); you did not have the inclination to hear me.” The collector, intelligent as he is, understood it in a flash. It became clear to them they spoke beyond their heft.  They quietly left.

Ramanatha Brahmachari a student with lean frame in Tiruvannamalai Vedic School came to the Virūpākṣi cave and met with Bhagavan. Even at his first sight, he was drawn to Bhagavan. He understood he was standing before a stupendous persona. Staying close to him and rendering helpful service to him were his past birth’s auspicious fruits, he thought happily.

Some people are bogged down with family burden and seek peace and relief from financial ruin. There are rich people with financial stability, develop a sense of spiritual enquiry and go to Bhagavan. There are working people with spiritual pursuits, coming to Bhagavan. But, Ramanatha Brahmachari expecting nothing from Bhagavan was convinced that his birth’s goal was to remain in Bhagavan’s Sannidhi in a wonderful place like the Virūpākṣi cave.

Remaining close to Bhagavan, he helped him. Vedic School provided meals on the premises. He refused to accept food there but went from house to house asking for alms. He ate the food and shared it with Bhagavan who accepted it gladly.

Once, taking the food obtained by begging and going up the mountain, he came across his father who asked for the food. Brahmachari refused to give him the food, went up the mountain and presented the food to Bhagavan.

Bhagavan said, “Only after you offer the food to your father, I will eat it.” According to the wish of Bhagavan, he went down the hill, met with his father and told him, “Come, let us go up the mountain. Bhagavan and you can eat the food.”


But, Brahmachari’s father refused to go up the mountain. Not knowing what to do, he went to Bhagavan. Bhagavan said, “Go feed your father and come back. I will eat the food.” Would Brahmachary become a paragon of virtue by refusing food to his father and feeding the Guru?  Not possible. Bhagavan impressed on Brahmachari this tenet of ‘Māthā. Pithā, Guru, Daivam’ in that order (Mother, father, Guru and God). Service to Māthā and comes first and later others. Jñāni knows what his relative position in the totem pole. A genuine Guru will not accept his preeminence above the parents.  He will instruct this tenet to his devotee in a subtle manner. Bhagavan did that. Since that day, Brahmachari gave food first to his father before he gave it to Bhagavan.

Brahmachari is a youth with a subtle sense. Besides doing Guru service, he served Bhagavan’s devotees: He cleaned their place, gave them food and water, dispensed them medicines where needed and then went to Bhagavan’s Sannidhāṉam.  

For Brahmachari, there was no spiritual enquiry or sitting before the Guru and remaining in meditation. It is all physical service to Guru: running all over serving all was important to him.

The disciples of Bhagavan came to him for circumambulation of the Giri. The disciples urged that the devotees talk about Guru Bakthi. Some spoke. Ramanatha Brahmachari raised his hand for the opportunity to talk. Permission was granted.

For half hour, he spoke quoting Sanskrit Slokas on Guru Devotion. When the moderator told him his time was up, he got an extension and continued speaking. When he was reminded a second time that his time was up, he requested more time. He elaborated for two hours on subjects of Sanskrit Slokas, Tamil poems, the experience of others and himself and Guru Bakthi. How did this happen. Bhagavan’s spirit was guiding him. It was Bhagavan as the Guru who prompted the reticent Brahmachary inside him to speak on Guru Bakthi in his presence.

Ramanatha Brahmachari caught bubonic plague with blisters all over his body. The blisters broke discharging blood and pus. He could not lift his head. He was in a state of collapse.

The devotees fearing spread of contagion decided to go to Pacchaiamman temple. They told of their decision and promised to send food to Brahmachari.

“That is fine. Send food for him and me too. I will stay here and look after him,” said Bhagavan.

The devotees could not transgress his wishes. Some stayed in the Virūpākṣi cave. Some went to Pacchaiamman temple. Being near Bhagavan, Ramanatha Brahmachari recovered from his illness.

Let us get Darśan.