Sakthi Vikatan 24 Jan, 2012  Revised 2018-06-23

The Universal form of the effulgent Jnana

In mid-April 1949, Dr. Sankar Rao excised a mass in the forearm near the left elbow.

Bhagavan: This mass does not hurt me. Why should I have it removed? It looks benign. Heavy pressure on the mass causes pain. Let it be.

Dr. Sankar Rao opined, “This mass is getting bigger. If left alone, it will get even bigger. If the surgeon excises it, it won’t get bigger. We can control it. Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi kept silent.

The devotees, the doctors, and the president Niranjana Sami came to the president’s office. They chose surgical excision of his mass and informed Bhagavan on their decision.

Bhagavan accepted their recommendation. His devotees panicked.

A woman devotee: This is not a big deal. Application of the sap from Ficus religiosa would suffice and will help shrink the mass.

Bhagavan: Yes, it will shrink with the sap. What am I to do? They have other plans. They are all experienced doctors.

Bhagavan had the tranquility to say, ‘Let what should happen, happen. My input is none. The surgeon removed the mass and he had a bandage in his arm. Three months later, another mass above it appeared. The doctors recommended surgical excision. Some devotees argued that surgery was not an option.

Treatment with Āyurveda, Homeopathy…came up.

After the second surgical excision of the mass, homeopathic treatment was the choice. Bhagavan neither regretted the surgical excision nor wondered about homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic doctor instituted his treatment after a prayer. He further added Bhagavan himself should do his own healing.

But the disease did not end in cure. Many argued at length continuation of Āyurveda and Bhagavan consented.

Kuñju Swāmigaḷ a devotee brought Mūse from Kerala. The Ayurvedic doctor upset said, “OMG, why was it streaked (operated)? It is like annoying the cobra.” He treated Bhagavan. The arm was swollen and red with oozing of blood. It must have given Bhagavan much pain. Not one murmur from Bhagavan. He tolerated his pain with dignity.

A country doctor applied herbal bandage. The herbs were too strong he developed shaking of his legs. He was unsteady on his feet. A fear he may fall was real. He could not walk. These side-effects resulted in the termination of herbal treatment.

Bhagavan used to pop his head into the kitchen before he went to the dining hall. Now he washed his hands in the sick bed. This caused a great deal of anxiety to the devotees. They asked the doctor whether they can apply Āyurvedic bandage with the sap of the sacred tree. The country doctor said in anger, “Do what you want. Don’t ask me those questions. Get a good doctor and do the right thing.” The devotees did not know how to help Bhagavan. Bhagavan himself maintained silence giving them a free hand and kept his fortitude.

Ayurvedic bandages were in place. A new doctor came from Chennai. He recommended surgical intervention because of fear of hemorrhage. The devotees removed the Ayurvedic bandage.

A woman devotee said she had masses in her neck and the Ayurvedic bandage dissolved them in a few days. The doctors performed third surgical treatment on Bhagavan. They raised the possibility of amputation of the diseased arm. Shrewd Bhagavan asked the doctor whether the same mass could appear elsewhere. The doctors could not answer the question. The prevailing opinion was it could recur and metastasize to other parts of the body. So, Bhagavan refused the option for amputation.

Kaviraj Pandit coming from Bengal prescribed expensive medications. He opined that Bhagavan himself should heal himself and left for home. The medications caused side effects and so the staff stopped giving the medicines.

Th mass was getting bigger and bigger every day and looked red. Someone recommended exposure to sun. The mass shone like an emarlad. Bhagavan said, “Look at it, it shines like a diamond.” Some people recommended Sun worship and Mrutyañjaya Japam.

Bhagavan questioned, “Would Japam stop death?” No one had an answer. “The Japam helps reduce the fear of death but does not stop death, said Bhagavan. He supported them, imposing no objections on the devotees.

Yukāthi festival in April 1950. A female devotee gave as is customary a gift of loincloth and an upper garment. Bhagavan said, “Oh, it must be Vikruthi year, Ok.” I did invite Yukāthi. He sounded like it was the beginning of the end. The devotees hearing it were brimming with tears.

The female devotee went near him and cried, “You have cured the diseases of a multitude of people. Could you not heal your own disease? Could you get relief from the pain?

Bhagavan pointing an accusative finger chided and calmed her saying, “Why do you regard me as a body? Knowing me all these years, you are ignorant of this.”

Day to day, Bhagavan’s body weakened. He fell as he walked. The bandages were soaking in blood with spilling of blood on the floor. Many came rushing to help him. He stopped them and got up on his own strength. His eating became difficult. He could eat only rice water. He had loose stools and nausea. His digestive ability suffered. The disease and the medications made him sicker.

The devotees gave medication from Kaviraj Pandit as liquid every four hours. He became weary of taking medicines again and again. He appeared to say, “Give it up.” The devotees did not give up. Bhagavan did not refuse. He went along with what they said. He remained steadfast in giving Darśan to the visitors. He did this for one and half to two hours every day from his cot, though he was in a collapsed state. He blessed the visitors and looked at them in their eyes.

On April 10th, the Āśram stopped Darśan. He showed no movement in the bed. His blood pressure was low, a sign of impending death. But Bhagavan had shallow respirations. He opened his eyes and said something. On April 13th Darśan resumed. They lined up the people and rushed them through. They came in droves. When the Āśram officials stopped the Darśan, Bhagavan ordered them not to stop it. They lined up the visitors and sent them for Darśan. He saw the visitors, opening his eyes. He moved his eyes as if he embraced each one. Some devotees, controlling their anguish and tears, prayed with opposed palms. With the mind focused on his survival, they supplicated to Bhagavan not to abandon them. Some devotees in a soft voice offered prayers and said, “Should you go past all these sufferings, It is alright. Leaving this body, you remain in all places and in all people.”
Darśan session was over at 7 PM. Bhagavan asked the devotees to seat him in Padmāsaṉa position. He asked them to remove the oxygen tubes from his nostrils. Devotees near his mother’s Samadhi Mandapam sang Bhagavan-authored ‘Atcha Ramana Mālai’. When Bhagavan heard it, he opened his eyes and shed tears. It was all ‘Atcha Ramana Mālai’ all along.

Everyone agonized in their mind he was leaving them. They could do nothing. They could not prevent it. This they thought was his desire and remained silent as if they were under some external control. There was no chitchat. Āśramam came to a standstill. There were sounds of Namasivaya. Some recited Vedas. Some were looking at outer space as if something possessed them.

They feared the prospect of losing their ever present helpful majestic Guru. Could it not happen by some miracle? Could Āśramam be again a place of mirth and laughter? Could we not witness his graceful walk? Could we not enjoy his individual attention to us anymore? This happiness will be no more. Everything is coming to an end. They squirmed under the prospect of his absence. They walked back and forth. Though fatigued, they continued singing ‘Atcha Ramana Malai’

At 8:45PM, he breathed his last. His body was cooling down. The devotees cried, some beating their heads, and some rolling on the floor. Some sobbed. It was more difficult to lose a Guru than losing a father or mother. The world went dark; the heart ripped and fell off the chest. They felt like a calf bereft of its mother.

Who else is there for an individual giving help like a Guru? Who takes you to a higher mental state, and offers help in this world and the other? Where will the cows go, on losing the herdsman?” Nowhere. They seek another herdsman. They cry and emit various sounds. The devotees of Ramana were trembling in fear at losing Bhagavan.

At 8:45PM in the sky there was a shooting star going north. A shooting star appeared in the skies of Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, a sign of death of a Mahan.

The effulgent Janani’s Āṉma left the body, rose with greater effulgence and merged with the outer space. This is the Universal form of Bhagavan. It is the witness that Ramana was not an ordinary earthling.

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