HOW I WAS HIT BY RAMANA
by K. Vikram Simha Rao, New Delhi
In my journey of spiritual path, I had influences of many great men, living as well as those who are still with us through their eternal teachings.
Three prominent saints in the order of their influence in time are Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Shri Ramana Maharishi and Shirdi Sai Baba.
In early childhood, I realised very soon the transient nature of wealth and relationships when my parents had setbacks in their life with family and society. This forced them to seek solace in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. We accepted them totally as we found that their life was one of purity, sacrifice and selflessness. They emphasized on freedom from desires, simple living and helping others. I followed their path.
While pursuing my graduation in Chennai in early 1980s, I came to know of life of Shri Ramana Maharishi for the first time but only briefly.
Later after about 30 years, my friend Shri Sitaraman, who was my colleague in Health Ministry, Government of India told me about Ramana Kendra in Delhi and invited me for some celebration.
Initial talks on his life and teachings were difficult to understand. Shri Ramana was interested in Ribhu Gita, but for me it was tough to understand. Bhagavad Geeta was relatively easy. A booklet on Yoga Vasisthta was quite interesting. But the book “Letters from Shri Ramanashramam ” by Suri Nagamma finally brought me so close to Sri Ramana, that I felt as if he was in front of me. I learnt about his life, how he lived exactly as per his teachings, and his ideas on silence, enquiry, Self, etc.
At that time, there was turmoil in my personal life and his teachings were a great comfort to me. The first mantra attracted me was his statement “what is to happen will happen and what is not to happen will not happen”. It helped me to accept all happenings fully, and not to run away from any situation in life. It gave me strength to face all challenges: Secondly, he has said somewhere that the small ‘I’ will be replaced by ‘I -I’ and continuous and unending sound will be heard. I had read about it in other books too which is called ‘Anahata Dhvani’, Later after sometime, I experienced it and it still continues with me. It has made my life a Bliss, with stoppage of restless mind, and no more chattering within me.
All his teachings I tried to compare with the writings of Swami Vivekananda whom I hold in high esteem. I found that both of them had taught the same thing and my faith in Sri Ramana further multiplied.
This year I visited Tiruvannamalai unexpectedly. I was having a severe body pain as I had slipped on my back some six months ago. Medicine, exercise and other methods did not help. When I visited Arunachala, I walked barefoot on the hills and at the end of it, my pain disappeared. I never prayed for it. I was not conscious of pain when I was walking on the hills. But it happened.
Whenever I am alone and feel bored, I get reminded of Sri Ramana and get inspiration from him to be with oneself and be blissful.
Some striking and common aspects of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Ramana always surprised me and made me treat them equally: both led a pure and selfless life, they did not bother about their bodies even when afflicted by severe ailments; both looked after their mother till their end; they lived in silence and meditation; they encouraged debate and gave answers;; their teachings were simple; their lives embodied highest truths; and their teachings continue to influence mankind immensely.
Sri Ramana, it appears, is even now amidst us as a family member and in our satsangs.
May Sri Ramana continue to enlighten us.
DEPARTMENT OF EMPOWERMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES,
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE&EMPOWERMENT,
PARYAVARAN BHAWAN, NEW DELHI
MOBILE NO: 9910649868