Face To Face With Sri Ramana Maharishi – Dr. Paul Brunton – 2

Face To Face With Sri Ramana Maharishi – Dr. Paul Brunton – 2

இதன் தமிழ் பதிவை இங்கே படிக்கவும்.

The following relates to Brunton’s second visit and stay near Sri Ramana, a few months later:

Whatever I am doing I never fail to become gradually aware of the mysterious atmosphere of the place, of the benign radiation which steadily percolates into my brain. I enjoy an ineffable tranquility merely by sitting for a while in the neighbourhood of the Maharshi. By careful observation and frequent analysis, I arrive in time at the complete certitude that reciprocal inter-influence arises whenever our presences neighbour each other. The thing is most suitable. But it is quite unmistakable. A force greater than my rationalistic mind awes me until it ends by overwhelming me.

The realisation forces itself through my wonderment that all my questions are moves in an endless game, the play of thoughts which possess no limit to their extent; that somewhere within me there is a well of certitude which can provide me all waters of truth I require; and that it will be better to cease my questioning and attempt to realise the tremendous potencies of my own spiritual nature. So I remain silent and wait.

I am perfectly aware that the sublime realisation which has suddenly fallen upon me is nothing else than a spreading ripple of telepathic radiation from this mysterious and imperturbable man. The Maharshi once told me, “The greatest error of a man is to think that he is weak by nature, evil by nature. Every man is divine and strong in his real nature. What are weak and evil are his habits, his desires and thoughts, but not himself.” His words came as an invigorating tonic. They refresh and inspire me. From another man’s lips, from some lesser and feeble soul, I would refuse to accept them at such worth and would persist in refuting them. But an inward monitor assures me that the Sage speaks out of the depth of a great and authentic spiritual experience and not as some theorizing philosopher on the thin stilts of speculation. Not a few Western minds will inevitably consider that the life of the Maharshi is a wasted one. But perhaps it may be good for us to have a few men who are apart from our world of unending activity, and survey it for us from afar. It may also be that a jungle Sage, with self lying conquered at his feet, is not inferior to a worldly fool who is blown hither and thither by every circumstance.

Day after day brings fresh indications of the greatness of this man. His silence and reserve are habitual. One can easily count up the number of words he uses in a single day.

I am learning to see that the Maharshi’s way of helping others is through unobstrusive, silent and steady outpouring of healing vibrations into troubled souls. Science will one day be required to account for this mysterious telepathic process.

It is clear that his mere presence provides many with spiritual assurance, emotional felicity and, most paradoxical of all, renewed faith in their creed. For the Sage treats all creeds alike, and honours Jesus no less than Krishna.

During daily meditation in the potent neighbourhood of the Sage, I have learnt how to carry my thoughts inwards to an ever-deepening point. Again and again, I become conscious that he is drawing my mind into his own atmosphere during these periods of quiet repose. And it is at such times that one begins to understand why the silences of this man are more significant than his utterances.

There are moments when I feel this power of his so greatly that I know that he has only to issue the most disturbing command and I will readily obey it. But the Maharshi is the last person in the world to place his followers in the chain of servile obedience, and allows everyone the utmost freedom of action. In this respect he is quite refreshingly different from most of the teachers and yogis I have met in India.

The gist of his message is: “Pursue the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ relentlessly. Analyse your entire personality. Try to find out where the ‘I’ thought begins. Go on with your meditations. Keep turning your attention within. One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will mysteriously arise. Follow that intuition, let your thinking stop and it will eventually lead you to the goal.”

I struggle daily with my thoughts and cut away slowly into the inner recesses of the mind. In the helpful proximity of the Maharshi, my meditations and self-soliloquies become increasingly less tiring and more effective. A strong expectancy and a sense of being guided inspire my constantly repeated efforts.There are strange hours when I am clearly conscious of the unseen power of the Sage being powerfully impacted on
my mentality, with the result that I penetrate a little deeper still into the shrouded border land of being, which surrounds the human mind.

I study him intently and gradually come to see in him the child of a remote past when the discovery of spiritual truth was reckoned of no less value than is the discovery of a gold mine today. It dawns upon me with increasing force that, in this quiet and obscure corner of South India, I have been led to one of the last of India’s spiritual supermen.

The serene figure of this living Sage brings the legendary figure of this country’s ancient rishis nearer to me. One senses that the most wonderful part of this man is withheld. His deepest soul, which one instinctively recognises as being loaded with rich wisdom, eludes one. At times he still remains curiously aloof, and at other times the kindly benediction of his interior grace binds me to him with hoops of steel. I learn to submit to the enigma of his personality, and to accept him as I find him.

I like him greatly because he is so simple and modest, when an atmosphere of authentic greatness lies so palpably around him; because he makes no claim to occult powers and hierophantic knowledge to impress the mystery-loving nature of his countrymen, and also because he is so totally without any traces of pretension and he strongly resists every effort to canonize him during his lifetime.

It seems to me that the presence of men like the Maharshi ensures the continuity down history of a divine message from regions not easily accessible to us all. It seems to me, further, that one must accept the fact that such a sage comes to reveal something to us, not to argue anything with us. At any rate, his teachings make a strong appeal to me. He brings no supernatural power and demands no blind faith. He avoids the dark and debatable waters of wizardry, in which so many promising voyages have ended in shipwreck. He simply puts forward a way of self-analysis which can be practised irrespective of any ancient or modern theories and beliefs which one may hold, a way that will finally lead man to true self-understanding. Again and again, I am aware that the Maharshi’s mind is imparting something to my own, though no words may be passing between us.

Spiritually my life is nearing its peak. I enter the hall and straight away assume my regular meditation posture. An intense interiorization of consciousness comes with the closing of eyes. The Maharshi’s seated form floats in a vivid manner before my mind’s eye. Then the picture disappears leaving me with nothing more than a strongly felt sense of his intimate presence. Tonight I flash swiftly to a pin-point of concentration. Some new and powerful force comes into dynamic action within my inner world and bears me inwards with resistless speed. In the next stage, I stand apart from the intellect, conscious that it is thinking, and watch thoughts with a weird detachment. The power to think, which has hitherto been a matter for merely ordinary pride, now becomes a thing from which to escape, for I perceive with startling clarity that I have been its unconscious captive.

It is strange enough to be able to stand aside and watch the very action of the brain as though it were someone else’s and to see how thoughts take their rise and then die, but it is stranger still to realise intuitively that one is about to penetrate into the mysteries which hide in the innermost recesses of man’s soul. I feel like some Columbus about to land on an uncharted continent. Finally it happens. Thought is extinguished like a snuffed candle. The mind takes its rise in a transcendental source. I remain perfectly calm and fully aware of who I am and what is occurring.Yet my sense of awareness has been drawn out of the narrow confines of the separate personality; it has turned into something sublimely all embracing. Self still exists, but it is a changed, radiant self. With it arrives an amazing new sense of absolute freedom, for thought is like a loom-shuttle which always is going to and fro, and to be freed from its tyrannical motion is to step out of prison into the open air.

I find myself outside the rim of world consciousness. The planet, which has so far harboured me, disappears. I am in the midst of an ocean of blazing light. The latter, I feel rather than think, is the primeval stuff out of which worlds are created, the first state of matter. It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly alive. I, the new I, rest in the lap of holy bliss. I have drunk the Platonic Cup of Lethe, so that yesterday’s bitter memories and tomorrow’s anxious cares have disappeared completely. I have attained a divine liberty and an almost indescribable felicity. My arms embrace all creation with profound sympathy, for I understand in the deepest possible way that to know all is not merely to pardon all, but to love all. My heart is remoulded in rapture.

With the fall of dusk I take my farewells of everyone except the Maharshi. I feel quietly content because my battle for spiritual certitude has been won, and because I have won it without sacrificing my dearly held rationalism for a blind credulity. Yet when the Maharshi comes to the courtyard with me a little later, my contentment suddenly deserts me. This man has strangely conquered me and it deeply affects my feelings to leave him. He has grappled me to his own soul with unseen hooks that are harder than steel, although he has sought only to restore a man to himself, to set him free and not to enslave him. He has taken me into the benign presence of my spiritual self and helped me, dull Westerner that I am, to translate a meaningless term into a living and blissful experience. My adventure in self-metamorphosis is now over.

~ to be continued…!

The next episode lists the anecdotes in his various books written.

Image courtesy: David Godman

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