#5159 – The Mountain Path Journal (Sri Ramanasramam)

Edited by Jerry Katz

Bhagavan10
photo: Ramana Maharshi

Arunachala chant:

The Mountain Path is a quarterly Journal founded in 1964 by Arthur Osborne and published by Sri Ramanansramam. The aim of this journal is to set forth the wisdom of all religions and all ages, especially as testified to by their saints and mystics, and to clarify the paths available to seekers in the conditions of our modern world. The Mountain Path is dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

All the past issues of ‘The Mountain Path’ from 1964 up to the most recent issues are in pdf format. To access the past issues in pdf format, from 1964 to 2010, click below.

http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/resource_centre/publications/mountain-path/

Sitting at the Feet of Sri Ramana Maharshi

SHIVANI SHARMA

The author is the daughter of H.W.L. Poonja. The video interview on
which the present text is based was conducted in early 2009 when the
author returned to Sri Ramanasramam for the first time since her
childhood.

I came to Bhagavan at an early age with my father in the early 1940s.
I was born in 1935 in the part of Punjab which is now Pakistan,
but the family came to Bombay when I was still quite young. After
two or three years we moved to Madras where my father found
employment.

Our religious training was guided by our father. Ever since he was
a young boy, he had done lots of puja and he was a devotee of
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa before coming to Bhagavan Sri Ramana.
He used to say that unless we read the Bhagavad Gita for one hour
and did puja each day, we could not even have as much as a cup of tea!
Having set up our home in Madras, we got the best spiritual training
one could ever dream of — regular visits to Bhagavan at
Ramanasramam. Bhagavan would talk with us in English and Tamil.

We children — my brother, sister and I — only wanted to be near
Bhagavan. We would go to his room even when he was resting. The
attendant would ask us to go away but Bhagavan would say “Let them
come, let them come”. We pleaded with Bhagavan to come with us to
Madras. I still remember his response: “I cannot come. If I do, what
will the people do, who come to see me?” His words are still ringing
in my ears. I can still hear the sound of his voice.

Bhagavan used to go up the Hill every day at 4pm and we would
follow behind him. He would allow us to go up a certain distance
with him and then say, “You sit here on the rocks. When I come back,
we’ll return together.”

It was during this time (1942) that the decisive event of my life
occurred, something that has stayed with me ever since. As I don’t
remember the external details, I leave it to my father who once told
the story this way:

[In the years when we were living in Madras,] I often brought my
family and business colleagues to the ashram on weekends. Out of
all the people I brought, the Maharshi seemed to be particularly
fond of my daughter. She had learned Tamil quite well during her
time in Madras, so she could converse with him in his native
language. They used to laugh and play together whenever we visited.
On one of my visits she sat in front of the Maharshi and went into
what appeared to be a deep meditative trance. When the bell for
lunch went, I was unable to rouse her. The Maharshi advised me to
leave her in peace, so we went off to eat without her. When we came
back she was still in the same place in the same state. She spent
several more hours in this condition before returning to her normal
waking state.

Major Chadwick had been watching all this with great interest. After
her experience ended, he approached the Maharshi and said, ‘I have
been here for ten years, but I have never had an experience like this.
This seven-year-old girl seems to have had this experience without
making any effort at all. How can this be?’

The Maharshi merely smiled and said, ‘How do you know that she
is not older than you?

After this intense experience my daughter fell in love with the
Maharshi and became very attached to his form. Before we left she
told him, ‘You are my father. I am not going back to Madras. I will
stay here with you.’ The Maharshi smiled and said, ‘No, you cannot
stay here. You must go back with your real father. Go to school,
finish your education, and then you can come back if you want to.

This experience had a great impact on me and after that I only
wanted to be with Bhagavan. Not a day has passed since then without
some recollection of those hours absorbed in Bhagavan. When people
ask me what happened that day, I find myself speechless, unable to
respond, and just start crying, “O Bhagavan!”

~ ~ ~

Read the full article here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ramanafiles/mountainpath/2010%20I%20Jan.pdf

arunachala
photo: Mt. Arunachala

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