Since I've begun blogging non-poetry at Dropping a Paradigm, and not posting anything here lately, until I do again, I'll post one post a week here from Paradigm.
I was awakened about 5 o’clock. It was Ramana again. He came by himself and he brought me food. Can you imagine that? We spoke briefly; I ate and I slept. The next morning I went into the hall. After the morning chanting there was breakfast, and everybody sat around just watching Ramana as he went through his routine. He would go through the mail and read it out loud, talk to some of his devotees. I just observed everything. His composure never changed. Never did I see such compassion, such love.
Then people started to come over to him, asking him questions. His replies were very succinct. They weren’t like you read in a book. Apparently, what you read in a book is his reply to three or four people. They condense it all into one question and answer. But people usually asked a question or made a statement. If he agreed, he would nod or say, ‘Yes. That’s it’. If he didn’t, he would offer an explanation in maybe one or two sentences.
Six months prior to his leaving his body, I went to Bangalore to see Papa Ramdas. While I was there, I was informed that he [Bhagavan] had left his body. I went back to Tiruvannamalai. The crowds had already started to come, thousands and thousands of people. So, I climbed the hill and went into one of the caves. I stayed there for five days. When I came down, the crowds had dispersed. Ramana had already been interred.
I enquired of the devotee who saw him last, ‘What were the last words he spoke?’
The devotee said, ‘While he was leaving his body a peacock flew on top of the hall and started screeching. Ramana remarked to his devotee, ‘Has anyone fed the peacock yet?’ Those were the last words he spoke.
What Ramana taught was not new. Ramana simply taught the Upanishads. ‘Who am I?’ has been around since time immemorial. If a teacher always tells you he has something new to teach you, be careful, because there’s nothing new under the sun. Ramana simply revised the ‘Who am I’ philosophy and made it simple for people in the twentieth century. But what did he teach? He simply taught that you are not the body-mind principle. He simply taught that if you have a problem, do not feel sorry for yourself, do not go to psychiatrists, do not condemn yourself. Simply ask yourself, ‘To whom does this problem come?’ And of course the answer will be, ‘The problem comes to me’. Hold onto the ‘me’. Follow the ‘me’ to the source, the substratum of all existence.
A devotee went to Ramana and said, ‘I’ve been with you for twenty-five years, doing “Who am I?” and nothing has happened yet,’ so Ramana said, ‘Try it another twenty-five and see what happens’.
Self-enquiry is the ego trying to find itself as the Self, so the effort is brought on through your karma so that you may become Self-realised. It is a privilege to have been able to find in this life the method of self-enquiry. Therefore, it’s been predestined that you should make the effort to find yourself.
(Thank Me this Thanksgiving [ed. note])
~Robert Adams, from a beautiful blog posting by David Godman on his blog, Arunachala and Sri Ramana Maharshi