Ramana Maharshi


From Ram Dass – Be Love Now:
“Eventually an all-purpose hall was built with a bed where Ramana sat, gave darshan, and slept. It was open to anyone who came seeking darshan as well as squirrels, monkeys, and a cow, named Lakshmi, who got her pick of the food and fruit offerings. Gradually more buildings were constructed at Ramanashram, as it came to be called, to accommodate an increasing number of devotees.
Until the mid-1930s it was a very quiet scene. Ramana’s younger brother, Nagasundaram, joined him and became a swami. He did the cooking, though Ramana also worked in the kitchen himself, coming in between 2:30 and 4 AM to cut vegetables and prepare breakfast. The saint allowed no special treatment and was himself a demanding, skillful cook.
During the day Ramana saw visitors, a cross section ranging from illiterate families to erudite scholars, comforting and counseling them in the several languages of South India. People asked advice on everything from spiritual matters to lawsuits and personal health. At times he would get a faraway look, and there would be extended periods during which everyone in the room would be lost in deep silence. By evening the silence grew pervasive, talk ceased, and peace bathed the room.
In later years the Maharshi attracted seekers from all over the world who came for his darshan at Arunachala. He taught in simple Socratic dialogues, the penetrating clarity of his words interlaced with gentle humor, deep affection, and his love for the Supreme. Although his method of self-enquiry is through the intellect, his devotional poems to Arunachala rank among the most beautiful and moving bhakti poetry.”


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