Monday, October 21, 2013

Robert Adams & Last Words of Ramana Maharshi

When I was eighteen years old, I arrived at Tiruvannamalai. In those days they didn’t have jet planes. It was a propeller plane. I purchased flowers and a bag of fruit to bring to Ramana. I took the rickshaw to the ashram. It was about 8:30 a.m. I entered the hall and there was Ramana on his couch reading his mail. It was after breakfast. I brought the fruit and the flowers over and laid them on his feet. There was a guardrail in front of him to prevent fanatics from attacking him with love. And then I sat down in front of him. He looked at me and smiled, and I smiled back.

I have been to many teachers, many saints, many sages. I was with Nisargadatta, Ananda Mayi Ma, Papa Ramdas, Neem Karoli Baba and many others, but never did I meet anyone who exuded such compassion, such love, such bliss as Ramana Maharshi. There were about thirty people in the room. He looked at me and asked me if I’d eaten breakfast. I said, ‘No’. He spoke some Tamil to the attendant and the attendant came back with two giant leaves, one with fruit and one with some porridge with pepper. After I had consumed the food, I just lay down on the floor. I was very tired.

It was time for his usual walk. He had arthritis in the legs and could hardly walk at that time. After his attendants had helped him to get up, he walked out the door. When he was outside he said something to his attendants, and his attendants motioned for me to come. He guided me to a little shack that I was going to use while I stayed there. He came inside with me, and I bet you think we spoke about profound subjects. On the contrary, he was a natural man. He was the Self of the universe. He asked me how my trip was, where I was from, what made me come here. Then he said I should rest, so I lay down on the cot and he left.

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.

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.

Now, let’s talk about you. Think of the problems you believe you have. Think of the nonsense that you go on with everyday. Think how furious you become, how you always want to stick up for your rights, as if you had any. The problem is, you think. If you would only stop thinking.

You say, ‘How can I function if I stop thinking?’

Very well, thank you! As a matter of fact you will function much better than you do now, for you will always be taken care of. The universe loves you. It will always supply you with your needs. Forget about other people, what they do, what they don’t do. Do not listen to malicious gossip. Be yourself. Understand who you really are. You are the absolute reality, unconditioned consciousness. Work from that standpoint. Do not work from your problems. Do not get lost in meaningless gossip. Understand your true reality. Be yourself.

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.

How do you do that? How do you hold onto ‘me’? How do you hold onto ‘I’? By simply asking yourself, ‘Who am I? What am I?’ It’s the same thing. Ask yourself again and again, ‘Who am I?’

Forget about time. Forget about space. Forget everything. Keep yourself from thinking. When the thoughts come, ask yourself, ‘To whom comes the thoughts?’

Again, ‘They come to me.’ Hold onto the ‘me’. ‘I think these thoughts. Well then, Who am I? Who thinks these thoughts? Who am I?’

An easier way to do this I have found is to simply say to yourself, ‘I-I, I-I,’ and you will notice as you do this, the I-I goes deeper, deeper, deeper within you into your Heart centre, right to the source. For westerners I have found that saying ‘I-I’ seems to be more helpful than ‘Who am I?’ Again, do not look at time. Do not ask yourself, ‘When is something going to happen?’

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’.

~Robert Adams (edited) via David Godman post on Arunachala and Sri Ramana Maharshi

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