The Boy and the Sage

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The Boy and the Sage
Sri C. R. Rajamani

The author of this article presented the following talk
at the April 25th Aradhana program at Arunachla Ashrama in New York City. He
and his wife are visiting their son, Dr. C. R. Ramakrishna, of Stony Brook,

I HAVE been a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi for over 55 years. I
was in my early twenties when I first had His darshan. The event is still
fresh in my memory not because I was at that age so mature, which I was not,
but because of a very remarkable incident I saw on that occasion.

I went to the Ashrama in the early forties when the Second World War was at
its peak and our own independence movement was also at its maximum
intensity. I am not certain about the date or the month of my visit; it may
have been December or January. I remember the season was quite cool. The
summit of the Holy Arunachala was shrouded in dense mist and clouds. The
morning air was crisp and pleasant.

It was in the original small hall, that is remembered by the early devotees
with justifiable fondness, that I first saw Sri Bhagavan seated on a raised
platform. A cast-iron charcoal brazier was radiating a comfortable warmth,
and a pleasing aroma of the incense thrown into it at regular intervals was
pervading the entire hall. About thirty people, comprised of men, women and
a few young boys were seated on the floor facing Sri Bhagavan. None spoke or
even whispered between themselves. What struck me was, no one showed even an
inclination to talk. Some were meditating with closed eyes. The silence was
definitely not an imposed one.

Sri Bhagavan, his body luminous like burnished gold, was sparsely clad in
his usual kaupinam and a small towel across his chest. He appeared to be
occasionally dozing off and had to steady his head often. He frequently
stretched his palms over the fire and massaged his long fingers. In spite of
his apparent dozing, his eyes did not look drowsy. On the contrary, they
were extraordinarily bright and alert. He was not looking at anybody in
particular, nor were his eyes roaming about the hall in idle curiosity.
Although my first impression was not a very uplifting one, I felt I was in
the presence of an extremely affable person with a lot of natural grace, at
perfect ease and without any pretension whatsoever. I was, however, aware of
an effortless peace in the hall.

I saw a white-skinned boy, a foreigner, of about ten years sitting a couple
of feet to my left. Next to him was a white man, presumably his father.
Further to my left, beyond the central aisle, was a white woman, whom I
thought was the boy's mother. I then saw Sri Bhagavan's eyes alight on the
boy for a brief minute. I thought it was just a casual look. The boy was all
the time looking at Sri Bhagavan with a sort of fixation, as if on the verge
of asking a question. But, no! He broke into tears. A cascade of tears came
gushing out of his eyes. They were not tears of pain, for his face was
radiant with joy. In temples, I have seen adults shedding tears in ecstasy,
and had myself experienced that type of joyous outpouring on hearing a
beautiful hymn or a moving melody, but I had never seen a ten-year-old boy
from a far-off land exhibiting this type of beautiful expression in an
extremely quiet and serene atmosphere. I could see that Sri Bhagavan's
glance, though only resting on him for a brief moment, had opened in the
boy's heart a veritable reservoir of pure joy.

I did not feel a remorse for my lack of receptivity that I ought to have
felt. But I felt most fortunate to see a boy not even half my age showing
such an alert sensitivity. The flat feeling I had experienced earlier was
washed away by the joyous tears of another; I really felt blessed in an
indirect way. Direct or indirect, blessing is blessing. Whenever I recall
this incident, it creates a feeling of being very near to something truly
Divine. Of course, I have had my own share of Sri Bhagavan's grace in my
later years. I have also had some ever-fresh visions which I dare not
devalue as creations of a fevered imagination for they have strengthened my
faith in Sri Bhagavan. Some of them occurred decades after Sri Bhagavan's
Mahanirvana. They have been firm confirmations of his continued Presence and
reassurances of his immortal words, "They say I am going! Where can I go? I
am always here!"

Now, returning to that first day at the Ashrama, I learned that the boy had
come along with his parents, both of them Theosophists. The Theosophical
Society's world convention is usually held at their international
headquarters at Adyar, Madras in December-January. Some of the people from
foreign countries choose to visit Sri Ramanasramam at that time. The boy's
parents arranged a trip to Tiruvannamalai, but he stoutly refused to go with
them, as he was not in tune with conditions in India which can never be
adequate when compared with the posh amenities of his native Australia.
However, he changed his mind at the last moment and did make the trip.
Within an hour of his face-to-face meeting with Sri Bhagavan, his mental
barriers were reduced to nothingness. He shed tears for quite some time and
later said to his mother, "I am so happy. I don't want to leave his
presence. I want to be always with him!" His mother was most upset. She
pleaded with Sri Bhagavan, "Swami, please release my son! He is our only
child. We will be miserable without him." Sri Bhagavan smiled at her and
said, "Release him? I am not keeping him tied up. He is a mature soul. A
mere spark has ignited his spiritual fire." So, that casual look was a spark
of tremendous power. Turning to the boy, He said, "Go with your parents. I
will always be with you." He spoke in Tamil throughout, but the boy
understood him fully. He bowed to Sri Bhagavan and reluctantly left with his
parents, immensely rich with the newly-found spiritual treasure.

sivasailam19's picture


Well for few moments the boy would have enjoyed the bliss & had stumbled on a great treasure which every individual is longing to have with a mere glance of the renowned Jnani is exemplifying

sivasailam19 | Wed, 09/02/2009 - 04:49
Johnnyinsearch's picture

thank you :)

thank you so much for sharing ,that story is truly beautiful :)

he is one awakened being i wish id had the fortune to meet .

Johnnyinsearch | Sat, 08/14/2010 - 18:36