Doris Williamson


By Doris Williamson

EVERY action in Bhagavan’s life was meaningful. His teaching, simple and direct, requires no temple or ceremonies. Yet, to the puzzlement of some, Bhagavan personally supervised the construction of the beautiful little Matrubhuteswara Temple. Superficially this seems to conflict with his pure advaitic teaching.

All paths lead to God. Bhagavan’s teaching is silence, but he denies no path. These wonderful gods and goddesses of India symbolise and embody the qualities to which we aspire, the qualities we need for our own completion and awakening; they give to each his Ishta Devata. The deities fill one’s lack - until the soul eventually aspires to Dakshinamurthi, with single-minded devotion to Siva Himself, whose living manifestation was Ramana. Then in peace and utter stillness, one knows that all is Brahman.

There are as many paths as there are men. Every being is a facet of Brahman so each path is essentially individual, yet there is only one path, one God. For those with ears to hear, Bhagavan teaches the no-path which in essence contains within itself all paths. Bhagavan consistently brought enquirers back to the living centre by asking, “To whom is this thought, who is asking this question”?

Another mystery to some of us is the call of the Mountain and the potency of its circumambulation — man spiralling to the centre until the final absorption. What magic is it that the all-pervading grace of Bhagavan is with us always and everywhere, seeking out the very being, and yet is more powerfully present in Arunachala than elsewhere? What mystery drew Bhagavan to the holy Mountain, the mystery that so powerfully radiates peace and silence in its vicinity?

It is that mysterious silence of the holy Mountain that stills the mind which nowhere else can be so still. Bhagavan was drawn irresistibly to this physical centre for a good reason.

As the mind of man became less subtle, the column of fire which was too bright for earthly eyes appeared as mere earth, as does the body of man. In 1879 the fire externalised itself once again, in the form of Siva-Arunachala, to attract its devotees like a magnet, to recharge the ageless Mountain. Himself that power, he recharged the Mountain which is his symbol, the holy Mountain which is our very Self. There undoubtedly are spiritual centres in the world, the most potent of which is Arunachala. Bhagavan came to recharge the power and to unveil the eyes of those who would see. Three decades after his passing, Bhagavan’s presence is as powerful as ever. The reality, pure light, invisible to earthly eyes, seen by the gods as a column of fire, and eventually by man as the holy red Mountain, was glimpsed by man and known as Ramana.

His teaching, turns one to the inner guru. Only the realised Being can be a true guru — a lesson to those of lesser wisdom who endeavour, or presume, to teach or preach. With mind externalised, it is difficult to question “Who am I?” Bhagavan asked this while in a state of intense awareness, the ‘I’ observing the apparent death of the body. It is a question not by the mind, but by the witness, and the atmosphere at the Ashram helps one to be that witness. Yet “I am here”, said Bhagavan, and that here is the universe, not confined by time and space. Even reading about Bhagavan brings us in touch with the wonder of his reality, and love wells up in the heart at a sight of his picture.

Fully alive, without attachment, how well he demonstrates that this is an interesting and beautiful world, as we see him appreciating the dream from his awakened state, the unreal and the real as one perfect whole. All is Brahman. One is inspired by his keen observation, his interest in detail. By his complete acceptance of the person as he is, he sees only divinity and thus unveils that divinity.

Blessed are the devotees of Bhagavan Ramana. He is our path which is the goal. Through his grace we live in the world in fullness, knowing that we are ever at his lotus feet and that one day our veils will dissolve and we shall be absorbed in Arunachala.