“What will I do with it?”

From the chapter PART III Diary of the book “Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S. S. Cohen. 5th September 9-40 a.m. A visitor hands the Maharshi a very beautiful walking stick, which seems to be made of the best ebony. Maharshi takes it, turns it on all sides, and carefully examines every part of it, then stretches it back to the giver, who signifies that it is an offering for Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan replies, “What will I do with it?” and, turning to the disciples, he smilingly says: “In olden days I used to make and give away sticks. Nowadays I am being presented with them. What will I do with them? If I take this stick, it will remain here unused till someone will one day carry it off. Then the presenter will feel sorry. Will it not then be better for him to take it back right now and, seeing it, he will always remember me?”The devotees laughed, and the visitor’s depression turned to elation, which made him exclaim: “Your grace has overwhelmed me; I’ll cherish it all my life, as it has been hallowed by Bhagavan’s...

The Rumour That The Maharshi had Passed Away

From the chapter PART III Diary of the book “Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S. S. Cohen. 28th August From early morning people started flocking from the town to the Ashram, on the rumour that the Maharshi had passed away. Many of them came with tears flowing from their eyes, but became happy on seeing him in good health. In the evening Sri Bhagavan tells everybody and jokes about it: “A man,” he said, “in the morning gave me his namaskar, and then told me of the rumour of my death. I asked him to see for himself” and chuckled. Today, being the Tamil anniversary of his arrival atTiruvannamalai (1896), some enemies of the Ashram played this practical joke. “God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” I thought to...

The Fear of Death

From the chapter PART III Diary of the book “Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S. S. Cohen. 17th August, 1948 10-15 a.m. Mr. Rappold, an American devotee opens his eyes from meditation in which he seems to have been deeply sunk and raises his voice: Rappold. Bhagavan, what should a devotee do at the time of death? Bhagavan. A devotee never dies, rather he is already dead. (Then he stops and waits for a competent translator. Devaraja Mudaliar enters. Bhagavan completes the answer.) What should a devotee do at the time of death? What can he do? Whatever a man thinks in his life-time, so he does in his last moment – the worldly man thinks of his worldly affairs and the devotee of devotion and spiritual matters. But a Jnani having no thoughts of any kind, remains the same. His thoughts, having died long ago, his body also died with them. Therefore for him there is no such thing as death. Again, people fear death because they fear to lose their possessions. When they go to sleep they do not have such fear at all. Although sleep resembles death in leaving all possessions behind, it causes no fear in their hearts because of the knowledge that the next morning they will enter into their possessions once again. The Jnani, having no sense of possession, is entirely free from the fear of death. He remains the same after death as before...

Ramana’s Power of Observation

From the chapter PART III Diary of the book “Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S. S. Cohen. 2nd August 9-30 a.m. Sri Maharshi is absorbed in writing. Mrs. Mazumdar, a Bengali devotee, comes in with a tray of fruits and a bottle wrapped in tissue paper in her hand; she places them on the offerings-table, prostrates and goes to her place. From the corner of his eye Sri Bhagavan espies the bottle and, without raising his head, calls the attendant to fetch it, which the attendant does. He coolly takes it and carefully reads the label, once, twice; even the smallest type he strains his eyes to read. Then he returns the bottle as indifferently as a child does to an object in which it is not interested. “Eh, yenneh” (take it away, it is oil), he tells the attendant and resumes his writing. His power of observation is amazing and his show of curiosity in the smallest object, without the slightest desire for it or for anything under the sun, is still more amazing, though delightfully...

Maharshi and the Old Devotees

From the chapter PART III Diary of the book “Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S. S. Cohen. 27th July 10.15 a.m. Maharshi calls the old devotees Professor Venkataramiah and Mr. Visvanathan, and makes them sit down. Mr. V. reads Atma-Bodha of Sri Shankaracharya, one verse in Samskrit and one in Tamil. Maharshi and Prof. V. follow in copies in their hands. The Tamil verses are Maharshi’s translation of it, on which he has been occupied since about a week. There has already been a Tamil translation in existence, but it did not please the...