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As these thoughts were passing through my mind, I slowly fell into a deep sleep. The next morning I arose in a rejuvenated state. There was a new vigour in my limbs and an awareness that my heart was permeated with light. On the third day of my visit I sadly took leave of Sri Bhagavan. I was still human enough, still caught in the sense of time and space, for the parting to leave me with a feeling of aching and emptiness in the heart. But there was no despair. Something assured me that I would be returning to the feet of the Master sooner than I could imagine.
My intuition turned out to be correct. In the following years repeated visits seemed to be miraculously and easily arranged by the Master. He seemed to know that I felt an occasional need to be close to him physically. In the years that followed each succeeding visit deepened the light within, toned up my nerves and suffused my senses with an increasing experience of exhilaration.
The subtle and subconscious manner with which the Master toils at his children is amazing. There were times without number when I distinctly saw his hand, his mighty hand, extended to me when I stood in need of guidance. These occasions continually reminded me of his famous comment in Who am I?
He that has earned the grace of the Guru shall undoubtedly be saved and never forsaken, just as the prey that has fallen into the tiger’s jaws will never be allowed to escape.
Printing Press Stories
In 1945 I decided to wind up my printing press in Bombay in order to go and settle at Sri Ramanasramam. I had no pre-arranged plan for closing down my business; I merely relied on Sri Bhagavan. And he in turn responded to my devout prayer.
In the early hours of the morning, while I was still in my bed and only half awake, I saw a vision in which Sri Bhagavan appeared before me. By his side stood a gentleman whom I recognised as a friend of mine. He had neither been to the ashram nor had he ever exhibited any faith in Sri Bhagavan. The following conversation then took place between Sri Bhagavan and myself:
Bhagavan: You want to sell your press, don’t you?
Me: Yes, Bhagavan, but I must find a buyer.
Bhagavan: (showing my friend standing by his side) Here is the buyer. He will buy your press, so sell it to him.
Me: Since Sri Bhagavan has been kind enough to show me the buyer, may he also favour me by stating the amount at which I should execute the sale?
Sri Bhagavan then showed me five figures on the opposite wall that were shining like a neon sign. The amount indicated to me was quite reasonable, neither low nor exorbitant.
Sri Bhagavan and my friend then disappeared from my sight and the vision ended. By itself the vision was astonishing enough, but there was more to come. When I entered my press that day at 11 a.m., my friend from the vision was waiting there for me. Of course, he had come to see me about some other work and had no idea that he had been singled out as a prospective buyer. Feeling that Sri Bhagavan had sent him to me, I told him about the vision that had come to me a few hours before. He listened to me very attentively.
When I had finished my tale he simply commented, ‘I will buy your press at the price indicated by your Guru’.
There was no limit to my joy. My desire to sell was fulfilled by his grace and the sale was completed in less than a minute.
My original plan had been to sell all my property in Bombay and move directly to Sri Ramanasramam. However, when the devotees heard what I was planning to do, it was suggested to me that I could be of more use to the ashram in Bangalore. I was asked to start a printing press there that could execute all of Sri Ramanasramam’s printing work. I agreed to the idea and soon found myself in Bangalore, looking for suitable premises. I began to suspect that Sri Bhagavan had assisted the sale of my original press because he had work for me to do in Bangalore.
I was a stranger in the city but I soon located an old press that had been lying idle for the previous six months. It was for sale. I saw its proprietor and told him why I wished to buy his business. He agreed to sell it to me but we were unable to agree on a price. To break the deadlock I proposed that both of us should visit the ashram and suggested that we could talk about the deal after we had had Sri Bhagavan’s darshan. I thought that since Sri Bhagavan wanted me to do this work in Bangalore, his darshan might help to lubricate the wheels of the transaction.
The owner agreed to the idea, so we set off together for Sri Ramanasramam. On our arrival, I took him into the holy presence of Sri Bhagavan and informed him that I proposed to buy the press of the gentleman who was accompanying me, and that I planned to do all the ashram’s printing work there. Sri Bhagavan did not say anything; he just nodded his head.
David Godman Books
Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings
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