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While I was enjoying this wonderful divine vision, the doors of the shrine opened and my vision was interrupted by the loud blowing of pipes and the beating of drums. The people who were waiting with us stood up to get the Lord’s darshan. I too mechanically stood up with the others. After this short interruption, my vision continued. Though the idol of Sri Arunachaleswara was before my eyes, I could clearly see Venkataraman getting out of the train at the Tiruvannamalai station. He then ran towards the temple. As he was coming nearer and nearer, the noisy music rose to a higher and higher pitch. Venkataraman entered the temple, ran to the shrine and embraced the lingam with both his hands. My feelings were ecstatic. My whole body experienced a divine thrill and tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. This state of sublime joy lasted a long time and was both indescribable and unforgettable.






























I am not the only person to have had a vision of Sri Bhagavan in the inner shrine of the temple. When I printed The Golden Jubilee Souvenir for the ashram in 1946, I discovered that a devotee from Nepal, Sardar Rudra Raj Pande, had had an equally spectacular experience there. This is how he described it:


[When I reached the centre of the temple,] all my attention was directed to the one purpose of seeing the image or lingam in the sanctum sanctorum. But, strange to say, instead of the lingam I see the image of the Maharshi, Bhagavan Sri Ramana, his smiling countenance, his brilliant eyes looking at me. And what is more strange, it is not one Maharshi that I see, nor two, nor three – in hundreds I see the same smiling countenance, those lustrous eyes. I see them wherever I may look in that sanctum sanctorum. My eyes catch not the full figure of the Maharshi, but only the smiling face from the chin above. I am in raptures and beside myself with inexpressible joy.... That bliss and calmness of mind I then felt, how can words describe [it]? Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. I went to the temple to have darshan of Lord Arunachala and I found the living Lord as he graciously revealed himself. I can never forget the deep intimate experience I had in the ancient temple.


The vision I had of Sri Bhagavan in the temple strengthened my faith in him. The other vision I had in the hall assured me that the help of all spiritual Masters, including Sri Bhagavan, was available to me all the time. Having been blessed with these visions, I now knew that I was on the right path, and I knew that my Master was guiding me in everything I did.

The Arunachaleswara Temple, taken from the lower slopes of Arunachala. The lack of buildings around all sides of the temple indicates that the photo was taken about a hundred years ago.

David Godman Books


Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings

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