Sri Ramana Darsanam
This is an extract from Sri Ramana Darsanam, by Sadhu Natanananda.
6 Divinity in the form of a jnani
Although Sri Ramana was adored by his devotees as Bhagavan, Maharshi, a grace-giving Guru, a supreme teacher, and a divine incarnation, to others he always showed himself as an ordinary person. While his form itself, appearing as grace personified because of its divine lustre, was captivating everyone’s heart, only very few were able to see him through their unconditioned sight as he really was. However, seeing his external form was itself adequate for experiencing the bliss of peace.
Sri Bhagavan’s view of himself and of others was completely different from that of ordinary people who do not know their real nature. Not only was he aware of his own real nature, he clearly knew the truth of others’. Even when he was in the midst of thousands of devotees of varied temperaments, he always remained steadfast in the awareness of the Supreme Self, without swerving in the least from his state. He consequently had the equal vision of seeing everyone as his own Self. Equal vision is evidence of divinity in human form. It is atma-drishti [the vision of the Self].
For those who have received the jnani’s look of grace, the look that emanates from the supreme space of consciousness is their abode and refuge. Bhagavan demonstrated the truth of his statement [in Who am I?] ‘Those on whom the gracious glance of Guru has fallen will never be abandoned’ immediately to those who received his look of grace. Just as the water of the holy Ganges purifies all those who touch it, the divine look of the jnani also purifies all those on whom it falls. Bhagavan exemplified in every way the fact that the enlightened ones, although in human garb, are in their nature really divine.
7 Those who came with pride became motionless like statues
Just like the philosopher’s stone, which has the wonderful power of turning base iron into noble gold, Sri Bhagavan’s presence transformed even unfit persons into blessed ones. After many years of silence, when Sri Bhagavan started speaking a little, like bees swarming to a blossoming flower, the world of the intelligentsia started gathering around him. Some proud people, who had learned a little of Vedanta in the same way that they learned the Vedas, and who were in the habit of proclaiming themselves to be Brahman, could not bear to see the position of supreme eminence that Bhagavan was beginning to get. Out of envy they used to go to his presence with the intention of humiliating him by arguments. As soon as Bhagavan’s look fell on them, like a cat that has seen a tiger, they were stunned and remained motionless like statues. After remaining in this state for a long period, receiving new light and feeling penitent, they would beg his forgiveness with great feeling.
Sri Bhagavan, bestowing on them his gracious look, would console them, saying with a smiling face, ‘When all are existing as He, who is to forgive whom? Abstaining from droha [treachery, harm, injury] to oneself is sufficient for salvation.’
Such interesting incidents used to take place every now and then in those days.
It is well known that Adi-Sankara, extolled as ‘the world teacher’, won over many famous pandits who professed the superiority of action [followers of karma kanda] and the bigoted adherents of various other cults by his superb intellectual power. With none to equal or excel him in advaitic knowledge, he ascended the sarvajna peeta [the seat reserved for the one who knows everything]. The power of grace that was seen as speech in Sankara, and which shone throughout the world, that same power of grace manifested in Sri Ramana as his divine look and shone as the supreme light that purified the world by a mere glance. Between these two, there is not the slightest difference in their divine nature.
8 Realisation is impossible without the grace of the Guru
Ganapati Muni, who had the grace of the goddess of learning [Saraswati], had superb intellectual power, had mastered all the scriptures and was famous as the Lord of Mantras [Mantreswara] and as 'Kavyakantha' [one from whose throat sweet poetry flows]. He could also compose verses extempore. Because of his power of speech, scholars always surrounded him. Believing firmly that it is possible to secure the five divine powers [creation, preservation, destruction, veiling and liberation] through the worship of Sakti and by yogic practices, he had spent many years performing rare tapas. He observed severe vows and in the process had many wonderful visions.
Firmly determined not to accept any human being as his Sadguru, he did not bow down to anyone for a very long time. If even such a great person finally took refuge in Sri Ramana, who taught him the true nature of tapas, who can fully comprehend the power of grace that was shining spontaneously in Bhagavan? It was this great person who declared Sri Ramana to be ‘Bhagavan’ and ‘Maharshi’ to the world at large.