In Memoriam: Dr. Suryanarayana Raju
Our friend and Bhagavan Ramana devotee Dr. Suryanarayana Raju left the body a few days ago. I never met Dr. Raju face to face, although we had talked about such a meeting happening at Arunachala in India. Our friendship was based on our common spiritual interests and the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
I had interacted and corresponded with Dr. Raju over a number of years. I also edited and published several of Dr. Raju’s articles on luthar.com. I found Dr. Raju to be extremely bright, highly cultured, courteous, and respectful of everyone. Dr. Raju exuded warmth, love, and was always generous and kind in his words towards me personally. He was most considerate and I felt much love, respect, and affection for Dr. Raju as well.Dr. Raju had such an excellent command of Bhagavan Ramana’s teachings that editing his articles was a labor of love. Whenever I finished editing any one of his articles and published it, Dr. Raju would invariably write me and be very complementary saying that I had truly added value to his article. He was a most thoughtful and caring person even in small things.
It was on January 3, 2012 in the evening when Dr. Raju communicated to me in confidence that he was in very grave health facing serious medical conditions. After further exchanges, it became clear that his condition was likely terminal. One time Dr. Raju wrote to me that love from his friends like myself kept him going. After that, Dr. Raju did not discuss his health much. At the beginning of this year (2014), Dr. Raju wrote me and wished me a happy new year. I told Dr. Raju that he was in my thoughts.
Dr. Raju was a prolific writer and is well known to the devotees of Bhagavan Ramana. He was the author of the book ‘The Art of Self Enquiry’ and had written a commentary on Bhagavan Ramana’s Upadesa Saram (Essence of Instruction). Dr. Raju was very active on Yahoo Groups and also later became active on Facebook in explaining Bhagavan Ramana’s teachings. Any Bhagavan devotee would be impressed with the depth and subtlety of Dr. Raju’s insights on the Eastern traditions.
Dr. Raju served as a moderator on the Ramana Maharshi Page on Facebook and offered many beautiful verses from Bhagavan’s teachings along with eloquent explanations. His primary focus in recent years was to translate works of Bhagavan Ramana in Telugu as there are so many Telugu speakers in India. He also translated and commented on many of Bhagavan Ramana’s original works in English. At the time of his passing, Dr. Raju was still a moderator of the RM page but had become less active due to his health.
I am grateful for Dr. Raju’s friendship. I was glad to have the opportunity to complete editing many of Dr. Raju’s articles and publish them on luthar.com. Although English was not Dr. Raju’s native language, his command of the subject was so masterful that he was able to use English effectively to express himself well to those who understood the teachings of Sri Ramana.
Dr. Raju was a man of substance. Such spiritual friends as Dr. Raju are truly to be treasured. I will miss my friend and always think of him with much love and many smiles.