Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Mahanirvana and the Comet in the Sky
Editor’s Note: The following is the description of the luminous comet that streaked across the sky disappearing behind the holy hill of Arunachala at the time of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Mahasamadhi. The devotees who saw it from far away realized that it was an “announcement” that Bhagavan Ramana had entered Mahanirvana.
14 April 1950:
At about 9 p.m., Monsieur Cartier-Brassen, the French photographer, who has been here for about a fortnight with his wife, related an experience of his to me.
“It is a most astonishing experience,’’ he said. “I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it.
Because of its singularity we all guessed its import and then raced to the Ashram only to find that our premonition has been only too sadly true: the Master had passed into Mahanirvana at that very minute.’’ Several other devotees in the Ashram and in the town later told me that they too had seen the tell-tale meteor.
15 April 1950:
At 6-30 p.m., the body, which by then had received the homage of not less than 40,000 persons was carried in a decorated palanquin reserved for the Deity of the temple to the samadhi. Here it was placed in the same yoga-asana into a bag made of the finest khaddar, which was then filled with pure camphor and lowered into the small area reserved for it. Then the pit was filled to the brim with camphor, salt, and sacred ashes to protect the body from worms and rapid disintegration, and closed with masonry work.
All the English and Tamil papers which arrived this morning (16th April, 1950) from Madras gave wide publicity in banner headlines to the passing of the Maharshi. They also referred to the meteor which had been seen in the sky all over the State of Madras, hundreds of thousands of square miles, at 8-47 on the night of April 14, by a large number of people in different places and reported to the Press. These eye-witnesses had been struck by its peculiar look and behaviour, which led them to ascribe the strange phenomenon to the passing of a great spiritual soul. Such a mass of evidence speaks for itself, if evidence need be. _____________________________