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.
The Sage of Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharshi, gave us the purest teachings.
If we look at the devotees of Sri Ramana, we see that they were some of the greatest yogis and jnanis of their day.
Many of them were world class poets and scholars. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan Ramana.
In outward appearance, Sri Ramana appeared as an ordinary sadhu sitting quietly on the rocks of Arunachala, and wandering the holy hill at times.
The yogis of the highest wisdom upon meeting him recognized him instantly as the king of yogis, serene and content, whose very presence was the blessing they had been seeking.
The message of Sri Ramana is simple and echoes the Upanishads.
We are elated and happy when things go our way.
We are sad and depressed when reality unfolds differently than our expectations.
How pitiful is our lot my friends, thrown about here and there with the changing winds!
Everyday, the world, as perceived via the mind invites us to ride the roller coaster of emotions fueled by fear, anxiety, anger, and hatred.
A Sage centered in the Heart of Love is always indifferent to such an invitation.
How truly fortunate to come into the orbit of Sages who give the purest teachings of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and Self-Realization.
Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Wise people examine their own minds.”
It is the ancient teaching of sages and scriptures that our mental state at the time of death determines our next birth. If at the time of death, we fully surrender to the Lord, the Universal Being, then we merge in God and are freed from all sorrows.
We usually think of that at the time of death what we have loved and thought about during life. Hence the purest souls who have devoted their whole life to serving the God of Love merge in that Universal Love immediately at the time of death and achieve complete liberation.
Sri Ramana’s teaching is that the ego/mind merges in the Heart in two ways.
First, we can investigate the nature of the ego and examine the sense of “I” that we naturally feel and see where it arises. To do this, one needs to still the mind and with a purified and subtle intellect trace the “I” back to its source, the Heart. This is the yogic path of Jnana.
The second approach is to simply surrender the ego/mind without reservation to the Lord and accept that it is never our will but the Lord’s will as to what happens. If this attitude of “not my will but thine my Lord” penetrates deeply into our being, then we become accepting of everything. We see that worries and anxieties associated with ego/mind do not belong to us as we have surrendered our individual identity to the Lord. This is the approach of devotion and leads to the ego/mind merging into the Heart where the Lord sits as Eternal Existence.
“If ego rises, all will rise. If the ego merges, all will merge. The more we are humble, the better it is for us”. ~ Sri Ramana in “Gems”, Chapter XIII.
Photo art in this article is from Andreas Farasitis.