what do you mean by the word sthiti!" he
was not prepared for that question. "Oho, this
man is very dangerous, very dangerously alive.
I will have to answer with proper care," I thought.
I said to myself, "If I ask him about the sthiti
or 'state' of the body it is useless: the body
will be burned or buried. What I should ask him
was about the condition of something within the
body. Of course, I can recognize a mind inside
of me." Then I was about to answer "By sthiti,
I mean mind," when it struck me what if he counter-questions
with "What is mind?" This I am not prepared to
all this was passing through my mind he was sitting
there staring at me with a fierce look.
then questioned within me, "What is mind? Mind
is made up of thoughts. Now, what are thoughts?"
I landed in a void. No answer. I then realised
that I could not present a question about a mind
which did not exist!
to that point, the mind was the greatest thing
that existed for me. Now I discovered it did not
exist! I was bewildered. I simply sat like a statue.
pairs of eyes were then gripping each other: the
eyes of the Maharshi and my eyes were locked together
in a tight embrace. I lost all sense of body.
Nothing existed except the eyes of the Maharshi.
don't know how long I remained like that, but
when I returned to my senses, I was terribly afraid
of the man. "This is a dangerous man," I thought.
In spite of myself, I prostrated and got away
from his company.
MY NEXT VISIT to the Maharshi was in 1934 on a
Jayanti Day. He was sitting on a raised
platform under a pondal (thatched roof), specially
constructed in front of the Mother's Shrine. As
the celebration was going on, all the devotees
were seated around him.
sitting there, my eyes were intensely fixed upon
the Maharshi and I saw his form assume different
manifestations. It first changed to the Avatar
of Vishnu (Vahar Avatar). Then his form
changed into that of Ganesha, the elephant God.
Next it suddenly changed and I saw Ramana and
Arunachala as one. Then I had the vision of the
whole Arunachala Hill the top of the Hill
was transparent and inside it I saw a Shiva
Lingam, similar to what we see in temples.
were singing the Marital Garland of Letters.
When they began singing the last couplet, "My
Lord let us exchange garlands the devotee
(the bride) garlands the Lord Arunachala (the
groom), and the Lord garlands the devotee," I
suddenly saw garlands of flowers all over the
pondal. The Maharshi had a string of flowers garlanded
around his neck, and all the devotees (including
myself) had a string of flowers around their necks.
I saw a large garland around the Shiva Lingam
on the hill top. All these garlands were shining
with a dazzling brilliance. This experience convinced
me of the existence of the deities mentioned in
our ancient scriptures.
that evening in the Old Hall I sat at the feet
of the Maharshi. He was reclining on the couch
gazing westward and I sat on the floor facing
him. Our eyes fixed, one upon the other, were
pinned together for quite a long time. I then
saw the form of the Maharshi take the shape of
is one aspect of Shiva one half is the
Mother and the other half is the Father; one half
of the form had a breast and the other had a trident.
Around us the pundits were reciting Sanskrit verses.