12 April 2007

Ramana Samadhi

8.47 p.m. 14th April, 1950

From the day Ramana Maharshi set foot in Tiruvannamalai, he remained continuously for fifty-four years. In 1949 a lump began to grow on the lower portion of his left upper arm. At first the lump was very small but grew bigger after two operations, bleeding profusely and continuously, and proving to be cancerous. All kinds of treatment were tried, including radium application, but in vain. Even after the fourth operation, which was done on December 19th, 1949, the disease was not cured.

Ramana Maharshi was unconcerned and indifferent to the suffering. Instead he sat (like a spectator) watching the disease waste the body. Crowds came in large numbers and Ramana insisted they should be allowed to have his darshan. Devotees wished the sage would cure his body through supernormal powers, but the Maharshi never exhibited even the slightest interest in siddhis.

Even during the period of great torture caused by the disease, Bhagavan comforted the devotees whenever they were worried about this health. He remarked:

‘The body itself is a disease that has come upon us. If a disease attacks that original disease, is it not good for us?’, and remarked to another devotee lamenting over his illness:

‘Oh! You are grieving as if your Swami were going away? Where to go? How to go? Going and coming is possible for the body, but how can it be possible for us?’

No-one was prevented seeing him till the end which came at 8.47 p.m., Friday, April 14th, 1950 (he was 71 years old). Earlier that evening the sage gave darshan to devotees. All present knew that the end was near and they sat singing Ramana's hymn to Arunachala with the refrain Arunachala-Siva. The Maharshi asked his attendants to make him sit up. He opened his luminous, gracious eyes for a while; there was a smile; a tear of bliss trickled down from the outer corner of his eyes; and at 8.47 p.m. the breathing stopped. There was no struggle, no spasm, none of the signs of death. It is said that at that very moment, a comet moved slowly across the sky, reached the summit, of the holy hill, Arunachala, and disappeared behind it.

Please check link for a biography on Ramana Maharshi.

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