Friday, April 18, 2008
You are mistaken.
(photo of Ratnamji and his great friend Avadbutendra Swamiji)
In those days there were four or five men attending Ramana in shifts. When Ratnamji joined the ashram, they asked him which shift he preferred. He replied that he would take whatever was remaining after they had all made their choices. Of course, nobody wanted the night shift from 10pm to 4am, as that meant no sleep. This shift was given to Ratnamji. He said that because he had put himself last and was ready to take the worst part, he actually got the best because at night ... he would be alone with Ramana in the hall. Ramana slept very little, and he taught Ratnamji many things. There was also no one else around. In a very short time Ratnamji learned more from Ramana than would be possible in many years.
By talking to me and sharing his experiences, Ratnamji made me feel that I was his own child or a younger brother. He also asked me about my past and suggested many things in matters of diet, yoga postures, and meditation. Gradually, our relationship deepened. It slowly dawned on me that Ratnamji was the answer to my prayer for a Guru. He had been meticulously trained by Ramana and was a wise man in his own right. I went to him one day and told him,
"I feel you are my Guru."
"You are mistaken," he said, "you and I have the same Guru. That is Ramana Maharshi. As far as I am concerned, you are my younger spiritual brother."
~ Neil Rosner (Swami Paramatmananda), On the Road to Freedom: A Pilgrimage in India