Ramana Maharshi

Sri Ramana Maharshi's Life

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'Do you know what state Lakshmi is in now?'

That even 'lower' life forms such as birds and beasts can attain the supreme state through the grace of the great ones [maha parushas] was explicitly demonstrated by Bhagavan through the following incident.

Bhagavan, ever shedding grace by remaining in the meditative state of Self-abidance, once externalized his attention, turned toward his devotees with a smile, and suddenly asked the following question.

'Do you know what state Lakshmi is in now?'

Having never witnessed such a scene before, the devotees were puzzled by this unusual question. There was a cow standing in front of him with a motionless and fixed expression on her face.

The ever-cheerful Bhagavan said, to the astonishment of the devotees, 'She is in nirvikalpa samadhi,' revealing by this brief comment the extraordinary pwer of his grace.

The cow, affectionately called Lakshmi, was closely associated with the ashram. When she came, as usual, for Bhagavan's darshan and stood in his presence, Bhagavan looked at her with great affection and started stroking her head. As a consequence of receiving this hasta-diksha [initiation in which the Guru places his hands on the disciple's head] she experienced immediately the state of nirvikalpa samadhi.

~ Sri Ramana Darsanam


Bhagavan and Lakshmi
Bhagavan and Lakshmi

One day the cow Lakshmi came to the Hall. She went straight to Bhagavan, put her head on Bhagavan’s shoulder and wept. Bhagavan sat very quietly and gently stroked her head. “Why are you so sad?” he would whisper in her ears. “Who has hurt you? Cheer up, my dear, stop crying. I am here to befriend you.” Lakshmi stopped crying, gave Bhagavan a few licks and went away, comforted.

Ramana Smrti Souvenir (The Bhagavan I Knew by Voruganti Krishnayya, as told to G. Vankatachalam. Translated from Telugu by Surya Prasad.)


Wherever I may be, I am always with you

On June 17, 1948, Lakshmi fell ill. The following morning June 18 it looked as if her end was near. At about 10 o’clock in the morning Ramana went to her. He found her breathing hard and she was lying prostrate. Taking her head into his arms, stroking her neck, Ramana fixed his gaze in her eyes. Her breathing became steady immediately. Tears began to trickle from her eyes. Ramana’s eyes too overflowed as he looked at her with great love. How could those nearby hold by their emotions? He asked tenderly, “Amma (mother), do you want me to be near you? I must go now as people are waiting for me in the hall. But wherever I may be, I am always with you.” Then he placed his hand on her head as though giving diksha. He put his hand over her heart also and then caressed her, placing his cheek against her face. When he convinced himself that her heart was pure, free from all vasanas entailing rebirth and centred solely on him, he took leave of her and returned to the hall. Her eyes were calm and peaceful. She was conscious up to the end and left the body at 11:30 a.m. quite peacefully.

On her tomb was engraved an epitaph by Ramana which makes it quite clear that she attained liberation.

~ A. R. Natarajan, Timeless in Time

Photographs of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Lakshmi

Sri Bhagavan's Feet
Sri Ramanarpanamastu