THE MEETING
An Untold Story of Sri Ramana



EAGLES NEST, CATALINA ISLAND


the Wanderling


In 1946, when I was a young boy, there was was an older boy down the street that had an afternoon paper route. To me, at the time, he seemed really a cool, delivered his papers using an even cooler motorized Whizzer bike and, unlike myself and most of my own age friends, always had money to spend. In those days I lived with my Uncle and every afternoon that he would allow me I would go over to the boy's house and help fold papers, drink Bireley's grape or orange, and just hang out until he left on his route.

During the summer of that year the newspaper had a contest that offered a free one week trip to Catalina Island, all expenses paid, for selling the most subscriptions. The boy won and during the first part of September 1946, a few weeks before school started, he went, taking me along with him after convincing his boss how much work I had done.

Early one morning we were dropped off at the Wilmington boat terminal south of Los Angeles, sailing the twenty-six miles to Catalina on the Great White Steamer, newly refurbished in July from war duty. They put us up in a sort of tent-like village about two blocks behind the main street and straight up from the pier in the little town of Avalon. There really wasn't much adult supervision and for the most part we pretty much got to do whatever we wanted. One of the things we did was take the inland motor tour. The tour used sort of antique pre-war busses built a little like a cross between a wooden station wagon and a stagecoach. Halfway through the trip we came to a place high in the mountains called Eagles Nest that was at one time used as a stage stop. It was closed and run-down, dilapidated actually, not having been used for a long time. The tour bus stopped and we all got out to stretch our legs and in the process my friend and I wandered off exploring. Next thing we knew the bus was gone and we were stranded miles from town. Figuring another tour bus would be along any time we just went about our business exploring. Hours went by at first without us really noticing, but eventually the sun started to set and the sky began getting dark and the air cold. We decided to hole up in some old stable like building and wait for morning.

As might be expected I didn't sleep well that night. It was uncomfortable and cold, and I kept rolling over and over. In the middle of the night I noticed a light coming from the the old stage stop building. My friend and I had tried the doors and windows and had been unsuccessful in finding a way in. To my knowlege no one had come by since the bus left so it seemed odd there would be any kind of a light coming from inside. I tried to wake my friend to no avail, so I got up and walked over to the building myself, cleaned the glass as much as I could with the sleeve of my shirt and peered in.

I could just barely see two men sitting cross-legged on the heavy planked wooden floor in the dim light emanating from an old lantern placed on the floor between them. One man, barefoot, was dressed all in black, the other, an older man, sort of dark skinned with short-cropped white hair and beard, was nearly naked and barefoot as well, wearing only what I would now call a loincloth. I tried the door and this time, unlike earlier, it wasn't locked. As I pushed the door open there was a sudden whoosh of a thick cold-yet-warm tomb-like blast of air that blew right past me toward the outside that I felt on my face and most distinctly so across both my cheeks and ears. In the process the light blew out and the room darkened.


Moments before when I had been outside looking through the dirty glass windows I had noticed a small box of matches on the floor near the lantern, so in the dark on my hands and knees, I started fumbling around until I found them. When I finally got the lantern lit neither man was there. As I turned, still on my knees and holding the lantern high in an attempt to illuminate the room as much as I could with a turning sweep of dim light, I clearly saw the dark-skinned man standing in the open doorway, facing me and holding, although not actually leaning on, a down to the ground half-his-height bamboo staff. As though an electric current was passing through me he looked right into my eyes with an intensely piercing gaze from no more than a few feet away and somehow TIME SEEMED TO SLOW --- maybe even stopping altogether. From far away I felt myself losing balance, all the while trying to brace myself with one arm while trying to hold the lantern high with the other. I weighed a ton and could barely move. In ultra slow motion the light, moving now at such an overwhelmingly reduced rate I could hear it, flickered and nearly went out. Then, just as the lantern reached the top arc of its swing and stilled to start back, the light rekindled itself. In that waffer-thin edge-on membrane of darkness the man was gone. As my ability to move flowed hurriedly back into my body and I regained a more typical sense of my surroundings I bolted out of the building, running at top speed all the way back to where my friend still lay asleep, and again tried to wake him and again to no avail. After a while my heart stopped pounding and as the night slowly slipped toward dawn my eyes began to get heavy. I tried to stay awake thinking the men might come back, but they never did. I blew out the lantern and dozed off. In the morning I told my friend what happened and he looked at me like I was crazy. We walked over to the building and just like the day before it was locked up tight. He said I must have been dreaming, but inside I could see the box of matches on the floor just where I left them, plus I still had the lantern.(see)



In the four years or so my uncle and I were together, during of which the incident on Catalina Island transpired, we spent a lot of time traveling in and about some very isolated sections of the desert southwest interacting with the indigenous populations thereof because of various "art" related ties he had with them. In the process of those travels time passed and the incident at the stage stop eventually faded from my thoughts.

One day my uncle came to me and told me he would be returning to New Mexico on a permanent basis only this time I would not be going, but would instead, be staying with a foster couple in an arrangement set up not by him, but my father.

Eight years after the stage stop, a time period which encompassed the failure of my stay with the foster couple including me running away from home on more than one occasion, found me as a teenager in high school, living along the coast in a Southern California beach community under the auspices of my grandmother. During those high school years, as I have presented in ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT: The Path Unfolds, a sort of unusual single older man moved into the house next door. He was always barefoot, aways dressed in dark clothes, and always walked wherever he went. Eventually, as neighbors, at least on a hello basis, he got to know my grandmother, who I was living with at the time. One morning he stopped and told her he intended to refinish some wood in his house and wondered if he might hire me to help. A few days later, after discussing it with my grandmother and then my dad, I started.

All went well until one day after work I discovered I left my wallet in his house and went back to retrieve it. Letting myself through the still open front door I found the man sitting crosslegged with his eyes closed on the otherwise bare living room floor in front of a candle, naked. In ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT: The Path Unfolds I tell how the next day it was all resolved, how he mixed two iced teas, put his hand on my shoulder guiding me out on the front porch, and pretty much telling me all about himself, meditation, India and such things.

What I didn't tell in ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT is just prior to going outside to the porch he stopped for a few seconds and searched through a stack of books sitting parallel along the floor against the wall. There he found a small, almost pamphlet size book, well worn and crudely made, that had been published in India and handed it to me. The name of the book, which I really didn't have time to absorb because I dropped it from my hands in a sort of stunned disbelief, was titled Glimpses of the Life and Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by Frank H. Humphreys. Although my thoughts and feelings would eventually open and morph through it's passage, at that very specific moment in time --- and for years afterwards --- I was sure I had never heard of a Bhagavan, a Sri Ramana, or a Maharshi. Even so, I immediately grasped why he thought the book should be important, and it wasn't who wrote it or what was inside, but what was outside. Outside, on the cover, was a picture of the EXACT same man I saw that night in the old stage stop atop Catalina, short-cropped white hair and beard, walking stick and all.[1] As a shuttering cold chill engulfed my body it dawned on me as well, after seeing the photograph on the cover, that the other man, the man in the dark clothes I caught only a fleeting glimpse of some eight years before, was the same man now sitting on the floor of the porch next to me. Both had been at the stage stop that night, the man sitting next to me AND the man on the cover.

The reason I didn't say anything to the readers is because often times people new along the path are uncomfortable with such stories and quite frankly, Sri Ramana supporters don't like to hear it.[2]- Many Ramana supporters even express surprise when I remind them of well documented similar circumstances surrounding such spiritual adepts as Ganapathi Muni and Paul Brunton (see more on this below) as well as the low key and little known Ramana adherent, Robert Adams. In the weight of such circumstances, transpiring as they have, it may be easy for some to simply blow off Adams or myself as being weird, but Muni and Brunton are somewhat more difficult.





Even as the man next door became my Mentor and spritual guide in things Zen I never said a word to him about the incident nor were any needed. However, a friend of his, that I only identify as the "dowager" in my writings, mainly because to this day I am unable to recall her name, although we always called her Mrs. "somebody," told me several months later what she could remember and knew about the man next door and the man I saw on the cover of the pamphlet. She told me the white-bearded man was a Spiritual Guide called a Bhagavan or Maharshi, a teacher of sorts, and that the man next door had studied under him at a place called an ashram in the south of India between the wars. She said that before the two met, the bearded man had lived alone in a cave on the side of a mountain for twenty years. She also told me that prior to buying the house next to mine the man himself had been living a semi-ascetic lifestyle on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California for seven years, having gone to the island in September 1946 on the occasion of his holy man's Golden Anniversary. Later research revealed that devotees of the Maharshi gathered at the Ramana ashram in September 1946 for a great celebration honoring the fiftieth anniversary of his arrival at Tiruvannamali, the same time as the experience I had that night at the stage stop. The only thing I didn't know at the time, nor did the dowager seem to express or reveal to me, was that the Maharshi had NEVER left India in his life. Matter of fact he never left Tiruvannamalai after he arrived that September morning fifty years before, and in later years, years that encompassed the exact same time as my experience at the stage stop, he never even left the ashram.[3]


It should be brought forth that the above experience involving Sri Ramana was not totally unique. Although it is true that throughout his life the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi never exhibited even the slightest interest in Siddhis, occult abilities, or psychic powers to outsiders, often citing Queen Chudala, he did have other recorded fully conscious bilocation experiences he rarely discussed wherein he was translocated from his ashram in a matter of minutes to the presence of others many, many miles away.

One of the first and earliest devotees of Sri Ramana was a great Sanskrit scholar and savant by the name of Ganapathi Muni, known throughout India for his powerful Siddhis and through his ability known to bring down or stop the rains or even destroy a whole town. About a year after his first meeting with Sri Bhagavan, Ganapathi Muni experienced a remarkable outflow of Ramana's Grace. While he was sitting in meditation in the temple of Ganapati at Tiruvottiyur he felt distracted and longed intensely for the presence and guidance of the Bhagavan. At that moment Sri Ramana entered the temple. Ganapathi prostrated himself before him and, as he was about to rise, he felt the Maharshi's hand upon his head and a terrifically vital force coursing through his body from the touch; so that he also received Grace by touch from the Master. Speaking about this incident in later years, not Ganapathi Muni, but the Enlightened sage HIMSELF Sri Ramana Maharshi said:


"One day, some years ago, I was lying down and awake when I distinctly felt my body rise higher and higher. I could see the physical objects below growing smaller and smaller until they disappeared and all around me was a limitless expanse of dazzling light. After some time I felt the body slowly descend and the physical objects below began to appear. I was so fully aware of this incident that I finally concluded that it must be by such means that Sages using the powers of Siddhis travel over vast distances in a short time and Appear and Disappear in such a mysterious manner. While the body thus descended to the ground it occurred to me that I was at Tiruvottiyur though I had never seen the place before. I found myself on a highroad and walked along it. At some distance from the roadside was a temple of Ganapati and I entered it." (source)


The most interesting part of all of the above is that unlike almost every case that you come across that discusses similar bilocation or translocation experiences, it is NOT onesided. That is, BOTH parties involved, Sri Ramana and Ganapathi Muni, each, in separate stories, reported seeing each other.


INTENSELY PIERCING GAZE:


In another interesting set of events, albeit not involving bilocation or translocation, but instead, paralleling my equally important experience regarding the intensely piercing gaze I received from the man in the doorway at the stage stop, Ramana biographer Arthur Osborne, the father of Adam Osborne, who I knew as a young boy, in his book Ramana Maharshi And The Path of Self-Knowledge (York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1995, pages 144-145) writes:

Ramana would turn to the devotee, his eyes fixed upon him with blazing intentness. The luminosity, the power of his eyes pierced into one, breaking down the thought-process. Sometimes it was as though an electric current was passing through one, a vast peace, a flood of light. One devotee has described it: "Suddenly Bhagavan turned his luminous, transparent eyes on me. Before that I could not stand his gaze for long. Now I looked straight back into those terrible, wonderful eyes, how long I could not tell. They held me in a sort of vibration distinctly audible to me"


In the process of his research, British author and playwright William Somerset Maugham was caught up in the outflow of an eye contact sequence related to Ramana and his novel The Razor's Edge. To wit, the following:


The eye contact sequences may not seem like much to the casual purveyor of the Maugham novel --- and to my knowledge NEVER brought up or thought of as having any sort of import by most critics and reviewers of The Razor's Edge. However, I consider Maugham's observations and his attempts to clarify his own inner thoughts and feelings on the matter --- inturn so both he himself as well as the reader will have a better understanding of Larry Darrell and his Enlightenment --- to be of major importance, especially so because of my own personal experiences in similar areas. Nowhere in any of Maugham's works, plays, novels, or shortstories, does it show up that he he spent so much time emphasizing and presenting a similar sort of circumstance to the reader. It was not until he met with the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi personally in India did it get resolved. Up to that point he labored over it and over it, and for me, in the end, it is the single most important event --- or string of events --- that grabbed Maugham and sent him on his journey to India and meet with and talk to the Maharshi. (source)


Unrelated to Maugham's above visit to see the Maharshi, a few months afterwards a woman by the name of Mercedes De Acosta was driven by a deeply inner need to visit Sri Ramana as well. After she had been sitting in the meditation hall for several hours a fellow American, Guy Hague, who many people have said was the real life role model for the Larry Darrell character in William Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, suggested she go and sit closer to the Maharshi. He said, "You can never tell when Bhagavan will come out of Samadhi. When he does, I am sure he will be pleased to see you, and it will be beneficial for you, at this moment, to be sitting near him."

Although she didn't faint as Maugham did in the Maharshi's presence, in her book Here Lies the Heart she related the following, similar and equally strong eye contact experience:


I moved near Bhagavan, sitting at his feet and facing him. Not long after this Bhagavan opened his eyes. He moved his head and looked directly down at me, his eyes looking into mine. It would be impossible to describe this moment and I am not going to attempt it. I can only say that at this second I felt my inner being raised to a new level--as if, suddenly, my state of consciousness was lifted to a much higher degree. Perhaps in this split second I was no longer my human self but the Self.


THE MAN IN THE DOORWAY:


In a much deeper attempt to underline the truth behind any conjecture I may have as to WHO the person was standing in the doorway that night at the stage stop with the intensely piercing gaze peering down at me:



AND --- although I am not totally able to make clear or clarify for the reader WHY the incident at the stage stop transpired and included ME specifically --- nor am I remotely able to clarify HOW it happened (except possibly for the seemingly spiritual related examples and results of similar circumstances befalling others I have given earlier as reported by Osborne, Maugham, Castaneda, and De Acosta and related to Ramana, et al from the above) for your own edification I represent the following, afterwhich is presented a section titled THE WHY OF RAMANA'S VISIT that takes into consideration perhaps the most viable reason:


"As a shuttering cold chill engulfed my body it dawned on me as well, after seeing the photograph on the cover, that the other man, the man in the dark clothes I caught only a fleeting glimpse of some eight years before, was the same man now sitting on the floor of the porch next to me. Both had been at the stage stop that night, the man sitting next to me AND the man on the cover."


Because of the nature of the previously mentioned small, almost pamphlet size book and the contents contained therein, it was without a doubt that the photograph of the man depicted on the cover was that of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. So too, because of the demeanor, actions and looks of the man in the doorway at the stage stop that night it was without a doubt that the person was the one and the same person depicted on the cover. In my mind that person in the doorway was none other than the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. If it was all simply some sort of a mind-trick of some kind and nothing else, in the end, then the question I would ask is, in that the next morning the door was still locked as it was the day before AND the open box of matches could clearly be seen sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, why or how did I end up having an actual real life physical object --- the lantern --- from the event of the previous night in my possession? [4]


Besides the impact of physical aspect of the lantern on the conventionial plane confirming the event of the night before there stands unsaid a deeper spiritual aspect of the significance of the lamp as well. In the Platform Sutra the relationship is explained in terms of the "lamp-and-light" metaphor:


"It is comparable to the lamp and the light that it gives forth. If there is lamp there is light. If there is light there is lamp. The lamp is the substance of the light. The light is the function of the lamp. Although in name two, in substance they are not two."


The nonduality of the rays of the sun from the sun has been spoken of in the Lankavatara Sutra. In the Platform Sutra the "lamp-and-light" imagery is used to show both the means and the end. The mind is luminous and all illuminating. Enlightenment is only the mind (lamp) allowed to shine forth by itself (light). The mind is none other than its own Enlightenment.[5]


THE WHY OF RAMANA'S VISIT:


In the footsteps of De Acosta's visit to the ashram mentioned above and her "split second" Darshan experience of the Absolute sitting before the Maharshi, within a few years another remarkable eye contact sequence --- and again an American, only this time a young boy, unfolded. Of that experience there is a quote attributed to Ramana advocate and follower C.R. Rajamani that goes like:


"A mere spark has ignited his spiritual fire. So, that casual look was a spark of tremendous power."


All that was required was a mere spark to ignite a spiritual fire within --- and that mere spark was a casual look from Ramana. In doing so, the young boy so mentioned by Rajamani, without any formal religious background or training, according to Ramana himself and the scribes recording it, was Enlightened to the same degree as found in the spiritual Awakenings attributed to the ancient classical masters. That is why, years later, the seeming disappearance of THAT SPECIFIC Enlightenment experience induced the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi to appear before the boy thousands and thousands of miles away from India and the ashram using bilocation or translocation implemented through the rarely used, by Ramana, supernormal perceptual states known in Sanskrit as Siddhis. In what was for all practical purposes a classical case of resurrection of the young boy, Ramana was not about to let any spiritual traveler, little boy or otherwise, slip back into the day-to-day quagmire of the Samsara world. Especially so after, through Ramana's grace, the young boy, from a mere spark, had ignited a spiritual fire --- and in that same spiritual traveler, have had all his mental barriers reduced to nothingness. An indepth coverage of the young boy's Enlightenment is fully explored in:


SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI


It is often said that when a teacher is truly needed, one will appear. This may due to some inexplicable serendipity. It may be due to the fact that the seeker has searched deeply within himself or herself and determined what sort of instruction seems to be required. It could be swept over him or her similar to the events abscribed to the First Death Experience of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, or the Bhagavan's little known Second Death Experience wherein in both cases Ramana's Guru was possibly somewhat more ethereal in concept than physical.[6]

It could be a mere spark that ignites a spiritual fire within or a spiritual desperation on the part of the seeker. It may be a combination of the previous factors, or some intuitive awareness beyond expression. The coming together of the results of inner and outside forces, some within one's control, some without, some with a teacher, some without, but, more often than not, for whatever the reason, the saying is found to apply.

Merely looking at the guru and receiving the guru's glance has been shown over and over to manifest an ability to transfer an immense spiritual energy --- "as though an electric current was passing through me" --- which CAN profoundly transform one's consciousness. On the Indian side of things the blessings communicated through being in the presence of a holy person is called Darshan. Generally speaking Darshan is similar in respect to the role that Dokusan plays in Zen and Buddhism, albeit while Dokusan is typically a more formal meeting in a more formal setting, it still basically came up through the system from Indian tradition.

DOING HARD TIME IN A ZEN MONASTERY



NOTE: If you have not read any of the attending Footnotes so linked, please do so by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.



Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.


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FOOTNOTE [1]


The Maharshi is described as having a beard. It is well known that he was shaved every month on Purnima (full moon). In the 1946 period we are talking about here Purnima fell on Tuesday, August 12, with next full moon falling Friday, September 11. That means on September 1, 1946, Ramana was 2/3rds of his way into his beard growth, hence the statement short-cropped white hair and beard



































FOOTNOTE [2]


To show how protective keepers of the Ramana flame can be, take for example the highly respected and very pro-Ramana author David Godman who put together a small book about Annamalai Swami. The Swami was a former Ramana attendant and confidant that had Awakened to the Absolute through the grace and light of the Maharshi. The book contained transcripts of actual conversations between Annamalai and various seekers he met with at his ashram during the final months of his life. In it Godman included a few comments that came up regarding Sri Ramana's younger brother, Nagasundaram --- popularly known as Chinnaswami (the Younger Swami). The people at Ramana Ashram insisted the parts of the book related to Chinnaswami be expunged. Annamalai Swami agreed to a few of their requests but refused to delete others.



























ROBERT ADAMS:

An American of great Spiritual Attainment by the name of Robert Adams, who I met on at least two occasions, Awakened it has been said to the Absolute similar in fashion to that of the ancient masters, MAY have had an experience regarding Sri Ramana not unlike that of the Wanderling --- with at least one experience coinciding almost perfectly to a point in time with the Wanderling's experience at the old stage stop in the mountains of Catalina.

Even though I crossed paths with Adams as a young boy and did not know it, and because of that crossing paths met him personally years later (the meeting of which I get into below), the first time I bring him up chronologically is in the somewhat indepth exploration of the American spiritual traveler Larry Darrell, the same person that turned out to be my Zen mentor as found in THE RAZOR'S EDGE: W. Somerset Maugham, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Guy Hague, and Zen. There is, far down in the text, a nearly overlooked mention of a Adams that goes like:


"During that period he (i.e., the Wanderling's mentor in the full text) met with a man he knew by the name of Frederick Mathias Alexander, an actor who began his career as a Shakespearean recitalist and orator. Alexander had developed a semi deep-meditation technique that some people said paralleled in a sense, albeit a strongly western version of, Zazen of which my mentor had, along with Zazen's counterpart, Shikantaza, an extreme interest in."

"Interestingly enough, my Uncle --- who was highly prominent in my own life prior to meeting my mentor --- had also, at one time, met Alexander, the only known connection between my uncle and my mentor except for possibly one Robert Adams, mentioned to me by both at one time or the other briefly in passing for reasons I am unable to recall at the moment."


In a biography of sorts of Adams by a former student, friend, and person in his own right, Edward Muzika, it is written that by age seven Adams was experiencing Siddhis that involved Ramana. According to Muzika, on more than one occasion, Adams, in his pre-teen years, was confronted by a man with white hair and white beard that "spoke to him in a language he could not understand." Muzika, speaking of Adams, goes on to say:


Years later, after his awakening experience, he was looking through a book on the teachings of Ramana Maharshi when he saw that sage�s picture. "I was shocked!" he said, "The hair on my head and neck stood straight up. The little man who had lectured me all those years was Ramana!"


If you recall from the main text above, years after I was confronted by a dark skinned man with short-cropped white hair and beard at the stage stop in Catalina "a shuttering cold chill engulfed my body" when it dawned on ME that the photograph of the man on the cover of the pamphlet size book I was looking at was Sri Ramana. Then, relating a second incident in a continuing theme not too dissimilar to mine, the Adams biographer goes on with:


"During the Fall of 1946, Robert arrived by train to the town of Tiruvannamalai, a few miles from Arunachala Mountain, where lay Ramanashram and his future teacher, Ramana Maharshi. He took a bullock cart to the Ashram, was admitted, and stayed the night. Early the next day while walking back from the mountain, towards the Ashram, he spotted Ramana walking down the path towards him. An electrifying energy coursed through his body, and the last of what men call an ego left him."


Adams, who was born January 21, 1928, was age 18 at the time. He stayed at the ashram, or at least in the caves above the ashram for three years. His arrival in Tiruvannamalai coincided almost perfectly with my experience at the stage stop in Catalina. I am not sure if his experience meeting Ramana was similar to mine or not. However, regarding Adams, from the above quote by his biographer:


"...while walking back from the mountain, towards the Ashram, he spotted Ramana walking down the path towards him. An electrifying energy coursed through his body..."


You may recall from previously:


"The Maharshi had NEVER left India in his life. Matter of fact he never left Tiruvannamalai after he arrived that September morning fifty years before, and in later years, years that encompassed the exact same time as my experience at the stage stop, he never even left the ashram."


Interesting, is it not that in later years --- years that encompassed the exact same time as my experience at the stage stop --- that Ramana NEVER left the ashram, yet Adams, in that same period, the Fall of 1946, while walking back from the mountain towards the ashram --- TOWARDS the ashram, not IN the ashram --- following his first day of arrival, he spotted Ramana walking down the path towards him AND "an electrifying energy coursed through his body."


The following is from a person who wrote a critique about a book on Enlightenment using the screen name Rain Cloud and posted on the Amazon.com online review section. In the review, Rain Cloud interjects the fact that he knew Adams, confirming in a sense, Muzika's take on things. So said, Rain Cloud writes:


"I once knew an American who was a direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi. In the late nineteen forties he flew to India at age 17 and arrived at Ramana's ashram unannounced. The Maharshi was in the meditation hall sitting on a slightly raised dais, as always. He greeted the american kid warmly, asked some questions about his hometown of new york city (for example: "Are the buildings really that tall?") The Maharshi already had advanced cancer and could only hobble around painfully with a cane, but he personally got up, took the kid's hand, and led him to a dilapidated cabin where he could bed down. Having made certain the kid was comfy, Ramana left. My friend then practically fainted from exhaustion (trans-oceanic flights then were still endless propeller-driven marathons).

"The kid was awakened (i.e., awakened with a small "A" as in awakened from his sleep) nine hours later by a soft tapping at his door. He opened it. There stood Ramana, all alone, holding a palm leaf filled with food. Ramana sat down, like a good dad, and watched the half-starved boy scarf the meal. Apparently satisfied that the boy was recovering, Ramana Maharshi slowly stood up and limped back to his seat in the meditation hall."


Notice, apparently arising from information gathered through personal conversations with Adams, that Rain Cloud writes the "Maharshi already had advanced cancer and could only hobble around painfully with a cane" and he "slowly stood up and limped back to his seat in the meditation hall." No such rememberance comes forth from the Wanderling regarding the events at the stage stop nor does Adams recall anything similar as quoted by Muzika. He simply says that on the mountain outside the ashram Adams "spotted Ramana walking down the path towards him," nothing about hobbling or limping or other ambulatory difficulties. Basically, Siddhi initiated experiences, including translocation, override physical barriers, both personal and across the conventional plane. Running with the inference, it follows that the difference between the two events is that Adams' meeting with Ramana along the path manifested itself through Siddhis (i.e., NO hobbling, limping, etc., observed or mentioned) making it comparable to the Wanderling's experience at the stage stop, while Ramana bringing a meal to Adams' room thus then, transpired on the conventional plane.

Rain Cloud concludes by saying what he has written is a TRUE story, the man was Robert Adams, and that he, Adams, died in 1997 with the same nobility with which he always lived.


NOTE: Even though Rain Cloud quotes Adams as saying "the Maharshi already had advanced cancer and could only hobble around painfully with a cane", Ramana's hobbling around --- at the time of Adams' earliest interactions with the Maharshi --- although accurate in it's discription (i.e., Ramana's hobbling), it was NOT cancer induced.

During the last years of Ramana's life, from well before the mid-1940s through to his demise in 1950, he was heavily impacted with an array of non-cancer related health issues. He had severe rheumatism over his entire body. His legs were crippled and his back and shoulders were racked with pain (hence his hobbling around with a cane).

As presented above, Adams arrived at the ashram in the fall of 1946. However, it was as least two years AFTER Adams arrival, December, 1948 in some reports, early 1949 in others, that for the first time a precursor to cancer, a small nodule that had appeared below his left elbow, was noticed (Ramana's legs were not involved). The following February the nodule was removed medically, and for the most part, without further concern by the medical staff in attendance. Within a month it returned, only larger and more painful. Doctors diagnosed the nodule as a malignant sarcoma (cancer of soft tissues). In March doctors from Madras came and operated a second time. The wound did not heal properly and the tumor soon grew to even a larger size in a higher location. Amputation of the arm was suggested but as a jnani's limbs should not be removed the amputation was denied. The arm became heavier and more inflamed each day. In August a third operation was done followed by radium treatment. After a few months of apparent improvement, the tumour reappeared climbing up higher in the arm to be nearer the shoulder. A fourth and last operation was performed in December. After this the doctors gave up hope.

It has been said that the reason for the Maharshi's frailty was the fact that he was alleviating the Karma of his devotees. There was evidence that he truly bore their burdens. There were many incidents recorded where his devotees� suffering disappeared when he took over their pain.



MEETING ADAMS:

Sometime in the early 1990s I had the very good fortune of meeting Adams a second time, albeit briefly and quite by accident one afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, an area somewhat north of the city of Los Angeles in Southern California.

A few weeks before I had set a meeting with a man who had been an eyewitness to an event in World War II that I was in the process of doing a bit of research on. The event so mentioned circulated around an incident that came to be known as the Battle of Los Angeles wherein a giant airborne object of an unknown nature overflew Los Angeles creating a major havoc throughout the city and causing the authorities to put into place an area wide blackout. Since I had seen the object as a young boy myself I sought out the man to hear what he had to say and then physically visited the areas he talked about. Visiting those areas is how my meeting with Adams came about.

It just so happens the airborne object apparently skirted the north side of the Santa Monica mountains toward the east along Ventura Boulevard only to turn south in a gap in the mountains about midway along the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley. While I was following the route and observing the area I pulled into a small park just north of the Ventura Freeway to look at the map, review some notes, and basically reorient myself. Walking to a bench I made very unusual eye contact with a man nearby that was sitting with a couple of people. Finishing my work and knowing that being in the park put me only a few blocks away from a very well known vegetarian restaurant by the name of Follow Your Heart I always wanted to visit I decided to go there. When I gathered up my stuff to leave I noticed the man and his friends were gone. However, when I arrived at the restaurant the man and his friends were there. The man was Robert Adams. He was at the park and the restaurant that day holding court with a few followers like he apparently did several days a week. Although it would change in seconds, at that moment I thought we did not know each other nor had we ever met or heard of each other, but, no sooner had I sat down when Adams sent a person over from his table to ask me to join him. Which I did.

Adams told me he was sure he recognized me, having seen me once before, many years previously. He remembered me specifically because he was at the temple of Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego in the process of possibly becoming a monk with the order. He said he was around 16 or 17 years old and been there a few months when I was brought in by a man with a beard to see Yogananda. He said it seemed I had been to India a year or so prior and returned with what the man with the beard --- my father --- was concerned with as being an odd preception of the world. Conjecturing somehow that the problem might be spritual in nature, my father began taking me around to a variety of people he thought might be able to shed some light on the situation. Eventually, in the process, ending up taking me to Yogananda at the exact sametime Adams just happened to be there (some years later, for much the same reasons, I would be taken to see another American of equally great spiritual Attainment by the name of Franklin Merrell-Wolff).

NOTE: In the above I have reported it as Adams recalled it regarding our encounter. However, at the time we are talking about here between Adams and myself at the Fellowship circa mid-1940s plus, my father was NOT in the picture and would not be for several years. Following the death of my mother my father dissolved the family and disappeared into the hinterlands heavy into alcohol. After returning from my trip to India I ended up living with my grandmother on and off for a few years. It was she who was initially concerned about my seemingly askew perspective on things. In turn, because of her concerns, she contacted my uncle to see if he had any idea where my father was. Almost immediately my uncle --- the man with the beard --- came out to assist, the first of several trips before he actually remained on a permanent basis.

My uncle, who, although he had at one time met and knew both Rabindranath Tagore and the Zen master Sokei-an, he was not totally versed in things spiritual. He only selected Swami Prabhavananda of the Southern California Vedanta Society and then Paramahansa Yogananda of the Self-Realization Fellowship for me to be taken to not because he knew them or was familiar with their works, but for no other reason than both were of the highest profile in the Eastern spiritual movement that had taken root on the west coast following World War II. The fact that Robert Adams was at the Self-Realization Fellowship at the exact same time as my visit was pure coincidence.

FOR THE RECORD: Some people have asked or suggested if, upon seeing me at the Self-Realization Fellowship and how I may have been in a possible altered state, that is, having an odd preception of the world as my grandmother so aptly put it after have been to India, Adams may have been directly influenced by ME to go to India himself and seek out Sri Ramana. I take no credit for any such endeavor on his part in reality or speculatively. Nor do I have reason to do so.





















FOOTNOTE [4]


PRELUDE TO THE FOOTNOTE:

In a recap of the above it should be brought to the attention of the reader that initially the incident as it transpired at the stage stop bore no specific relevance to any of the circumstances previously presented or presented below regarding Sri Ramana because WHO Sri Ramana was --- or even that he existed --- was an unknown to me at the time. That is to say, ON THE SURFACE the man in the doorway bore no significance being Sri Ramana because at that period in my life I knew nothing about him in my everyday thoughts one way or the other. It must be stated however, that other things were at work. Somewhere hidden deeply below the surface of my day-to-day Samsara mind-patterns was an unconsciously and unable-to-be-fully-grasped shadow-like footprint imprinted almost echo-like across a residual background-base of another state --- another state hidden from view behind a thickly drawn curtain of black.

That other state hidden behind a thickly drawn curtain of black was set into motion by possibly a Mara induced series of events beyond my control that included the unexpected (at least by me) death of my mother sometime around the time I started kindergarten or first grade. Being taken to India by a couple from another country without the approval or authorization of my father even before the death of my mother, albeit with the unintended privilege of meeting Sri Ramana Maharshi in the process. My return from India and death of my mother was followed almost immediately by the suicide of a dear and close relative from the blast of a shotgun he stuck in his mouth --- and of which, within minutes of the aftermath, I personally stumbled upon --- followed even more quickly by an auto accident wherein I was rendered unconscious and found wandering in the middle of the desert all alone. The cumulative effect of all those events on my child's mind initiated a two year-plus blackout period of any memory, a collapse of thought reaching from my mother's death forward to the end of that two year period. The blackout period, as I have chosen to call it, is elaborated more thoroughly in:


SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI


It was not until I was handed the pamphlet that I became aware of the outside existance of someone who looked like the person at the stage stop and that apparently, that SOMEONE, was a person of notoriety. It was sometime later before I learned the person at the stage stop was Sri Ramana --- and even later than that before I learned Sri Ramana had NEVER left India in his life.

In that all of the events unfolded in a series of small steps, and except for a lingering curiosity regarding the existance of the lantern, I was really not much more than a young teenage boy at the time and not versed in such things, basically just going along with the situation enveloped by the circumstances as they flowed forward. I never thought of them --- nor did I have an on the surface background to think of them --- in other than coventional terms. It was only after all the facts came together that the event took on any sort of spiritual significance. For more see Guy Hague.




If you follow a similar incident regarding the Wanderling as outlined in Zen, the Buddha, and Shamanism there is a relatively interesting tid-bit of information left unmentioned there as well that could be highly related to the lantern situation as it happened on Catalina Island. However, that "relatively interesting tid-bit of information left unmentioned" that went missing in the original DOES show up mentioned fairly explicitly in the addendum to Shamanic Trance States, of which the following has been extrapolated:


"In the incident refered to the Wanderling is said to have awakened the next morning after falling through the trees, all the while carrying actual in-reality beach sand gripped in the palm of his hand --- even though the spot he was found was at least seven miles inland from any sandy beach and several thousand feet up the mountain. However, what was left unmentioned in the report was the fact that during the night before he was found in the trees with sand in his hand, that exact same sand in question had been scooped from along the beach during a pass over a small island off the coast. It is said having something physical in your possession following a similar experience is termed Apportation IF the experience did NOT transpire on the conventional plane. However, because the Wanderling's experience, spiritual or otherwise, seems to have transpired on the conventional plane rather than the dark eddies of dimensions spread out along or outside the edges of the conventional plane, it has been considered real as in Sunyata rather than Samsaric."


The fullness of the above described experience is explored and presented with more clarification at:


APPORTATION REVISITED


.


GASSHO
(please click)


















FOOTNOTE [5]


THE LAMP AND THE LIGHT METAPHOR


"An individual that knows Dharma can be compared to a lamp that lights up the darkness. One who is close will see clearly, while those further away will see less clearly. After a period of time the lamp's light may go out or be extinguished, but then, from time to time, the lamp will be relit, again providing illumination."

LUANGPOR TEEAN: An Interview With An Awakened Master, The Lamplight #44


In things spiritual the lamp is truly an ancient symbol, cited by many as going back to, or possibly even before, the parting words of the Buddha: "Be a lamp unto thyself" --- the basis for the Ch'an idea of the Transmission of the Lamp.

In the Platform Sutra the relationship between Ch'an and Wisdom is explained in terms of the "lamp-and-light" metaphor. It is comparable to the lamp and the light that it gives forth. If there is lamp, there is light. If there is light, there is lamp. The lamp is the substance, t'i, of the light. The light is the function, yung, of the lamp. Although in name two, in substance they are not two. In Chapter IV, Samadhi and Prajna, of the Platform Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism, Hui Neng, is quoted as saying:


"Learned Audience, to what are Samadhi and Prajna analogous? They are analogous to a lamp and its light. With the lamp, there is light. Without it, it would be darkness. The lamp is the quintessence of the light and the light is the expression of the lamp. In name they are two things, but in substance they are one and the same. It is the same case with Samadhi and Prajna."


The substance-function, t'i-yung, logic was present already in the "water-and-wave" metaphor in the Awakening of Faith. The nonduality of the rays of the sun from the sun has been spoken of by the Lankavatara Sutra. In the Platform Sutra, however, the "lamp-and-light" imagery is used to show Ch'an as both the means and the end. The mind is luminous and all illuminating. Enlightenment is only the mind (lamp) allowed to shine forth by itself (light). The mind is none other than its own Enlightenment. (Shen-hsiu)


In a somewhat further clarification of the light lamp analogy, but closer to those as seen in layman's terms, Frank H. Humphreys, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana's first western disciple --- and mentioned in the above text previously --- writes:


Take a piece of glass, paint colours and forms on it, and put into a magic lantern, turn on a white light, and the colours and forms painted on the glass are reproduced on the screen. If that light were not turned on, you would not see the colours of the slide on the screen.

So is it with an ordinary man. His mind is like the screen. On it shines the light, dulled and changed because he has allowed the many-sided world to stand in the way of the Light (God). He sees only the effects of Light (God) instead of the Light (God), and his mind reflects the effects he sees just as the screen reflects the colours on the glass. Take away the prism and the colours vanish, absorbed back into the white light from whence they came. Take away the colours from the slide and the light shines clearly through. Take away our sight the world of effects we see, and let us look only into the causes, and we shall see the Light (God).


















FOOTNOTE [3], [6]


"And where did Ramana Maharshi's power and authority come from? From Arunachala, his own Guru and God. He explicitly stated that it was the power of Arunachala that brought about his own Self-realization. He wrote poems extolling its greatness, and in the last 54 years if his life, he never moved more than a mile and a half away (physically) from its base."

David Godman in An Interview With David Godman

Although the above quote by Godman is presented to show that the holy hill of Arunachala was Ramana's guru, it also includes that in the last 54 years of Ramana's life he NEVER moved more than a mile and a half away from the base of Arunachala. Within that quote, presented in brackets and out of font, is the word physically --- and all that it imples --- added by me. The reason is because of the seeming contrast as found in the main body of the text above where I write:


"That is why, years later, the seeming disappearance of THAT SPECIFIC Enlightenment experience induced the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi to appear before the boy thousands and thousands of miles away from India and the ashram using bilocation or translocation implemented through the rarely used, by Ramana, supernormal perceptual states known in Sanskrit as Siddhis."


Siddhi induced translocations and/or bilocations experiences, which often boderline psychic powers or occult abilities to westerners, and carried out by by Ramana involving Ganipathi Muni, Paul Brunton, Robert Adams and the Wanderling, can be found in the above main text as well as attending footnotes and websites related to each (go to Google, type in the individual names along with the word Wanderling). Footnote [7] as found on the Last American Darshan has additional coverage as well.
















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