Our 24th Anusham programme on 2nd August 2017 at Madampatti,Coimbatore,was made memorable by the Spiritual experiences of Mrs. Chandra Janakiram and Savitri Viswanathan.
Every Indian must have heard of the great Nuclear Scientist, Head of BARC, Dr. Raja Ramanna.I narrated his experience with Mahaperiyava from an article on Mahaperiyava appeared in a Bhavan’s Journal, which I reproduced in my Sankara Jayanthi Souvenir in 1985 in Nigeria :
Raja Ramanna was more westernized in his younger days with a sort of hatred towards anything ritualistic! He as an young lad, had an argument with his neighbour, a 60 yr old highly Orthodox Brahmin who wanted to teach Vedas to this young lad but Raja Ramanna was not at all interested when the old man told him :”You will one day realise the real Treasure of our Upanishads!”
Raja Ramanna,describes in this article that he realised after several years the Greatness of our culture as an Astrophysicist, with a good knowledge of Sanskrit, when he was nearing 60!Though he was a great Piano Player,his world changed as he started taking interest in Upanishads!He however didn’t believe in Sages/Seers/sentimental Indians but he had a Manager in Kalpakkam Reactor Research Unit ,an Iyengar,a great devotee of Paramacharya,who constantly insisted that Dr.Raja Ramanna should oneday visit the great Seer at Kanchipuram,which Raja Ramanna constantly refused to do so!One fine morning Raja Ramanna ,during a visit to Chennai,had told Iyengar:”OK This time I will try to see “Your Seer”for your sake.Fix up a time!”
Raja Ramanna writes in this article :
“As soon as I landed in Meenambakkam,I asked Krishnamurthy who was supposed to take me to Kanchipuram,’Have you fixed an appointment with Kanchi Paramacharya?”
Krishnamurthy was silent for a few minutes and Raja Ramanna,being impatient,repeated the question.Krishnamurthy,answered :”Sir None fixes appointment with Paramacharya!We have to take a chance!Incase He is on mouna,we cant even discuss anything!”which infuriarated Raja Ramanna further !
On reaching Kanchipuram,Raja Ramanna was surprised to see the seer living in a small room,belying all his imaginations of a great Seer ,living in all luxury! There were several devotees waiting for hours to have His Darshan.
‘Suddenly’ Raja Ramanna writes:’I saw a set of security personnel entered saying that the Governor of Tamilnadu was coming.Raja Ramanna says:”I realised in a few moments,the atmosphere made me realise that this place is beyond the realms of vastness of the Material world and my darshan at the Age old Adi Sankara temple inside the Ashram made me very simple and purified.I understood to what extent I was ignorant when I asked for an appointment with the Acharya!”
I saw the Acharya,on a raised platform,adjoining the room through a small window,barely a square foot wide,through which devotees peep into get His darshan!I also peeped in,and saw in the somewhat dim light,the Acharya,deeply engrossed turning the page of a book.At this moment the Governor arrived and we all moved back.The Governor also went to that Window for a short time and left soon after,but all the while the Acharya continued His search among the books,irrespective of what was happening outside!
A little while later a strange peace seemed to envelop us and I felt as though we were in a space where the devotees,the temple and everything around us were some minor objects in a great enactment.Everything around was simple to the extreme,and while I was meditating about why we-an odd assortment of people-were there at all,it began to appear that the strains of the Rg Veda was the only material thing of Value in that atmosphere!
Suddenly one of the aides of the Swamiji called us to the window,as the Acharya wanted to see us.He then asked His aides in a very weak voice in Tamil to open the pages of a book.After selecting the page with the finger from a distance,He asked me,if I knew enough Sanskrit.I was happy that I had Krishnamurthy,who teaches Vedas,with me!
During the discussion with the Acharya,a miracle happened.He asked me :”Have you read the philosophy of Nagarjuna?’I told Him, that is the very philosophy I am reading right now on my way by Prof Hiriyanna of Mysore University on Indian Philosophy!I said Nagarjuna is the greatest scientific philosopher at all times.The Swamiji nodded His head and asked me to send Him a copy of this book.The discussions veered around “Katyayana”.
(Kātyāyana was born in a Brahmin family at Ujjayini (Ujjain) and received a classical Brahminical education studying the Vedas. Katyayana studied assiduously under Asita, who had predicted that Prince Siddharta would become either a chakravartin, a great worldly ruler, or a Buddha. With a group of seven friends he invited the Buddha to visit, and gained enlightenment (bodhi) while listening to him preach. He was ordained, and made numerous converts in the state of Avanti. He is known as Phra Sangkajai in Thai Buddhism and portrayed as extremely portly.
Kātyāyana is listed as one of the ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha: Mahākassapa, Ānanda, Sāriputta, Subhuti, Punna, Moggallāna, Mahākaccāna, Anuruddha, Upali and Rāhula. He was foremost in explaining Dharma.)
Katyayana,in one of the Vartikas,”sidham thu nivarthakathvaath also shows himself in favour of Advaitha.”said the Acharya.The meaning of the above Vartika is as follows:
“Truth is Brahman.Knowledge is Brahman and Brahman is Endless.We can understand Brahman by experience.So what is the use of the sentences taken from philosophy ,satyam gnanamanatham brahma etc.,which tell about God?
It is a repetition only.Is it not?
No.The scholars know Brahman well.Others will have confusion.In order to avoid it,these sentences repeat the same frequently.Even the Bhashyakara,Patanjali,while commenting on the Sutra opines,in favour of Advaitha.How can we see the mark of Asat?(Non existing)
Yes.We can see it.It is like Mirage!”
The discussion was educative that at places I was able to discuss with Him in my own Kannada Language and He cleared some of my doubts.
Then He blessed us by raising His hands when we prostrated for His asservatham!
I must have been in direct contact with Swamiji for less than half an hour,but in regions outside material time ,I must have been with Him always!Here atlast I knew I had been in the presence of a learned man and an Inspired Man!(coutesy Bhavan’s Journal)