The following excerpts are from ‘A
Sadhu’s Reminscences of Ramana Maharshi by Sadhu Arunachala
Publisher: Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1961.
Alan Chadwick, a retired British military officer was one of the first European devotees of Ramana Maharshi. He came to his Guru in November of 1935 and stayed until Ramana’s passing in 1950 (April 14, 1950 at 8:47 p.m.). He had the remarkable experience of being intimate with Ramana on a daily basis which gives this book it’s unique insight into the day to day life of this great Sage of Inida.
Bhagavan was a very beautiful person; he shone with a visible light or aura. He had the most delicate hands. I have seen with which along he could express himself, one might almost say talk. His features were regular and the wonder of his eyes was famous. His forehead was high and the dome of his head the highest I have ever seen. As this in India is know as the dome of Wisdom it was only natural that it should be so. His body was well formed and of only medium height, but this was not apparent as his personality was so dominant that one looked upon him as tall. He had a great sense of humour and when talking a smile was never far from his face. He had many jokes in his repertoire and was a magnificent actor, he would always dramatize the protagonists of any story he related. When the recital was very pathetic he would be filled with emotion and unable to proceed. When people came to him with the family stoies he would laugh with the happy and at times shed tears with the bereaved.
Bhagavan always radiated tremendous peace, but on those occasions when crowds were attracted to the Ashram such as Jayanthi, Mahapooja, Deepam and such functions, this increased to an extraordinary degree. The numbers seemed to call up some reserve of hidden force, and it was a great experiene to sit with him at such times. His eyes took on a far-away look and he sat absolutely still as if unconscious of his surroundings, except for an occasional smile of recognition of some old devotee prostrated.
Bhagavan was never strong, at least not after about thirty years of age. this was no doubt owing to the strain he inflicted on his body in the early years in Tiruvannamalai. For yhears he suffered from asthma and photograph taken at Skandasraman shows him as little more than a skeleton. Suddenly after fifteen years, for not apparent reason, the asthma left him almost entirely, he told me. But he was always liable to bad colds and had frequent digestive trouble. Later he had more and more difficulty in walking. Innumerable oils were tired and he was massaged morning and evening, but with little effect.
Talks With Ramana Maharshi | The Heart | Do Guru’s Feel Pain | Ramana’s Appearance | Chadwick’s First Darshan | Saints Turn Into Light | Somerset Maugham | Mercedes D’Acosta | Ramana’s Teaching According to Adi Da | Published from the Ashram | The Seer and The Seen | Mandukya Upanishad | Three States of Consciousness | The Five Great Elements | India and Peru | Ramana’s Will