(84) WHO IS RAMANA?
29th January, 1947
On the 7th of this month Dr. T. N. Krishnaswamy, a devotee of Bhagavan, celebrated the Jayanthi of Sri Ramana in Madras. It seems a Pandit mentioned in the course of his lecture on the occasion that there was a reference somewhere that Bhattapada would be born in Thiruchuli as Ramana.
While the devotees in the Ashram were searching for these references, Bhagavan himself said, “Nayana (Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni) said that Skanda (Lord Subramanya) was born first as Bhattapada, then as Sambandha (Thirujnanasambandhar), and in the third birth as Ramana.
The appellation, ‘dravida sisuhu’ used by Sri Sankara in Soundarya Lahari refers to Sambandha, doesn’t it? Therefore Sambandha must have existed prior to Bhattapada who was a contemporary of Sankara. Nayana said that Sambandha was of a later date than Bhattapada. One is not consistent with the other. Which of the above versions is the authority for the aforesaid lecturer’s statement is not yet known.”
Surprised at these words which were meant to throw everyone off guard, I said, “Why so much discussion about it? We may ask Bhagavan himself. Doesn’t Bhagavan know who He is? Even if He does not tell us now there is His own reply to the song asking, ‘Who is Ramana?’ written by Amritanatha Yatindra while Bhagavan was dwelling on the Hill.”
Bhagavan replied, “Yes, yes!” with the smile of approval on His face, waited for a while, and then said, “Amritanatha is a peculiar person. He is very interested in all matters.
When I was on the Hill he used to come now and then and stay with me. One day I went somewhere. By the time I returned he had composed a verse in Malayalam, asking “Who is Ramana?” left it there and went out. I wondered what was written on the paper, so I looked at it and found out. By the time he returned I composed another verse in reply, in Malayalam, wrote it down below his verse and put the paper back. He likes to attribute supernatural powers to me. He did so when he wrote my biography in Malayalam.
Nayana had it read out to him, and after hearing it, tore it off, saying, “Enough! enough!’ That was the reason for his posing this question also. He wanted to attribute some supernatural powers to me, as ‘Hari’ or ‘Yathi’ or ‘Vararuchi’ or ‘Isa Guru’. I replied in the manner stated in the verse.
What could they do? They could not answer. A Telugu translation of those verses is available, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is. Isn’t Bhagavan’s own version enough for us to establish that Bhagavan is Paramatma Himself?” I said.
Bhagavan smiled, and lapsed into mouna (silence).
I give below the prose translation of those Malayalam verses given in Ramana Leela: Amritanatha’s question: “Who is this Ramana in the Arunachala Cave, who is renowned as the treasure of compassion? Is he Vararuchi or Isa Guru? or Hari? or Yatindra? I am desirous of knowing the Guru’s Mahima (supernatural powers).” Bhagavan’s reply:
“Arunachala Ramana is the Paramatma Himself who plays about as Consciousness in the hearts of all living beings, from Hari downwards. He is the Supreme Being. It will be clear to you if you open the eye of jnana and see the truth."