Sonntag, 14. September 2008

15.3. In the New Hall

Ramana in the New Hall

During the final years the Old Hall became too small to receive the large numbers of visitors. So the daily darshan was now given in the open Jubilee Hall. In 1949 the construction of a new, bigger and well-ventilated hall was completed, along with the Temple of the Mother, and Ramana moved in. But he did not appear to be comfortable in this New Hall. He was particularly sorry that his friends, the animals, no longer had free access. “How can the squirrels come here?”, he asked looking up at the ceiling which gave no opportunity for the animals to come in. A devotee answered, “The sarvadhikari and others feel that if Bhagavan is here he will be protected from rain or hot sunshine outside.” Ramana continued staring at the ceiling and answered with a quavering voice, “If we look for our comfort, is it not at the expense of the sufferings of others? Squirrels, monkeys, peathingys, cows and others have no chance of coming here. Does it not mean that we have deprived them all of their privileges? People think that it is a great happiness for Swami if he is here. What is to be done?” And in the evening, when it was time to feed the animals, he said to his attendant, “They may perhaps think that Swami has given them the slip and gone elsewhere. Please go. What a pity! Go, give them at least some food and come back.” And when the attendant returned, he asked concerned, “Have you fed them all? They will perhaps feel that Swami has deserted them and has gone away to a better place and is sitting there so that he alone can be happy. Perhaps they thought that I had forgotten them.”116

Above all poor people hesitated to enter this magnificent hall and instead would peep embarrassed through the window. Ramana noticing this said, “Rich people are accustomed to see huge buildings with lights, fans, collapsible doors and other imposing furnishings, and so they come inside unhesitatingly. But poor people like me will hesitate to come in, for they feel that it is a place where only rich people live. They are afraid of what people would say if they come in, and so, go away quietly like those people who, as you see, are peeping through the windows. Where is the place for them here? See those poor people! What a pity!”117

In the New Hall devotees had installed a stone couch with a thick mattress and side cushions for him. This new mattress was slippery. On one side there was a large cushion for his arm, with another on the back and a third for his feet. Consequently there was little space left for him to sit on. When Sri Ramana sat on the couch for the first time he pressed his hands against it and said to his attendants, “See how this mattress slips from one side to another! People think that it will be comfortable for Bhagavan if there is a costly mattress. It is, however, not possible to sit on this restfully. Why this? It will be much more comfortable if I sit on the stone seat itself.”
The following day the mattress was removed and the old one was laid on his couch.

Ramana was, however, not destined to live very long in the New Hall. Only nine months later, in January 1950, he became critically ill and moved to the small Nirvana room, where he was to die the following April.

116 dto., pp. 422ff
117 dto.

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