Sonntag, 14. September 2008

16.3. The Final Attempts at Healing

In February another very painful growth appeared and grew rapidly in size. The tumour had now reached the shoulder and had spread inward. Again the doctors met to consult and this time decided there was no longer anything that could be done. Renowned ayurvedic doctors and homeopaths now tried their methods of treatment. The famous ayurvedic doctor Dr. Moos applied leeches, but in March he also gave up all hope. Other homeopaths tried their best with various diets, bandages and diathermic treatments, all to no avail. A blood test meanwhile revealed that Ramana was suffering from severe anaemia. In the opinion of the doctors the pains must have been unbearable, but he never complained. Although he sometimes remarked, “There is pain”, he never said, “I am in pain”. He used to make the anxious devotees laugh with his humorous remarks. His face retained its friendly smile and even became softer and kinder during the final months. Until the end his eyes glowed with their usual luminous power.

Roda McIver reports the following incident, “Worried about Bhagavan’s health, in His last days, devotees would send Bhagavan all kinds of medicines and these were carefully arranged in a cupboard. One day He called for a big glass jar and ordered all the little bottles to be emptied into the jar and mixed well. He announced that He would take a sthingyful every morning and evening. Some of the medicines were quite poisonous and we were scared. ‘People send me these medicines out of their love for me. To please them I must take them all’ argued Bhagavan! A doctor came and he too was terrified. The mixture was fantastic – allopathy, ayurvedic, homeopathy, herbs, biochemicals, ashes, powders, poisons – a lethal brew! Bhagavan was adamant. But when we invoked His own rule and demanded a sthingyful for each of us, He relented and gave up the idea of drinking the stuff!”123

Meanwhile the Maharshi had become so famous in South India, that his sickness was reported in the press and on the radio. ‘The Hindu’, an English-language Madras newspaper, as well as the Tamil press and radio stations from Madras and Bombay reported on his condition. As a result more and more people flocked to the Ashram. It is reported that on 20th March there were around a thousand people at the Ashram from all parts of India and from abroad.

The treatment methods were also changed, in accordance with the devotees’ instructions. Sri Ramana let them do so. But when he was asked by a devotee what should be tried next, he answered, “Have I ever asked for any treatment? It is you who want this and that for me, so it is you who must decide. If I were asked I should always say, as I have said from the beginning, that no treatment is necessary. Let things take their course.”

All manner of treatments, both sensible and ridiculous, were tried, he was spared nothing. There were often violent disputes amongst the devotees about the right kind of treatment and a particular view would prevail for a while. When after some time its inefficacy became evident, it was abandoned and the next one was tried. In spite of all their efforts the Maharshi's condition continued to deteriorate. He felt constantly sick and could barely eat or pass water. In the end he could take only liquid food. The tumour had developed into a growth that looked like a cauliflower and was the size of a coconut.

On 19th March, the Telugu New Year, Sri Ramana had a bad accident. When he entered his bathroom in the morning, he stumbled over the threshold and fell. A devotee wanted to help him up, but he refused and stood up by himself, albeit with difficulty. His koupina and his towel were covered in blood. He probably had a fracture, but his attendant was not allowed to make it public. The part of his body on which he had fallen, started to suppurate and was very painful, but this too was concealed. That day Ramana sat as usual from 9 a.m. onwards on the veranda of the little room to give darshan.

Soon afterwards his health deteriorated to such a point, that the darshan hours on the veranda could no longer be continued. He had to stay in the Nirvana room, while the devotees formed a queue and passed by the open door. As the numbers of visitors increased, those devotees who had until then been in close contact with him, could no longer speak with him. So they had no alternative but to join the long queue for a short silent glance.
123 Ganesan: Moments, p. 74

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