M: Throw all responsibility on god. Do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do then? In course of time partial surrender will lead to complete surrender.
D: Partial surrender - well - can it undo destiny?
M: Oh, yes! It can.
D: Is not destiny due to past karma?
M: If one has surrendered to God he will look to it.
Each passing day added to the anguish of mother Azhagamma. Her dear son had left home on the 29th of August 1896. All leads and clues about his whereabouts were proving wrong. Days were passing into months and months into years. Yet there was no trace. After two years she had reached the point of despair. Were all her prayers falling on deaf ears? Were all the great gods really cold and indifferent to human sorrow and suffering? True, her son had left a message of consolation, a message that he would be well taken care of wherever he was. He had told the truth that he was leaving home at his Father’s command. Surely one who commands, one who directs would also know how to take charge, how to protect. But can Azhagamma be blamed if she did not have this confidence in the certainty of the fact that no one can care more than God for his devotees? Could she be sure of a protection which would be even more than what her own motherly love could give? She was desperate and helpless. Therefore the mood of surrender was fully on her.
Though the laws of grace are mysterious, beyond the mind’s comprehension, one thing is clear. When one realizes the utter futility of all human endeavour and recognizes that God alone is our true helper then the support is very much there, unfailingly there. So, here too we find the response. In one sense Ramana has no particular name or form. He who could not sign the note he had written before leaving for Arunachala chose to reveal to his mother the necessary information by which she could find out where and how he was. One government official insisted on his writing down his name. “Venkataraman - Tiruchuzhi” was what he wrote. What more definite data could be given? One is fulled with wonder at this act of grace. For Ramana has never written his name after leaving home, except on this solitary occasion. During the 54 years of his life in the body since he left Chokkappa Naicken Street, Madurai, this was the only instance of his having done so. For, he knows the suffering of the heart separated from its dear one. One might ask why he did not help earlier. The reason is that his mother and his relatives were putting in their efforts. They were confident of success. But when the dead-end situation came, when mother had no other recourse, Ramana responded to her prayers and revealed what perhaps could never have been discovered. He allowed himself to be traced.
What is the meaning of all this for us? Let these events make us ponder and consider what we are doing with our lives. How many days have turned into months and how many months into years since our great good fortune brought us to to Ramana. Where are we going? Are we not complacent? Are we not cock-sure that we can handle our lives? Isn’t it a great pity that we keep acting as if our actions alone matter, as if the result and success depend on what we do or don’t do? Where is the loosening of the tight grip of doership? Its strong grip is almost as firm as it was on that wondrous day when Ramana entered into our lives. Can there be a greater denial of his grace? Is it not time that we leave things to his care? Is it not time we passed on our petty cares, our needless worries and endless problems to his gigantic shoulders?
This is indeed the crux. For we are letting go of the great opportunity which has opened up for us. Our constant beggary, our constant prayers to Ramana to grant us this or that which is looming so large at the moment can only be because we do not know what is good for us. Or should we say we know but do not work towards it? The joy of life surrendered to Ramana is unknown to us. Should we not find out why? Should we not do something about it by directing our sadhana rightly?
A.R.Natarajan Founder President, Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bangalore