The passage of great souls from the physical body frame at the time of earthly departure is death defying. The following is an account of the passing away of Sri Ramana Maharshi to the higher worlds, when his sojourn on Earth came to an end. These diary notes were kept by Sri S.S.Cohen an ardent devotee of Sri Ramana Mahrishi. It is worth noting the extraordinary events which took place during this time.
Friday, 14th April
Maharshi is in a very precarious condition. The whole morning has been spent by devotees in hushed gloom and with bated breath. After evening darshan (seeing a holy person), the unanimous verdict is that it is positively the last. The Master is now propped on large pillows, almost in a sitting posture, the head resting backward with open mouth, and two attendants briskly fanning him, to enable him to breathe freely - the battle for air, has thus started. At 7 p.m. oxygen is administered to him for about five minutes, but seeing it gave him no relief, he feebly asked that it should be stopped.
The situation was tense: about five-hundred devotees were outside in sad expectation of the solemn last moment. Blood relations, Ashram workers, a few old disciples, and some new aspirants went in by turn to have a last sight of him. When the end was known to be approaching, the whole congregation with one voice started chanting the Tamil hymns he had many years ago composed in praise of Lord Arunachala: “Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala!” till it came about 8-47. Many devotees grief stricken and beating their breasts, lost control of their feeling and rushed en masse to the small room where the sacred body lay, but Police officers immediately cordoned off the area till it was brought out and placed in the centre of the big darshan hall in yoga asana for all the people to pay their last respect to it. The news spread like wildfire to the town and the neighbouring villages and drew huge crowds. By 9-15, the crowd grew so thick, that it became necessary to give chance to all to pay their homage and pass the body in an orderly manner. A queue was thus formed - seven to ten broad - at a quick-march pace. It is still (11-55 p.m.) continuing unabatingly.
Around the sofa sat dozens of disciples, some chanting Maharshi’s verses and other devotional hymns, but the others remained in silent contemplation. Sandal-wood paste and jasmine flowers now cover the body and incense burns by its side.
At about 9 p.m., Monsieur Cartier-Brassen, the French photographer, who has been here for about a fortnight with his wife, related an experience of his to me. “It is a most astonishing experience,” he said. “I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it. Because of its singularity we all guessed its import and immediately looked at our watches - it was 8-47 - and then raced to the Ashram only to find that our premonition had been only too sadly true: the Master had passed into Mahanirvana (all-pervading and deathless Selfhood) at that very minute.” Several other devotees in the Ashram and in the town later told me that they too had seen the tell-tale meteor.
The article has been taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma