By N.R. Krishnamurti Aiyer
When the skull was sealed I experienced a brilliant light, like that of an arc lamp, and an indescribable joy and coolness filled my being. This light and joy continued for several hours. During this time I didn’t move about and I was unconscious of what was going on around me. You may have seen a light focused on to a concave mirror. Its light is reflected with a single beam onto a point. Well, sometime about midnight all the light, like a concave mirror, was focussed onto the Heart. Then all the light drained into the Heart. The Kundalini was completely sucked into the Heart and the Heart was opened — that is the seat of Arunachala Ramana.
The Heart is normally closed, but when it was opened — I never knew any of these things and never read any theory. These are all practical experiences — a flood of nectar gushed forth and drenched every pore of my skin, drenched my whole physical system. It poured out, went on coming out in a great flood. The whole Universe was filled with that Nectar.
The wonder of it was that my awareness was not in the body — my awareness was over the whole of the space filled with that Nectar. The whole Universe was Nectar. I call it Nectar; you could call it Ether, something very subtle, attached with awareness at every point. And everything living and non-living was like snow flakes floating in that ocean of Nectar.
If you ask me what my body was, my body was the whole universe of Nectar, attached to awareness at every point. No particular association from the one body from where it started — this body was like every other body.
By morning everything subsided, though the underlying experience remained. I was totally unconscious of my body. I was moving around like an automaton, unaware of my body. In that state I returned to Madurai where I was a physics professor.
This was during a Christmas vacation. For the next two weeks I remained in that state. With the opening of college I was scheduled to give lectures and my relatives became rather concerned, for my behaviour had changed considerably.
I then returned to Ramanasramam with the intention of returning to my regular mundane condition — I do not know what urged me to do this.
I went and sat before the Maharshi in the Old Hall. He gave no acknowledgement of my plight and sat, seemingly, unconcerned.
After a long time I said to myself, “Well, the son (Maharshi) seems indifferent to me. Let me go and seek refuge in my mother, Alagammal.” I came and sat in the Mother’s samadhi room. It was then only a thatched room. I picked up the book Jnana Vashistha and began reading it from beginning to end with the hope of finding the solution to my dilemma. I continued reading without eating the whole day. In the evening the answer came: a stanza in Jnana Vashistha said, “Between two thoughts there is an interval of no thought. That interval is the Self, the Atman. It is pure Awareness only.”
In those days I was repeating the mantra “Ram, Ram.” So I said to myself: “Ram — that is one thought; and Ram again — that is another thought. But in the interval between these two thoughts there is silence. That Silence is the Self.” And so, I came to the conclusion that if I go on repeating “Ram, Ram” it will resolve itself into that Silence.
I was very happy. I rushed home and found I was my normal mundane self, teaching my classes in the usual way. But all the time, even while the lectures were going on, “Ram, Ram, Ram” went on repeating in my Heart. For nine years it went on like that and then stopped of its own accord. It ended in Silence.
Edited by David Godman
In this book, eight people who knew Ramana Maharshi tell in their own words how their lives were transformed by him. David Godman compiled the accounts by searching through piles of old documents, some previously unpublished, others translated into English for the first time here. His sensitive editing allows the distinctive voice of each person to come through. The book includes testimony by Rangan, Sivaprakasam Pillai, Akhilandamma, Sadhu Natanananda, N.R. Krishnamurti Aiyer, Chalam and Souris, and Swami Madhavatirtha.
Edited by David Godman
In our opinion this superb collection of extracts from Ramana Maharshi’s writings and dialogues is the best single-volume introduction to his teachings. This is the book we recommend to people who want to read about Sri Ramana for the first time. The editor, David Godman, is probably the foremost living expert on Sri Ramana’s teachings. David has gone through dozens of books by and about Sri Ramana and collected passages which most clearly state various points of his teaching. These extracts are organized thematically into chapters with higher teachings first and less important ones last. David has also provided informative introductions to each chapter and to the book as a whole as well as a glossary and notes.
By Gopi Krishna
This book is a greatly expanded (two-thirds more material) version of Gopi Krishna’s autobiography. It contains the most famous published account of a Kundalini explosion, a dramatic event that sometimes occurs to people who practice certain kinds of Yoga. Gopi Krishna was a government bureaucrat who, while meditating in 1937 at the age of 34, suddenly perceived a roaring stream of light rising into his head from his spine. For months afterward he suffered a variety of painful physical and mental symptoms including some that seem akin to psychosis. These symptoms gradually subsided into a condition which he regarded as higher consciousness. The work is particularly fascinating because Gopi Krishna was a modern, skeptical, secular man who described his experiences with the skill of a novelist and without mysticism. For a first-person account of a similar experience which was inspired by this book, see this article by one of our contributing editors; he explains how he made it happen.
This page was published on October 29, 2001 and last revised on May 16, 2017.