Photographer: Unknown to us
Date: c. 1935
Archival Listing GRO 43 from Mees’ collection is taken in front of the Old Hall around1935: (First row, sitting L to R): 1. Unidentified; 2. Chadwick; 3. Niranjananda Swami; 4. Bhagavan; 5. Paul Brunton; 6. Ganapathy Sastry; 7. Kalyanasundaram Iyer; 8. Unidentified. (Second row, standing L to R): 1. Unidentified; 2. Unidentified, (sitting): 1. Seshu Iyer; 2. Unidentified; 3. Dr. Mees; 4. Ella Maillart; 5. Unidentified; 6. Unidentified; 7. Dandapani; 8. Bangalore Ramachandra Rao; 9. A.R. Doraiswamy Iyer. (Last row, standing L to R): 1. Sadasiva Swami; 2. Madhava Swamy; 3. Annamalai Swamy; 4. Ramaswamy Pillai; 5. Subramania Swamy; 6. Raja Iyer; 7. Madhava Rao; 8. Rangaswamy; 9. Kumaraswamy; 10.Tamarapakkam Gopalan.
Ramaswamy Pillai: Came to Bhagavan in 1917 having just completed his final examination. His diligence made him an asset when construction projects began in Ramanasramam after 1922. Untiring in his labours, he shopped for the Ashram, collected post at the post office and parcels from the railway station. His gift as a singer made him a special presence at Tamil parayana. When Bhagavan slipped on the Hill and injured his leg, Pillai initiated leveling work on the path up to Skandasramam, efforts for which devotees have been grateful ever since.
Dr. Gualtheurs Hendrik Mees (Sadhu Ekarasa) M.A, Cambridge, LL.D.: Prof. of Economics whose1935 Dharma and Society won him international acclaim. Born to Dutch nobility, Mees was offered professorates in Ceylon and Mysore where the Maharaja of Mysore urged him to visit Bhagavan. Known for his scholarship and staunch devotion, Bhagavan referred to him as ‘Mees Sastri’ as he would wear his dhoti in the traditional style. On the subject of photographing Bhagavan, Mees expressed surprise that Bhagavan’s image actually appeared on the film negative. Another time he said, “One really needs courage to aim at the Guru through a viewfinder.”
Our source for high-resolution version and note: Sarangathi, November 2014.
Copyright in this photograph may be claimed by one or more of Sri Ramanasramam, Time Inc., Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, and others.