V. Ganesan, Ramana Maharshi’s grandnephew, writes here about Sadhu Natanananda.
THE DAY HE UNDERSTOOD HIS REALIZATION, he went incognito. The outward symbol of his becoming Self-realized was his obscurity. He lived alone — happy to be immersed in the Self all the time. After Bhagavan’s mahasamadhi in 1950 and until 1967, many did not even know if Natanananda was still alive. Though he stayed in a cottage in Tiruvannamalai, no one knew where he was. Like most of the old devotees, I too thought that he had passed away.
I had spent seven years in the ashram when suddenly one day my friend Dorab Framji asked me, “Do you know Sadhu Natanananda is alive?” I jumped with joy because I loved his book, Spiritual Instruction, also known as Sri Ramana Darsanam. I paid him a visit. He was an austere man with nothing in his room except for a few loincloths. He blessed me and asked, “What are you doing? Are you practicing Self-Enquiry?”
I replied, “I am not capable of doing Self-Enquiry. I only chant Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva.” His face was red with rage. I was taken aback because this was my very first meeting with him and I was accustomed to people indulging me whenever they met me. Not Natanananda! He was a stern and serious man. He raged, “What a fool you are! What do you think you have come to Bhagavan for? For what function has he chosen you? It is only to make you [be] like him! Read his Forty Verses on Reality, practice Self-Enquiry, be the truth. That is why you have been chosen!”
I was stunned in disbelief.
Text copyright © V. Ganesan. This article is reprinted from Ramana Periya Puranam by V. Ganesan.
Sadhu Natanananda was a direct disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi. He compiled Sri Ramana Darsanam, also known as Spiritual Instruction and Upadesa Manjari.
This page was first published on May 14, 2017 and last revised on December 1, 2023.