83. Swami Ramdas. Part two
With his new life, the new clothes, the three vows, his restlessness ceased. A peace came upon him, as if Ram Himself had put His hands on his head. He got three gifts: emancipation from sorrow, pain and anxiety; never to return (at another place he lists freedom from fear, also). He became carefree; a child of Ram.
From the start of his journey till the end, about one year later, guides appeared to him all the time, and took him from one place to another and took care of his needs. He called all of them by the same name; sadhu-Ram ( monks sent by Ram ).
A sadhu sitting next to him asked him where he was going. Ramdas could not give an answer. The sadhu offered to take him to a famous temple. He had by this time 9 rupees left. He gave them to sadhu-Ram. The money was changed to smaller coins, and distributed to all the sadhus begging by the steps of temples. Now he was free of money.
After visiting that temple the guide left him; his duty over. He took the train to another famous temple. He was without a guide. He could not gain admission to the temple because he did not have the admission fee. He wandered in the ruins surrounding the temple. Noon came. Sitting on a stone he started reading Gita. A man came and sat next to him. Have you eaten anything? He asked. Ramdas replied that he had not, but there was nothing to worry because Ram will provide. What kind of food you take? He enquired. Plantains, Ramdas replied ( because he had few or no teeth ). The man brought a dozen plantains.
Next morning he went to the station. He had no guide. He saw a train standing. As he was going to enter the platform a railway official prohibited him on entering because he did not possess a ticket. Maybe it was the wrong train. Ram knew best.
Ramdas meditated till midday. A train came. Ramdas boarded the train. No official stopped him this time. On the train he met a sadhu-Ram who offered to take him to a certain town. Two educated young men, sitting across, talked between themselves , in English ( feeling sure that the uneducated looking Ramdas won’t be knowing English ), that how Ramdas was a fraud sadhu wearing the robe of a renunciant to eke out a living amongst the gullible villagers. Ramdas assured them, in English, that they were right. The two, were ashamed and repentant. They offered money for Ramdas’s food to sadhu-Ram (Ramdas had not eaten anything for the whole day )
Sadhu-Ram took him to to see a famous saint; Maharshi Ramana . This is the same saint who was the mentor of Paul Brunton. This mote will write about Paul Brunton and Maharshi in future. Brunton’s books had a great impact on this mote. Maharshi lived in a thatched shed. There was great peace upon his face, a passionless look of tenderness in his eyes. He spread an aura of peace and joy in the hearts of people surrounding him. Ramdas asked the saint for his blessing for this humble slave.
The saint looked into his eyes for few minutes, and shook his head indicating that he had been blessed. A thrill of great joy ran through the body of Ramdas. His whole body shook like a leaf in the wind.
Now Ramdas wanted to meditate on Ram and sing Ram-bajhans in solitude. He chose a small cave and stayed for almost a month. He was filled with pure joy and bliss. He became mad, Ram mad. He would go to a nearby village every day and beg. When his lota would get a little more than half full he would return. He would boil his rice in the same lota by lighting a fire with few twigs.
One day he saw a man standing near the entrance to the cave. He thought that was Ram. He ran to him and clasped him in an embrace. “Ram! You have come “ he exclaimed. The poor man was frightened to no end, but then felt reassured that this was a harmless mad man since he was toothless. He saw Ram in everything
One day Ram’s command to move came. He went to the station and caught the first train. On the train a sadhu-Ram took over and took him to a temple on a hill. They climbed over 700 steps and walked three miles. By the time they reached the temple it was close to midnight. Cold was intense. They joined some sadhus sitting by a fire. They had to abandon the fire as the temple was closing. They spent a miserable night, shivering and sleepless.
Sadhu-Ram was grumbling about the cold and lack of sleep. Ramdas said, that it was all for the best, because now they had more time for singing the glories of Ram