Madurai, the famous city in Tamil Nadu, has held immense importance in the history of India. Called the 'city of temples', it stands immaculately surrounded by legends and stories of great saints and rulers of the bygone era. It was the center for ancient Tamil intellectuals and proved to be a bustling conglomerate of learning and higher knowledge.
The small village of Tiruchhuzhi stood about thirty miles from Madurai. It is also considered as one of the sacred places of Lord Shiva as sung by His disciples like Sundar Murty and Manikkavasagar in their immortal hymns wherein they have described the place. The nearest railway station, Virudhunagar was at a distance of about eighteen kilometers from Tiruchhuzhi.
In the small village inhabited by a meager population residing in about 500 houses, lived a Brahmin called Sundaram Aiyyer. He belonged to the Parashar Gotra (Gotra is a classification of caste according to Hindu religion). By profession, he was a lawyer and practiced law. His wife's name was Azhagamma. He was pious and religious by nature.
According to a legend, someone in his ancestry denied to give alms to an ascetic. When the ascetic didn't get anything, he got enraged and cursed the family. He denounced that an ascetic would take birth in every generation of the family and he would have to wander for alms as he did. And everything happened just as the ascetic proclaimed. Sundaraiyya's uncle became a saint. His elder brother renounced everything and left home. Later on, he was called Shivanand Yogi.
Sundaraiyya wouldn't have imagined even in his wildest of dreams that of the three sons, Nagswami, Venkatraman and Nagsundaram, Venkatraman would emerge as the forerunner in the field of spiritualism and extend the tradition of saints in his family.
Venkatraman took birth after midnight on the 29th of December in the year, 1879. The clock struck 3:36 A.M. when this small baby boy was born.
Education & Enlightenment
Venkatraman completed his primary education in his birthplace, Tiruchhuzhi itself. He studied over there till the age of 11. For a period of a year or so, he migrated to Dindigul in 1891 when he was in the secondary school.
When Venkatraman was smoothly sailing through life, destiny had planned a sudden shock for him. His father died an untimely death in 1892. His uncle, Subba Aiyyer took him to Madurai along with his brother, Nagswami. There, he joined the Scot Middle school after which he shifted to the American Mission school. His little brother, Nagsundaram and sister, Alamelu alongwith his mother stayed at Manmadurai with their elder uncle. After his father's death, the family was scattered and life was then an uninteresting one.
Venkatraman never paid attention to his studies. At the same time, he was intelligent and his power to grasp and memorize was remarkable. Due to this, he constantly progressed in studies and cleared one grade after the other. During these years of studies, no element of spiritualism was ever seen to the least, in his thoughts and behavior.
As a child, he was serious and reserved because of which he didn't have friends. For most of the time, he was alone and remained tranquil as if he didn't want friends at all. He was a lean boy who was interested in all sorts of athletic activities. Among his special interests, wrestling and swimming were his favorite pursuits. He enjoyed swimming in the Vaidha River, which passed by his village. Whenever there were floods, he used to dive and take pleasure in swimming through the flooded areas of the village. In studies, he was very much interested in mathematics and the Tamil literature.
Venkatraman was a deep sleeper. One day, it so happened that 12-year-old Venkatraman was left alone at home and everybody went to the temple. As he was alone, he didn't find anything to do; tired Venkatraman went to sleep. After sometime, when everyone returned home, they were surprised to find the door locked from inside. Venkatraman was sleeping inside peacefully despite the loud knocks on the door and yelling by the people outside the house. Nothing could break his sleep. At last, they had to jump inside the house across the wall and open the door.
The only friend in his school was Abdul Wahab. Everyone called him Sabjaan. He used to accompany Venkatraman not only in the games but also when he went to the temples. Later on, Wahab joined the police department and sometimes used to come and meet Maharshi Raman who was his childhood friend, the same old Venkatraman.
Venkatraman was an alert and obedient child. He used to help his aunt in all the household activities. He used to bring drinking water in big vessels and took care of groceries and cleaning work in the house. He was described as a responsible child who never allowed others to scold him. At a very small age, he crossed the roads and returned home safely without arousing any worries in the minds of elders. In his childhood, he was fondly called 'Thangakai' meaning 'the golden hand or the lucky handed one'. Whenever eatables were made, the ingredients were given to Venkatraman so that he could prepare the first piece of the eatable.
In 1895, young Venkatraman came to know about a place called Arunachal through a relative. The month was November and the aged man who returned from Arunachal kept on talking about the beauty and magnanimity of the place. Listening to the accounts on the place, Venkatraman's heart was filled with joy and new excitement.
The name 'Arunachal' seemed to be a familiar one to him. He was overjoyed when he came to know that Tiruvannamalai was called Arunachal and it was not a far off place. He was at peace when he discovered that the place was nearby. He felt as if he was closely connected with the place since many births. The name itself attracted him.
After knowing about the place, he had visions and dreams of the Arunachal Mountain. He felt as if a very close person, whom he knew intimately was asking him to come back to him. It was quite an extraordinary experience for him. The craving to see the place increased and multiplied day by day.
Those days, Venkatraman came across a copy of "Periyapuranam". In the book, stories about the 63 saints who were blessed by Lord Shiva were described. He was inspired with the stories and submerged himself in a blissful state just at the thought of Lord Shiva. The stories of the Dravid saints and their lives in the book made him tread the path leading to the Almighty.
The Turning Point
The incident which totally changed the way and goal of Venkatraman's life happened in the month of July in 1896 (probably it was 16th of July and it was a Thursday). The incident took place one and a half month before he left Madurai forever.
That day, he was sitting all alone on the terrace of his uncle's house. He was sitting alone. Suddenly, he felt as if he was about to die. His body was absolutely normal but there was something that told him that his end was near. He was terrified at the thought of death. He didn't feel the need to call a doctor or to inform the people at home. His innate emotional strength and fortitude made him face the situation in a steadfast manner.
The fear of death made him see the deepest recesses of himself. He started thinking. and many thoughts hit him. He talked to himself and said, "Death is coming". What does it mean? Who is dying? This body is dying." Instantly, death taught him the lesson of his lifetime.
He stretched his hands and legs and stopped breathing. He shut his mouth also. Then, he started thinking, "So, now this body is dead, it would be taken to the cemetery and burnt. But did I die with the death of the body? Am I just this body? This body is motionless but I am still full of consciousness ! Even now, I can feel the complete power of my personality. The sound of me can be heard even now. Through this, it is completely clear that I am alive; which is something, which is not connected with my body. Yes! I am the immortal soul."
The experience was not a feeling or thought but it was actually the realization of the self. It was the purest of knowledge, which is alive in everyone, but is soundless - it is just an experience. Frequently, he went through such experiences. As a result of this, his fear of death went away forever.
According to a legend, when Lord Shiva rescued Shankaracharya from the mouth of crocodiles, he became a great philosopher and thinker. The incident, which instigated fear and took him to the extremes of it, actually brought about a great transformation in Shankaracharya. Similarly, when Venkatraman saw the end of his body despite being healthy, he faced the fear. He met himself in the process and realized his own enlightened form. He crossed the barriers of the body and mind and got himself liberated from all kinds of bondage.
This grueling process, as it appears to be to face one's fears, actually eased the path leading to the realization of the almighty.
He was cleansed and uplifted by this experience. From that moment, till the end of his life, he lived as a soul, ignoring the earthly disturbances and attractions. Different thoughts of various magnitudes came and went by like the tunes of music but the urge to steady oneself in the soul and the pursuit of God always remained in him. All the thoughts actually submerged in that one thought, experience and aim - to attain the almighty.
The near death experience didn't even last for half an hour but it left a profound and permanent effect on the child's mind. There was a total change in Venkatraman. The change was such a massive one that we can even say that only after this experience, he was a 'divine being'.
After the experience, studies in the school became uninteresting and meaningless to him. His interest and passion for sports started diminishing. His behavior with friends and near ones became mechanical, bereft of any emotion. The young man changed into a mature and polite person. All the outer things of this world were valueless and lacked any use for him. His mind gradually went away from the people and the mundane things of the world and he started exploring new regions of consciousness. Then, he went to the temple with deeper faith and conviction about the presence of God. Although he was brought up in a pious environment, the beliefs and convictions were not profound and deep-rooted. They were just outer peripheries of the lowest levels of consciousness.
After the experience, he was more spirited and had developed an unquenchable thirst for the attainment of God. He regularly went to the temple and meditated. He went to the temple alone and stood hours together in front of the statues of Lord Shiva, Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Natraj and the 63 saints. His inner self was now constantly hit by innumerable tides of passion pushing him towards the self.
Venkatraman's consciousness had stopped depending upon his body and it was looking for a firm base on which it could anchor itself. His incessant pursuits in the realization of the self, drove him towards the temples. He visited temples innumerable times. Standing before the edifice of the almighty, he sang hymns in praise of the supreme soul. He meditated relentlessly as a mark of gratitude and reverence to the Lord. All his prayers used to ask for the increase in his devotion towards the almighty and to attain the piety equaling the 63 great disciples of Lord Shiva.
Then, he stopped talking and all his expressions stood in his eyes. Every now and then, drops of tears showed his conversation with almighty and the heart-rending devotion that he had. His devotion rolled down his cheeks in the form of tears.
At that point of time in his life, he had not read anything except Periyapuranam. He didn't know anything about the Brahma (the creator), the world, liberation etc. His heart was always filled with the love for almighty.
Those days, he preferred to stay in isolation. He used to sit in an isolated place and forget everything about the environment and everything about the world and submerged himself into deep meditation. He was always conscious about his soulful existence. His inner self was filled with eternal feeling of love towards the almighty. Each and every day, his soul used to bath in the springs of bliss.
The days passed by rapidly and were pleasant. His mental condition showed its effect on his lifestyle. Venkatraman's neglect of his duties towards his home, school and other social engagements gave him reproach and admonishment from people. Many a times, he was also punished for his strange behavior.
August 29, 1896 proved to be an unforgettable day for Venkatraman. At that time, he was a student of the sixth grade only. Venkatraman's English teacher asked him to write an exercise from Ban's English Grammar book three times as a punishment because he repeated the mistakes again and again. Coming back home, he started writing the exercise. He wrote the exercise twice but at the third time, he got bored and a question arose in his mind, "Why should I do this mechanical work?" He stopped writing and started thinking. In no time, he slipped into deep meditation.
When all this was happening, his brother, Nagswami, was watching him. His brother got angry seeing this strange behavior. He reproached him saying, "If you want to behave like this, then what is the need to study anything ?" what he said was loud and clear. Venkatraman got the message from his brother. He realized that whatever his brother said was absolutely true. "What shall I do here ?, What is my use here?", he asked himself. Instantly, he decided to go to Arunachal. He could clearly hear the invitation by the Lord from Arunachal. He stood up, deciding to leave his home forever. Tiruvannamalai was his ultimate destination then.
His brother, unaware of the changes inside Venkatraman said, "This afternoon, there is a special class in the school on the subject of electricity and you have to attend it." He further said, "My college is on the way to your school; do me a favor, take a five rupee note from the box which is kept downstairs and deposit my fee in my college."
It was as if God knew his plans to go to Tiruvannamalai and he helped him with the five Rupee note. Venkatraman's task became easy. His brother was unaware of his intentions. Venkatraman took his lunch and took the five Rupee note. He looked at the map of the region. As the map was an old one, there was no description of the Villupuram-Tiruvannamalai-Katpadi rail route. On the basis of the given map, he planned to break his journey at Tindivanam from where he would go to Tiruvannamalai. He kept two Rupees back in the box as he thought three Rupees would be enough for the journey. He also kept a written note on the box.
He wrote, "I am leaving this house in search of my father and I am doing so by his order. Since this act of mine is for the well being of all, nobody should grieve over me. Don't spend a penny to search him. Your college fee has not been deposited. I have kept two Rupees alongwith this note."
The note, written in simple Tamil, was short but it threw light on the mental condition of Venkatraman at this tender age. He used the word "father" to denote almighty, which showed the influence of Bible, which he was taught at school. He has used "him" to describe himself which displays his determination and knowledge about the self.
Venkatraman renounced the world with ease. Fear or worry didn't touch him when he left home. He was affectionate towards his mother and relatives but he asked them not to grieve over his leaving home. After listening to the invitation from the almighty atop Tiruvannamalai, and after experiencing the greatness of spirituality, he couldn't just live in the house.
It was a Saturday and at about twelve in the noon when he left his home forever. The railway station was about a mile from his house. He walked rapidly in the scorching heat and reached the railway station. The time for departure of the train was 12 'o' clock. The train was late and it didn't arrive at the station. He took a ticket for Tindivanam. Venkatraman thought Tindivanam to be the nearest place from where he could go to Tiruvannamalai. The ticket cost him two Rupees and thirteen Annas. Actually a new train had been started through which he could have reached Tiruvannamalai via Villupuram. This route would have cost him three Rupees. If he had gone via Villupuram, it would have been much comfortable for him. Tindivanam, for which he took a ticket, was far away from Tiruvannamalai.
After getting into the train, he came to know about his folly from a fellow traveler. The traveler advised him to get down at Villupuram. He sat in the compartment without looking at the other passengers; he didn't even talk to anyone. After sometime, he was hungry; so, he brought a couple of fruits and ate them. As his hunger subsided, he relaxed.
In the afternoon, the train arrived at Villupuram. When Venkatraman got down from the train, it was 3 O' clock. He was unable to ask anyone about Tiruvannamalai, as he was shy and introvert by nature. He whiled away time wandering here and there.
Little Venkatraman felt hungry to the extremes. He went into a hotel and asked for food. The owner of the hotel asked him to wait for sometime. Venkatraman didn't waste any time and sat to meditate. In no time, he was in deep trance. The owner was surprised looking at the innocent, glorious, knowledgeable, pleasant, and dignified face of Venkatraman. He was not able to take his eyes off the wondrous face of the little boy who appeared to be much more than just a hungry child. The curiosity in the owner grew to unstoppable limits. Time just flew away, seeing this child with the maturity of a sage. When the food was prepared and was ready to serve, the owner called the young ascetic to have lunch.
After having food, Venkatraman hastily gestured to pay for the food. The owner of the hotel asked him, "How much money do you have?"
"Two and a half Annas", replied Venkatraman.
"Keep it with you" said the owner in a polite voice.
The man at the hotel tried to know the reason behind his leaving home but Venkatraman kept silent in reply to the queries. The owner of the hotel wanted to help him in some way; so, he gave him three Rupees, which would be of great use to him. Seeing the good intentions of the man, Venkatraman accepted the money and thanked him.
He went to the railway station and took a ticket for Mamballapattu, which cost him two and a half Annas. After reaching Mamballapattu, he started walking with an aim to reach Tiruvannamalai. He covered about 10 miles distance after which he found a small hill on which he sat for sometime. The temple of Arayaninallur was situated atop the hill. Fatigue showed on him, as he was not habituated to walk such distances in unbearable heat. There was no one in the temple; so, he sat outside and waited for someone to come. When the door was opened, he went into the temple and sat in the Aairam thoon Mandapam (a hall having thousand pillars). Instantly, he went into trance in which he saw wondrous spectacles and visions. He saw unimaginable light and radiance, which appeared to be coming from the statue of the God in the temple. After his meditation was over, in order to find out the source of the light, he went near the statue but he did not see any light being emitted from the statue. Then, he sat in a secluded corner and started thinking about the strange occurrence. When the prayers in the temple were over, the sound made by the priest broke his chain of thoughts.
As the priest was coming out of the temple, Venkatraman stood up and asked for food. "Nobody has cooked for you", the priest replied harshly. "Then, let me stay in the temple for the night", said Venkatraman. Without even looking at the little Venkatraman, the priest denied him permission to stay in the temple for the night.
Instantly, Venkatraman went out of the temple. He reached Keelur after walking for about a mile along with a pilgrim who came to visit the place. At Keelur, Viraateshvar temple became his resting-place where he stopped and relaxed for sometime. While the priest was engrossed in the prayers, Venkatraman went into trance. Venkatraman asked for food in the temple but there also, the priest denied him. The priest never wanted to give the 'Prasadam' (victuals) to the boy, but looking at the dignified and glorious face of Venkatraman, he gave his share of the victual to him.
He got a plateful of rice from the priest. After having his food, he went to a nearby house to get some water. It was 9 O' clock at night and weakness had crept into his body making him unable to hold himself properly. He fell down at the doorstep itself, as he was unable to even drink the water given to him. He fell unconscious on the road unable to move. When he came back to consciousness, he saw a crowd of curious people watching him. He drank some water and spent the night in the village.
The next day, was 31st of August 1896 and the day was being celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami. Still Venkatraman had to cover more than 20 miles to reach Tiruvannamalai. He didn't get anything to eat at night. His stomach was aching due to hunger and he was totally run down with fatigue.
He decided to first have food and then go to Tiruvannamalai by train. He didn't have a penny with him but still he was confident that he would reach his destination with the help of the Almighty. When all this was going on in his mind, an idea sparked off. Suddenly, he thought of the golden earrings that he was wearing. The earrings that he was wearing were embedded with diamonds and would fetch him at least 20 Rupees. He thought of pawning his earrings.
He went to the home of a Brahmin named Muthukrishna Bhagwatar. The day was a festive one as it marked the birth of Lord Krishna. The Brahmin was overjoyed to see such a great devotee and knowledgeable ascetic in the form of a small child. The face of Venkatraman had a glow that was extraordinary. The wife of Muthukrishna was happy to get the opportunity to invite such a gracious guest to her house. She greeted him with love and affection. Looking at the enchanting face of Venkatraman, she felt as if Lord Krishna himself had come to her house. She gave him delicious food and treated him in a very gentle manner. Venkatraman was given a small packet of sweets after he finished eating.
Eager to know more about Venkatraman, they started talking with him. In the flow of things, Venkatraman related his idea of pawning his earrings. The couple was not happy letting the child go away without getting help from them. They decided to help him by giving him some money but Venkatraman didn't agree to that; so, in the end, they took the earrings and gave him four Rupees and a receipt, which recorded the transaction.
He took the packet of sweets and the receipt and proceeded towards the railway station. He didn't have any intention to get back the earrings; no matter how valuable they were. On the way to the station itself, he tore off the receipt and moved ahead. The date was the 1st of September 1896; at four 'o' clock in the morning, he got a ticket to Tiruvannamalai which cost him four Annas. He boarded the train and in an hour's time and reached Tiruvannamalai.
As he approached the mountainous region of Tiruvannamalai, he saw the green environs everywhere. The majestic mountains full of grace and magnanimity made him forget everything for a moment. At the very sight of Tiruvannamalai, his heart was filled with an unknown bliss. It was as if his centuries long thirst for happiness was satiated. The gigantic temple of Arunachalam put an end to all his pursuits in life. The eagerness and urge which life had was tamed and every thought resounded only in the temple of Arunachaleshwar. After roaming around in this illusionary world for innumerable births, he had reached his goal in life.
Some renovation work was being carried out in the temple; so, the temple gates were not opened till 8 in the morning. But that day, when Venkatraman reached the place, miraculously, the doors were opened early. So, in a way the Lord himself opened the doors for his devotee who had been praying since time immemorial.
Venkatraman entered the temple carefully as if he would offend the deity even by stamping the foot on the floor. With soft legs, he moved in the temple. The very sight of the Shiv Ling (the oval, black, rocky structure of Lord Shiva worshipped by the Hindus) made him realize that it was not a physical substance but was actually a metaphysical omnipotent power which was all alive.
The edifice pulled him towards it. He joined hands and bowed down with all humility. He was peaceful from within. Years after this incident took place, he said, "a month before reaching Lord Arunachal, there occurred an extraordinary sensation of burning all over my body. I was not able to find out the reason or remedy for this sensation. Even when I entered Arunachal temple, there was no let up in the burning. But when I saw the deity for the first time in the temple, everything subsided by itself and there was an eternal peace all around me. My mind, body and soul were all appeased."
With all veneration, he prayed and opened up himself in front of Lord Arunachal. He completely surrendered in front of the Lord. He didn't surrender to the temple or the mountain, which was standing, but he surrendered to the all-embracing and almighty power of this world. After taking refuge in Lord Arunachal, he thought that the God in the pursuit of whom he left his home would definitely prove to be beneficial in the upliftment and cleansing of his soul. He shun away all his egos and identities by surrendering himself to Lord Arunachal. When he gave everything that is his, to the Lord, he experienced an unusually abundant treasure of happiness.
Venkatraman didn't want to renounce this world in the traditional way. He thought of renouncing the world after acceding to the discipleship of Lord Arunachalam. After praying in the temple, he went to the Ayyan Kulam pond. He devoured the packet of sweets given by Bhagwatar at Keelur, at the banks of the pond. He was about to turn back towards the temple, when a barber asked him, "Do you want to get your head shaved off ?" Venkatraman agreed and sat down. The barber gave him a fine tonsure. He didn't have even the slightest regret on loosing his black, dense and long hair. He even took off the unwanted clothes from his body leaving everything except the kaupin (a piece of cloth covering the lower part of the body). He even threw off the 3½ Rupees that he had. The only thing that he had kept was the sacred thread, which ran from his shoulders to the waist. But he didn't value the sacred thread also; so, he took it off and left everything behind him, moving towards the ultimate goal of attaining the Lord. He took the oath of not speaking and submerged into meditation. He was now a Brahmachary (a person living the life of a celibate and a recluse, who has renounced the world).
Symbolically, he renounced the world by renouncing his possessions. On the way towards the temple, he got drenched by the heavy downpour. it rained incessantly throughout the day. Before going into the temple he was cleansed by the rainwater. The gigantic temple was in itself a wonder having sprawling halls, large gateways and unimaginably high elevation. The part of the temple, which had thousand pillars, was where the young Venkatraman sat for the first time after renouncing the world. Built by Vellal, the temple had incredible proportions measuring 1980 foot in length and 680 foot in breadth. The interior of the temple was elevated by many stories. The minarets of the temple were 217 foot high.
Victory of Renunciation
After staying at Gurumurtam and the near by mango orchard for about nineteen months, in 1898, the young Brahmin Swamy preferred to live at the temple of Arunagirinath. He asked Palani Swami to concentrate on meditation and advised to live away from him. But Palani Swami was too astute a devotee to stay away from his guru even for a day. He returned to Brahmin Swamy the very next day, just like a calf, which couldn't live without his mother. He told Brahmin Swamy, "I will not be able to leave you ever and go away, I cannot live without your company."
Brahmin Swamy lived in the temple of Arunagirinath for a month. He lived in one of the minarets of the temple for a week. During this time, he wandered on the streets of Tiruvannamalai like a beggar, asking for alms. He used to stand in front of a house and beat his plate and what ever was given was accepted by him without any ambiguity. He used to eat there in a standing posture. He never went to the same house again and used to wander in different streets. Many years after this kind of life, he said, "you cannot imagine the pomp, pride and grandeur that I experienced while asking for alms. The first day, I asked for alms from a teacher's wife and because of my upbringing, I felt ashamed. But after that, I didn't have any feeling of shame. Whenever I asked for alms, I didn't feel anything less than a king. Sometimes, I use to get spoilt porridge. But I used to eat it in front of the people who respected me and those who fell on my feet. When I wiped my hands full of porridge on my head, I attained contentment and joy that made me move ahead with new vitality and zest. My mental condition was so overwhelmed by the feeling of grandeur that even emperors appeared to be like small pieces of grass. This path is the greatest one and that is why, in history also we read that kings renounce everything and go on the streets to ask for alms."
At the temple of Arunachalgirinath also, his devotees thronged to have a glimpse of Brahmin Swamy . He changed his place and shifted it to a place called Pavala Kunru. He chose a dark cave on the hill to meditate. The young ascetic started living in a cave day and night. He was totally cut out from the outside world. Palani Swami used to go for alms and bring food for him. Brahmin Swamy was entirely involved in self-introspection and his soulful journey towards God. Many a times, it also happened that the priest, unaware of the saint's presence in the cave would lock the doors of the temple leaving no way for the saint to come out.
In the long list of names that he had, Brahmin Swamy got another name from the people. Since he was always within himself and in a blissful state, people fondly called him Raman Maharshi. Just his presence appeased the multitudes who took refuge in him. Irrespective of cast, creed and religion, there existed an indubitable and insurmountable faith in him. He was now known far and wide across the area.
People thronged outside the temple, waiting for the doors to be opened so that they could have a glimpse of Raman Maharshi. While all this was going on, he remained in his own world of meditation and silence. He indulged in grueling penance for more than six months in this cave.
When the young ascetic was at Pavala Kunru, he met his mother 28 months after leaving his home. After the failed attempt by Neliyappa to bring Venkatraman back home, mother Azhagamma herself came to take his son back home. She decided to go to Tiruvannamalai in 1898 at Christmas Eve alongwith her elder son, Nagswamy who was working as a government servant. Only after reaching Tiruvannamalai, she came to know that her son, Venkatraman who was then called "Raman Maharshi" had gone to Pavala Kunru. So, she went to Pavala Kunru where she saw her son, sitting on a rock.
Despite the fact that with aging and due to neglect of bodily comforts the appearance of Raman Maharshi had changed drastically, Azhagamma instantly recognized him. Using her motherly love and affection, she tried incessantly to get him back home. But the young ascetic didn't show any effect of mother's love. He recognized his brother and mother but didn't show the slightest of regard or love towards them. Azhagamma and Nagswamy would come daily and use all kinds of speeches to dissuade Raman Maharshi from the path of renunciation. Nothing would work on him. At last, when his mother started crying, he stood up and went away politely without any feeling.
As days went by, Azhagamma's agony and pain increased. A devotee called Pacchaiyappa Pillai was a witness to the happenings and he was not able to see a lady-crying daily and go through the torture again and again. So, he suggested Raman Maharshi to at least write something if not speak to appease his mother. He felt the advice to be appropriate; so, he took a piece of paper and wrote with a pencil, "Every living being leads his life according to the deeds done by him in the past. He is run by his destiny. Whatever is not destined to happen will never happen, no matter how hard you try. And whatever is destined to happen would happen no matter how hard you try stopping it. So, the best way is to keep silence."
Nagswamy ran out of leave from his office; so, Azhagamma returned to Manmadurai with a broken heart and in a sorrowful state. The young ascetic saw himself victorious on the path of renunciation through the grueling test of love. His pristine thought of renunciation and his soulful existence, both emerged victorious.