A Selection of Teachings
Sri Gajapathi Aiyyer’s Unpublished 1936 Journal
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
Reference Books and Translation
Much of the content presented here, showing Bhagavan reeling off verses from the Bible and other texts, is done so with the implicit assumption that the reader would naturally give himself to understand that Bhagavan was reading out from a book; certainly, Bhagavan did not burst out with these lines of prose or poetry from memory— at least, not in a majority of the cases.
I felt too lethargic to jot down every time Bhagavan asked the attendant to fetch this or that book from the bookcase in the Hall. When the attendant complied, Bhagavan then opened the book at the requisite page, without searching, and handed over the same to the interpreter with instructions to read out select portions to the Hall…and so forth.
Likewise, an interpreter — many times Mr. TKS, occasionally myself in those fortunate few months I dwelt continuously in Tiruvannamalai, or someone else — was used whenever the other person was to be spoken to in English [even if it was a long-standing devotee domiciled within the Ashram on a permanent basis, such as Chadwick or Cohen].
Bhagavan himself needed no interpreter. When Bhagavan himself speaks English the same is indicated in brackets here by me. There were times when, for a Caucasian language, no interpreter would be available. It was then that the master would himself speak it, mellowly, placidly, and distinctly. An example is a conversation with the Swiss Professor Hüber, which took place directly in German without the assistance of any interpreter. Needless to say, on such occasions, what I have reported is certainly limited to how much I could follow. For instance, the substance of the above conversation, since it was in German, could be rudimentarily followed by me, albeit not without difficulty — but when in December 1936 a Mrs. Suzanne Sen visited the Ashram and exchanged a few words with the master in French, I was clueless, and had to depend upon Chadwick to later relate to me what they had spoken about.
I have not pointed out separately conversations which were carried on through an interpreter in consideration of the length of this manuscript. Likewise the names, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, and professed existing spiritual competencies of the various visitors who quizzed the master have also been—largely—filtered out whilst preparing this manuscript. A lengthy manuscript may fizzle out the patience of a prospective publisher; also, I am aware that a book that appears tediously lengthy is — more often than not — ignored and bypassed at bookshops!
Edited by John David Oct 2021