A Selection of Teachings
Sri Gajapathi Aiyyer’s Unpublished 1936 Journal
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
Letters to Bhagavan
During the Master’s lifetime, the practise existed in the Ashram for devotees to send in letters asking for all manners and varieties of things. Most begged for Bhagavan’s blessings in their endeavours, and specifically would mention that the sheet carrying the reply be sanctified by his hallowed touch.
Many wrote wanting their prayers or wishes to be fulfilled. Others solicited clarification on doctrinal points. Yet other epistles carried doubts raised regarding practice. Sri Bhagavan was not in the habit of answering letters. An intelligent brahmin attached to the Ashram was in the habit of attending to the last two varieties of correspondence. Invariably most, letters written in European tongues would fall into his hands to be tackled appropriately. He would write and read out his replies to the Master.
When I was maintaining these diaries, I would write them down after a natural, syndicated fashion; thus in this manuscript, you behold amalgamated and mingled the content of these letters together with questions asked directly in the Hall. This need not be understood as causing any detriment in the authenticity of the content of these diaries. While it is true that the replies were drafted by another, the master listened to them with great keenness, and if he wanted any modifications, deletions, or additions to be made, he indicated so at once.
He did not mind delivering a rap on the knuckles to the man should Bhagavan in the slightest feel that there was any correction or other alteration required to be made. So, in substance, the answers given in the letters are also his words. Thus at the time of writing these diaries it never occurred to me to create a split on the basis of what would merely be a theoretical consideration exclusively. Now, whilst compiling this work, it occurs to me suddenly that certain readers might be anxious for such a bifurcation to be available from the text.
I have neither the resource nor the resourcefulness to re-type this manuscript ab initio; thus I have resorted to the following strategy: as to that part of this manuscript which falls on or before this date [of the diary-entry], a separate sheet has been attached specifying the identification-numbers of those pages and paragraphs which embody content that – to the best of my memory – represents the master’s ‘indirect words’, if one may so put it; and as to that part thereof which falls after, I am using an alternate type-basket of the font-variety Clarendon to mark out, as facilitated to be determined by an optimal capability of the faculty of my memory, distinctly such ‘indirect words’, whereas the rest of the matter is typed out as usual in the font-variety Frakturschrift.
Generally, a sizeable portion of long, lecture-like pronouncements herein are from the brahmin who was at the time in charge of the “doctrinal- and foreign-correspondence departments” of the Ashram. In truth, I am taking so much trouble to make this bifurcation discernible, only to satisfy a chance whim of any Ramana-devotee who might happen to have to be able to tell. Actually it is all thoroughly unnecessary, as far as my opinion goes; not a single letter could leave the Ashram without the master’s express imprimatur; and the master was not the sort to show neglect in any matter.
The brahmin was quite an educated fellow and had a brilliant insight into Bhagavan’s teachings, and frequently acted as his interpreter unto Caucasian visitors. Above all, he seems to have been personally selected by the master himself for the correspondence-management task in the doing of which he engaged himself; that ought to say the final word upon the matter.
BLUTKEIM’s Note: What you are reading is the content of text files – to be exact, .wsd files generated by WordStar, which had to be converted into text files so that they could be made intelligible to modern-day word processors. There is no font information available with me. No trace was found of the separate identification sheet mentioned above.
Edited by John David Oct 2021