In the biography of Bhagavan, Ramana Maharshi, and
the Path of Self-Knowledge, it is mentioned how when Bhagavan
was in the Virupaksha Cave his mother came there on one
or two occasions, and how when in 1912 she stayed for about
ten days, she fell ill. It was on that occasion Bhagavan
composed four verses appealing to Lord Arunachala, which
is perhaps the only instance known of any prayer of his to
influence the course of events. The fever subsided and she
returned to her family in Manamadurai. In 1916, as a result
of some calamities in the family, she got disgusted with life
and came to Arunachala again, this time with the intention
of staying with Bhagavan till the end of her life. As she was
doubtful about her being permitted to stay with him in the
Virupaksha Cave, she went first to Echamma’s house for a
temporary stay and visited Bhagavan frequently along with
Echamma and other lady devotees. After a while, she made
known her desire to remain in the cave permanently with
Bhagavan. Bhagavan just listened to her but did not say
anything. One of the attendants who was looking after the
affairs of the Ashram at the time protested, as he felt that
Bhagavan might not like the idea and might go away from
the place never to return. That was because of his well-known
attitude towards his relatives, including his mother.
Moreover, it was felt that if an exception was made in the

case of the Mother, other women like Echamma and Mudaliar
Patti might likewise seek an exception. Hence all the
attendants in one voice said that ladies should not be allowed
to stay in the cave under any circumstances.
When their objections were made known, Echamma and
other ladies gave an assurance saying, “We will never ask for
permission to stay in the Ashram. It is enough if the Mother
alone is allowed to stay. She has become too old. She cannot
climb up the hill every day; and where else can she go at this
old age? Bhagavan alone should look after her hereafter.” As
no one could guess what exactly was in Bhagavan’s mind and
afraid of suggesting any change in the existing traditions of
the Ashram, they persisted in refusing to accede to Mother’s
requests. She therefore got up in great anguish to leave the
Ashram. Seeing that Bhagavan, deeply moved, also got up
and taking hold of her and said, “Come. Let us go. If not
here we can stay somewhere else. Come.” At this, the residents
of the Ashram fell at his feet and as they were afraid that he
might leave them altogether, begged him to stay, saying, “Please
do not go anywhere. Pray do stay here itself along with
Mother.” From then on Mother stayed with Bhagavan.
With the passage of time, because of latent vasanas,
Mother would say it would be better if they had this article or
that and Bhagavan would admonish her quietly saying,
“Mother, if you want bodily comfort, go to the other son; if
you want mental comfort you stay here,” and she opted for
latter as a matter of course. She adjusted herself to the hard
life of the Ashram and never thought of going elsewhere under
any circumstances. She remained there alone till the very end,
and Bhagavan with his divine grace gave her moksha thus
fulfilling the Upanishad injunction “Matrudevo Bhavah.”
When I heard about this incident from Kunjuswami, I
asked him why it was not mentioned in Bhagavan’s biography.

He said, “It is a fact that it is not mentioned.” I asked Bhagavan
in the same manner as you have asked me and he said: “Why?
I did not like to make public a matter where there was some
difference of opinion amongst the members of the Ashram.”
When I suggested that there might be many such matters which
are not known to the public, Bhagavan said, “Yes. There are
very many matters not known to others. What can one do?”
I was naturally interested in giving publicity to
important matters of this nature and so one day mentioned
it to Santhamma and Subbalakshmamma, two lady devotees
working in the kitchen. They related to me another incident
which is as follows: “After Bhagavan settled down in
Skandasramam along with his mother, Chinnaswami, the
younger brother of Bhagavan, came to Arunachala, took
sannyasa and began living by begging food from the public.
After some time he came to stay with Bhagavan along with
the other attendants. It will be remembered Bhagavan stayed
in Skandasramam till the death of his Mother. Knowing that
her end was near and before losing consciousness, she called
Bhagavan to her side and placing Chinnaswami’s hand in
his, said, ‘Look, my dear. This boy does not know what is
right and what is wrong. Don’t let him go away from you.
Keep a watchful eye on him. This is my last wish’. So saying
she entrusted her third son to the care of Bhagavan. In
accordance with her wishes Bhagavan always kept a watchful
eye on him. Whenever there were any lapses on the part of
Chinnaswami, who later became the Sarvadhikari, Bhagavan
tactfully solved the problems arising therefrom.
Chinnaswami too, had the greatest devotion and highest
regard for Bhagavan.
This was very much in evidence when Chinnaswamy
was looking after the administration of the Ashram as its
Sarvadhikari. If he found fault with anybody and the devotee

stricken with grief complained to Bhagavan, Bhagavan would
look on him with compassion and in his inimitable way relate
some amusing stories to soothe his feelings. If in spite of
that, the devotee were to persist in his complaint, Bhagavan
would console him by saying, “Who knows what tales have
been carried to the Sarvadhikari?”
As regards giving mukti to his mother, as stated above,
one incident deserves special mention. When Palaniswamy,
an early disciple, was in the last throes of death Bhagavan
thought of giving him mukti and so placed his hands on the
heart and the head but the strength of his vasanas was so
intense, they could not get dissolved and so after some time
he removed his hands and gave up the effort, ultimately. In
the case of his Mother some years later, Bhagavan similarly
placed his hands on the heart and the head and as the vasanas
gradually subsided, he continued to keep his hands thus until
life was completely extinct. Thus his efforts at giving mukti
to Mother succeeded. In the case of Lakshmi, the cow,
Bhagavan often told us that all the past incidents in life welled
up in the same manner as in the case of Mother but they
subsided ultimately, which did not happen in the case of
Palaniswami. When I pointed out that Bhagavan was not
with Lakshmi till she breathed her last as in the case of
Mother, he said, “Oh that! What desires did Lakshmi have
after all? Only if there are desires in plenty, they will remain
till the end.” So what Bhagavan wanted us to understand
was that Lakshmi the cow, being an animal, had no vasanas
like us human beings. It was only in the case of these three
living beings that Bhagavan was known to have extended
his grace during the last moments of their lives.