Talks 51. Don’t seek divine powers, but Surrender to the Divine
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
June 5, 1935
A young man (25 years of age) came on a visit to the Master. At Maharshi’s sight he became hysterical and shouted Sivoham, Aham Brahma Asmi, “You are God”, “You are Para Brahmam”. “You are my father”, “Father, save me” and so on. His hysterics waxing, he beat his chest violently alternately with both his hands, shouting Sivoham, Sivoham. Then again he shouted hysterically gnashing his teeth, “I will stamp out materialism”, as if he was crushing materialism between his teeth. Then he asked. “Either give me power, either give me power – or – or – or – I will…” He began as if to throttle himself.
When gently removed by others he fell prostrate before Sri Bhagavan, saying, “I will take refuge at the feet of my Father. Father! You are Parthasarathi, I am Arjuna. We will stamp out materialism,” and so on. He was finally taken away from the presence of Maharshi. He washed himself, took some light refreshment and quietly seated himself in the hall for some hours. He abstained from the midday meal. In the afternoon he had another fit when he shouted, “I will chop off the head of Krishna, if he should come here now. He advised me to give up my job, but does not protect my mother. Or let him chop off my head,” and so on.
After some hours of quiet, Sri Bhagavan asked Mr. K. L. Sarma to read out a portion of his commentary on Anubandha (Appendix to “Forty Verses on Reality”). The gist of it is that people, unable to help themselves, ask for divine powers to be utilised for human welfare. This is similar to the story of a lame man who blustered, saying that he would overpower the enemy if only he were helped on to his legs. The intention is good but there is no sense of proportion. The young man on hearing it suddenly sprang to his feet, saluting Sri Bhagavan and saying “Father! Father! I was mistaken. Pardon me. Teach me. I shall abide by what you say,” and so on. Then again in the evening he prostrated himself, saying, “I surrender.”