The next day we had a meeting with Bhagavan. This was about the time he arrived at the present site of Sri Ramanasramam (1922). There were no buildings at all, except for a Small shed covering the samadhi of the mother.
Bhagavan was seated on a bench under the shade of a tree, and with him, lying on the same bench was the dog named Rose. Bhagvan was simply stroking the dog. I wondered, among us Brahmins the dog was such an animal that it would defile all purity. A good part of my respect for the Maharishi left me when I saw him touching that unclean animal - for all its apparent cleanliness and neatness it was unclean from the Brahmin point of view.
I had a question for the Maharishi. At that time I was an agnostic. I thought nature could take care of itself, so where is the need for a Creator? What is the use of writing all these religious books telling 'cock and bull' stories, which do not change the situation.
I wanted to put to him straight questions: is here a soul? Is there a God? Is there salvation? Al these three questions were condensed into one:
"Well sir, you are sitting here like this - I can see your present condition - but what will be your future sthiti?"
The word sthiti in Sanskrit means 'state' or 'condition'. The Maharishi did not answer the question. "Oho," I thought, "you are taking shelter under the guise of indifferent silence for not answering an inconvenient question!" As soon as I thought this the Maharishi replied and I felt as if a bomb had exploded under my seat.
"Sthiti, what do you mean by the word sthiti!" he exclaimed.
I was not prepared for that question. "Oho, this man is very dangerous, very dangerously alive. I will have to answer with proper care," I thought. So I said to myself, "If I ask him about the sthiti or 'state' of the body it is useless: the body will be burned or buried. What I should ask him was about the condition of something within the body. Of course, I can recognize a mind inside of me." Then I was about to answer "By sthiti, I mean mind," when it struck me what if he counter-questions with "What is mind?" This I am not prepared to answer.
As all this was passing through my mind he was sitting there staring at me with a fierce look. I then questioned within me, "What is mind? Mind is made up of thoughts. Now, what are thoughts?" I landed in a void. No answer. I then realised that I could not present a question about a mind which did not exist! Up to that point, the mind was the greatest thing that existed for me. Now I discovered it did not exist! I was bewildered. I simply sat like a statue.
Two pairs of eyes were then gripping each other: the eyes of the Maharishi and my eyes were locked together in a tight embrace. I lost all sense of body. Nothing existed except the eyes of the Maharishi. I don't know how long I remained like that, but when I returned to my senses, I was terribly afraid of the man. "This is a dangerous man," I thought. In spite of myself, I prostrated and got away from his company.
"Does not your mind remain formless when you do not perceive or think, say, in deep sleep, in samadhi, or in a swoon? And does it not create space and relationship when it thinks and impels your body to act? Just as your mind devises and your body executes in one homogeneous, automatic, in fact, that most people are not aware of the process, so does the Divine Intelligence devise and plan and His energy automatically and spontaneously acts - the thought and the act are one integral whole. This Creative Energy which is implicit in Pure Intelligence is called by various names, one of which is Maya or Shakti, the Creator of forms or images."
-Sri Ramana Maharishi.
Blasted out of Materialism
Professor N.R. Krishnamoorthy Aiyer - Part 1