Monday, May 18, 2015

Sri V. Ganesan - Maurice Frydman

From: Ramana Periya Puranam (Inner Journey of 75 Old Devotees)
by V. Ganesan, grand nephew of Sri Ramana Maharshi :

Bhagavan gave me the opportunity to meet Maurice in Mumbai.
I had earlier met him at the ashram in the 1960´s during the rare visits that he made. Again, I met him when I went to Mumbai in the 70´s to collect funds for the advertisements for Ramanasramam´s journal, The Mountain Path.

Maurice then told me, “While your body is engaged in running the ashram, your heart should be totally settled in that pure awareness of truth.
Never miss that, whatever you are doing.”

We used to have beautiful private conversations. Once, Maurice confessed to me in all seriousness, “The burning regret for us is that probably full advantage was not taken of those happy and precious days when Bhagavan was with us physically - eating, talking, laughing and openly available to us all. Reality was there in abundance in our midst for the taking, and anyone could take it. But, we enclosed ourselves in our false humility, in procrastination, and false excuses. We took therefore, a cupful, when the ocean was at our feet!”
On yet another occasion, he prodded me on, just to give me a push:
“See, Bhagavan is not the person. He is the teaching. As the teaching, he is fully available to you. In addition to whatever work you are doing, plunge within and taste awareness inwardly. That awareness is our Bhagavan.”

Maurice used to take me for long walks in Mumbai. He would tell me,
“I will not provide you with a car; I will not even take you by bus; you have to walk wherever you go, along with me. Are you prepared?” With hands folded in a namaste, I would answer, “Would I hesitate to be in the proximity of the truth of reality?”
Maurice was a spiritual giant, but physically he was less than five feet tall.
Surely no one would hesitate to walk next to him!

On one of these walks, Maurice said, “Ganesan, today I am going to take you to the place where I met a simple man selling beedis.”
As we were walking towards the place, Maurice narrated,
“I saw a group of people smoking beedis; they were relating their woes of life. This simple man answered them exactly in the manner of Ramana Maharshi. Had Ramana Maharshi spoken in Marathi, it would have been the same! I stopped in my tracks and listened intently. It was astounding to see an ordinary man selling beedis talking so spontaneously! I started going to the place every day and noting down what he says. I would then go home and translate all the questions and answers into English.”

However, Maurice was ridden with guilt because he had not sought the permission of this person. He informed the man what he had been doing and read out all his writings, translating them into Marathi.
The man was delighted and told Maurice, “Go on recording, go ahead!”
This was later published as I am That -
a publication that shook the entire spiritual world.
This man was none other than Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Later on, after I had met Maharaj, I told Maurice,
“Whatever you say is absolutely true. I can feel Bhagavan´s presence in his presence. The teaching of Bhagavan comes from him spontaneously.”

Maurice always used to encourage me, “Come on and narrate to me the dialogue that you had with Maharaj.” He would add, “Being a spiritual seeker, associating with sages and saints will deepen your understanding; it will help you go deeper and experience it. Reading improves only intellectual understanding. This experience oriented understanding will happen, whether you have understood it or not, only in the presence of realized masters.”
Saying this, he encouraged me to go to Maharaj.

I was unable to be with Maurice Frydman in his last days.
But I was happy to understand from a devotee of Bhagavan who was also Nisargadatta Maharaj´s devotee, that Bhagavan himself looked after him. The devotee told me about a nurse in Mumbai who normally charged a huge fee for her services. This nurse had a dream, in which a sadhu wearing only a loin cloth told her very clearly, “My devotee is suffering. Go and attend on him.” The sadhu also gave her precise directions to reach Maurice´s residence. The nurse went to the place described in the dream the next day and found Maurice Frydman in bed. Miss Petite was older than Maurice and she too was helpless and unattended. The nurse immediately offered her services. Maurice´s austere attitude would not allow him to accept her services and so he refused. Disappointed, the nurse was leaving the room when she saw a picture of Ramana Maharshi there. She turned to Maurice and exclaimed, “This is the sadhu who appeared in my dream.” Maurice, visibly moved, said, “So, my master has come to look after me.” The nurse served him till the end. Apa Pant, who looked upon Maurice as his guru, was present during Maurice‟s last days. I would like to quote Apa‟s own words: “The sage is dying,” whispered a soft voice over the phone from Mumbai. “The sage is asking for you. Apa, come as soon as you can.” When I arrived, Miss Petite, the doctor and the nurse complained to me that Maurice was refusing to eat and take medicine. They implored me to make Maurice eat and take medicine - as if anyone could make Maurice do anything that he did not want to! There he lay in his familiar room, with everything meticulously clean and in its proper place. As I approached him reverentially, he shouted, „Apa, who is dying?‟ The next day, he drove everyone out of the room, ordering them to leave him alone with me. Then, he said beautifully, „Apa, I hear music. I see the bright light. Who dies? No one is dying. This diseased body is keeping me away from that harmonious beauty. Do not let them keep me in this body. Go now in peace.‟ The next day, we were all at his bedside as he breathed his last. Three breaths, “Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om,” and he was gone.

Nisargadatta Maharaj was also at his bedside, so I asked him, „Maharaj, where is Maurice going? What is happening to him?‟ Maharaj replied, „Nothing is happening. No one is dying, for no one is born.‟ Then I asked him, „Then why this sorrow, this emptiness, this loss, Maharaj?‟ Maharaj graciously turned to me and said, „Who is feeling the sorrow? Who is feeling the emptiness? Who is feeling the loss?‟ I remained silent.
Within hours, in the presence of Nisargadatta Maharaj, the remains of what we called Maurice Frydman were consumed in the fire. The remains had returned to their original order. The great devotee, Maurice Frydman, had returned to the source, Arunachala.
Once, I went to Nisargadatta Maharaj´s house because he had asked me to stay with him. I stayed there for eight days. In the morning, from eight to ten, he would ask me to be seated while he did pooja. There were photographs of saints such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Ramana Maharshi, and yes, even Maurice Frydman, in his room. Maharaj would apply sandal, vermillion powder and perfume to the photographs and garland them. As he was doing this ritual one day, I was asking myself, “Why is he doing this?” He turned to me and said in a compassionate tone,
“Maurice Frydman was a jnani. He was a saint, a sage.”
This is undeniably true.

Maurice Frydman has blessed us all by bringing to us the essence of the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj.
How fortunate we are to be able to share the life of such a great person, a person who wanted to remain unnoticed and unseen.
So much so, that the first edition of The Maharshi‟s Gospel compiled by Maurice did not even bear his name!
We sincere seekers of truth must cling to him in our Heart. 


Book: Maharshi´s Gospel:
Book: I Am That:…/Nisargadatta_I_Am_That.pdf

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