It’s sad that people commit suicide and destroy the body while the mind comes back seeking exactly similar circumstances. Just when the mind projects hopelessness there is light. The end of the tunnel when the self could shine. It’s a miracle to see the self-emerge and shine when the mind had projected death. Many spiritual masters have experienced this as a moment of awakening.
The turning point in Venkataraman’s life came spontaneously one afternoon when the youth for no apparent reason was overwhelmed by a sudden violent fear of death. He narrates – “The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: ‘Now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.’ And I at once dramatized the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out stiff as though rigor mortis had set in and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the enquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, so that neither the word ‘I’ or any other word could be uttered, ‘Well then,’ I said to myself, ‘this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of this body am I dead? Is the body ‘I’? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of the ‘I’ within me, apart from it.
So, I am Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. This means I am the deathless Spirit.’
This experience transformed him completely and we know him as Sri Ramana Maharishi.