About Mirror of My Self

Self is God. Self is Guru. Self is Everything.

This blessed mirror reflects nothing but the Self of my Beloved Brother, my Highest Gurudeva and my Spiritual Father. Whatever you see, read and experience in this blog are only from Him, through me, for you, my dear visitor.

This slave is taking immense pleasure in welcoming you to experience my Self in all its glories!

Shree Rama Jayam.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Yogi Ramsuratkumar shattered Ayn Rand

Last Thursday, when I headed to walk on the street after having breakfast, I saw an auto passing by me, and felt thrilled as the name of one of the greatest saints of our time, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, was inscribed on its windscreen.

Yogi Ramsuratkumar(1918-2001)

Yogi Ramsuratkumar, a Self-realised Master, came into my life through the writings of my favourite spiritual writer, Balakumaran. Whenever, I see His name or picture stuck on a vehicle or elsewhere, I’ll tell my self, 'Hey, you must be good. You're fortunate enough to see Yogiyaar(that's how I like to call him) Himself." And mostly this would happen on a Thursday—Guru's day. Both Yogi Ramsuratkumar and Balakumaran have helped(are helping) me a lot in my spiritual journey. Moreover, like my brother, Yogi Ramsuratkumar too, as His name suggests, is a (favourite) son of Lord Rama.

Born in Varnasi, Yogi Ramsuratkumar served as a school headmaster before He was drawn to South India in His spiritual quest. After His enlightenment, He called Himself as a beggar, and lived a humble life in Thiruvanamalai. But like a magnet attracting iron particles, He drew spiritual seekers from around the world. Thamizh Nadu’s jewel, writer Balakumaran was one among them; one blessed by Him.

In his book, Guru Vazhli(Guru's Way), Balakumaran had shared a significant incident, which just wiped away my desire to read Ayn Rand books, and emboldened my faith in a great many saint. I've translated the incident in Balakumaran’s own words.

It was a summer time. But the wind in Thiruvanamalai was blowing cool. Leaving all the furnitures outside, we emptied a room in the Naadaar mansion to spread-out a mat, and sit before Yogi Ramsuratkumar. My family was beside me. A devotee had prepared the food and kept it at the corner of the room.

It was one of those blessed occasions where Yogi Ramsuratkumar would talk about worldly matters, and teach us without teaching.

In his child-like voice, Yogi Ramsuratkumar asked me, "How much have you studied, Balkumar."

"Till school, Bhagawan(a fond way of addressing a realised soul)."

He continued, “Why did you stop with that?”

“I had great doubt whether I can pass out of school. I had no interest in studies. I have got zero in mathematics. To successfully complete school life was itself like walking on fire. So, I had no further interest to pursue my studies."

"But how is it you speak English very well. Even those
who call themselves as graduates don't speak proper English." Yogi Ramsuratkumar was a literature graduate. His flawless English had left many in awe.

"It's because of my acquaintance with English literature. Buying and reading contemporary writers' books from a rental book store is a old habit of mine. "

"Is it? So, what books do you read?"

"Arthur Koestler, Ayn Rand, Irving Wallace, Irving Stone..." I mentioned a few names, and also their novels.

He asked, "Were you able to read them all."

"At first, it was tough Bhagawan. But as I continued to read, I was able to grasp the nuances of the language. I'd keenly observe the conversations in the novels. So soon, I learnt to speak English without making any grammar mistakes. It all happened because of reading English novels."

"Okay. Can you tell me what Ayn Rand says?" Like an interviewer Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar asked with eyes sharply fixed on me.

"I can tell, Bhagawan. I have read one of Ayn Rand's novels many times. Three of her novels are very popular — ATLAS SHRUGGED, WE THE LIVING, and FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL. These are also my favourites."

"Okay. Then, tell me about Ayn Rand's philosophy." He asked again.

"Ayn Rand says that SELFISHNESS IS A VIRTUE. SCARIFICATION IS A FRAUDULENT WORD. Nobody sacrifices anything for anybody. Behind every sacrifice, there is selfishness hidden. There is no necessity for anybody to sacrifice anything. Selfishness alone is the only sacred thing."

"Is it?" Yogi shrunk His eyes, and continued, "What she says is against our culture, isn't it? Do you believe in this? When every religion says we have to sacrifice, I think, she is talking on the contrary, and gaining popularity. What do you say about this?"

I mused for a while, and said "Bhagawan, I think what she says is right. Everybody, in every stage of life, is selfish. Our selfishness is what makes us to live. What husband has with wife; wife has with husband, father has with son; son has with father, is nothing but selfishness. It's only with selfishness we live."

"I didn't ask you to take your life as an example. Here (in India), there are so many noble souls who have sacrificed their lives...do you say that they all did it out of selfishness? Do you say Mahatma Gandhi was selfish? Do you say Ramalinga Vallalar was selfish? Can we call Buddha, Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa, Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people? You say everyone is selfish. Will you include them too? Will Ayn Rand certify their lives as selfish too? Will she say their sacrifices were fraudulent?"

Though His face was calm, the question was intense.

I was not able to say Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa and Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people. At the same time, I was not able to ignore Ayn Rand too. I sat with an ideological confusion. My family was watching me.

Yogi gesticulated to talk. As I remained silent, He expounded, "Balkumar, once a person came to Bhagawan Ramana and said something similar to this: ‘Everyone in this ashram is working and doing jobs. You alone are sitting simply without doing any work. Why don't you do something like others?’ Bhagawan Ramana retorted: ‘THERE IS NO OTHERS!’

Do you understand what it means, Balkumar? When there is no 'I'; then, there is no 'you.' Only when you have the sense of 'I'; then, there will be the sense of 'you'. Only for those who have the ego 'I', there is a division called 'others.' Only when we separate ourselves as 'I' and 'you,' then, there can be a division that some are superior and some are inferior. Only for those who are divided, 'selfishness’ and ‘sacrifice’ appears as two opposite ends. In our Hinduism, selfishness itself means only others' welfare. SELF MEANS ONLY OTHERS. OTHERS ARE THE SELF. In truth, there is no such thing called division.

Birds, trees, animals, plants, stone, mud, sea, sky, wind, humans—nothing is separate. Everything is One. That's called God. You and I are part of Him. You are in me, and I'm in you. In an ocean, is there a difference in the waves? Are two sea waves different? We see them only as a part of ocean, isn't it? Within ocean, they may separate themselves as waves and bubbles. But still they remain only as a part of the ocean. Each wave and each bubble are part of the whole sea; rising and dissolving are an appearance. In fact, they are not different from the ocean. And so are we, like the sea waves in the ocean.

Balkumar, this is not just told for the sake of an example. This is truth. This is a reality. This is a state we all can attain. We all can live in.

If you feel hungry, I should also feel hungry. Your hunger should disturb me. If you cry, I should also cry. Your tears should shake me. This is the life of every enlightened men. Humans should always try to live such a life. Each one of us should continuously strive to live like that, even if it takes lifetimes.

What Ayn Rand says is a delusion. Something very superficial. Born out of ego.

In our lives, after marriage, the ‘I’ thought is slowly broken as it expands as my wife. Then it further expands as my children; my children’s children; my children’s relatives; my children’s friends, and also as my country men— so on and so forth. Likewise, as one grows older, this 'circle' called the ego must also grow bigger and bigger, and get expanded. That’s a life worth living. But if the opposite happens…if the circle shrinks…it becomes ugly. Such a mind will only become deluded.”

Since I didn't fully grasp and digest what Bhagawan explained, a foolish question arose in my crooked mind: “If I eat, will your hunger be satiated Bhagawan. If you have food, will my hunger be satiated.”

But Yogi Ramsuratkimar is a Divine Master. He could easily read others' thoughts.

“Once a river mingles in ocean, then it’s never called as a river. It can’t separate itself from the ocean to become a river again. Similarly, those who have dissolved themselves in God can never come back to ordinary state. God’s mercy and compassion are like the ocean that never drains. And that’s the state of those who have attained God-hood. In them too, God’s mercy and compassion will ever be there, flowing to all others.

This is how Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsar, Bhagawan Ramanar, Shree Aurobindo lived. There was not a drop of selfishness in their lives, Balkumar. They never did their sacrifice as an act of deception.”

When He uttered the last line, there were tears in His eyes.

Seeing that, I panicked and got up. I prostrated before him, and said, “If I have spoken something wrong, please forgive me.”

He smiled and said, “What you spoke has made me happy. You should always speak like that. Only then you can clarify your thoughts, and write with ease.”

Yogi Ramsuratkumar made me realise the virtue of sacrifice, and the ugliness of selfishness. From then on, my writings got transformed. It was all because of my Guru, God’s child, Yogi Ramsuratkumar.

Later, that day, it had happened that a few youngsters had come to meet Yogi Ramsuratkumar to propound Ayn Rand’s philosophy. But Yogi silently sent them to Balakumaran to do the talking.

And that’s how, my beloved reader, India’s greatest saint of our times, shattered the self-indulgent philosophy of Ayn Rand, who is said to be one of the most-influential writers of twentieth century.


venus66 said...

Thank you dear bro for this post.
The explanation of Yogi touched my heart.Feeling very touchy at this moment.:(

There shouldn't be 'YOU' and 'I' but 'WE'

Hope you are doing pretty good there. Take care. Bye.

KParthasarathi said...

What more can we add to the brilliant exposition.Thank you Manivannan.It has left me chastened.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...


Am glad, dear sister, that you were touched by Yogiyaar's words...His words do create wonders!

And am doing well and good. Hope the same with u :-)

Thank u so much for ur comments.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...


I'm really happy to know that, sir The credit goes to the Masters! And, my sincere thanks for the read.

I think just by reading your comments, we can improve our vocabulary. The way u comment simply rocks! :-)

In Love With Krishna said...

This post was absolutely nice and thought-provoking.
This post, for no particular reason, led me to think abut the part in the Gita where Krishna says there is no real state of 'inaction': even if you are not doing anything consciously, your body is breathing, sitting, etc. So, you are always doing 'something'. The way to go about renunciation, is not to 'give up' everything, but to 'give everything unto Him'...to dedicate ourselves, our actions, our thoughts, and everything to Him ie to surrender unto Him.
So, let's realze our true positions, as His slaves.
Your post led me to these thoughts about Krishna, and they left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Thanks!

Manivannan Sadasivam said...

#In Love With Krishna

Yes, that's a beautiful part where Krishna says that everybody has to act...and there's no escape from it! Even realised saints, though seem to be doing nothing, act like the spinning Top! And they act without the sense of 'I.' Since their surrender is complete.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear friend. Am glad you found the post valuable. Thanks again!

Manivannan Sadasivam said...

#In Love With Krishna

And am sorry for the late reply. Was bit stuck with my Self :-)

Chandramouli said...

My little mind is still on to the pertinent question of Balakumar, "If I eat, will your hunger be satiated Bhagawan. If you have food, will my hunger be satiated.”

Somehow, I could not get a direct answer to the above question, while the overall philosophy of 'oneness of all' can be understood, particularly with reference to the river and the ocean.

By the way, Balakumar was my colleague when both of us worked in TAFE ages back. What an avathar he has taken since then!

Manivannan Sadasivam said...

Dear Mr. Chandramouli,

Ur question is wonderful, and yes it's very pertinent!

But, I believe, you your-self must have experienced that...isn't it?

Just think of an incident when u've been satisfied just by watching your loved ones eating food....be it your son, daughter, or anybody whom you truly love...I'm sure u must have experienced it many times, nah?

The only difference is you may have not been aware of it but a Gnani is...

That's what exactly Yogiyaar means...I feel that's a direct answer to that question :-)

And am gald to have ur presence in my virtual temple! Do keep visiting often :-)

'web designer' Kathaperumal said...

Thank you brother. Thank you for sharing this thought with others.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...

#'web designer' Kathaperumal

Welcome, and thanks, dear friend....The pleasure is mine, too :-)

Do check out the other posts, u may like them!

ShReE RaMa JaYam!

Balu said...


திருவடி தீக்ஷை(Self realization)
இந்த வீடியோவை முழுமையாக பாருங்கள். இது அனைவருக்கும் தேவையானது.நாம் நிலையிள்ளத உடம்பு மனதை "நான்" என்று நம்பி இருக்கிறோம். சிவசெல்வராஜ் அய்யாவின் உரையை முழுமையாக கேட்கவும்.

Please follow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y70Kw9Cz8kk (PART-1)

(First 2 mins audio may not be clear... sorry for that)

(PART-2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCAogxgG_G4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOF51gv5uCo (PART-3)

Online Books
http://www.vallalyaar.com/?p=409 - Tamil
http://www.vallalyaar.com/?p=975 - English

Sathish said...

thanks dear for posting this...
very nice.
When there is no 'I'; then, there is no 'you.' Only when you have the sense of 'I'; then, there will be the sense of 'you'. Only for those who have the ego 'I', there is a division called 'others.' Only when we separate ourselves as 'I' and 'you,' then, there can be a division that some are superior and some are inferior. Only for those who are divided, 'selfishness’ and ‘sacrifice’ appears as two opposite ends. In our Hinduism, selfishness itself means only others' welfare. SELF MEANS ONLY OTHERS. OTHERS ARE THE SELF. In truth, there is no such thing called division.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...


Thanks for the read satish. Am glad u found it helpful.

Shree Rama Jayam!

Sunil Panickar said...

So there was no comments after Jan 2012. I just wanted to know what Balakumaran doing now. I had met him in Kapaleshwar Shiva Temple, while doing my intense sadhana of stillness prayer. I Google his name, but I could not read Tamil, so thanks for the translation.
All great sages was always in highest spirit, so where for them any work & sacrifices exist. Sages are & immersed in beauty of love, all sages wanted us /others /ignorant I, to see, know & experience the bliss of being. When you believe in God, why can't you understand there is no place were God is not. So how come the question comes, show me God. God God God. Everywhere. Where then can I exist. You can't see the Truth cos you use the word / thought / mind for searching the truth, be away from all this, fall into the ocean.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...

@Sunil Panickar

Dear brother, I am really sorry for the late reply.

Firstly, thanks for dropping by and sharing your lovely thoughts, as well as your encounter with Ayya Balakumaran. I completely agree with you.

Regarding Balakumaran, he's working on some novels. Last time I heard, he was working on Mahabharata. He lives in Mylapore and enjoys his family life with his friends and well-wishers while immersing within himself :-) You can find him on facebook page and follow him.

Shree Rama Jeyam!