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Excerpt from

Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi

As Told by Padma Sitapati

daughter of Janaki Ma of Tanjore

"My mother had instilled deep love and reverence for Bhagavan in me. I had visited Bhagavan innumerable times since my childhood days. My three-year-old son, Janaki Ramanan, developed high fever and lost his eyesight. It was a tragedy we could not bear. My mother came to my house and said, "Don't be afraid. The God of gods and protector of our family, Sri Ramana, will surely restore his eyesight."

These soothing words did not sink in. Yet out of regard for my mother, I wrote a letter to Bhagavan at Tiruvannamalai explaining my predicament and seeking his intervention. A reply came from the Ashram, "By the Grace of Sri Bhagavan, child Janaki Ramanan's eyesight will be fully restored."

My father, Dr. Ganapati Iyer, was with us treating my son. As the months rolled by, our faith, except that of my mother, faltered in the face of stark reality. We began to question her "blind faith."

It was the day of Karthikai Deepam (festival-day for Shiva at holy Arunachala Hill, Tiruvannamalai). My mother performed an elaborate puja (worship). As she came out of the puja-room, she said, "Padma, Sri Ramana, our Sri Ramana has restored your son's eyesight. Take the child to the Shiva Temple this evening."

Half-heartedly, we went to the Temple. To our amazement and abundant joy, my son prattled, "Ma! I see Bhagavan before my eyes. I can see!" Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks.

My mother ordered us to go to Ramanashramam to express our gratitude directly to Bhagavan. Bhagavan was seated on the sofa when we entered the Hall. He listened to the whole story as if He had no part at all in restoring the child's eyesight. This was always Bhagavan's way; he would never take credit for His miracles of Grace.

In the evening, I went once more to the Hall and sat near Bhagavan. As it became dark, my son said, "Ma, I can see only Bhagavan's body and not His face." Bhagavan heard this and questioned me. I had to tell Him that even though my son could now see clearly during the day, he still suffered from partial or night-blindness. Bhagavan looked at my son and told him, "Ramana, look at me properly. You can see Bhagavan's head." By saying this, He completed the miracle wrought by Him. My son could now see Bhagavan fully, clearly and normally. His night-blindness too was cured."