Remembering a rare being

 Yet I have not understood what meditation really is. Pray enlighten me". After a long silence came the answer. "Watch from where the notion of 'I' springs carefully so that the mind is absorbed into it. That is Tapas. If a sacred syllable is repeated and if you watch from where the sound is produced, the mind will be absorbed into that. That is Tapas".

Struck by the originality of the answer, the questioner, Vasishta Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni exulted that here was a pre-eminent preceptor and named him Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi.  The confluence of these two great beings marked the beginning of a glorious chapter in Indian spiritual thought.

True to the saying that coming events cast their shadows before, Ganapati Muni was born  to parents under auspicious circumstances. His father was an accomplished scholar in Sanskrit, Vedic studies and Ayurveda among other subjects. Ganapati Muni inherited this glorious tradition and became proficient in all these disciplines and much more at a very young age under the tutelage of his father. As his thirst for knowledge intensified, he left home in search of loftier peaks of learning. In the course of his wanderings, he had the opportunity to take part in a conference of Sanskrit scholars in Bengal, where his brilliance and eloquence earned him the title 'Kavyakantha', one who literally has poetry  in his throat, by which appellation he has been known ever since.  It was in 1907 that the aforesaid momentous meeting between the two spiritual giants occurred, but Ganapati Muni always acknowledged himself as a humble disciple at the feet of the master.

Ganapati Muni's correspondence with Ramana Maharshi is a treasure trove of spiritual gems, revealing his magnificent forays into the philosophy of non-dualism (advaita).

In one letter, he says that he experiences his 'self' in the cave of the heart, but is yet to cease looking at the world as different from himself and prays for guidance. In another, he says he sees everything as the manifestation of the One Existence.

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