More Sketches of Ramana & Advaitins


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From the mountain which is a humanity, rivers flow, sculpting ridges, valleys and relationships.  The young Ramana scampered all over the mountain like a goat.  As he grew old, he became its teacher.


Mani and Sundaram greet visitors at Ramanasramam


3 Sunyata - a Danish devotee

Sunyata, (Emanuel Sorensen) a Danish sadhu, with his Tibetan dog Sri Cho Chu Wuj.  He wrote:

“In this life play I have not been in quest of Guru, God, Truth, Grace, Salvation, nirvana, or power lust.  I had no ambition to be different from what I am.

“Blessedly, I had escaped headucation, and was free of any imposed knowledge. I had no property.

“I did not marry. I did not belong to any cliques or creed. I was not attracted to their magnetism.

“I felt all is within our Self.  I had nothing to assert or resent.  Nor had I anything to boast about or regret.

I was fully contented.
I had joy in that which is.”



Catherine Ingram on her first teaching visit to London.  Poonjaji of Lucknow liberated her strong Buddhist practice to “dialogue the dharma” around the world, watching storms in the clear sky.   We don’t run from the pain and breaking heart of life.   We witness and keep quiet with it, hearing it speak, seeking the true, as it begins to flow and the cloud dissolves.   “Let our words” said she, like a Taoist – “be well placed stones.”



Isaac Shapiro, another of Poonjaji’s earlier Western messengers:  Satsang, company of the wise and merry in the Self.


Papaji:  Peace


Harilal Poonja

This is how I imagine him as a young man.  I didn’t meet Papaji, but knew some of his messengers.   The three volumes of “Nothing Ever Happened” which he dictated to David Godman, narrate his long and adventurous life as a yogi, siddha and modern master.  In his travels he helped countless people to become aware of ‘the impersonal reality that underlies the world and all phenomenal experiences”.  Often he was a “mystery man”, appearing on the mountain, on a train or in the jungle.  Young westerners adored him, and he as a bhakta couldn’t help falling in love with their Self.  His diaries explore the guru disciple relationship.

Ramana with Poonjaji and a devotee


It is amazing how much the Advaita people like to talk.



Mouni Sadhu from the western occult tradition, visits Ramana “In Days of Great Peace”.


Spreading the good news – V.Ganesan, founder-editor (with Arthur Osborne) of Ramanasramam Journal The Mountain Path


This is Ranjit Maharaj of Mumbai;  he and Nisargadatta Maharaj (Ramesh’s teacher) were initiates from another old Advaita lineage, which flowed fruitfully alongside Ramana and the Hill.  I have many drawings of Ranjit, because once I was commissioned by some of his devotees in America, to do a portrait of him … and none of my efforts to draw their beloved guru were successful in their eyes.


Ramesh Talks

Sketches from life of Ramesh Balekar – these appeared in an earlier post, I think;  certainly the one on the right.   But they speak well enough, here.

 Out of a pile of newsletters fell Ramesh’s devotee Wayne, the other day …


and here are Douglas and Catherine Harding built open for each other, exchanging billets-doux of the Obvious.


From Papaji’s “stable” – Bernardo (Satyananda) enjoying a good meal at Osho Leela in Dorset, and …

Neelam, who gave him a name to sign his letters with.





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

9 thoughts on “More Sketches of Ramana & Advaitins

  1. Thank you for the lovely sketches. I really enjoyed visiting Ramana’s ashram…so peaceful. Ramesh Balsekar’s books are wonderful…

      • Have you read Sunyata: “The Life and Sayings of A Rare Born Mystic ” or

        I was a co-editor of both books.
        I met Sunyata in late 70’s when the Alan Watts Society brought him over to US (along with his longtime friend Lama Govinda). I became his personal secretary and spent as much time as possible with him until he left body-ji in 1984. Huge loss!
        It was through him that I first heard of Ramana Maharshi. He considered Ramana the brightest light in all of India. So subsequently I have been to Ramanashram several times. The very first time I went there i had a ‘chance’ meeting with a Indian man also visiting the ashram for the first time.
        It was incredibly synchronistic. He had contacted me years earlier about publishing Sunyata’s writings and because of other commitments – I declined. So now we met and it seemed like Divine Providence. ‘Dancing With the Void’ is the book that eventually came out of this meeting.
        I consider it a huge gift that this unassuming humble and awake being was in my life.

        Your drawings here are so wonderful. You are so incredibly gifted. It must make it challenging to relate to the rest of us.

  2. Thank you Layena for this fascinating story and synchronicity. What a privilege it was for you to work with Sunyata, and then to produce Dancing with the Void. I am not sure if I read it or not – I shall look for it. And I appreciate so much, all your support and friendship. xx

  3. I loved that sketch of Ranjit Maharaj, it is simply perfect! Since you mentioned that you have more sketches of him, could you please share them as well? 🙂

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