When devotees of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi inquired as to how to identify a inani he replied: it is one who has equanimity in all situations and compassion for all living beings, including animals, birds, and insects.
Among the devotees of Bhagavan Sri Ramana who experienced the bliss of his presence were a number of Animals. Valli the deer, Jackie the Dog and Lakshmi the Cow are noteworthy as Bhagavan had shrines constructed for all three of them. And while it is believed that in the presence of Bhagavan liberation can be bestowed on any devotee, the case of Cow Lakshmi is the most outstanding for according to Bhagavan it is Lakshmi and Bhagavan's mother, Animal, who attained liberation.
The following story is a dramatization intended for youngsters and adults alike. While some of the dialogues are imaginary, the basic outline is true to the original account and follows the known events of Lakshmi's life. Adapted from Hari Hara Subramanian's Prani Mitra Bhagavan Ramanar, amendments, deletions and supplemental narration have been provided for this English edition in the interest of more faithfully approximating the historical record. Nevertheless the dialogue format of the Tamil version has been retained. As there is a certain charm in hearing Lakshmi's tale told by way of conversations between Bhagavan and devotees, it is hoped that the initial awkwardness of this more commonly Tamil genre will not distract English- language readers.
For those needing help with Tamil and Sanskrit terms, brief explanations have been inserted at the foot of the page. For more detailed treatment please consult the glossary starting on Page 79.
Preparation of sequels to this volume containing anecdotes of Bhagavan's life with other animals is in progress and will hopefully appear before the end of the year. Let us reflect on the lives of this and the many other animal devotees blessed by Bhagavan in the hope that we ourselves might thereby be blessed.
Back of the Book
Many imagine that Moksha occurs only in Humans but in June 1948 Lakshmi the Cow attained liberation in the arms of her master, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Loved by all for her abiding devotion, she was acknowledged by Bhagavan and devotees even in her own time. Once in reference to the animals that live in our midst, Sri Bhagavan Said: " We do not know what souls may be tenanting these bodies and for finishing what part of their karmas they seek our company." Lakshmi surely came only to be at the feet of her guru and seek complete release by his grace. Gentle, charming and lovable, Lakshmi is a personality that one cannot help but adore and whose life story is both entertaining & inspiring.
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