There is a beautiful example of the power of intensity in the life of enlightened master, Ramana Maharshi. When he was sixteen, spontaneously this happened to him. He was in Madurai near his native place called Thiruchuzhi, which is in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Suddenly one day he started feeling that he was going to die. The great death fear arose in him. We also sometimes feel that fear of death when we hear about some relative’s or friend’s death or when we see an accident or when we come across some news about death. We are so well-versed or trained to suppress our emotions and control ourselves that we never allow this fear to come out. We are such hypocrites that we don’t even know we are cheating ourselves! Many times we can see the fear rise but we are an automatic mechanism of suppression. Over time we learn how to balance ourselves or suppress ourselves. We suppress ourselves and just forget about it or try to do something. We just turn the attention elsewhere. But Ramana Maharshi did not do anything. He used the door to take the jump.
We are also again and again going near this door. Whenever we hear about somebody’s death or whenever fear attacks, we also go near the door. But we are afraid to take the jump. We have trained ourselves so much to be hypocrites or not to be intense. We somehow balance and we escape. We switch on the television or we just move our attention towards something else. Ramana Maharshi used that door to take a quantum jump into deathlessness. He just lay down on the floor and did not move his body and allowed death to happen.
After the enlightenment, he says beautifully about his experience:
Suddenly for no reason I felt the deep fear that I am going to die. I was not sick. I was not having any mental problem. Physically, mentally I was healthy. Suddenly the thought came, ‘I am going to die.’ I just cooperated with that fear. I did not try to jump, I did not try to run away, and I did not bother about anything else. I did not feel like doing anything else. I just sat and allowed the feeling. I just sat and allowed death to happen to my being. I lay down, and I decided let me see what happens. What can be done? I just accepted and I consciously started moving into that fear.
The fear started working on me. I could see that I am dead. My body is not moving, nothing is happening in me. I could see very clearly that I am out of the body. Suddenly like a flash the intelligence or the truth descended on me that my body is dead but I am alive. ‘I’ am not dead. My body is dead, but I could see, I could feel that I still exist. It means I am something beyond the body. That single experience of the truth shook me completely and I realized I am not just the body, and that I am something beyond the body.
After that I never faced the death fear or any other fear. Once and for all the fear had disappeared from my being. The moment I understood that even after my body dying, there is something in me that is not dying, why should I bother about my body’s death? Why should I bother about the death of my body? Because even if it dies, I am going to continue, I am going to exist, I am alive. That means I am something more than what I think. I am something more than this body. This realization has never left me. I have never moved away from this realization after that one experience.
How can a fear create such a big transformation in Ramana Maharshi when in our lives it happens yet we are unchanged by it? The answer is intensity. Such an ultimate experience can suddenly happen without any reason. It is purely your intensity.
source: Living Enlightenment