One of Venkataramana’s uncles came to know about his whereabouts. Alagammal sent this uncle to bring Venkataramana home. The uncle came to Arunachala to take the boy home. But he had to return disappointed. At this Alagammal herself went to Tiruvannamalai along with her eldest son. Venkataramana did not say a word to her. She cried and wept but he kept silent. Finally at the request of one of the pilgrims Venkataramana wrote on a piece of paper the following,
“Everyone has to work according to Prarabdha Karma (fruits of the actions done in the previous incarnations). However much one may strive, what cannot happen will not happen. In the same way, however much one may resist, what has to happen will happen. Therefore, the one and only way open to every person is to carry out his duty.“
Alagammal had to return home disappointed. After some time the Maharshi left the mango grove and moved to a small temple on the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai. From the beginning of the year 1899, for the next 23 years he lived in caves on the Arunachala mountain. In 1922 an Ashram was built on the top of the Mount and was called Ramanashram. People from not only different parts of India but also people from abroad began to come to Ramanashram.
Once a band of thieves came to the ashram in the guise of disciples. The valuable things were stolen. One of the thieves even thrashed Ramana Maharshi. The Maharshi’s disciples managed to catch him. They wanted to punish him but the Maharshi said, “The snake bites, the scorpion stings, the bull buffs. Are we right in crushing them because they do so” We should try to keep away from them. Even so, the thieves think that it is their nature to commit theft. But to pardon them is our Dharma (sacred duty). True humanity lies not in returning violence for violence, but in forgiveness. Let us set the man free.” He told the thief, “If you are not satisfied, you give me another blow.” There were tears of repentance in the thieves’ eyes. After the thieves left, Ramana Maharshi jokingly said, “They have worshipped me also.”
Ramana Maharshi’s health began to decline from the year 1947. A small tumor was found growing on his left forehand. It was operated and removed. But it appeared again. An expert doctor suggested that the left hand itself should be amputated. The Maharshi refused. He said, “There is no need for it. This body itself is a big disease. Such being the case why should the hand itself be cut off? Let any thing happen. Let this hand die naturally.” The tumour grew bigger and Ramana Maharshi’s condition became worse. He finally breathed his last at two o’clock in the night of April 24, 1950.