Pandit Sethuraman had a powerful aura. He was invited to the tooth ceremony festival in Kandy as a special guest in 1951. When the festival ended, the head of the Buddhist monastery insisted Panditji to accompany him somewhere, taking him to the treasury.
Teeming with valuable gems like Rubies and Emeralds that had been donated by emperors in the past, the room was a sight to behold. Surprised and honored Panditji asked the head pontiff why he was showing all this to an outsider. The head pontiff replied saying that he could sense Panditji’s powerful aura and asked him if he would be interested in converting to Buddhism and becoming his disciple.
He said him that he would personally train Panditji and appoint him as his successor adding that Panditji would then become the custodian of all the wealth in the treasury.
Panditji asked him a very simple question. What will I do with Rubies and emeralds after renouncing everything in this world?
Both Panditji and the head pontiff laughed together for a while and Panditji departed saying that he would like to live and die as a Hindu Brahmin.
On his way back, Panditji happened to meet Phir Baba, an enlightened Muslim saint. Upon seeing Panditji, Phir Baba, a man of few words much to his surprise requested the others in the room to leave and spoke to Panditji for three hours.
Panditji who was still a bachelor then, told Phir Baba that he was planning on becoming a sanyasi in a few years. Phir Baba laughed and replied saying that he foresaw a big family and thousands of followers in Panditji’s life.
As Panditji was about to leave, Phir Baba said that he had had a doubt for the past seven years in his mind and felt Panditji would be the right person to clarify it. He asked him why Sri Ramana Maharshi always looked at the mountain.
Panditji replied as follows.
“When a person is alive he has to look at something. Maybe Maharshi preferred looking at the mountain, an embodiment of God Arunachala to look at the people who always have innumerable desires in their minds“.