Author Topic: Some Anecdotes Of Ramana Maharshi  (Read 2602 times)


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Some Anecdotes Of Ramana Maharshi
« on: March 02, 2010, 12:41:39 PM »
For some time past, the Ashram doctor has been suggesting that Bhagavan should take wheat diet instead of rice as that would give better nutrition. Four or five days back, he emphatically stated that the change over to wheat diet should be effected without further delay. The Ashram authorities came to Bhagavan and asked for permission to prepare puris (wheat cakes fried in ghee). Bhagavan objected to it saying that the puris would require a lot of ghee and it was not necessary to spend so much money on them. They said that there was no need to worry about the expenses and, as the doctor says it would do good for Bhagavan’s health, puris would be prepared. Bhagavan said, “Please don’t do anything of the sort. If this doctor says wheat is good,another doctor will say that wheat is no good for Bhagavan’s health. He also is a great doctor. Should we not obtain his permission also? Are we independent in such matters? First ask the doctor.”

On enquiry as to who that doctor was and what really happened it was found that he was none other than our Subramania Mudaliar the storekeeper. It seems some time back wheat had been given as a part of the rations of foodgrains. As no one was accustomed to wheat diet it was difficult to dispose of it separately. Hence wheat and rice were cooked daily and served in equal proportions to all the people in the Ashram. Bhagavan, however, insisted on being served with wheat only and was eating it daily. That devotee, the storekeeper, knowing that wheat would unduly generate heat in Bhagavan’s body and upset his health, requested Bhagavan not to take wheat, but it was no use. Hence he stopped serving wheat in the dining hall and had it served to the coolies only.

When the doctors questioned him on this matter and challenged his statement that wheat does not suit Bhagavan’s health, he tried to evade giving a straight answer by saying that, on that occasion the wheat obtained on the ration was worm-eaten and if that fact were known to Bhagavan he would insist on eating that food himself and so he had no alternative but to have it served to the coolies. Bhagavan came to know of that after he returned from the cowshed and, with some bitterness, said, “Oh! Is that so? What a great service he has done! We should eat all the good food and the food that is prepared from damaged wheat should be given to the poor coolies! I suppose they think Bhagavan will be pleased when he is informed about it. So a noble deed has been done and all this because of their devotion to Bhagavan. What greater shame could there be if food that is not fit for us is given to the coolies in our own presence? That is how everyone here behaves. Enough of all this nonsense. I do not want puris or anything of the kind. Give them to the coolies. If they eat them is it not the same as my eating them?”

Taking up the thread of the conversation, another devotee said, “Our only anxiety is that Bhagavan’s body should be healthy.”

Bhagavan: “Yes, that is true. But what is health and what is happiness? Does happiness consist in eating only? Take the case of a Maharaja. Everyday he has rich and delicious food cooked for him. But he is always sick; always suffers from indigestion. He has no taste for food. He cannot digest what he eats and suffers from stomachache. He can’t sleep, even though he has a fine cot, nice silk curtains and soft cushioned bedding. What is the use? He is always worried about one thing or another. A coolie is happier than that king. He eats or drinks whatever he can afford and sleeps soundly without any worries. As he works with the sweat of his brow he gets first class appetite. With that appetite he relishes food like nectar even if he takes only gruel. He has nothing to lay by for the morrow and so he has no worries about safeguarding his belongings. He lies down comfortably under some tree or other and enjoys sound sleep.” That devotee said, “But then he does not think that he is a happy man.”

Bhagavan: “That is the trouble with the world. The one who sleeps under the tree looks at the palaces and mansions and regrets that he does not have those pleasures. But he is the really happy man. Once I saw a coolie here. Till noon he was doing hard labour by digging the earth and throwing it on the road. He was sweating profusely all the time and was tired. He became hungry. He washed his legs, hands and face in the tank, sat on a slab and opened the pot containing his food. It was full of cooked rice, with a little soup sprinkled on it. He took out three handfuls of that rice and swallowed it with evident relish. Nothing was left over. He washed the pot, drank some water and dozed away under the tree, with one of his arms serving as a pillow. I then felt that he was really a happy person. If one eats just to live, everything one eats gives strength. It is only when you live to eat that you become sick.”

Devotee: “What Bhagavan said is true, but a Maharaja regrets that he has not become an Emperor; an Emperor that he has not become a Devendra (the Lord of the Gods). They will not have the feeling that a coolie is happier. Is it not?”

Bhagavan: “No. They will not have that feeling. That is the illusion. If they have the true feeling, they become realised souls. As I have experienced both of them, I know the value of that happiness. To tell you the truth, the happiness I experienced while in the Virupaksha Cave when I ate only if somebody brought something for me and slept on the earthen platform without even a cloth on it, I do not have it now with this luxurious food I now eat. This cot, this bed, and these pillows — all these are bondages.”

Source: Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam Book


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Re: Some Anecdotes Of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 02:13:25 PM »
Once, on a similar incident, Bhagavan Ramana was also asked to take
red rice (the hand-pound rice), which was placed in Mother's Temple,
as prasadam.  They served it to Bhagavan Ramana.  (Even today, on
Fridays, after placing the cooked red rice, they serve it for devotees).
Bhagavan Ramana continued to take that red rice, since it was prasadam
from Mother.  Later it was found out, that since doctors had said
red rice would do good for Bhagavan Ramana, they bought it and cooked
and placed it as Mother's Temple prasadam!

Arunachala Siva.