Author Topic: Bhagavan! I have brought two shirts for you!  (Read 1152 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Bhagavan! I have brought two shirts for you!
« on: April 04, 2010, 05:37:04 PM »
It was an unusually cold winter in Tiruvannamalai.  Tiruvannamalai
is a place, where there are ten months of summer and one month
of rain and one month of winter in year.  The winter never becomes
unbearable.  Unlike Bangalore, you do not need a woolen sweater
at all.  But that year it was unusually chill.  Manavasi Ramaswami
Iyer, pained to see Bhagavan's body clad only in a kaupina and
exposed to such unusual weather, wanted Him to cover Himself
with something more adequate to protect Him from the biting cold.
So he had two shirts stitched and lacking the courage to present them personally to Bhagavan, placed them on the stool before the
sofa, while Bhagavan had gone up the Hill.  On His return, noticing
the shirts, Bhagavan asked the attendant about them.  Manavasi

Ramaswami Iyer, who was there, mumured inaudibly, saying it was he who put them there for the use of Bhagavan, it being very cold.

Bhagavan interrupted:  "Did I complain of cold?"
Manavasi:  "No, Bhagavan, I only thought Bhagavan should protect
Himself adequately."

Bhagavan asked them to be taken away while Manavasi persisted.
Finally Bhagavan said:  "I already wear five shirts.  Is the sixth
one necessary?"

The five shirts referred to by Bhagavan are the panchakosas, the five sheaths which are non self.  They do not exist for a Jnani who remains woithin them as the Atman.  Where is the need to cover what does not exist?


Bhagavan had pointed out the error in the common notion of the
pancha kpsas as sheaths fitted one within another, like Annamaya
Kosa on the top, then the Pranamaya Kosa, then the Manomaya Kosa etc., having the Self as the innermost. 

Bhagavan said an apt analogy.  It is like a scented kerchief.  The
kerchief has got the material, cotton or silk, texture, dimension,
colour, and scent, corresponding to the five sheaths.  The five
are not distinct from one another.  They co-exist together in ever
fibre of the hand kerchief.  Likewise the five sheaths are together
integrated in the Self.

(Source: T.R. Kanakammal's book on Forty Verses and other poems.)

Arunachala Siva.