Author Topic: Incidents Related To Harassment By Few Sadhus On Ramana Maharshi  (Read 1716 times)


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From the very moment the Swami settled down on the hill, Arunachala, the income of the hypocritical sadhus began dwindling and instead started pouring at the Swami’s feet. The Swami’s great vairagya and his teachings were attracting people in large numbers. This caused heartburn to the sadhu pretenders.

Among them was one, Jataswami who had some tapas to his credit and was also learned. In fact, the Swami used to visit him frequently and consult the books available with him. Jataswami was celibate and frugal in his eating habits but his great weakness was jealousy. He had the habit of rolling rocks towards any real sadhu who attempted to settle on the hill and most of them went away apprehending some approaching earthquake. Jataswami employed the same trick towards the Swami but it had no effect; on one such occasion the Swami climbed up further and caught the elderly Jataswami who, strangely, not only did not express any remorse but merely laughed it off as a practical joke.

Jataswami’s friend was Balanandaswami, a peculiar Brahmin character. He was acquainted with English,French, Marathi, Hindustani, Sanskrit and Malayalam.He studied the Prasthana Traya (scriptures). Appearancewise also he was attractive with sharp features and good complexion. He also had the gift of the gab and by spinning yarns was able to win over any stranger.As darkness is dispelled when the sun rises, with the arrival of the Swami on the hill, Balanandaswami’s glamour began to fade. But he was not one to give up. He tried to win over the Swami by all kinds of tricks. He would tell all visitors that the young Swami was his disciple and would ask them to give his “disciple” something to eat. Not only that, he would place a lot of eatables in front of the Swami in the presence of visitors and urge him to eat.

The Swami was guileless yet he could easily notice the hypocrisy of Balanandaswami but was not inclined to act against evil which was why possibly he never exposed him. Quite brazenly Balanandaswami said to the Swami,“I will declare you to be my disciple and make some money thereby. What do you lose, just be silent”. After 1908 a number of persons learned and unlearned, rich and poor,children and elderly - became devoted to the Swami. They began showing their resentment towards Balanandaswami at first indirectly but later, directly. Balanandaswami went to ridiculous lengths to establish himself as the Swami’s guru without realizing that his acts were harmful to himself.

The climax came one night with his passing urine in the verandah of Virupaksha cave before leaving the place. Palaniswami who guessed that it could only be the act of Balanandaswami washed the place. After the Maharshi and others went to have a bath at a distant teertha,Palaniswami threw out the bundle of Balanandaswami’s clothes, among them were some costly ones too, and left the place locking up the cave. Palaniswami also felt that even if he did not express it the Maharshi must have been revolted at Balanandaswami’s act.

Balananda returned and became furious at what happened to his clothes and began ranting “this must be Palani’s work”. As soon as Palani returned he belaboured him and said to the Maharshi, “This fellow Palani is quite arrogant,see how he threw away my clothes. Get rid of him at once.”The Maharshi did not respond, Palani did not stir. With uncontrollable anger Balananda spat on the face of the Maharshi, even then the latter kept silent. For some unknown reason the Maharshi’s devotees present at the spot also kept quiet.

Another disciple, Muthaiah, living in a different cave got to know of this and with great fury was about to beat the forty year old Balanandaswami with a stick, when the Maharshi intervened and stopped him. Balanandaswami realized that his ways would not succeed and decided to leave the place but even then his pride would not leave him.He said, “This hill does not deserve to be the place for me to do tapas” and left for the railway station. He seated himself in an upper class compartment. Even there he did not behave himself. There was a young couple already seated in the compartment. Balanandaswami began ordering about the young man who, naturally, ignored his commands.

Furious at this, Balananda shouted at him: ‘By ignoring my words you are insulting me. This is because of your infatuation with this tart.” At this, the young man took out his sandals and beat up Balananda. After this treatment, Balananda disappeared from Arunachala.

Balananda indulged in such antics on one more occasion. He ordered Rangaswamy Iyengar, a disciple of the Maharshi to fetch a twig for him to brush his teeth.Rangaswamy Iyengar brought a big branch and said, “For the elderly, is this not the appropriate thing?” Balananda ordered another disciple so fetch some fire to light his cigar. He, in turn, brought burning pieces of coal in a huge basin. Bringing it close to Balananda’s face he asked, “What should be lighted?”

Balananada realized that the Maharshi’s disciples would no longer care for him and thought it better to leave the place before they drove him out. Before leaving,he addressed the Maharshi thus: “This hill is unfit for persons like me. On top of it your disciples have insulted me. It was I who gave you various powers and because of them people are reverential towards you. I am withdrawing all the powers. Henceforth no one will respect you.” So saying he left for the town.

Sometime later Balanandaswami returned to the Maharshi and saying that he had no
attachment towards the body, he became nude and behaved in a repulsive manner with the Maharshi’s attendant. All those present were incensed but the Maharshi was as usual indifferent. After this event Balananda left Arunachala for good. Nobody heard of him any more.

Round about 1916, a group of sadhus planned to abduct the Maharshi. They came to him at the Virupaksha cave in a drunken state and said, “We are from Podigai the place where the sage Agastya is still in penance. He ordered us to take you to Srirangam first, where a meeting of the siddhas is on, and later bring you to him. He said
that there were some elements still in your body which were preventing your attaining complete Siddhi and that he would remove them for your own benefit. He also said that he would initiate you in the proper manner.”

The position was critical but the Maharshi just did not utter a single word. Perumalswami who was there,was quite strong and quick-witted. He intervened and said to the visitors, “We have been already told by God of your impending visit and He ordered us to fry you in a pan. What do you say to this?” He further turned towards Mastan, a fellow disciple, and asked him to make necessary preparations for this. This acted as an excellent antidote which made the visiting sadhus run away.

In the early days of the establishment of the Ashram some rich gentlemen of Madras, felt that the administration of the Ashram was not being carried out properly. They chartered a bus from Madras and arrived at the Ashram with the objective of changing the management or failing that, taking the Maharshi away to Madras. They entered the hall where Bhagavan sat. He was serious, immobile and silent. Each one of the visitors developed cold feet and having nothing to say they simply returned to their bus and went away.The Maharshi later on came to know as to why they came in the first place. He said, “I did not know why they came. Did they come here to imporve the Ashram or themselves?”

So long as one lives in the world even a jnani may have to face critical situations. There is no escape from prarabdha for any one – that is the moral of these episodes.

Source: SRI RAMANA LEELA (A BIOGRAPHY OF BHAGAVAN SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI) Telugu original Sri Krishna Bhikshu Edited and Translated by Pingali Surya Sundaram


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Re: Incidents Related To Harassment By Few Sadhus On Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 02:41:09 PM »

Even after the present Sri Ramanasramam was started after 1922,
Bhagavan Ramana did not interfere with any devotee's sadhana.
He would only give some clarification, whenever some serious seeker
asked for doubts to be cleared.  There were some like McIver who wanted to shift faith and went to some other place, but Bhagavan
Ramana did not interfere with their decisions, nor did He give them
any 'advice' to stay back.  He left them according to their prarabdha.
When McIver's 'guru' who was a siddha with magical powers, gave
the horrendous trouble to Arthur Osborne, He intervened to help the latter but did not say anything bad about that siddha.  The most
cruel villain was Perumal Swami.  Bhagavan Ramana permitted all
his evil acts without interfering.  It was Annamalai Swami, who intervened and put those guys in their places.  Bhagavan Ramana
took everything as it came, as Arunachala's sport.

Arunachala Siva.