Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi explains Greatness of Non Attachment  (Read 1389 times)


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Ramana Maharshi explains Greatness of Non Attachment
« on: March 02, 2010, 12:37:32 PM »
When yesterday, during some conversation, Bhagavan was describing the greatness of non-attachment (vairagya), I said that in the Telugu Bhagavatam, in the second canto,apropos of Suka Yogi, there is a nice verse about nonattachment, explaining the path of deliverance. At Bhagavan’s request, I read aloud the verse, of which the following is a translation:

Are there not nice places on the earth on which to lie down?
Why the cotton bedding?
Are there not hands which nature has given?
Why all the various implements for eating and drinking?
Are there not fibre cloth, deer-skin and kusa grass for wear?
Why fine cloth of different varieties?
Are there not caves in which to live?
Why these houses and palaces?
Do not the trees yield juicy fruits?
Do not the rivers give sweet water?
Do not good housewives give alms?
Why then serve those who have become blind and proud
On account of their wealth?*

Having listened with great interest, Bhagavan said emphatically, “That is right. In this part of the country, one of our Ancients wrote almost similarly, ‘O Lord, Thou hast given me a hand to use as a pillow under my head, a cloth to cover my loins, hands wherewith to eat food; what more do I want? This is my great good fortune!’ That is the purport of the verse. Is it really possible to say how great a good fortune that is? Even the greatest of kings wish for such happiness. There is nothing to equal it. Having experienced both these conditions, I know the difference between this and that. These beds, sofa, articles around me — all this is bondage.”

“Is not the Buddha an example of this?” I said.

“Yes,” said Bhagavan, “when he was in the palace with all possible luxuries in the world, he was still sad. To remove his sadness, his father created more luxuries than ever. But none of them satisfied the Buddha. At midnight he left his wife and child and disappeared. He remained in great austerity for six years, realized the Self, and, for the welfare of the world, became a mendicant (bhikshu). It was only after he became a mendicant that he enjoyed great bliss. Really, what more did he require?”

“In the garb of a mendicant he came to his own city,did he not?” asked a devotee.

“Yes, yes,” said Bhagavan. “Having heard that he was coming, his father, Suddhodana, decorated the royal elephant and went out with his whole army to receive him on the main road. But without touching the main road, the Buddha came by side roads and by-lanes; he sent his close associates to the various streets for alms, while he himself in the guise of a mendicant went by another way to his father. How could the father know that his son was coming in that guise! Yasodhara (the Buddha’s wife), however, recognized him, made her son prostrate before his father and herself prostrated. After that, the father recognized the Buddha. Suddhodana, however, had never expected to see his son in such a state and was very angry and shouted, ‘Shame on you! What is this garb? Does one who should have the greatest of riches come like this? I’ve had enough of it!’ And with that, he looked furiously at the Buddha. Regretting that his father had not yet got rid of his ignorance, the Buddha too, began to look at his father with even greater intensity. In this war of looks, the father was defeated. He fell at the feet of his son and himself became a mendicant. Only a man with non-attachment can know the power of non-attachment,” said Bhagavan, his voice quivering with emotion.

Source: Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam Book

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Re: Ramana Maharshi explains Greatness of Non Attachment
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 02:22:26 PM »
Bhagavan Ramana showed as to how to practice non attachment through
several small incidents.  He was taking betel leaves and nuts, for digestion.
One day, the attendant forgot to serve these.  He got angry and stopped
taking them any longer.  However much the attendants begged Him,  He did
not oblige.  He said:  I have nothing against him.  It may be a genuine
forgetfulness.  Nevertheless, it has helped to me to abhor betel leaves and
nuts.  Prof. G.V. Subbaramaiah has written a Telugu poem on this incident.

Similarly, He stopped suddenly one day, going to the kitchen for work.  Because, on earlier occasions, some of His instructions were not carried
out properly.  However much devotees and kitchen workers begged Him,
He did not relent.  He stopped going into the kitchen altogether.  Thus
He could display non attachment to either desire or work.

He stopped circumambulation also in a similar way.  One evening, it was
decided to go as a group for pradakshina.  Several snacks and coffee had
been prepared and kept in baskets and vessels ready for the trip, since
they would return only next morning.  However, since there was a tiff,
one kitchen worker, I think, one Mr. Rao, wanted to go on that day but
he was asked to stay back in the Asramam, as a guard.  There were some
exchange of words.  Bhagavan observed this and stopped going for
pradakshina from that evening.   He said:  Anyway, it is becoming tiresome
for me, with my pain in the legs and knee.  It is a blessing in disguise that
this incident had happened, and I have stopped going around the Hill.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Ramana Maharshi explains Greatness of Non Attachment
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 03:07:06 PM »
Reasons Why Ramana Maharshi Stopped Going Round The Arunachala Hill From 1926


In 1926 Ramana suddenly stopped going round the hill, although he continued with his regular walks. The cause was a dispute between his younger brother Nagasundaram, who had by now come to live with Ramana, and Narayana Rao, one of the Ashram occupants.

Narayana Rao had to stay behind to deal with the kitchen work, while all the others went around the hill, which was not to his liking. When Ramana heard about the argument, he said,“There is a controversy because I go round the hill. You please go round the hill without me.” He said these words calmly but firmly.

After this incident he never again went round the hill.

Another reason why Ramana gave up the circumambulation of the hill may also be the fact that the number of visitors had increased enormously. He wanted to be available to all who came to him and he could not accept that newcomers should be forced to wait for his return. He was always keen to avoid troubling or disappointing people. So he now restricted himself to his simple walks.

Sri Ramana encouraged everyone to do pradakshina,even people who did not believe in the effectiveness of this long walk. He once said to his devotee Devaraja Mudaliar, “For everybody it is good to make circuit of the hill. It does not even matter whether one has faith in this pradakshina or not just as fire will burn all who touch it whether they believe it will or not, so the hill will do good to all those who go round it. … Go round the hill once. You will see that it will attract you.


1) Arunachala's Ramana Volume II Book
2) Ramana Maharshi: His Life A biography by Gabriele Ebert

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