Author Topic: Golden Mongoose Visit During His Stay At Skandashram  (Read 746 times)


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Golden Mongoose Visit During His Stay At Skandashram
« on: May 18, 2010, 12:59:32 PM »
Akhilandamma recollects the incident as follows:

I remember one incident that took place when Bhagavan lived at Skandashram. A golden mongoose entered the ashram premises and made straight for Bhagavan. It sat on his lap for a while. Later, it wandered around and closely inspected all the different parts of the cave. When the inspection was over, it disappeared into the bushes on the hill. While all this was happening, Mastan was the only devotee with Bhagavan.

Some time later Perumal came back to the ashram and Mastan told him about the visit of the mongoose. One can get a glimpse of Mastan’s state of mind at the time from the remarks he made.

‘I was afraid that the mongoose might harm our peacocks,’ he said, ‘so I kept myself ready in case it made an attack. I had a big stick handy. Fortunately, it moved away without making any move towards the peacocks.’

Perumal told him, ‘Mastan, you should have caught it. If you had managed to capture it, we could have brought it up here and kept it as a pet.’

Bhagavan was listening to this conversation.

Addressing Mastan, he said, ‘Whom do you think he was? Do you think you could have caught him, and do you think that this other man could have domesticated him? This was a sage of Arunachala who took on this form to come and visit me. He wanted to pay his respects to me. How many times have I told you that sages come to see me in various forms?’

Mastan never told me about this mongoose. Bhagavan himself mentioned the incident to me on one of my later visits.

(‘My Reminiscences’ by Akhilandamma, Arunachala Ramana, May 1982, pp. 5-9)

The story of the visit of the golden mongoose has been narrated in many accounts of Bhagavan’s life, but this is the only version I have found which states that Mastan was the only devotee with Bhagavan at the time of the visit. Since the unusual visit took place on a busy festival day, other people were visiting Skandashram, but none of the other ashram residents of Skandashram was present. The mongoose had earlier visited Palaniswami, Bhagavan’s long-time attendant, in Virupaksha Cave before coming up the hill to see Bhagavan. This would place the incident in 1915, the year that Palaniswami died. When Bhagavan moved to Skandashram that year, Palaniswami stayed in Virupaksha Cave, where he passed away a few months later.

This is Bhagavan’s own account of the visit of the mongoose:

I was living up the hill at Skandashram. Streams of visitors were climbing up the hill from the town. A mongoose, larger than the ordinary size, of golden hue (not grey as a mongoose is) with no black spot on its tail as is usual with the wild mongoose, passed these crowds fearlessly. People took it to be a tame one belonging to someone in the crowd. The animal went straight to Palaniswami, who was having a bath in the spring by Virupaksha Cave. He stroked the creature and patted it. It followed him into the cave, inspected every nook and corner and left the place and joined the crowd coming up to Skandashram.

I noticed it. Everyone was struck by its attractive appearance and its fearless movements. It came up to me, got on my lap and rested there for some time. It went round the whole place and I followed it lest it should be harmed by the unwary visitors or by the peacocks. Two peacocks of the place looked at it inquisitively. The mongoose looked nonchalantly from place to place and finally disappeared into the rocks on the southeast of the ashram. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 84 dated 16th October 1935)



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