RAMANA : LESSONS FOR DAILY LIVING – 3 (Post No.8387)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8387

Date uploaded in London – – – 23 July 2020   

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RAMANA : LESSONS FOR DAILY LIVING – 3

                                                   R. Nanjappa


(Arul niraivana amudak kadalae! – Sri Bhagavan)

அருள் நிறைவான அமுதக் கடலே!

He would use every scrap of paper. He would cut the white edges of newspapers, stitch them into small books and use for his writing! The proof sheets of any books printed would be stitched by him and retained as his own copy! ‘Who would give us one?’, he would say! He would stitch torn books, mend their covers and bind them! Even the small pencil stub would not be thrown away. Once a devotee brought some nice new pencils. Bhagavan looked at them, admired them and returned them, saying  they were nice but he did not need them as he had his own in the Asramam! He then asked his attendant to search for their small stub and bring it!

When he ate, he would mix all items together and take them! He would not leave anything on the leaf- it would be as clean as an unused, new one! In fact, it used to be so clean that some people would eat on it, taking it as a privilege. This news spread, and there used to be a queue for the use of that leaf-plate! Once Bhagavan came to know of it, he got so annoyed, he started removing his own leaf after his meal! How things happen even in the shadow of the Jnani!

No interference in others’ affairs

Bhagavan would never interfere with the personal views of anyone and impose his own. He would never offer any advice on his own. He would never influence people’s decisions, or seek to change them. Only sincere devotees, who would follow his advice, like Devaraja Mudaliar would get some hints when needed or asked. Once Bhagavan told Mudaliar that he should not seek for pleasure, but might accept what came to him! He told Sivaprakasam Pillai, when asked, that he might go to his village and live there quietly in his Sadhana! But he would not otherwise interfere in others’ beliefs or practices.

 Somehow the practice started in the Asramam of reciting Vedas in the morning. The Vedic pundits used to come from the town. The news reached the Mutt of Kanchi Sankaracharya. They decided that since the Asramam was located in or near the burial ground and contained a samadhi, it was not permissible to recite Veda there! The pundits were told to stop the practice, or they would not be allowed to have allegiance to the Mutt. The pundits were disturbed and in a fix. When asked for his advice, Bhagavan told them that they were all orthodox pundits and they must decide on their own, in accordance with their authorities! Bhagavan did not want to be used as an occasion or excuse to break a sastric rule! He was not a social reformer, and would not interfere with others’ faith or functions! He never criticised any other authority or guru or system! 

Translations and Commentary

His non-interfering attitude sometimes created genuine problems. Learned people started translating his works, writing commentaries and explanations on that, etc. In the process, even his basic, clear teachings got distorted. There were some influential persons of learning who did not agree with what they felt was the extreme or absolute Advaitic nature of his teaching; they therefore translated and explained things in a different way. When other, regular followers of Bhagavan, who had had the benefit of listening to Bhagavan direct on these matters felt that those translations did not do justice, and non-Tamil knowing readers would get an incorrect view of the matter, Bhagavan refused to interfere. He merely said that sometimes questions were put with some intention in the mind, and he had answered accordingly; or that people wrote according to their persuasion. He told Lakshmana Sarma that if he was not satisfied with those translations, he might come up with his own! This Sarma did, and that was read, corrected and cleared by Bhagavan himself! But the incorrect interpretation too is still in circulation! Even in his biography, inaccuracies crept in! (Now, with the passage of time more and more books are being written. How to ensure accuracy? We have to stick to books published in Bhagavan’s own lifetime, and those written by direct followers who were with Bhagavan.)

To be continued

tags – ramana lessons-3

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