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Ramana Maharshi's Simplicity In Eating Habits

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6th March, 1949One afternoon, the attendants brought in sweetmeats, given in large quantities to the Ashram by devotees, and sought permission of Bhagavan to distribute them amongst the people in the hall as there were lots of them and it would be difficult to dispose of them otherwise. 

Just then an old woman arrived,feeling her way with the aid of a walking stick, and brought with her two or three dosais (pancakes) enclosed in a banyanleaf bowl. As soon as she entered the hall, she went straight to Bhagavan and of her own accord said, “Swami,take these dosais. I am sorry, I had nothing better to bring.â€

So saying, she tried to hand them over to Bhagavan direct.People nearby tried to prevent her from doing so by saying,“Please put them somewhere else.†She got angry and said,“You had better keep quiet. Who are you to tell me? You have all come here yesterday or the day before. What do you know? Was it not I that got this platform built for Swami and made him sit here? You say I should not go near him.

Enough, enough.†All were taken aback by her authoritative attitude. Bhagavan stretched out his hand and accepted her offerings with the greatest kindness, saying, “Grandma, they are little children, who do not know what is what. Please do not take it otherwise. With what flour did you prepare these dosais? Are none of your brother’s sons looking after you properly? How are you able to maintain yourself? Did you come walking, or in a cart?â€Â 

Thus enquiring about her welfare, Bhagavan began eating the dosais. They were not properly roasted but he ate them with great relish as if they were equal to nectar.The old woman sat there overwhelmed with joy and unimaginable happiness. Bhagavan afterwards asked for some sweetmeats, took a little of each variety, said that was enough for him and instructed his attendants to distribute the rest amongst themselves and the people there, giving the rest of his share to the old woman. 

She got up, prostrated before Bhagavan, took her share of the sweetmeats as prasadam and left saying, “What does it matter how others look after me, Swami? By your grace I am selling dosais and making a living out of the business. It is enough if I could pass the rest of my life thus.â€

After she left, the attendants asked, “Instead of eating those dosais which are not properly roasted, why not give them to us and eat the sweets?â€Â Bhagavan said, “Oh! Those sweets, you think, will be much more tasty than these dosais? If you want, you eat all the sweets. These dosais are enough for me.†The attendants could say no more.

Looking at me, Bhagavan said, “Poor old woman, what can she do? She brought what she had. When I was on the hill, she and her husband used to come to me. She used to bring me something to eat now and then. After her husband passed away, she lived with her brother. Even he passed away.

As her brother’s sons did not look after her properly and turned her out, she has been staying somewhere else and has been living by selling dosais it seems. It is she that had a platform constructed near Mother’s Samadhi where I used to sit and had it covered by palm leaves.

Till then, I used to sit under a tree. ‘Aye! Swami is sitting on the floor and is exposed to the sun!’ So saying, she got the platform built. It is her brother’s son that has repaired Draupadamma’s temple.


Having grown old, she does not come here often. See how she has come here all this distance, with great effort, helped by the walking stick!†He ate all the dosais without leaving even a crumb.Sources: 

1) Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI2) Arunachala's Ramana Volume VIII Book

-- à°“à°‚  నమో  భగవతే  శà±à°°à±€  రమణాయ  

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