Sakti Vikatan June 14, 2011  Revised June 23, 2018

Posted Date : 06:00 (14/06/2011)





SriRamaṇa Maharishi

‘I will make money from the visitors keeping you in the front. You sustain no loss. Therefore, don’t stop me. You are my disciple, understood.’ Said Balananda. Bhagavan did not say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ He sat in peace.

This appeared to Bālāṉanda as a workable stratagem. He went around town and came to the mountain. ‘Hey Boy! Take 100 rupee note from my pocket and keep it outside. I will not touch money (now that I am a Sadhu). An unknown devotee put the money in my pocket. What am I to do?’ said Bālāṉanda with firmness.  He spent the money with pomp and an air of conspicuous consumption. When a (nefarious) scheme gains currency in a transaction, that scheme sprouts branches in other transactions.  Life becomes a tree of schemes. Scheme is antithetical to Truth. It is an act of deception. That pretense becomes a gargantuan monstrosity.

Wise men nip the malfeasance in the bud. The fools continue to dabble in chicanery. Their currency is falsity.  These dissemblers continue to play on the unsuspecting. The respect people give to the ochre-robed false ascetics evaporates and the dissembler continues with his deceptive acts. The religion becomes weak, faith in god is deflated resulting in the growth of weeds of atheism, and people lose trust in real Sadhus: these are some of the dangerous consequences wrought by the cheats, who do not worry about their nefarious activities. Bālāṉanda was the perpetrator of such malfeasance. Remaining at the entrance to the sacred Virūpākṣi cave, the dwelling of Maharishi, Bālāṉanda contaminated and desecrated the entire area.

Bhagavan Swamy spoke no word. He moved away in silence. Bhagavan’s devotee Pazhaṉisāmi collected the belongings of Bālāṉanda, threw them out and cleaned up the place. When he saw his silk shirt and long loincloth on the street, Bālāṉanda shouted with an effluence of inauspicious words from his mouth. Bālāṉanda went to Bhagavan and complained in anger, “You witnessed all these. When Pazhaṉisāmi comes up the mountain, I knock the teeth out of his mouth and beat him to a pulp. But, stoic Bhagavan gave no answer and kept silent: Bālāṉanda spewed his anger like the volcano’s smoke and dust.

Bālāṉanda spit on the face of Bhagavan.  Bhagavan known as Brahmana Sami bore this insult with silence. The bystanders showed patience and restraint. But all cannot be patient. One Muthusamy living in Tiruvannamalai in the foothills hearing what happened went up the mountain fast, came to the Virūpākṣi cave and said, “Who is that who spat on our Swamy? Is that you? What audacity have you? You act as if there is no one to challenge you.” Muthusamy twisted his hand and slapped him. Others rose seething in anger at the spitter.

Finding out the powerful disapproval and opposition, Bālāṉanda went down the mountain, declared loud, ’Tiruvannamalai is not the proper place for me,’ and boarded a train with intention to leave for good. There too, the bad Buddhi of the inveterate abuser showed up with a pair of married people. They beat him up into shreds and shards. That thrashing, that insult… brought some sense into him. He got off the train, went up the mountain, cried before Bhagavan and said, “Do you know what happened.” Prescient Bhagavan said in one short phrase, “Know it.”

Bālāṉanda said, “I needed this lesson.  I was wrong to spit on you. For that infraction, I suffered pain and sorrow. Muthusamy did not know the how of beating the opponent. The rail passenger knew his art of beating well. I have welts to show from the beating. Please spit on me as an infliction of punishment and as an act of expiation for me.” Taciturn Bhagavan maintained silence as usual because he maintained the neutral position of a Witness remaining free of likes and dislikes. Since he received beatings, Bālāṉanda, the persona non grata was a little weak in body, mind and soul, which made him ask for forgiveness. In truth, his mind did not change. Again, arrogance and pomp in him popped the head.

He treated the VIPs and elders with disrespect.  He would suddenly leave his place and sit in the middle of the silent VIPs. He staged shows telling, “Child, I will teach you Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Come, hold my hand. Keep looking at my eyes.” He continued, “There is something important happening. No one should stay with the elders and VIPs. Get up now.” He admonished people like that. “Keep looking at my eyes. Don’t let go. Continue looking at my eyes. Why are you holding your breath? Give up breathing exercises. Look at my eyes.’  These are the orders he shouted.  Once he stared at a visitor’s eyes and fell asleep. Falsehood will not hold for long.  Needless swagger gives place to fatigue quickly.

Bālāṉanda’s nuisance value was continuous, high and irrepressible. The devotees worried, ‘What dance and song repertoire he is going to play today.’ Bhagavan sat there like a rock idol.

Maharishi considered going further up the mountain leaving the Virūpākṣi cave.  Then, Sadhu Yogāṉanda knew Bhagavan well. He ruled out moving to another place. But the devotees of Bhagavan opposed Bālāṉanda in various ways. Some insulted him.  Once Bālāṉanda ordered another to fetch a Neem Stick for brushing the teeth. He brought a branch instead of a stick. Bālāṉanda admonished him in a threatening voice saying, “What is this?”  The Neem-Man said, “You are a respectable elder, you need a big stick (rather than a small stick)”. And he threw the tree branch on the floor with a thud.

Bālāṉanda ordered another devotee to bring him a lighted stick for smoking. He brought a flaming torch. The torch-man asked Bālāṉanda, “Which one you want me to set fire to?” Bālāṉanda developed a sense of fear. Because of SriRamaṇa Maharishi, his devotees remained quiet. Bālāṉanda discovered they would not remain patient any more.  He said, “My Sakti is leaving this place. Then, Ramanar is a mere man.” Insulting Bhagavan like that, he went down the mountain.  He told a Tiruvannamalai shopkeeper proudly, that he cast a curse on Bhagavan. The shopkeeper was a devotee of Bhagavan. Will he remain quiet hearing this nonsense? He grabbed the neck of Bālāṉanda and threw him out.

Thinking he could do nothing inimical to much-loved Bhagavan, he left Tiruvannamalai and moved to another mountain. He never returned to Tiruvannamalai.

Another Sadhu selected a comfortable place and sat there on the moutain. If anyone moved near him, he cooked up a scheme and threw him out. He would make them run in fear. After Bhagavan came to Virūpākṣi cave, Bhagavan’s popularity increased. The scheming Sadhu, though Bhagavan was not near him, was jealous of his popularity more than his, was ready to use the tried and true scheme - to displace others - to drive out Bhagavan from his cave.  The conniving Sadhu went up the mountain in the night and pushed the rocks down the mountain. The rocks came nowhere near Bhagavan. He continued his dastardly nightly rock-rolling down the mountain. One day, Bhagavan secretly went behind the nefarious Sadhu and saw him roll the stones. The rock-rolling Sadhu did not know what to do. He gave out a nervous laugh and said to Bhagavan, “You discovered. I did it for play.” Bhagavan maintained silence and went back to his place. Since then, the rock-rolling Sadhu stopped it. 

Another one was proficient in Upanishads. He lived on the mountain. He went to another town, came back in a few days, sat before Bhagavan and insisted on teaching Bhagavan Dattātrēya Mantra.  He continued, “It is a short Mantra. Very few syllables. I will teach you.” Bhagavan refused to take lessons from him. He invoked Śiva and threatened, saying, “Śivaperumāṉ Himself sent me to you and asked me to give you instructions on Dattātrēya Mantram. Therefore, without rejection, accept my offer.”

Bhagavan told him, “When Sivaperuman who spoke to you comes to me and tells me to learn the Mantra, I will learn it then.” The Sadhu became angry. The Sadhu told all the visitors, “Do not go to the Brahmana Sāmy because he knows nothing.  By going to him, you do not earn any merit. He does not have any Jñānam.”

Once, the Mantra-Sami sat with shut eyes in the plantain grove in Tiruvannamalai. Suddenly Brahmana Sami appeared in his mind and cautioned him, “Perfidy, don’t go.” He was surprised. He did not know whether it was real or a dream. He ran to Bhagavan and told him what happened. Brahmana Sāmy said, “I do not do such Siddhi. This was not done by me. This was your mental imagination.” Hearing this, the Mantra-Sámi calmed down.  The letters addressed to Ramana Maharishi as Brahmana Sami were illegally opened and read by Mantra-Sámi and he even sent replies. When challenged, he said, “I am also a Brahmana Sami on the mountain. Bhagavan SriRamaṇa Maharishi paid no attention to it.

Scat was strewn at the entrance to Bhagavan’s cave, Bālāṉanda spat on his face, harsh words were addressed to Bhagavan, someone called Bhagavan a disciple, stones were rolled down towards his place, and Mantra-Sami insisted on teaching him Dattātrēya Mantra, and Bhagavan did not frown on them and got rid of them from his life with patience.

Where are those Sādhus? What happened to them? What does the world know about them? What happened to their progeny? But the world discovered Bhagavan. His fame spread all over the world, which tried to follow his Tattvam to obtain liberation. Truth never dies; its luster never fades. Those who shed the self-conceit of “I” completely, no pain or sorrow will afflict them. The perpetrators of pain will perish in very many ways.

Bhagavan SriRamaṇa Maharishi is not a pedagogue. He lived what he taught. He was neutral. He is devoid of likes and dislikes.  He was the paragon of peace, modesty, and humility and showed one can live with those qualities. If you study Srīramaṇar deeply  again and again, it is certain that the mind will mature accordingly.

Let us receive Darśan.