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Sri Ramana's response to criticism

A true sage lives their life as they teach it. If their words are full of love and compassion, nonduality, and lack of egotism, then their attitude in life should be too. This is how one tells the True Teacher from the false guru.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the response of Sri Ramana Maharshi to criticism, slander, and lies said about him. This is revealed in the following anecdotes:

Patience, more patience

(From a talk on the 20th July 1936)

"Mr T.K.S. Iyer, a disciple, was excited [note: agitated would perhaps have been a better word?] because someone in the town had spoken disparagingly of the Master. He did not retort and came away excited. So he asked Master what penalty should be paid for his failure to defend him.

Maharshi: Patience, more patience; tolerance, more tolerance!"
Link to Amazon com Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, pp.196-7, Sri Ramanasramam, 1955, 1958, 2003 (my note in [square brackets])


Only this is untrue?


A Story Told by Kunju Swami

There was a man from the state of Kerala who had written a biography of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Malayalam (that state’s regional language). Before sending the manuscript to press he decided to visit the Ashram and have it read aloud before Bhagavan.

Because Kunju Swami was born in Kerala and spoke fluent Malayalam, Bhagavan asked him to read the manuscript aloud, and also to look after the author’s needs during his visit. As Kunju Swami began reading, he could not believe what was written. The book stated that Maharshi was married and was the father of several children, and that one day, while living in the South Indian town of Madurai, he closed his eyes and was somehow magically transported to the Arunachala Hill. The book went on like this, containing many fictional accounts.

After the reading took place, the author had to leave quickly in order to catch a train back home. Maharshi was very gracious to him and asked Kunju Swami to be sure he had something to eat before leaving, and see to it that he reached the train station on time.

After seeing off the visitor, Kunju Swami hurried back to the Ashram, anxious to hear what Bhagavan thought of this highly exaggerated manuscript, which was about to go to press. Back at the Old Hall, he found Ramana Maharshi quietly attending to some small chore, completely unconcerned about anything else. Kunju Swami waited as patiently as he could, wondering if Maharshi might raise the subject. But he just quietly chatted with those present and sat silently.

Finally, Kunju Swami could not contain himself any longer and asked: “Bhagavan, how could you allow this book to get printed? It is full of inaccuracies. In fact, most of it is untrue.” Bhagavan looked at Kunju Swami for a moment then replied: “Oh, I see. You mean only this is untrue, and everything else is true?”

The book was never printed!

--Matthew Greenblatt (Fall/Winter 2002). external link The Inner Directions Journal, p. 38.; reproduced on blog Wilber Watch


Do you know of or have other such anecdotes and stories illustrating the life of Sri Ramana, in this or other areas? If so, please send them to me so they can be added here.



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page uploaded 4 December 2006