Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ramana Maharshi's compassion towards Ashram Animals

Ramana Maharshi with monkeySadhu Arunachala (Major A. W. Chadwick)- Bhagavan was invariably kind to all animals though he did not like cats, or, I believe, mongooses, this was principally because the cats hunted his beloved squirrels or chipmunks. These squirrels used to run in and out of the Hall window, over his couch and even his body. He would feed them with nuts and stroke them, some of them even had names. Their chief ambition seemed to be to make nests behind his pillows so that they might bring up their families under his protection.

Snakes and scorpions were never allowed to be killed. Sometimes a snake would drop from the roof of the Hall at night. It was the duty of the attendant to show it out to safety by walking behind it with a lamp, as carried in front it would only dazzle the snake and it would become confused.

Madhavan, the best attendant he ever had, who would anticipate Bhagavan’s least wish was adept at picking up scorpions by the tail so that they could not sting, and carrying them outside where they could do no harm. For dogs Bhagavan always had a tender spot. One puppy that was born in the Ashram had rickets. Bhagavan was very solicitous and under his direction I treated it and eventually cured it with biochemical medicines. Strangely this dog proved unfaithful and ran away. Bhagavan said that it must have been killed by some beast or it would never have gone, but months later it returned with a new master it had adopted, it took little interest in any of us, even in Bhagavan. This was inexplicable.

If an Ashram dog barked trying to drive out some intruder and people got angry with it for making a noise, Bhagavan would defend it, saying it was only doing its duty by the Ashram. There was at one time a small puppy that would always relieve itself on a nice smooth spot near the office. Chinna Swamy would get furious and try to drive it out of the Ashram, but again Bhagavan would come to the rescue, saying that if some child did the same thing nobody would be angry, and the puppy was only a child and knew no better.

He seemed specially to love monkeys and often said that in many ways they were better than human beings. They lived from day to day not planning for the future and there was no premeditation in the mischief they performed. He would be very amused when some monkey would slip into the Hall and snatch away plantains from the side of an unsuspecting devotee who had just had them returned as holy prasadam. He would often give directions that they should be fed and encouraged them in many ways much to the annoyance of the management to whom they were a great nuisance.

Source - from Book "A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi"


  1. Usually Bhagavan has a blissfull and calm smile on his face, but in this picture he seems to grinch to the monkey. Why do you think this is?

    Is there any reports of Bhagavan being sad or in a bad mood by the way?

  2. I am not aware of any such incident when Bhagavan was being sad or in a bad mood.

    But I have read one incident where a monkey had bitten the Bhagavan, So He might be little cautious in this picture. I am just guessing when i Say Bhagvan might be little cautious.

    have a nice day and meditative life


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