From The Unforgettable Years –
devotee stories from Arunachala.
Bhagavan would never tolerate any kind of preferential treatment. In fact he would repeatedly say he would be happy if the ‘others’ were shown greater consideration. Once Bhagavan stopped drinking buttermilk. Devaraja Mudaliar who used to sit near Bhagavan noticed this. “Bhagavan, we eat all the items sumptuously. But you keep giving up one item or the other. How can we bear this?” Bhagavan replied, “They are only too ready to give me extra helpings. But when it comes to the devotees their hands are paralysed.” On enquiry I learnt that Bhagavan was provoked into making this remark because a young girl from Bangalore had been refused extra quantity of ‘sambar’ which she had asked for. All said and done there was the human weakness of the kitchen helpers.
Those who were sitting near Bhagavan and the old devotees would be looked after properly. Those who sat far away and the newcomers would be neglected.
Repeated statements from Ramana that service to his devotees was the best form of service to him, would be of no avail. Hence he would stop eating or drinking some item to draw the pointed attention of the kitchen-staff to impartiality.
Courtesy – RamanaMaharshi’s Ashram.