A Selection of Teachings
Sri Gajapathi Aiyyer’s Unpublished 1936 Journal
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
A Dog and A Monkey
A rotund Telegu-speaking gentleman entered the Hall, prostrated to Bhagavan, stoodfacing the sofa, extracted a few sheets of folded note-paper from his pocket, and immediately began reading out aloud:
Q: Does Bhagavan agree with the theory that the present occupants of India’snorthern region are invaders known as the Aryans? Is it true that they enslaved the weaker peoples amongst India’s native races and pushed down to the south those whom they could not successfully enslave?
Does such a hypothesis not explain why the Dravidian peoples are charecterised by darkness of skin, while those living in the northeren regions tend to be fairer?Where did the Aryan invaders come from, and what is their true home-land or mother-land: is it situated in Europe?
Even Sri Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita calls Arjuna’s behaviour un-Aryan when the latter, overcome with emotion caused by fraternal affection, lays down his arms and refuses to fight, ignoring his rightful duties as a kshatriya.
The Germans have passed laws preventing their people from marrying Jews, in an effort, in their own words, “to prevent dilution and contamination in the purity of the stock of the Aryan blood”.
So therefore, who is the ‘Aryan’? Is it the ancient Aryan priests of India who were responsible for the authorship of the Vedas? Are the brahmins of today thedescendants of these priests?
B.: Why insist on reading race based underpinnings into Sri Krishna’s words to the exclusivity of every other interpretation? For instance, Anaryajushtam [un-Aryan]might as well mean ‘unworthy of being practiced by a cultured person’.
The man seemed to want to argue further, but before he could say anything more, a compelling diversion arrived: a pair of rumbustious animals rushed into the Hall making, one might think, enough noise to make the roof quaver: a dog was furiously chasing a monkey. The monkey, sensing B. was the only safety for it, shot straight up to his sofa, leaped on to the master’s lap, and from there clambered onto his shoulders. The attendant rushed forwards with a stick kept in the Hall for the purpose of threatening monkeys with: B. would not allow any to be actually beaten.
Bhagavan stopped the attendant with a firm gesture of the hand, and there sat the monkey on the master, merrily grimacing and leering and rumbling to its heart’s content at the dog barking away to glory below. The master kept compassionately stroking the creature’s tail. With a sad droop of its tail, the dog finally went away after exhausting its energy on countless infructuous barks. The monkey gave a triumphant look around the Hall and majestically made its exit through the window.
B.: These simple creatures are indeed more blessed than man, whose head is filled with worries such as, ‘What is the origin of my Race? Which deviatory genus thereof surviving today is its best representative?’ Their concerns are happily rudimentary, restricted only to the basic requirements of bodily sustenance. They do not accumulate wealth and then worry, ‘What will happen to all this after me? Will someone cart it all away one day?’. They are content if something is found to eat and water to drink. They live as God has intended them to live: without accumulation, be it of memories or of worldly possessions.
Q.: But man alone is endowed with the ability to attain Brahmajnana.
B.: That is your opinion.
Q.: Can then an animal Realise the Self?
B.: It is not unheard of.
B.: now looked at Chadwick, who was present in the Hall, squarely in the eye, and said:
When you came here first, you asked [me] how the Guru’s help is useful in bringing about Realisation. You were told that it makes the poisonous fangs of samsara ineffective. Now do you see?
Chad. merely looked uncomprehendingly vacant.
B.: Whilst the monkey was seated on this [pointing to his body], it was quitebeyond the reach of the dog. Howl as it might, the dog could not sink its teethinto the monkey’s flesh. It had to go away disappointed.
Likewise, one who has firmly caught hold of the Guru’s glance of compassionate Grace has placed himself quite irrevocably beyond the reach of samsara. Samasara can then only menacingly bark at him; it is powerless to bite. For this, unconditional surrender is necessary.
Chad.: How can I tell whether my surrender is perfect or not?
B.: Questions or doubts, such as these included, arise no more. There are no more wants or cares.
Edited by John David Oct 2021