A Selection of Teachings
Sri Gajapathi Aiyyer’s Unpublished 1936 Journal
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
Trust in God
A scene took place in the Hall, wherein the master upbraided the Ashram’s sarvadhikari [manager] in front of all the attendees. Seeing the dilapidated condition of the Draupadiamman temple near the Ashram, Mr. Knowles had donated a sum of 75 rupees toward its upkeep and maintenance, with a view to prevent at least further incremental damage to the somewhat neglected ancient shrine on account of the passage of time. He had donated the sum to Sri Sadai Chettiar, the temple’s manager. The Ashram’s sarvadhikari had come to know about this, and had wrested away the sum in part from the poor man, telling him,
“That Caucasian has come to Tiruvannamalai not to see your Draupadiamman temple but only to see our Bhagavan. Only because of Bhagavan have you received this endowment toward the temple’s welfare; had it not been for him, would somebody from such a distant country ever dream of setting foot in this place? No. So, give 50 rupees to the Ashram and the rest you can use for the temple. We are in dire need of funds. What are you going to do with 75 rupees? It will encourage you to go in for wasteful expenditure, whereas even for necessaries we find ourselves in a tight corner in the Ashram.
“For buying flowers, sandal-paste, and vermillion-powder will anybody need so much money? You require no expenditure to the massive tune of 75 rupees. For day-to-day pooja expenses 25 rupees is more than enough. So, come to the Ashram now and hand over 50 rupees. That Caucasian is staying in the Ashram — don’t forget it — and so the Ashram has a right of say over this money.”
The Chettiar was sitting in the Hall with a sad face and the master at once found out that his feelings were perturbed. Soon the cat was out of the bag. Bhagavan, addressing the sarvadhikari, spoke thus:
“Why should we behave like this? If we trust in God to take care of our needs, He will provide us with everything we need. There is no need for undue anxiety.”
The sarvadhikari directed a baleful look of resentment at the poor Chettiar who had meekly huddled himself together at the foot of the Sofa, with his arms clasped around his knees and chin nestled betwixt them, and who was pointedly avoiding looking at him. At once, the master told the sarvadhikari,
“Do not find fault with Chettiar for having revealed these happenings; he was sitting quietly in the Hall; it was this that wanted to know the truth of the matter.”
The sarvadhikari dolefully said that he would return the money at once. Now Mr. Knowles spoke up.
“I was thinking that I would pay my respects to the Ashram monetary-wise at the time of my departure from here; that is why I have not paid any donations here yet. There is no need for the manager to return the money. I shall pay the temple-man again; it is no matter; please let us discuss the issue no further, I beg you all.”
This seemed to promptly satisfy everybody, and the matter was dropped then and there.
Edited by John David Oct 2021