25 January 2007

Begging for Food

At Arunachala there are many opportunities for sadhus and sannyasins to eat at various Shrines and Ashrams, throughout the day. During Poornima (Full Moon) many Temples and Shrines offer free food not only to sadhus but also to the huge number of visiting pilgrims. Its fascinating to know that Saints too sometimes have to skillfully organise themselves to ensure God remembers to feed them each day.

In this respect Ramana Maharshi once described how they used to go about begging in the streets for food and bring it up the Hill. Each day when leaving their cave, they would blow on their conches as an announcement to the people in town that Bhagavan's party was coming on their begging mission. The group would blast on a conch two more times on their way to Town so by the time they entered, residents would be ready with food as the group marched along singing Siva songs, collecting food offerings. The food gathered was ample for all (including monkeys and dogs) at the cave with Bhagavan.

Ramana Maharshi's famous poem 'Marital Garland of Letters' at link:
http://www.arunachalasamudra.org/ramanahymns1.html was specially composed for use by the begging party. Bhagavan once humorously remarked, 'Martial Garland of letters' fed us for many years.

[Extract from Day by Day with Bhagavan]

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