Ramana: Not Your Traveling Satsang Guru

Bhagavan Ramana

Sri Ramana was immensely attracted to the holy mountain of Arunachala in the South of India. Arunachala has been the home of many ancient and modern Yogis, Siddhas, and Sages, and carries a great mystique.

Once Ramana got to Arunachala around the age of 17, there was no leaving. He stayed in that area for the next 53 years until his death in 1950.

That is why Ramana is called the Sage of Arunachala (and not the traveling Satsang guy). To Sri Ramana, the idea of leading a satsang circus around the world with him as the head (and being proclaimed as the great Maharshi) seemed entirely comical and troublesome.

Given below is Sri Ramana’s comments and views (from Day by Day – 27-6-46) on why he never went anywhere to give darshan or satsang.


A visitor asked whether Bhagavan Ramana had ever thought of making a tour all round India or would consider such a proposal.

Bhagavan: I have never had any such idea, though several devotees have proposed it. Rajeswarananda once said he would arrange for a special train to take me all over India. But what is the use of my going anywhere? I am not able to see anything (I took this to refer to Bhagavan’s seeing only the Self in everything).

Bhagavan continued: They say I must go and give darshan to all the people in those parts who may not be able to come here, but even if I went, who would take any notice of a beggar going about clad only in a loin-cloth? Or should I go with a label on my forehead or a card hung round my neck saying: ‘Here goes a Maharshi’? Or I should have to take a big retinue who would go about proclaiming: ‘Here comes our great Ramana Maharshi’. Besides, out of all the millions of people, to how many should I be able to give darshan?

Again at about seven o’clock in the evening, when I went into the hall, Bhagavan returned to the subject, saying: “People come here to give darshan to me, so why should I go to give darshan to them? If I yielded to the importunity of some devotee and went to some place when he asked me I should have to go to every place that every other devotee asked me to and there would be no end to my trouble.”

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