Ramana and the Untouchable Family: By K.S.S. (Ramanadasa)
When Bhagavan Ramana was living at Skandasramam, I was once alone with him, sitting on the steps leading up to the Asramam. A man came to the gate with his family and stopped there and called out to me.
I went to see what this man wanted. The man asked me to go and ask the Swami (Bhagavan Ramana) whether he and his family could approach Bhagavan and receive his Darshan (Darshan means to be in presence of the Divine or a great saint).
I was surprised at the request and asked the man, “Why do you ask permission?”
He replied, “We are Untouchables.”
( The “Untouchables” are considered the lowest caste in Hinduism and historically some high caste Hindus in India have viewed the untouchables as inherently unclean, inferior, and not suited for spiritual life. Many Brahmins (highest caste Hindus) tend to avoid being in the presence of the Untouchables. It is to be noted that Bhagavan Ramana was born in a Brahmin family).
I started to go back to Bhagavan to ask permission, but then it occurred to me that even to ask Bhagavan would be an injustice to this man and his family.
I told the man that Caste had no meaning with Bhagavan Ramana and that they would be welcome.
The whole party then came and prostrated before Bhagavan.
I well remember how for about ten minutes Bhagavan’s gracious look dwelt on that Man and his family; and how many rich and notable people have I seen fall at Bhagavan’s feet without being vouchsafed such grace.
K.S.S. (Ramanadasa) narrated the following incident on 3/4/46 (Day by Day with Bhagavan). I made minor edits in the original presentation (such as explaining the meaning of the words “Darshan” and “Untouchable”) to make it more readable. The essence of the narration is, however, the same. Harsh K. Luthar
You have no caste. No duties bind you.
Formless and free,
Beyond the reach of the senses,
The witness of all things.
So be happy! ~ Ashtavakra Gita (1:5)