“Mind Your Own Business”, said Ramana Maharshi
One day, one of the devotees came to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and said in an excited whisper, “Look, Bhagavan! Just look at that man! ” Everyone turned to look. We saw a gentleman who was asleep, swaying back and forth. The devotee who had approached Bhagavan complained, “I have been watching him for the past few days. He always sleeps in Bhagavan’s presence.”
Bhagavan looked at the devotee and said, “That man is doing what he came here to do. But what about you? Did you come here just to check on people, and see who is awake and who is asleep? Why don’t you mind your own business?”
Seeing the overzealous devotee rebuked like this, all the others burst out laughing.
Bhagavan did not like it at all when people complained about others. He used to say that as long as a person concentrated on the work he was engaged in, he would not even notice what others were doing. One can find the time to criticize others only when one’s attention wandered from the work at hand.
Source: From Cherished Memories by T.R. Kanakammal
Bhagavan was most reluctant to accept invitations to criticize others on their spiritual path, even if it was different than the one he advocated. On more than one occasion, Bhagavan told devotees that they should mind their own business and keep in mind what their original purpose was in coming to Bhagavan.
This story is both funny and instructive. Bhagavan says to leave alone what others are doing in terms of spiritual practices, karma yoga, sleeping, etc., but focus on yourself. After all self-inquiry is not a group activity. The photo art is from John Wassenberg fb page.
Photo art from John Wassenberg FB page