“Mind Your Own Business”, said Ramana Maharshi

The sun is simply bright

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

Luthar comments:

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

6 thoughts on ““Mind Your Own Business”, said Ramana Maharshi

  1. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Minding our own business…not an easy business! But necessary once one dives deeper into the practice of Self-Inquiry. Why? For one thing, because none of us are omniscient and we really have no clue whether the advice we are so ready to give is the right advice…I know I’ve erred in this area thousands of times…perhaps I will learn! Thank you, Harsh Luthar, for a great reminder to keep us on the path.


  2. Minding our own spiritual business is what we came here to do. When we judge others, we are limited by those judgments. As Jesus is attributed to saying: “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but not the log in your own?” The Truth is the Truth however stated.


  3. Thanks Dave, love that “log in your own eye” quote.
    Here are a couple of similar quotes from Morihei Ueshiba:
    As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.

    There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.