When I heard the following story about Natesa Iyer and Ramana Maharshi it made me think of the power that Bhagavan had gained by saying nothing about Natesa’s idol worship. Had he expressed his disapproval immediately, or often, he would have likely been ignored. Instead he let it happen for two years and then a short casual comment had such immense power that Natesa stopped his idol worship immediately and without hesitation. A very powerful story about shutting up in this world that is saturated with unrelenting opinions 🙂
“Now when Natesa Iyer first came here he had a little private puja box inside which were five different statues, and he used to do elaborate pujas to them every morning. He had a room somewhere between Bhagavan’s hall and the cowshed because every morning Bhagavan would come at about 9 a.m. to inspect the cows.
Natesa Iyer would have done his long elaborate puja by this point, and he would ask Bhagavan to inspect the idols that he’d cleaned and done worship to. And every single day for two years Bhagavan would come, he’d admire them and say, ‘Very nice.’ Now I think this is a really outstanding example of how Bhagavan didn’t interfere in the sadhana, the spiritual practices of devotees who came. Whatever you came with, if you did it well, if you had faith in it, he was happy to let you continue even to the point of every single day for two years stopping off in your room to inspect the same five statues after you had cleaned them and worshipped them.
However, after two years Bhagavan just casually remarked, ‘Oh, so you’re still doing this, are you?’ And Natesa Iyer said there was something about that casual comment which sent shivers down his body. He said there was a physical…a wave of quivering in his body, and something inside him knew that his days of doing daily pujas to these five statues was over. He said that without a moment’s hesitation, ‘I put those five statues back in their box. ‘I walked to Pali Tirtham,’ which is the main tank behind the mother’s samadhi. He said, ‘I threw them in ‘and I never was interested in pujas again.’”