Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Nayana got his name

A devotee asked, “Why does Bhagavan call Ganapati Sastri ‘Nayana’ (Nayana means father)?”

“There is a reason for it,” he replied, “it is my custom to address all people with respect. Moreover, he was older than me. I therefore always used to call him Ganapati Sastri Garu. That was very distressing to him and so he begged me times out of number not to do so, saying, ‘Am I not your disciple? You should call me by a familiar name. This is very unfair.’ I did not pay any heed to his protests. At last one day he insisted on my giving up the formal way of addressing him and adopting a familiar one.

All his disciples call him ‘Nayana’, you see. So I made it an excuse and said I too would call him ‘Nayana’ like the others.

He agreed to it because ‘Nayana’ means a child and a disciple could be addressed as one’s own child. I agreed because ‘Nayana’ also means ‘father’ and hence it would not matter so far as I was concerned. I was still addressing him in respectful terms. Whenever I asked him to come here or go there he was still uncomfortable because after all that he had done, I continued to talk to him with the respect due to elders,” said Bhagavan.

-- From Letters from Sri Ramanasramam (Letter 111)


tony hogan said...

This is a true story.

My friend lived the first so many years of his life in an orphanage in England. When he was young he ddn't have any friends apart from a mountain he used to talk to. As he got older he always remembered the mountain. One day he was reading a book on Ramana, he saw a picture of Arunanchala and said 'that's my mountain'. Some years later he went there. He died a short time after.

ananda said...

strangely enough, through childhood i used to paint or sketch a mountain.

And it had a similar hump to what Arunachala has from one angle.

I don't know if that's a coincidence. But when I came across Bhagavan and Arunachala, I instantly knew them to be my true Father.