Fame and Power never corrupted them!
Gandhi, lying in state, Ramana Maharishi!
They were humble to the core!
Fame and power intoxicates man like liquors. The hankering for fame is in the subconscious of everyone. We are not aware of it. When we embark on any action, we nurture a feeling that others should notice us and praise us. Of course, this is not a serious one, yet when fame embraces us, we become helpless to come out from its clutches.
But there are many noble souls who do not bother about fame or fortune. Usually, they keep a low profile in society. I remember here two great personalities who adored human form, yet remained terribly humble as against people who wish to get noticed by some way. In the political side, I recollect Mahatma Gandhi, who remained absolutely humble in spite of the enormous following during the freedom struggle of India. Until the last breath, he was humble, adopted Truth as the core value above everything else. He sacrificed everything for the motherland, willingly underwent imprisonment at many places in the hands of British Police. He has not committed any crime. He simply ushered a revolution for the freedom of his motherland surreptiously occupied by the British. Even when an assassin fired three bullets at close range, he uttered only Ram, Ram,Ram. He was remembering God during his last breath. He never entertained vengeance against any. He could have occupied highest positions after India gained Independence. But he was happy to remain as a humble servant of his motherland. He was not after fame or power in spite of monumental sacrifices.
The other one was Bagawan Ramana Maharishi of Thiruvannamalai in South India. Many of the readers might have heard about his life and teachings. He practiced monism whereas many people were theoretically experts in the philosophy of monism. Monism is very difficult to practice since one has to erase his ego. One should not identify himself with the body in any manner. He should remain indifferent to the needs of the body. Such a rare being was Ramana. At the young age of fourteen, he left his home in search of Father (God). He had a deep longing to the place Tiruvannamalai and the presiding deity Lord Arunachaleswara. He started his journey with hardly five rupees which was kept for paying tuition fees of his brother. He left a note stating, ‘this has embarked on a search of his father, your tuition fees has not been paid. None need to search this. Even at that time, he referred to his body as ‘this’, as though the body is unconnected with the real “I”. He sat motionless at the temple for six months in an underground cellar completely absorbed in his SELF. He was completely indifferent to the needs of the body like hunger or thirst. His posterior regions were feast to the cockroaches and many insects that were abound there. It was the good fortune of the world, one elderly sadhu happened to go down the cellar. He was aghast to find a boy sitting motionless without any thoughts. With the help of few helpers, the boy was forcibly brought up. In that process, the skin of the posterior region got dislodged due to blood and pus. It is god, who preserved life in the body of the boy Ramana for the benefit of the world. Subsequently he was taken care by few, who force fed him since during most of the time; the boy will remain motionless and absorbed in deep meditation.
His body was protected by some devotees who took turns to take care of it. He was silent most of the time. When somebody pestered him questions of Truth, he replied them in signs and symbols. Otherwise, he will write the answer on a slate. He was already a realized soul and he simply remained there for the benefit of humanity. Such is the greatness of the boy, people flocked in number to see him and hear him. His mere glace solved their doubts. Remaining in front of him and observing him was the most useful for most of the visitors. People start visiting him from far and wide. He always had a crypt reply if the devotee is sincere and eager. Many people, who spent their days in his immediate presence, took notes of those replies that were rare. But those revelations opened vast vistas of spiritual field. Many foreigners visited the place and got impressed with the boy Ramana. They stayed there for many months and they too contributed many articles about Ramana in the spiritual magazines. Paul Brunton is one such personality, who wrote a detailed account of his interactions with Ramana. Many yogis like Paramahamsa yogananda visited his ashram and interacted with him. He lived a very frugal life. He was particular to feed all the visitors. Hence he maintained a kitchen and prepared food for many daily that used to visit the ashram. He himself will cut the vegetables and assist the cook in the preparation. Though he was literally worshiped by many followers both in India and abroad, he never considered himself as someone special. He always maintained that everyone is entitled to the knowledge of Self which is the core of everyone. Hence he advised the devotees to enquire, “Who Am I? And find the answer. His philosophy revolves around the fact that all are One SELF. The seeming separation of body and mind is mere illusion. “You are THAT, There is nothing to achieve. You are already realized. Remove that ignorance which prevents you from knowing that “you are the Self”!
The above two are clear examples of personalities, whom power never corrupted and they remained humble to the core. Let us emulate such great souls and never hanker for power or fame in any manner!