Sometimes people here who receive books by post bring the books into the hall together with the papers wrapped around them. Bhagavan nicely folds the wrapping and says to the attendants, “Look! Keep this carefully.
We shall cover some other book with it. How can we get such paper if we need it? What is thus acquired is a net gain.” Daily the inward letters are brought from the office for Bhagavan’s perusal.Amongst them, officials like you fold the paper and write on
one side, leaving the rest unused.
Bhagavan tears off such bits of unwritten paper and keeps them. The same is the
case with pins. After reading the papers, the pins are taken out and handed over to the attendants, saying, “These will be useful when we want them.
They will otherwise be merely thrown away. We shall use them. How should we get new
ones? They have to be bought. Where is the money?”
While living on the hill, Bhagavan personally used to prepare ladles, spoons, cups and the like from out of coconut shells.
Till recently he was making cups and spoons of coconut shells and polish them like ivory and tell the attendants,“Look, keep these carefully.
They will be useful on occasions.How could we get silver and gold articles? These are our silver cups and golden spoons. The hands won’t get burnt.
Whenever Batavia or Kamala oranges and the like are received, the skins are not allowed to be thrown away, and chutneys and pickles are made out of them.
They are also used in soup or put to other such uses. Besides this, while taking food, not a morsel is thrown away or discarded. He thus shows us, by his own example, that not a single useful article should be wasted.
If someone brings roses and presents them, Bhagavan presses them against his eyes, puts them on the clock, eats the petals when they get dry and fall off and gives some of them to those near him.
Once when someone brought a rose garland, it was used to decorate the idol in the Mother’s temple and afterwards thrown out by the priests into a waste basket along with other flowers.
Bhagavan saw that when he went out and, getting angry with them, collected all the petals and had them mixed with payasam (pudding), which thus got a delicious flavour and excellent taste.
On his way to the hill, if he chances to see any useful leaves, he will pluck them
along with his attendants, give instructions about cooking them and thus arrange for a delicious dish. He likes preparations which do not cost anything rather than those
that are costly.
All this may appear to be quite commonplace,but if we think it over carefully, we will find it a good lesson for us. It means, he teaches us that we could live comfortably on small means.
Source: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI