Collecting His Hair and Nails

Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s physical body was not a mere body for His devotees.

Here is an extract from “Only God” by Regina Sara Ryan on Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s reaction about Ma Devaki’s act of collecting His nails and hair.

….”At Sudama, we would either be with Yogiji or we would be talking about him or be doing something for him. There was nothing else to be discussed or thought. Ma Devaki used to collect even his hairs that fell down,” Nivedita recalled.

Her father, Sadhu Rangarajan, was also privileged to spend two weeks in residence at Sudama during that year. As he watched, Devaki, in expression of her devotion and constant care, lovingly clipped the Godchild’s finger-nails, even as he slept. “She placed them in a box in which she saves such things,” the sadhu noted. Rangarajan, always the rationalist, was at first repulsed by the notion of preserving such relics…even the fingernails of his master. Although the beggar had apparently been asleep this whole time, as if hearing the sadhu’s thoughts, he opened his eyes.

“Rangaraja,” Yogi Ramsuratkumar asked, “have you been to Kashmir?”

“No, Bhagwan,” the sadhu answered.

“There they have the hair of Mohammed. Have you been to Sri Lanka?”

“No, Bhagwan.”

“There they have the tooth of Buddha. Have you been to Sarnath?” Without waiting for another response, Yogi Ramsuratkumar concluded: “Devaki can collect this beggar’s nails!”13  (End Note Reference 13. Sadhu V. Rangarajan, personal interview, Bangalore, India, October 2002).

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Here is an extract from Ma Devaki’s Diary” on Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s reaction regarding the collection of Sri Aurobindo’s nails and hair.

…Once before, in that same space of the veranda, an article was read out from the newspaper (at His request) wherein there was a vivid description of how Sri Aurobindo’s attendant had collected the hair, nails, etc. of his great Master. Bhagavan pointed out then “You see, Is the physical body of Sri Aurobindo a mere body?” hinting that those relics were Sri Aurobindo Himself.

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Here is an experience shared by Smt. Rajlakshmi!

Smt. Rajlakshmi had the habit of collecting the Swami’s hair that falls and sticks on the shawl. When Swami walks, with the other Sudhama sisters walking before Him, Smt. Raji would follow Him and without touching Him, she used to carefully remove the hair from the shawl and preserve it. Once, Swami was walking from the hut towards the car, after his morning breakfast at the ashram. He was briskly blessing the devotees who were standing there in a row. At that time, Smt. Raji noticed a hair on the shawl. When Smt. Raji tried to remove the hair, something happened – may be Swami felt her touch or something else happened, Swami suddenly looked at her.  After a serious glance at her, he became very serious. He did not look at the devotees who had lined up. He simply put His face down and without looking at the devotees, he entered the car and left for Sudhama. This caused disappointment to the devotees. A few people blamed Smt. Raji for disturbing Swami. Smt. Raji became terribly upset. All she was doing was to collect the fallen hair. She considered it as a Prasad and she had been collecting it and preserving it as her precious possession.

The people who were in the close circle of Yogi Ramsuratkumar had an important responsibility of not disturbing Him in His work. They had to be always alert and ensure that they do not anything that would hamper Bhagawan’s work. As His work was at a different level beyond our cognition, the close devotees, while enjoying the warmth of His affection, had to be careful in their minute actions also.

Smt. Raji wondered how to set things right, if she had committed some mistake. So she wrote a letter explaining her position and apologizing for any mistake that she might have done.  She took the letter to Sudhama. Swami was informed that she was waiting at the gate. Usually Swami would ask the person to come in and meet Him. But on this particular day, He Himself came to the gate, accepted the letter and asked her to leave.

Later when He came back for 10 O’clock Darshan, at around 10.30 AM, He called Smt. Raji. He was sitting at the place outside the Pradhan Mandir where the small vigraham of Swami is now kept near the entrance, along with a Ganesha idol on the other side. In a very kind and loving tone, Swami told Raji that she had not committed any mistake and that she need not worry. He held her hand for some time, and blessed her nicely. With renewed enthusiasm, she continued to collect Swami’s hair this way.

After many days, once, while sitting in the breakfast hut, Swami noticed a hair on his lap. He called Smt. Raji and gave it to her pointing out that she has been collecting His hair. Swami recognized the faith and devotion of His devotees and always enhanced their Shraddha and Bhakti without obstructing it in any way.

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