|Indian Palm Squirrel|
Ramana Maharshi, the Sage of Arunachala, is one of the most revered teachers of Advaita or nondual wisdom. He is also known for his compassion and love for animals. At his ashram, he was always feeding the monkeys, cows, dogs, cats and squirrels. There is an awesome video about his relationship with the squirrels on YouTube... you can simply click here: Ramana and the Squirrels
"In the roof of the Old Hall, squirrels would build nests. Once, some new-born squirrels dropped on Bhagavan's sofa. Their eyes remained yet unopened and the size of each baby may not have been more than an inch; they were very red in color with fresh flesh, absolutely tender to touch. The mother squirrel ignored them. Now, what to do? How to feed and attend to such tender things?
The baby squirrels were in the palm of Bhagavan. His face glowed with love and affection for them. While there was a question mark in the faces of those who surrounded Bhagavan, HE HIMSELF was happy and cheerful. He asked for some cotton to be brought. He made a soft bed for them. He also took a bit of cotton and squeezed it to such a tiny end, the end portion looked like a sharp pin.
He dipped it in milk and squeezed milk into the tiny mouths. At regular intervals, Bhagavan repeated this act of compassion. He tended them with great care and love till they grew up and ran around. They did not run away, only ran around their 'Mother'. Kinder far than their own mother!"
Ramana holding a little squirrel.
Just hoping that along with the incredible gift of self-inquiry Ramana gave to the world, that we can learn the importance of compassion in caring for our animal brothers and sisters.
Ramona considered them his family and treated them equal to humans!
Ramana lounging with friendly squirrel.
"Later on in life, Ramana began to walk with the aid of a staff. One day, as he was descending the steps into the ashram compound, a squirrel, who was being chased by an ashram dog, ran past his feet. He called out to the dog and threw his staff between them and in doing so, he slipped and the fall broke his collar bone. The dog was distracted and the squirrel saved. Bhagavan did not care for his own safety while protecting the devotee. It may just be a squirrel, but for Him, the primary concern was to protect His friend the Squirrel. His own safety was NEVER a concern."