A devotee asked Ramana Maharishi
“Why do we need to meditate?
I say it is “my mind” – then should it not listen to me and meditate by itself when I tell it to?
Why does it keep running outside all the time?”
Ramana Maharishi just maintained silent without giving reply.
At about the same time, a squirrel had given birth in the ashram, and unfortunately a few days later the mother squirrel got eaten by a cat. Ramana Maharishi took the job of taking care of the baby squirrels. He kept them inside a cage that was kept in the mediation hall. After a few days when everyone was sitting in the meditation hall, the same cat came inside. It so happened that the baby squirrels rushed out of the cage at the same time. Ramana Maharishi got up hurriedly, caught all the baby squirrels one by one and put them back in the cage and locked the door firmly shut.
He then turned to the devotee that had asked the question ” why do we need to meditate?” and calmly said These poor little squirrels do not have the maturity to know the dangers of the outside world, that if it goes out, the cat will make a meal of them. When they get that maturity, they will go hide inside by themselves. Until they get the maturity, we have to keep putting them inside. It is the same thing with our mind. Our mind does not know that if it goes to the outside world, there is nothing but suffering. It keeps running out in ignorance. When it gets the maturity, it will go inside by itself. Until then, it is our job to put it inside with effort -that is why we need to do meditation.”
Meditate, Ramana maharshi, my mind, ashram, meditation hall, our mind, outside world, suffering, ignorance, maturity, meditation.