close your eyes

Jackie the dog…was brought to the ashram when he was very young. He never mixed with other dogs, nor did he play much. Instead, he lived the life of a sadhu. He would sit in front of Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] on an orange cloth that had been provided by a devotee and stare intently at Bhagavan’s eye. Because Bhagavan had a lot of love for him, and because he always behaved in such an exemplary fashion, he was always very well looked after… Whenever prasad [food that has been offered to God in a ceremony, then distributed to devotees] was distributed, Jackie would not eat until Bhagavan began to eat his own portion. On such occasions, he would watch Bhagavan’s face intently. As soon as Bhagavan put a morsel into his mouth, Jackie would start to eat his own portion.

I remember one incident concerning Jackie that occurred while Bhagavan was sitting by the well, surrounded by devotees. Jackie was sitting with the devotees, looking intently at Bhagavan, when a stray dog entered the ashram through the back gate. Jackie, distracted by the newcomer, began to bark.

Bhagavan gently chided him by saying, ‘You just close your eyes. You just close your eyes. You just close your eyes. If you do this you will not be able to see the dog.’

Jackie obeyed at once but some of the rest of us continued to look at the stray dog.

When I saw what was happening I laughed and remarked, ‘This is a good teaching. It is not only for Jackie, it is for everyone.’

– David Godman from Living by the Words of Bhagavan