A street of Tiruvannamalai today
In the meantime Ramana had decided to look for his own food and used to go into town to beg for his meals. About the first time he went begging he said, “The first day, when I begged from Gurukkal’s wife, I felt bashful about it as a result of habits of upbringing, but after that there was absolutely no feeling of abasement. I felt like a king and more than a king. I have sometimes received stale gruel at some house and taken it without salt or any other flavouring, in the open street, before great pandits [scholars] and other important men who used to come and prostrate themselves before me at the Ashram.”25
When Ramana went begging in the evenings he used to stand at the doors of the houses and clap his hands. He received the food in his hands and ate it standing on the street. He never took more than two or three handfuls. He also never entered a house, even if he was invited. As the young Swami was by now famous in Tiruvannamalai and people hoped that he would come to their doors, he used to choose a different street each day to avoid disappointing anyone. Later he said that he had begged in all the streets near the temple.