Echammal and Mudaliar Patti (no. 61) are remembered since they both served food to Sri Ramana everyday from the first decade of the last century until they passed away in the 1940s. Even when the ladies grew old and the Ashram kitchen facilities expanded, they could not be dissuaded from bringing food, and personally serving Sri Ramana.
Echammal (Lakshmi Ammal) was native of a village near Tiru-vannamalai. In a flood of misfortunes, her husband, her son and two daughters died in quick succession. She had an inner confidence that a guru could put an end to her sorrow.
On the advice of her relatives and friends, she went to see Sri Ramana and stayed there for an hour. The Maharshi said nothing to her, but in his presence all her sorrows melted away. From that day on, Bhagavan attracted her like a magnet. She visited the cave repeatedly and began to take food offering to Bhagavan. Initially, her father supplied her funds. Later on her brother also made some contributions.
Once Echammal was going up the hill with her food basket. She met a party of pilgrims returning with a sad look, as they could not find the Maharshi in the cave. Promising to show them Bhagavan, she took them with her. They were utterly amazed on seeing Bhagavan whom they had seen earlier in a kaupina working alone at raising a mud wall. Mistaking Sri Ramana for a labourer, they had asked him, “Where is the Swami?” Bhagavan, it seems, had replied, “I do not know.” When Echammal, after their departure, remonstrated with Bhagavan for having misled the poor pilgrims, Bhagavan replied, “What can I do? Do you want me to tie a placard round my head announcing that I am Ramana Maharshi?”