Nondip Paiyan – The Lame Monkey
In 1916, Bhagavan’s Mother Azhagammal and her youngest son Nagasundaram came to live with Bhagavan at Virupaksha Cave. A little later, in the same year, it was decided to move into Skandasramam. Bhagavan moved there along with a number of devotees and His animal companions. He would make Skandasramam His abode for the next six years.
In the days just prior to Bhagavan moving from Virupaksha Cave to Skndasramam, there was a monkey troop near Virupaksha Cave. There was a young monkey in the troop who had started to show some promise, and was gaining popularity within the tribe. The leader of the troop became envious and was very much displeased. Out of jealousy he attacked the young monkey, making him fall from a high tree. The fall badly injured a leg. The leader and the other monkeys abandoned him to his fate near the Virupaksha Cave. Barely conscious, the monkey eventually limped into Virupaksha Cave. The all
compassionate Bhagavan bandaged his leg and nursed him Backto health. In due course, the injuries were healed but he was left permanently crippled. Bhagavan named him Nondip paiyan, the little Hobbler. He was called Nondi as a pet name as he had to limp while walking or running.
Nondi would always sit on Bhagavan’s lap or next to Him while He ate His food. He would never waste food offered to him.
He was a scrupulously clean eater. He followed Bhagavan wherever He went, limping along. Even Bhagavan told him not to
follow Him, he would follow with great effort. He developed a fondness for
Bhagavan and was devoted to Him, looking up to Him
as his Master. Under Bhagavan’s loving care, Nondi’s leg improved, and he
regained his strength. Nondi became a friend not only
to Bhagavan but also to other Asramites. They appreciated his charming
But whatever has a beginning has an end too. Nothing is eternal except the Self. Five days later, the monkeys from Nondi’s former troop came to Virupaksha Cave. The asramites saw them coming and were scared that they might hurt Bhagavan. Even Mother Azhagammal felt the same and told Bhagavan to leave Nondi. But Bhagavan assured them that nothing would happen. The monkeys would not hurt anybody in Virupaksha Cave.
As soon as Nondi saw his troop members, he went and climbed on to Bhagavan’s lap. One of the members of the troop came near them and looked at Nondi’s bandaged leg, Bhagavan told that monkey that He had applied medicine and bandaged to cure the injured leg. The monkeys were sorry that they had hurt Nondi so badly. They gave a friendly growl and one of them came and pulled Nondi asking him to rejoin the troop. But Nondi did not want to leave Bhagavan. He looked at Bhagavan.
Bhagavan told Nondi, ‘Your troop has come to reclaim you. Go with them like a good boy. Do not forget us when you become a King.’ So saying, Bhagavan patted Nondi and sent him Backwith his relatives. Like other animals the monkeys too have love and attachment to one another.
Nondi used to come to see Bhagavan even after Bhagavan and others moved to Skandasramam. He used to come with his troop and be with Bhagavan for some time. When Azhagammal once gave Nondi food in a separate plate, he refused to eat, preferring to share food with Bhagavan from His plate, helping himself by taking from the plate!
Nondi after eating, would pick up the fallen grains from the floor and made it neat. Bhagavan’s appreciated Nondi’s smartness.
(Source: Moments Remembered, V. Ganesan; Hobbler and the Monkeys of Arunachala.)