Bhagavan on Superstition
Many people consider it most auspicious to handle anything that their Guru has touched intimately. Old ladies would wait outside the bathroom to sip the water running from Bhagavan's bath, or the water on the ground left after HE had washed HIS feet on returning from a stroll. So it was considered especially blessed to eat from a leaf that Bhagavan had already used for HIS meal.
But Bhagavan himself was dead against such things and did HIS best to discourage them.
One day Bhagavan noticed a young girl hanging round and watching Him eating. She was obviously waiting for something. Eventually HE asked the dotting parents, who were watching with admiration, what it was all about. They explained that she was waiting for His leaf from which to take her own meal.
Bhagavan was very angry. So as a punishment to all who had allowed such things to happen, HE said that in future HE would remove HIS own leaf and and throw it outside, so that no one might get hold of it. Everybody was upset at this, one reason being that by then Bhagavan's rheumatism was so bad that to try and carry HIS leaf and at the same time support Himself with His stick would render Him unable to onto the rails at the side of the steep steps that led out of the dining room. But Bhagavan was adamant.
So a compromise was reached. In future all leaves were to be left in the dining room and were removed together by one of the servants and this custom persists to this day.
- A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharishi, Page 86