In 1905 plague appeared in the locality. The dread visitant was probably carried into the district by some pilgrim to the templeof Arunachala.
It devastated the population so fiercely that almost everyone left the little township and fled in terror to safer villages or towns. So quiet did the deserted place become that tigers and leopards came out of their lurking dens in the jungle and moved openly through the streets. But though they must have roamed the hill-side nany times, for it stood in their path to the township, though they must have passed and repassed the Maharshi's cave, he refused to leave, but remained as calm and unmoved as ever.
By this time the young hermit had involuntarily acquired a solitary disciple, who had become very much attached to him and persisted in staying by his side and attending to his needs. The man is now dead, but the legend has been handed down to other disciples that each night a large tiger came to the cave and licked Ramana's hands, and that the tiger was in return fondled by the hermit. It sat in front of him throughout the night and departed only at dawn.
There is a widespread notion throughout India that Yogis and faqueers who live in the jungles or on the mountains, exposed to danger from lions, tigers, snakes and other wild creatures, move unharmed and untouched if they have attained a sufficient degree of Yogic power. Another story about Ramana told how he was once sitting in the afternoon outside the narrow entrance to his abode when a large cobra came swishing through the rocks and stopped in front of him . It raised its body and spread out its hood, but the hermit did not attempt to move. The two beings man and beast-faced each other for some minutes, gaze meeting gaze. In the end the snake withdrew and left him unharmed, although it was within striking distance.
— Paul Brunton. Search in secret India.