Though Bhagavan would make no adverse remarks about traditional practices, he did not support his devotees if they did so.
Echammal, one of his greatest devotees, told him with great pride about her puja with one lakh leaves.
“Instead of pinching the plant, could you not pinch your own skin one lakh times and perform puja that way?”
A significant number of Bhagavan’s devotees were orthodox Brahmins. They ate in a separate enclosure in the dining room. Bhagavan never objected to this arrangement. But he did show his disapproval if any of the Brahmins looked down on members of the lower castes. A Brahmin woman in the Ashram avoided all non-Brahmins because she felt that any
contact with them would pollute her. If she were ever touched by a non-Brahmin, she would go up to Bhagavan and touch him to purify her. Once, on a jayanti day, someone touched her accidentally. She went to Bhagavan and said, Bhagavan, a Sudra has just touched me; please touch me to remove the impurity.
“Go away, I will not oblige you!” said Bhagavan angrily.
Bhagavan’s mother was a very orthodox lady, full of caste prejudices and superstitions. Bhagavan did not tolerate any of her ideas. He criticised her many times and was quite ruthless in destroying all that stood in the way of her emancipation from ignorance and fear. When she refused to
cook onions, which are taboo to a Brahmin widow, Bhagavan would show her one and say, “How mighty is this little bulb! It can stop my mother from going to heaven.”
— Excerpts from: Face to face with Ramana Maharshi. Chalam. (49).