This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi
An American lady unaccustomed to squatting on the floor, somehow managed to sit in the hall by stretching her legs towards Bhagavan’s sofa. One of the attendants suggested to her that she sit cross-legged. When Bhagavan saw that, he said smiling, “When they find it difficult even to sit down on the floor, should you force them to sit cross-legged also?” “No, no! As they do not know that it is disrespectful to stretch their legs towards Bhagavan, I merely told them so, that is all,” said the devotee. “Oh is that so! It is disrespectful, is it? Then it is disrespectful for me to stretch my legs towards them. What you say applies to me as well.” Saying this in a lighter vein, Bhagavan sat up cross-legged. Even though the rheumatism in Bhagavan’s legs rendered them painful and stiff after ten minutes of being folded, he continued to sit cross-legged stretching them from time to time, saying that it might be deemed disrespectful. Even after the visitors took leave he kept his legs folded saying, “I do not know if I can stretch them. They say it is not good manners.” The attendant stood by Bhagavan’s side crestfallen and repentant. Bhagavan, full of compassion, stretched out his legs as usual and began telling this story.
Seeing that sundaramoorthy was going away on a white elephant which had come from Kailas, the Rajah of Chera whispered in the ear of his horse the panchakshara mantra and got upon it to go to Kailas. Avvaiyar, who was at the time doing puja to Lord Ganesa, saw them both going to Kailas and so tried to hurry up her puja as she too wanted to go to Kailas.
Seeing that, Ganesa said, “Old woman, don’t hurry. Let your puja be performed as usual. I shall take you to Kailas before they reach it.” Accordingly, the puja was performed in due course. Waving his hand around, he said, “Old lady, close your eyes.” That was all. When she opened her eyes, she found herself seated in Kailas in front of Parvati and Parameswara. By the time Sundaramurthi and Chera Raja reached the place, they found her already seated there. Surprised at that, they asked her how she had got there and were overjoyed at her bhakti.
After all, she was very old. So she sat facing Parameswara with her legs stretched out like me. Parvati could not bear that sight. She was worried because to sit with legs stretched out towards Swami, she felt, was a great insult. She respectfully suggested to Parameswara that she should be permitted to tell the old lady about it. “Oh, don’t speak, don’t open your mouth. We should not say anything to her.” How could Parvati put up with that insult? She therefore whispered into the ear of her maid to tell the old lady, who said, “Grandma, Grandma, don’t keep your legs outstretched towards Iswara“. “Is that so?” She replied, “Tell me on which side Iswara is not present. Shall I turn this side?” asked Avvaiyar. So saying, she turned her outstretched legs to another side and Iswara got turned to that side; and when again she turned to a different direction, He also got turned to the same side. Thus Swami got turned to whichever side she turned her legs. Looking at Parvati, Iswara said, “Do you see now? You would not listen to me. See how she turns me this side and that. That is why I told you not to open your mouth.” Then Parvati requested the old lady to excuse her. It is similar to that when people are asked not to stretch their legs towards Swami. Where is He not present?