Reflections: On Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Besides physical protection, Palaniswami would also beg for alms, cook and prepare meals for himself and Sri Ramana, and care for him as needed[18]. Gradually, despite Sri Ramana's silence, austerities, and desire for privacy, he attracted attention from visitors, and some became his disciples. Eventually, his family discovered his whereabouts. First his uncle Nelliappa Iyer came and pled with him to return home, promising that the family would not disturb his ascetic life. Sri Ramana sat motionless and eventually his uncle gave up. Day after day his mother begged him to return, but no amount of weeping and pleading had any visible effect on him.

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She appealed to the devotees who had gathered around, trying to get them to intervene on her behalf until one requested that Sri Ramana write out his response to his mother. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it.


This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet. The fourteen questions put to the young Swami and his answers were Sri Ramana's first teachings on Self-enquiry, the method for which he became widely known, and were eventually published as 'Nan Yar? After receiving instructions from him, he proclaimed him as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sri Ramana was known by this name from then on. Johnson, and Arthur Osborne. Sri Ramana's relative fame spread throughout the s.

However, even as his fame spread, Sri Ramana was noted for his belief in the power of silence and his relatively sparse use of speech, as well as his lack of concern for fame or criticism[26]. His lifestyle remained that of a renunciate. Mother's Arrival In , while in the company of disciples, he was observed to undergo about a 15 minute period where he showed the outward symptoms of death, which reportedly resulted thereafter in an enhanced ability to engage in practical affairs while remaining in Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

In his mother Alagammal and younger brother Nagasundaram joined Sri Ramana at Tiruvannamalai and followed him when he moved to the larger Skandashram Cave, where Bhagavan lived until the end of His mother took up the life of a sannyasin, and Sri Ramana began to give her intense, personal instruction, while she took charge of the Ashram kitchen.

Ramana's younger brother, Nagasundaram, then became a sannyasin, assuming the name Niranjanananda, becoming known as Chinnaswami the younger Swami. It was composed in Tamil in response to the request of a devotee for a song to be sung while wandering in the town for alms. The Marital Garland tells in glowing symbolism of the love and union between the human soul and God, expressing the attitude of the soul that still aspires. On the day of her death, May 19, , at about 8 a. It is reported that throughout the day, he had his right hand on her heart, on the right side of the chest, and his left hand on her head, until her death around p.

Later Sri Ramana said of this: "You see, birth experiences are mental. Thinking is also like that, depending on sanskaras tendencies. Mother was made to undergo all her future births in a comparatively short time. After this, Sri Ramana often walked from Skandashram to her tomb. Then in December , he came down from Skandashram permanently and settled at the base of the Hill, where Sri Ramanasramam is still located today.

At first, there was only one hut at the samadhi, but in two huts, one opposite the samadhi and the other to the north were erected. The Later Years The Sri Ramanasramam grew to include a library, hospital, post-office and many other facilities. Sri Ramana displayed a natural talent for planning building projects.

Annamalai Swami gave detailed accounts of this in his reminiscences. The s saw many of Sri Ramana's most ardent devotees pass away. On the morning of June 18, , he realized his favorite cow Lakshmi was near death. Just as he had with his own Mother, Sri Ramana placed his hand on her head and over her heart. The cow died peacefully at a. Sri Ramana was noted for his belief in the power of silence and relatively sparse use of speech. He led a modest and renunciate life, and depended on visitors and devotees for the barest necessities. However, a popular image of him as a person who spent most of his time doing nothing except silently sitting in samadhi is highly inaccurate, according to David Godman, who has written extensively about Sri Ramana.

According to Godman, from the period when an Ashram began to rise around him after his mother arrived into his later years, Sri Ramana was actually quite active in Ashram activities until his health failed[33]. Final Years In November , a tiny cancerous lump was found on the Maharshi's arm and was removed in February by the ashram doctor.

Soon, another growth appeared, and another operation was done by an eminent surgeon in March, , with Radium applied. The doctor told Sri Ramana that a complete amputation of the arm to the shoulder was required to save his life, but he refused. A third and fourth operation were performed in August and December , but only weakened him. Other systems of medicine were then tried; all proved fruitless and were stopped by the end of March when devotees gave up all hope.

During all this, Sri Ramana reportedly remained peaceful and unconcerned. As his condition worsened, Sri Ramana remained available for the thousands of visitors who came to see him, even when his attendants urged him to rest. Reportedly, his attitude towards death was serene. To devotees who begged him to cure himself for the sake of his devotees, Sri Ramana is said to have replied "Why are you so attached to this body? Let it go. I am here. Visitors would file past the small room where he spent his final days to get one final glimpse.

Swami Satyananda, the attendant at the time, reports, "On the evening of 14 April , we were massaging Sri Ramana's body. At about 5 o'clock, he asked us to help him to sit up. Precisely at that moment devotees started chanting 'Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva'. When Sri Ramana heard this his face lit up with radiant joy. Tears began to flow from his eyes and continued to flow for a long time.

I was wiping them from time to time. I was also giving him spoonfuls of water boiled with ginger. The doctor wanted to administer artificial respiration but Sri Ramana waved it away. I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it.

Reportedly, millions in India mourned his passing.

Pure Self : Mirror facing another clear mirror

A long article about his death in the New York Times concluded: "Here in India, where thousands of so-called holy men claim close tune with the infinite, it is said that the most remarkable thing about Ramana Maharshi was that he never claimed anything remarkable for himself, yet became one of the most loved and respected of all. Though his teaching is consistent with and generally associated with Hinduism, the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta, there are some differences with the traditional Advaitic school, and Sri Ramana gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices from various religions.

Who am I? The original book was published by Sri Pillai,[36] although the essay version of the book Sri Ramana Nutrirattu prepared by Sri Ramana is considered definitive as unlike the original it had the benefit of his revision and review. Selections from this definitive version follow[37]: As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one's self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one's self.

For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form "Who am I? Knowledge itself is 'I'. The nature of this knowledge is existence-consciousness-bliss. What is called mind is a wondrous power existing in the Self. It projects all thoughts.

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If we set aside all thoughts and see, there will be no such thing as mind remaining separate; therefore, thought itself is the form of the mind. Other than thoughts, there is no such thing as the world. Of all the thoughts that rise in the mind, the thought 'I' is the first thought. That which rises in this body as 'I' is the mind. If one enquires 'In which place in the body does the thought 'I' rise first?

Even if one incessantly thinks 'I', 'I', it will lead to that place Self ' The mind will subside only by means of the enquiry 'Who am I? The thought 'Who am I? If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they arise? If one then enquires 'Who am I? By repeatedly practising thus, the power of the mind to abide in its source increases. The place where even the slightest trace of the 'I' does not exist, alone is Self. Self itself is the world; Self itself is 'I'; Self itself is God; all is the Supreme Self siva swarupam Sri Ramana warned against considering self-enquiry as an intellectual exercise.

Properly done, it involves fixing the attention firmly and intensely on the feeling of 'I', without thinking. It is perhaps more helpful to see it as 'Self-attention' or 'Self-abiding' cf. The clue to this is in Sri Ramana's own death experience when he was After raising the question 'Who am I? Attention must be fixed on the 'I' until the feeling of duality disappears.

Although he advocated self-enquiry as the fastest means to realization, he was also known to have advised the practice of bhakti and self-surrender to one's Deity or Guru either concurrently or as an adequate alternative, which would ultimately converge with the path of self-enquiry. Furthermore, unlike the traditional Advaitic school, Sri Ramana strongly discouraged most who came to him from adopting a renunciate lifestyle. To elaborate: The traditional Advaitic non-dualistic school advocates "elimination of all that is non-self the five sheaths until only the Self remains". Sri Ramana says "enquiry in the form 'Who am I' alone is the principal means.

To make the mind subside, there is no adequate means other than self-enquiry. If controlled by other means, mind will remain as if subsided, but will rise again"[45] Teachers in his tradition He considered his own guru to be the Self, in the form of the sacred mountain Arunachala. Sri Ramana did not publicize himself as a guru, never claimed to have disciples, and never appointed any successors.

While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association, and there are accounts of private acknowledgements, he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated other than his mother at death. Sri Ramana declared himself an atiasrama[46] beyond all caste and religious restrictions, not attached to anything in life , and did not belong to or promote any lineage.

Despite his non-affiliations,[47] there are numerous contemporary teachers who publicly associate themselves with Sri Ramana, and some who assert being in his lineage. His method of teaching was characterized by the following: He urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry; He directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization. This is who I truly am. All are only jnanis in his sight. Instead, Sri Ramana remained in one place for 54 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone of any background who came to him, and asking nothing in return; He considered humility to be the highest quality; He said the deep sense of peace one felt around a jnani was the surest indicator of their spiritual state, that equality towards all was a true sign of liberation, and that what a true jnani did was always for others, not themselves.

Notable followers Over the course of Sri Ramana's lifetime, people from a wide variety of backgrounds, religions, and countries were drawn to him.

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Some stayed for the rest of their lives or his and served him with great devotion, and others came for a single darshan and left, deeply affected by the peace he radiated. Quite a number of followers wrote books conveying Sri Ramana's teachings. Each letter was corrected by Sri Ramana before it was sent.

Paul Brunton's writings about Sri Ramana brought considerable attention to him in the West. More recently, David Godman, a former librarian at the ashram, has written about Sri Ramana's teaching, as well as a series of books The Power of the Presence vividly portraying the lives of a number of lesser-known attendants and devotees of Sri Ramana. Swami Ramdas visited Ramana Maharshi while on pilgrimage in , and after darshan, spent the next 21 days meditating in solitude in a cave on Arunachala.

Thereafter, he attained the direct realization that "All was Rama, nothing but Rama". The American yogi, Richard Hittleman, had Ramana Maharshi as his guru and frequently spoke of him in his Yoga teachings. Hittleman went on to become the first person to bring Hatha and Raja Yoga to the English-speaking world through the medium of a television series in the s and s [55] Hittleman quoted from Maharshi with great approbation in the last lecture that he Hittleman gave, at the very end of his life.

Indian National Congress politician and freedom-fighter, O. Ramaswamy Reddiyar, who served as the Premier of Madras from to was also a devoted follower of Ramana Maharishi. Sourced All quotes herein are translations from Tamil or Sanskrit to English; and therefore, in a certain sense, indirect quotes.


Who Am I? Self-enquiry Your duty is to be, and not to be this or that. Interview c. It is said that a good brotherly feeling with a sense of equality is the supreme goal to be reached collectively by all members of the community. By happy fraternity amongst themselves, the embodied beings get the supreme peace. Then all this earth shines like one house. When the men, the embodied beings treat each other with equal respect and have good brotherly feelings amongst themselves, great peace and harmony abound.

The whole world shines like the one dwelling house of the entire human family.

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He should also make his own men understand this. Having set one's family in consonance with the community, he should make his family prosperous to ensure the prosperity of the community. Peace is for the purification of one's mind. Power is for the growth of the community. Having established the community with power, one should then establish supreme peace. That, from where all the activities of the embodied beings emerge, is mentioned as the heart.

The description of its form is conceptual. It is said that the I-activity is the root of all activities. From where the I-thought emerges, that in short is the heart. In the definition of the heart is placed as a corollary that the direct Sadhana for knowing the heart is the tracking down to the origin of the I-thought. For one stationed in the Self, Sahasrara will be of pure effulgence. There: if any mental formulation falls within its presence, it will not live.

Even when the sensory objects to be known are in the proximity, when the difference is not taken in, the mind does not cause a break in Yoga. Even in intake, the one steadfast thought is said to be the natural state. Nirvikalpa Samadhi will result when the sensory objects are not present. The macrocosm is in its entirety in the body. The body is in its entirety in the heart. Therefore heart is the summarised form of all the macrocosm. The world is none other than the mind. The mind is none other than the heart.

Therefore the entire story finishes in the heart. It is said that the heart is in the microcosm just as the orb of the sun in the macrocosm. The mind in Sahasrara is like the disc of the moon. Just as the sun gives light to the moon this heart bestows the effulgence on the mind. As in the night when the sun is not present, one sees the light in the moon, the man who is not present in the heart, sees merely the mind. Without seeing the origin of light, the true form of one's Self, the ordinary man sees by the mind different things and is deluded.

The Jnanin present in the heart sees the mind merged in the light of the heart, like moonlight in the presence of the sun during the day. The deeply learned ones know the mind as the directly expressed meaning of the supreme knowledge. The heart is the meaning aimed at. The Supreme is none other than the heart. This perception of division between the seer and the object that is seen, is situated in the mind. For those remaining in the heart, the seer becomes one with the sight.

The activity affected by causes like fainting, sleep, excessive joy, grief, possession by spirits, fear etc goes to the heart, its own place. During that time, the embodied person does not know the attainment in the heart. It is known in the Samadhi. The difference in name is due to the difference in cause.

Abide as the Self True silence is really endless speech. There is no greater mystery than this: being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality. Your email address will not be published. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Reality was, is, and will be. Objects are Consciousness and Forms. Pure Self : Mirror facing another clear mirror. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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