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Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi


India. One of the very greatest. Genuine enlightenment. He was born in 1879 AD near Madurai, Tamilnadu. His father was a farmer. He was the second of three sons. The family was religious, giving ritual offerings to the family deity and visiting temples. There was a curse that was put on the family by a wandering monk who was refused food by a family member. The monk decreed that in every generation, one child in the family would renounce the world to lead a religious life. When he was born the blind midwife saw a flash of light.

As a child he sometimes fell sleep very soundly. He could be beaten or carried from one place to another while asleep, and would not wake up. He was physically strong as a child.

In the summer of 1896, Ramana had a profound experience.

He died in April, 1950 AD, sitting in lotus position. The final word that passed from his lips was the sacred syllable OM. The moment he died there was seen a large comet moving across the sky.


"It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone."

"An avatar is only a partial manifestation of Truth; a jnani is a whole."

"He who instructs an ardent seeker to do this or that is not a true master. The seeker is already afflicted by his activities and wants peace and rest. In other words he wants cessation of his activities. If the teacher tells him to do something in addition to, or in place of, his other activities, can that be a help to the seeker?"

In response to a visitor's question about using the affirmation, "I am Brahman" as a method of meditation. Brahman is here taken as a word-symbol of Ultimate Reality or God. "'I am Brahman' is only a thought. Who says it? Brahman itself does not say so. What need is there for it to say it? Nor can the real 'I' say so. For 'I' always abides as Brahman. To be saying it is only a thought. Whose thought is it? All thoughts are from the unreal 'I.' Remain without thinking. So long as there is thought there will be fear. . . . 'I am Brahman' is only an aid to concentration. It keeps off other thoughts, then one thought alone persists. See whose is that thought. It will be found to be from 'I.' Wherefrom is the 'I'-thought? Probe into it. The 'I'-thought will vanish. The Supreme Self will shine forth of itself. No further effort is needed."

"Absence of thoughts does not mean a blank. There must be one to know the blank. Knowledge and ignorance are of the mind. They are born of duality. But the Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance. It is light itself. There is no necessity to see the Self with another Self. There are no two Selves. What is not Self is non-self. The non-self cannot see the Self. The Self has no sight or hearing. It lies beyond these -- all alone, as pure consciousness."

"Now if you sit in the posture of a Buddha and if your body is exactly in the same condition, you will find it easier to enter the mental state of Buddha. This is because mental states are related to bodily states. If you walk as a Buddha walked, if you breathe as a Buddha breathed, if you lie down as Buddha did, it will be easier for you to attain the mental state of Buddha. Conversely, if you attain the mental state of Buddha, your walking, your sitting and your various body postures will resemble those of Buddha. Both of these, mind and body, are parallel."

"Eliminate the concepts of imperfection and of perfection both, for both are products of the mind. You are only Self, and ego is only an idea, nonexistent. Continue to practice self-inquiry, and this will become clear to you. You will find that there is no ego, no mind, to control or to be realized."

"Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind."

"All spiritual teachings are only meant to make us retrace our steps back to our Original Source."

"If the inquiry "Who am I?" were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of Self-inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its Source. It is not, therefore, a case of one 'I' searching for another 'I'. Much less is Self-inquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness. Self-inquiry is the one infallible means; the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are."

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