Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was an incredible human who created an amazing spiritual path for mankind to tread upon. Here is a brief look at this outstanding spiritual guru.
He was born Venkataraman to his parents Alagammal and Sundaram Iyer on the 30th of December 1879. He grew up in his small hometown of Tiruchuzhi in South India. Venkataraman was a seemingly normal child; he preferred sports to schoolwork but had an amazing retentive memory. The only irregular thing about him was his sleeping, he would sleep so deeply that people could beat him in his sleep and he would have no idea!
In 1896 at the age of 16, Venkataraman experienced something that changed his life forever. He was overcome with a sudden irrational fear of death. This fear drove his consciousness inwards and he began to think about the consequences of death and dying. ‘Now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.’ He imitated a corpse; he lay there and pictured what would happen to his body. At the end of this ‘death experience’, he came to the realization that though the body dies, the spirit transcends and cannot be touched by death. He became centered on the ‘I’. After this experience he became quiet and submissive. He visited the temple daily and stayed for hours as waves of emotion overtook him.
He decided to leave his home and head for Arunachala (which he had seen in a vision). He left a note for his family and made the trip via train and foot, it took 3 days. Upon his arrival he moved from place to place, eventually living in caves on Mount Arunachala for more than 20 years. Sri Ramana never left Arunachala from the moment he arrived until his death in 1950. People were drawn to him, his quiet meditation into self-inquiry inspired people. They became his devotees. They fed him, looked after him and adored him. He never allowed anyone to treat him as special and treated all people with equal respect.
An ashram was slowly built around him, which he never left (apart from daily walks), wanting to be accessible at all times to his followers. Maharshi revealed the path of self-inquiry and opened mankind to the spiritual power of Mount Arunachala. He was a selfless man who still inspires hundreds of thousands of people today.
“The real self….is not an experience of individuality but a non-personal, all-inclusive awareness. It is not to be confused with the individual self which is essentially non-existent, being a fabrication of the mind, which obscures the true experience of the real self”
“Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world”
“The greatest error of a man is to think that he is weak by nature, evil by nature. Every man is divine and strong in his real nature. What are weak and evil are his habits, his desires and thoughts, but not himself”
“It is the Higher Power which does everything, and the man is only a tool. If he accepts that position, he is free from troubles; otherwise, he courts them”
“All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone, Realisation results by itself. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only”
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