Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was an incredible human who created an amazing spiritual path for mankind to tread upon. We have briefly mentioned Sri Ramana in our previous blogs, now it’s time to look more 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 Arunachala hill. 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 Arunachala hill. He was a selfless man who still inspires thousands upon 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”
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