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Divine Masters


Ramana Maharsh was born as ‘Venkataraman Iyer ‘ on 30 December 1879 in Madurai, Tamilnadu. When Venkataraman was sixteen a significant incident occurred which began the stirring of a deep slumbering spiritual force within him. One of his elderly relatives one day happened to mention the holy hill called Arunachala in passing. The mere hearing of the name Arunachala had a magical effect on the boy and generated an internal excitement which he could not understand. He asked where this holy hill was and was told it was in the area known as Tiruvannamalai. The image of the holy hill impressed itself on his psyche and later the image of that hill drew him to itself after a turning point in his life.

Shortly after that, the boy read a book on the lives of saints who were devotees of God Shiva. Reading of their exemplary lives of saintliness and renunciation he was thrilled and vowed to emulate their ways in his own life. This thought took root in his mind and began to fill his consciousness. A year later it culminated in an experience that forever changed his life and the lives of all who came to know him. Ramana Maharshi described his Self as a "force" or "current," which descended on him in his death-experience, and continued throughout his life. According to David Godman, the essence of Ramana Maharshi's teachings is that the "Self" or real "I" is a "non-personal, all-inclusive awareness".

Ramana would field many questions about "jnanis" (liberated beings) from devotees, but even the terms "jnani" and "ajnani" (non-liberated being) are incorrect, since it leads one to the idea of there being a knower and a known, a subject and an object. The truth of it according to Ramana Maharshi is that there are neither "jnanis" nor "ajnanis", there is simply "jnana", which is Self

Some important eachings of Ramana Maharshi
'The body is not I.' 'Who am I?' Enquire in this way, turning the mind backward to its primal state. The enquiry 'Who am I?' is the only method of putting an end to all misery and ushering in Supreme Beatitude. Whatever may be said and however phrased, this is the whole truth in a nutshell."

Our real nature is mukti (the liberated state). But we are imagining that we are bound and are making various strenuous attempts to become free, while we are all the time free.

The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight. In the ignorant state one superimposes one's ignorance on a jnani and mistakes him for a doer. In the state of jnana, the jnani sees nothing separate from the Self. The Self is all shining and only pure jnana.

"Distracted as we are by various thoughts, if we would continually contemplate the Self, which is Itself God, this single thought would in due course replace all distraction and would itself ultimately vanish;. The pure Consciousness that alone finally remains is God. This is Liberation. To be constantly centered on one's own all-perfect pure Self is the acme of yoga, wisdom, and all other forms of spiritual practice. Even though the mind wanders restlessly, involved in external matters, and so is forgetful of its own Self, one should remain alert and remember.

Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore, they require words to explain the truth. But truth is beyond words; it does not warrant explanation. All that is possible is to indicate It. How is that to be done?