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Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi

Overview
Sri Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950), born Venkataraman Iyer, was a Hindu spiritual master ("jnani
Jnana
Jñāna or gñāna is a Sanskrit and Pali word that means knowledge. It has various nuances of meaning depending on the context. The idea of jnana centers around a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced...

"). He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi
Tiruchuli
Thiruchuli is a village about 15 kilometers to the east of Aruppukkottai, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is considered to be a very holy place, in large part because it is the birth place of Sri Ramana Maharishi, held by many to be the most revered Indian saint of the 20th century...

, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation (moksha)
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

, he left home for Arunachala
Arunachala
Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, where the Annamalaiyar Temple, a temple of Lord Shiva is located. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai , the Karthigai Deepam is lit atop the hill...

, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus. He lived at the mountain for the rest of his life. Although born a Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

, he declared himself an "Atiasrami", a Sastraic
Shastra
' is a Sanskrit term used to denote rules in a general sense. The word is generally used as a suffix in the context of technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area of practice; e.g., Bhautika Shastra , Rasayana Shastra , Jeeva Shastra , Vastu Shastra , Shilpa Shastra , Artha Shastra ' is a...

 state of non-attachment to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions.
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Sri Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950), born Venkataraman Iyer, was a Hindu spiritual master ("jnani
Jnana
Jñāna or gñāna is a Sanskrit and Pali word that means knowledge. It has various nuances of meaning depending on the context. The idea of jnana centers around a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced...

"). He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi
Tiruchuli
Thiruchuli is a village about 15 kilometers to the east of Aruppukkottai, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is considered to be a very holy place, in large part because it is the birth place of Sri Ramana Maharishi, held by many to be the most revered Indian saint of the 20th century...

, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation (moksha)
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

, he left home for Arunachala
Arunachala
Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, where the Annamalaiyar Temple, a temple of Lord Shiva is located. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai , the Karthigai Deepam is lit atop the hill...

, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus. He lived at the mountain for the rest of his life. Although born a Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

, he declared himself an "Atiasrami", a Sastraic
Shastra
' is a Sanskrit term used to denote rules in a general sense. The word is generally used as a suffix in the context of technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area of practice; e.g., Bhautika Shastra , Rasayana Shastra , Jeeva Shastra , Vastu Shastra , Shilpa Shastra , Artha Shastra ' is a...

 state of non-attachment to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions. The ashram
Ashram
Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

 that grew around him, Sri Ramana Ashram
Sri Ramana Ashram
Sri Ramana Ashram also known as Sri Ramanasramam is the ashram, which was home to modern sage and Advaita Vedanta philosopher, Ramana Maharishi from 1922 till his death here in 1950...

, is situated at the foothill of Arunchala, to the west to the pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai.

Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained that the purest form of his teachings was the powerful silence which radiated from his presence and quieted the minds of those attuned to it. He gave verbal teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence (or, perhaps, could not understand how to attain the silent state). His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Atman
Ātman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

 as the only existing reality. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry
Self-enquiry
Self-enquiry is a practice designed to rapidly bring about Self-realization, Self awareness, spiritual liberation or enlightenment, and is most commonly associated with its most famous modern advocate, Sri Ramana Maharshi...

 as the fastest path to moksha
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

, and Jnana yoga
Jnana yoga
Jyâna yoga or "path of knowledge" is one of the types of yoga mentioned in Hindu philosophies...

, he recommended Bhakti
Bhakti
In Hinduism Bhakti is religious devotion in the form of active involvement of a devotee in worship of the divine.Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards the personal God, a concept expressed in Hindu theology as Svayam Bhagavan.Bhakti can be used of either...

 to those he saw were fit for it, and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.

Family Background


Sri Ramana was born in a village called Tiruchuli
Tiruchuli
Thiruchuli is a village about 15 kilometers to the east of Aruppukkottai, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is considered to be a very holy place, in large part because it is the birth place of Sri Ramana Maharishi, held by many to be the most revered Indian saint of the 20th century...

 (Tiruchuzhi) near Aruppukkottai
Aruppukkottai
Aruppukottai is a town and a municipality in Virudhunagar district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Aruppukottai is about 45 km from Madurai. Its in the middle of Madurai-Tuticorin National Highways NH-45B. As tamils were original inhabitants of this place, it was called Aravakottai....

, Madurai
Madurai
Madurai is the third largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It served as the capital city of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and...

 in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 on Arudra Darshanam day, into an orthodox Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 Tamil (Iyer
Iyer
Iyer is the title given to the caste of Hindu Brahmin communities of Tamil origin. Most Iyers are followers of the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara...

) family, the second of four children of Sundaram Iyer (1845?-1892), from the lineage of Parashara, and Azhagammal (?-1922), and named Venkataraman at birth. His siblings were Nagaswamy (1877–1900), Nagasundaram (1886–1953) and sister Alamelu (1891/92-1953). Venkataraman's father was a respected pleader.

Childhood


Venkataraman seemed a normal child with no apparent signs of future greatness. He was popular, good at sports, very intelligent but lazy at school, indulged in an average amount of mischief, and showed little religious interest. He did have a few unusual traits. When he slept, he went into such a deep state of unconsciousness that his friends could physically assault his body without waking him up. He also had an extraordinary amount of luck. In team games, whichever side he played for always won. This earned him the nickname 'Tangakai', which means 'golden hand'. When Venkataraman was about 11, his father sent him to live with his paternal uncle Subbaiyar in Dindigul because he wanted his sons to be educated in English so they would be eligible to enter government service, and only Tamil was taught at the village school in Tiruchuzhi. In 1891, when his uncle was transferred to Madurai
Madurai
Madurai is the third largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It served as the capital city of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and...

, Venkataraman and his elder brother Nagaswami moved with him. In Dindigul, Venkataraman attended a British School.

The Awakening


In 1892, Venkataraman's father Sundaram Iyer suddenly fell seriously ill and unexpectedly died several days later at the age of 42. For some hours after his father's death he contemplated the matter of death, and how his father's body was still there, but the 'I' was gone from it.

After leaving Scott's Middle School, Venkataraman went to the American Mission High School. One November morning in 1895, he was on his way to school when he saw an elderly relative and enquired where the relative had come from. The answer was "From Arunachala." Krishna Bikshu describes Venkataraman's response: "The word 'Arunachala' was familiar to Venkataraman from his younger days, but he did not know where it was, what it looked like or what it meant. Yet that day that word meant to him something great, an inaccessible, authoritative, absolutely blissful entity. Could one visit such a place? His heart was full of joy. Arunachala meant some sacred land, every particle of which gave moksha. It was omnipotent and peaceful. Could one behold it? 'What? Arunachala? Where is it?' asked the lad. The relative was astonished, 'Don't you know even this?' and continued, 'Haven't you heard of Tiruvannamalai? That is Arunachala.' It was as if a balloon was pricked, the boy's heart sank."

A month later he came across a copy of Sekkizhar
Sekkizhar
Sekkizhar was a poet and scholar of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, a Saiva saint contemporary with the reign of Kulothunga Chola II. He compiled and wrote the Periya Puranam , 4253 verses long,recounting the life stories of the sixty-three Shaiva Nayanars, the poets of Shiva who composed the liturgical...

's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of 63 Saivite
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

 saints, and was deeply moved and inspired by it. Filled with awe, and a desire for emulation, he began devotional visits to the nearby Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and, associated with this bhakti
Bhakti
In Hinduism Bhakti is religious devotion in the form of active involvement of a devotee in worship of the divine.Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards the personal God, a concept expressed in Hindu theology as Svayam Bhagavan.Bhakti can be used of either...

, later reported fever-like sensations. Soon after, on July 17, 1896, at age 16, Venkataraman had a life-changing experience. He spontaneously initiated a process of self-enquiry
Self-enquiry
Self-enquiry is a practice designed to rapidly bring about Self-realization, Self awareness, spiritual liberation or enlightenment, and is most commonly associated with its most famous modern advocate, Sri Ramana Maharshi...

 that culminated, within a few minutes, in his own permanent awakening. In one of his rare written comments on this process he wrote: 'Enquiring within Who is the seer? I saw the seer disappear leaving That alone which stands forever. No thought arose to say I saw. How then could the thought arise to say I did not see.'. As Sri Ramana reportedly described it later:
After this event, he lost interest in school-studies, friends, and relations. Avoiding company, he preferred to sit alone, absorbed in concentration on the Self, and went daily to the Meenakshi Temple, ecstatically devoted to the images of the Gods, tears flowing profusely from his eyes.

Venkataraman’s elder brother, Nagaswamy, was aware of a great change in him and on several occasions rebuked him for his detachment from all that was going on around him. About six weeks after Venkataraman’s absorption into the Self, on August 29, 1896, he was attempting to complete a homework assignment which had been given to him by his English teacher for indifference in his studies. Suddenly Venkataraman tossed aside the book and turned inward in meditation. His elder brother rebuked him again, asking, "What use is all this to one who is like this?" Venkataraman did not answer, but recognized the truth in his brother’s words.

The Journey to Arunachala


He decided to leave his home and go to Arunachala. Knowing his family would not permit this, he slipped away, telling his brother he needed to attend a special class at school. Fortuitously, his brother asked him to take five rupees and pay his college fees on his way to school. Venkataraman took out an atlas, calculated the cost of his journey, took three rupees and left the remaining two with a note which read: "I have set out in quest of my Father in accordance with his command. This (meaning his person) has only embarked on a virtuous enterprise. Therefore, no one need grieve over this act. And no money need be spent in search of this. Your college fee has not been paid. Herewith rupees two."

At about noon, Venkataraman left his uncle's house and walked to the railway station. At about three o'clock the next morning, he arrived at Viluppuram and walked into the town at daybreak. Tired and hungry, he asked for food at a hotel and had to wait until noon for the food to be ready. He then went back to the station and spent his remaining money on a ticket to Mambalappattu, a stop on the way to Tiruvannamalai. From there, he set out, intending to walk the remaining distance of about 30 miles (48.3 km).

After walking about 11 miles (17.7 km), he reached the temple of Arayaninallur, outside of which he sat down to rest. When the priest opened the temple for puja, Venkataraman entered and sat in the pillared hall where he had a vision of brilliant light enveloping the entire place. He sat in deep meditation after the light disappeared until the temple priests who needed to lock up the temple roused him. He asked them for food and was refused, though they suggested he might get food at the temple in Kilur where they were headed for service. Venkataraman followed, and late in the evening when the puja ended at this temple, he asked for food and was refused again. The temple drummer who had been watching the rude behaviour of the priests implored them to hand over his share of the temple food to the strange youth. When he asked for water, he was directed to a Sastri’s house. He set out but fainted and fell down, spilling the rice he had been given in the temple. When he regained consciousness, he began picking up the scattered rice, not wanting to waste even a single grain.

Muthukrishna Bhagavatar was amongst the crowd that gathered around Venkataraman when he collapsed. He was so struck by Venkataraman’s extraordinary radiance and beauty and felt such compassion for him that he led the boy to his house, providing him with a bed and food. It was August 31, the Gokulastami day, the day of Sri Krishna’s birth, and the Bhagavathar's wife was delighted that a young Brahmin boy with the appearance of a mendicant had visited their home that day, and was only too happy to feed him. Afterwards, Venkataraman asked Bhagavatar for a loan of four rupees on the pledge of his ear-rings so that he could complete his pilgrimage. Bhagavatar agreed and gave Venkataraman a receipt he could use to redeem his ear-rings. Venkataraman continued on his journey, tearing up the receipt immediately because he knew he would never have any need for the ear-rings.

On the morning of September 1, 1896, Venkataraman boarded the train and traveled the remaining distance. In Tiruvannamalai
Tiruvannamalai
Thiruvannamalai is a pilgrimage Temple city and special grade municipality in Thiruvannamalai district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Thiruvannamalai district. Thiruvannamalai is home to the Annamalaiyar Temple located at the foot of the Annamalai hill and...

 he went straight to the temple of Arunachaleswara. There, Venkataraman found not only the temple gates standing open, but the doors to the inner shrine as well, and not a single person, even a priest, was in the temple. He entered the sanctum sanctorum and addressed Arunachaleswara, saying: "I have come to Thee at Thy behest. Thy will be done." He embraced the linga in ecstasy. The burning sensation that had started back at Madurai (which he later described as "an inexpressible anguish which I suppressed at the time") merged in Arunachaleswara. Venkataraman was safely home.

Early Life at Arunachala


The first few weeks he spent in the thousand-pillared hall, but shifted to other spots in the temple and eventually to the Patala-lingam vault so that he might remain undisturbed. There, he would spend days absorbed in such deep samādhi
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

 that he was unaware of the bites of vermin and pests. Seshadri Swamigal, a local saint, discovered him in the underground vault and tried to protect him. After about six weeks in the Patala-lingam, he was carried out and cleaned up. For the next two months he stayed in the Subramanya Shrine, so unaware of his body and surroundings that food had to be placed in his mouth or he would have starved.

From there, he was invited to stay in a mango orchard next to Gurumurtam, a temple about a mile out of Tiruvannamalai, and shortly after his arrival a sadhu
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

 named Palaniswami went to see him. Palaniswami's first darshan
Darshan
or Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" , vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity , or a very holy person or artifact...

 left him filled with peace and bliss, and from that time on his sole concern was serving Sri Ramana, joining him as his permanent attendant. From Gurumurtam to Virupaksha Cave (1899–1916) to Skandasramam Cave (1916–22), he was the instrument of divine protection for Sri Ramana, who would be without consciousness of the body and lost in inner bliss most of the time. Besides physical protection, Palaniswami would also beg for alms, cook and prepare meals for himself and Sri Ramana, and care for him as needed.

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. It was at the temple at Pavalakkunru, one of the eastern spurs of Arunachala, that his mother and brother Nagaswami found him in December 1898. Day after day his mother begged him to return, but no amount of weeping and pleading had any visible effect on him. 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. He then wrote on a piece of paper, "In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. 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." At this point his mother returned to Madurai saddened.

Soon after this, in February 1899, Sri Ramana moved further up Arunachala where he stayed briefly in Satguru Cave and Guhu Namasivaya Cave before taking up residence at Virupaksha Cave for the next 17 years, using Mango Tree cave during the summers (except for a six month period at Pachaiamman Koil during the plague epidemic).

In 1902, a government official named Sivaprakasam Pillai, with writing slate in hand, visited the young Swami in the hope of obtaining answers to questions about "How to know one's true identity". The fourteen questions put to the young Swami and his answers were Sri Ramana's first teachings on Self-enquiry
Self-enquiry
Self-enquiry is a practice designed to rapidly bring about Self-realization, Self awareness, spiritual liberation or enlightenment, and is most commonly associated with its most famous modern advocate, Sri Ramana Maharshi...

, the method for which he became widely known, and were eventually published as 'Nan Yar?', or in English, ‘Who am I?’.

Several visitors came to him and many became his disciples. Kavyakantha Sri Ganapati Sastri (literally, "One who has poetry in his throat"), a Vedic scholar of repute in his age with a deep knowledge of the Srutis, Sastras, Tantras, Yoga, and Agama systems, came to visit Sri Ramana in 1907. After receiving instructions from him, he proclaimed him as Bhagavan
Bhagavan
Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" , and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to...

 Sri
Sri
Sri , also transliterated as Shri or Shree or shre is a word of Sanskrit origin, used in the Indian subcontinent as polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." in written and spoken language, or as a title of veneration for deities .-Etymology:Sri has the root meaning of radiance, or...

 Ramana Maharshi. Sri Ramana was known by this name from then on.

Discovery by Westerners


It was in 1911 that the first westerner, Frank Humphreys, then a policeman stationed in India, discovered Sri Ramana and wrote articles about him which were first published in The International Psychic Gazette in 1913. However, Sri Ramana only became relatively well known in and out of India after 1934 when Paul Brunton
Paul Brunton
Paul Brunton was probably born as Hermann Hirsch of German Jewish origin. Later he changed his name to Raphael Hurst, and then Brunton Paul and finally Paul Brunton. He was a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru...

, having first visited Sri Ramana in January 1931, published the book A Search in Secret India, which became very popular. Resulting visitors included Paramahansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda , born Mukunda Lal Ghosh , was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a...

, Somerset Maugham (whose 1944 novel The Razor's Edge
The Razor's Edge
The Razor’s Edge is a book by W. Somerset Maugham published in 1944. Its epigraph reads, "The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard." taken from a verse in the Katha-Upanishad....

models its spiritual guru after Sri Ramana), Mercedes de Acosta
Mercedes de Acosta
Mercedes de Acosta was an American poet, playwright, and socialite, best known for her numerous lesbian affairs with Hollywood personalities including Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Alla Nazimova, Eva Le Gallienne, Isadora Duncan, Katharine Cornell, Ona Munson, Adele Astaire and, allegedly,...

, Julian P. Johnson
Julian Johnson
Julian P. Johnson was an American surgeon and author of several books on Eastern spirituality. He spent much of the 1930s in India, is most closely associated with the Radha Soami movement and Surat Shabd Yoga, and wrote four volumes as a result of his experiences.The writings of Paul Twitchell,...

, and Arthur Osborne
Arthur Osborne (writer)
Arthur Osborne was an English writer on spirituality and mysticism, and an influential disciple and biographer of Ramana Maharshi. When one of Osborne's books, Ramana Maharshi and The Path of Self Knowledge, was first published in 1954, it contained a foreword from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, at...

. Sri Ramana's relative fame spread throughout the 1940s. 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. His lifestyle remained that of a renunciate.

Mother's Arrival


In 1912, 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
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

. In 1916 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 1922. 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 sannyasi, assuming the name Niranjanananda, becoming known as Chinnaswami (the younger Swami).

During this period, Sri Ramana composed The Five Hymns to Arunachala, his magnum opus in devotional lyric poetry. Of
them the first is Akshara Mana Malai (the Marital Garland of Letters). 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.

Mother's Death


Beginning in 1920, his mother's health deteriorated. On the day of her death, May 19, 1922, at about 8 a.m., Sri Ramana sat beside her. 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 8:00 p.m., when Sri Ramana pronounced her liberated, literally, ‘Adangi Vittadu, Addakam’ (‘absorbed’). 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.". Her body was enshrined in a samadhi
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

, on top of which a Siva lingam
Lingam
The Lingam is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples....

 was installed and given the name Mathrubutheswara [Siva manifesting as mother]. To commemorate the anniversary of Ramana Maharshi's mother's death, a puja, known as her Aradhana or Mahapooja, is performed every year at the Mathrubutheswara.

After this, Sri Ramana often walked from Skandashram to her tomb. Then in December 1922, 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 1924 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. Until 1938, Annamalai Swami was entrusted with the task of supervising the projects and received his instructions from Ramana directly.

The 1940s saw many of Sri Ramana's most ardent devotees pass away. These included Echamma (1945), attendant Madhavaswami (1946), Ramanatha Brahmachari (1946), Mudaliar Granny and Lakshmi (1948).
Sri Ramana was noted for his unusual love of animals and his assertion that liberation was possible not only for animals but also for plants: Ramana once spoke of a thorn bush gaining liberation by the Grace of a great saint. On the morning of June 18, 1948, he realized his favorite cow Lakshmi was near death. Just as he had with his own Mother, Sri Ramana placed his hands on her head and over her heart. The cow died peacefully at 11:30 a.m. and Sri Ramana later declared that the cow was liberated.

In 1939, at age 21, U.G. Krishnamurti met with Ramana Maharshi. U.G. related that he asked Ramana, "This thing called moksha, can you give it to me?" - to which Ramana Maharshi purportedly replied, "I can give it, but can you take it?". This answer completely altered U.G.'s perceptions of the "spiritual path" and its practitioners, and he never again sought the counsel of "those religious people". Later U.G. would say that Maharshi's answer - which he had originally perceived as "arrogant" - put him "back on track". "That Ramana was a real McCoy," said U.G Krishnamurti.

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.

Final Years


In November 1948, a tiny cancerous lump was found on the Maharshi's arm and was removed in February 1949 by the ashram doctor. Soon, another growth appeared, and another operation was done by an eminent surgeon in March, 1949, 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 1949, 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. To devotees who begged him to cure himself for the sake of his followers, Sri Ramana is said to have replied, "Why are you so attached to this body? Let it go" and, "Where can I go? I am here."

By April 1950, Sri Ramana was too weak to go to the hall, and visiting hours were limited. 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 1950, 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. Sri Ramana’s breathing became gradually slower and slower and at 8:47 p.m. it subsided quietly." Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography...

, the French photographer, who had been staying at the ashram for a fortnight prior to Sri Ramana’s death, recounted the event:
Cartier-Bresson took some of the last photographs of Sri Ramana on April 4, 1950 and went on to take pictures of the mahasamadhi preparations. 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.".

Teachings



Sri Ramana's teachings about self-enquiry
Self-enquiry
Self-enquiry is a practice designed to rapidly bring about Self-realization, Self awareness, spiritual liberation or enlightenment, and is most commonly associated with its most famous modern advocate, Sri Ramana Maharshi...

, the practice he is most widely associated with, have been classified as the Path of Knowledge (Jnana marga) among the Indian schools of thought. Though his teaching is consistent with and generally associated with Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, 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.

His earliest teachings are documented in the book Nan Yar?(Who am I?), first written in Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

. The original book was published by Sri Pillai, 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. A careful translation with notes is available in English as 'The Path of Sri Ramana, Part One' by Sri Sadhu Om, one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramana. Selections from this definitive version follow:
  • 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?", is the principal means.
  • Knowledge itself is 'I'. The nature of (this) knowledge is existence-consciousness-bliss.
  • What is called mind is a wondrous power existing in Self. It projects all thoughts. 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?', it will be known to be in the heart [spiritual heart is 'two digits to the right from the centre of the chest']. 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?', destroying all other thoughts, will itself finally be destroyed like the stick used for stirring the funeral pyre.
  • If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they arise?', it will be known 'To me'. If one then enquires 'Who am I?', the mind (power of attention) will turn back to its source. 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 God


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. Sri Sadhu Om - The Path of Sri Ramana Part I). The clue to this is in Sri Ramana's own death experience when he was 16. After raising the question 'Who am I?' he "turned his attention very keenly towards himself" (cf. description above). 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 also recommended the path of bhakti
Bhakti
In Hinduism Bhakti is religious devotion in the form of active involvement of a devotee in worship of the divine.Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards the personal God, a concept expressed in Hindu theology as Svayam Bhagavan.Bhakti can be used of either...

 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.

Sri Ramana's teachings and Advaita


Sri Ramana's teachings and the traditional Advaitic school of thought pioneered by Sri Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

 have many things in common. Sri Ramana often mentioned and is known to have encouraged study of the following classical works: Ashtavakra Gita
Ashtavakra Gita
The Ashtavakra Gita or the Song of Ashtavakra, also known as Ashtavakra Samhita is an Advaita Vedanta scripture which documents a dialogue between the Perfect Master Ashtavakra and Janaka, the King of Mithila.-Significance:Ashtavakra Gita presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta...

, Ribhu Gita and Essence of Ribhu Gita, Yoga Vasista Sara, Tripura Rahasya[],
Kaivalya Navaneetam, Advaita Bodha Deepika, and Ellam Ondre. However, there are some practical differences with the traditional Advaitic school, which recommends a negationist neti, neti (Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, "not this", "not this") path, or mental affirmations that the Self was the only reality, such as "I am Brahman" or "I am He", while Sri Ramana advocates the enquiry "Nan Yar" (Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, "Who am I"). 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". The five kosas, or sheaths, that hide the true Self are: Material, Vital, Mental, Knowledge, and Blissful.

  • 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"

Teachers in his tradition


He considered his own guru to be the Self, in the form of the sacred mountain Arunachala
Arunachala
Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, where the Annamalaiyar Temple, a temple of Lord Shiva is located. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai , the Karthigai Deepam is lit atop the hill...

. 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(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, 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:
  1. He urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry;
  2. He directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization. ("The true Bhagavan resides in your Heart as your true Self. This is who I truly am.");
  3. He viewed all who came to him as the Self rather than as lesser beings. ("The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight.");
  4. He charged no money, and was adamant that no one ever ask for money (or anything else) in his name;
  5. He never promoted or called attention to himself. 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;
  6. He considered humility to be the highest quality;
  7. 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. Some stayed for the rest of their lives (or his) and served him with great devotion, and others came for a single darshan
Darshan
or Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" , vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity , or a very holy person or artifact...

 and left, deeply affected by the peace he radiated.

Quite a number of followers wrote books conveying Sri Ramana's teachings. Sri Muruganar (1893–1973), one of Sri Ramana's foremost devotees who lived as Sri Ramana's shadow for 26 years, recorded the most comprehensive collection of Sri Ramana's sayings in a work called Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru's Sayings). Sri Ramana carefully reviewed this work with Sri Muruganar, modifying many verses to most accurately reflect his teaching, and adding in additional verses. Sri Muruganar was also instrumental in Sri Ramana's writing of Upadesa Saram (The Essence of Instruction) and Ulladu Narpadu (Forty Verses on Reality). Sri Sadhu Om (1922–1985) spent five years with Sri Ramana and about 28 years with Sri Muruganar. His deep understanding of Sri Ramana's teachings on self-enquiry are explained in his book The Path of Sri Ramana – Part One. Suri Nagamma wrote a series of letters to her brother in Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

, describing Sri
Ramana's conversations with devotees over a five year period. Each letter was corrected by Sri Ramana before it was sent. Attendants of Sri Ramana included Palaniswami (from 1897), Kunju Swami (from 1920), Madhava Swami, Ramanatha Brahmachari, Krishnaswami, Rangaswamy, Sivananda, Krishna Bhikshu and Annamalai Swami (from 1928). The devoted ladies who cooked for Bhagavan and his devotees in the ashram kitchen includes, Shantamma, Sampurnamma, Subbalakshmi Ammal, Lokamma, Gowri Ammal and few others.

Paul Brunton's
Paul Brunton
Paul Brunton was probably born as Hermann Hirsch of German Jewish origin. Later he changed his name to Raphael Hurst, and then Brunton Paul and finally Paul Brunton. He was a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru...

 writings about Sri Ramana brought considerable attention to him in the West. Other Westerners who wrote about Sri Ramana include Arthur Osborne
Arthur Osborne (writer)
Arthur Osborne was an English writer on spirituality and mysticism, and an influential disciple and biographer of Ramana Maharshi. When one of Osborne's books, Ramana Maharshi and The Path of Self Knowledge, was first published in 1954, it contained a foreword from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, at...

 (the first editor of the ashram journal, The Mountain Path), Major Chadwick (who ran the Veda Patasala during Ramana's time), Ethel Merston
Ethel Merston
Ethel Merston was one of G. I. Gurdjieff’s first students at his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, at the Prieuré in Fontainebleau-en-Avon, France. Gurdjieff had recently come to the West to introduce an ancient esoteric teaching of spiritual transformation called The Fourth Way...

, and S.S. Cohen.
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
Swami Ramdas
Swami Ramdas was a philosopher, philanthropist, and pilgrim. Giving up worldly possessions at a young age, he became a wandering monk...

 visited Ramana Maharshi while on pilgrimage in 1922, 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".

Maurice Frydman
Maurice Frydman
Maurice Frydman , aka Swami Bharatananda , was an engineer and humanitarian who spent the later part of his life in India...

 (a.k.a. Swami Bharatananda), a Polish Jew who later translated Nisargadatta Maharaj's
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj , born Maruti Shivrampant Kambli, was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita , and a Guru, belonging to the Inchgiri branch of the Navnath Sampradaya....

 work "I Am That" from Marathi to English, was also deeply influenced by Sri Ramana's teachings.

William Somerset Maugham, the English author, wrote a chapter entitled "The Saint" in his last book "Points of View." This chapter is devoted to Ramana Maharshi, whom Maugham had at one time visited before Indian independence.

Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 politician and freedom-fighter, O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar
O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar
Omandur Ramasamy Reddiar was an Indian freedom-fighter and politician of the Indian National Congress. He served as the Premier of Madras Presidency from March 23, 1947 to April 6, 1949.-Early life:...

, who served as the Premier of Madras from 1947 to 1949, was also a devoted follower of Ramana Maharshi. Ramaswami Pillai, Balarama Reddy, Ramani Ammal, Kanakammal, Meenakshi Ammal, Perumalswami and Rayar are some of the other long standing devotees who came into the Sannadhi of Bhagavan during his life at Sri Ramanasramam.

Another famous follower of Sri Ramana Maharshi is Jinnuru Nannagaru (born Bhupathiraju Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Raju),who has taken upon himself the task of taking people to a ‘sorrowless’, and ‘tension-free’ state.

Aksharamanamalai


Many of Ramana Maharshi's followers asked for a hymn to sing while on their rounds for alms. They felt this would help distinguish them from other hermits. After much persuasion, Sri Ramana Maharshi composed Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai (The Marital Garland of Letters) in praise of Lord Shiva, manifest as the mountain Arunachala. The hymn consists of 108 stanzas composed in poetic Tamil, praising the formless Shiva as Arunachala and the different aspects of life and salvation that it symbolizes.

Teachings

  • The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi (ISBN 1-59030-139-0)
  • Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, by David Godman (ISBN 0-14-019062-7)
  • Guru Vachaka Kovai (Garland of Guru's Sayings) by Sri Muruganar, translation Sri Sadhu Om PDF
  • The Collected Works Of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Contains compositions by Sri Ramana, as well as a large number of adaptations and translations by him of classical advaita works (ISBN 81-88018-06-6)
  • The Path of Sri Ramana, Part One and The Path of Sri Ramana, Part Two, by Sri Sadhu Om (ASIN B000KMKFX0) PDF
  • Happiness and the Art of Being: A Layman's Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of the Spiritual Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana (ISBN 1-4251-2465-8) PDF
  • The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi: A Visual Journey (ISBN 1-878019-18-X)
  • Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (pictured to the right), by Munagal Venkataramiah, covers the period 1935 to 1939 (ISBN 81-88018-07-4) PDF
  • Reflections: On Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, by S.S.Cohen (ISBN 81-88018-38-4) PDF
  • Padamalai: Teachings of Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Sri Muruganar, edited by David Godman (ISBN 0971137137)
  • Sri Ramana Gita (ISBN 81-88018-17-1)
  • The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in his own words, by Arthur Osborne
    Arthur Osborne (writer)
    Arthur Osborne was an English writer on spirituality and mysticism, and an influential disciple and biographer of Ramana Maharshi. When one of Osborne's books, Ramana Maharshi and The Path of Self Knowledge, was first published in 1954, it contained a foreword from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, at...

     (ISBN 81-88018-15-5) PDF
  • Day by Day with Bhagavan by A Devaraja Mudaliar (ISBN 81-88018-82-1). An account of daily discussions during the period 1945 to 1947.
  • Gems from Bhagavan, by A. Devaraja Mudaliar
  • Maha Yoga, by 'Who' (Lakshmana Sharma), Rev 2002 (ISBN 81-88018-20-1), PDF
  • Ramana Puranam: Composed by Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Muruganar (ISBN 81-8289-059-9)
  • Origin of Spiritual Instruction, by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi (ISBN 978-0970366733)
  • Who am I?: the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by Ramana Maharshi
  • Ulladhu Narpadhu - Collection of 40 hymns by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Biographies

  • Self-Realization: The Life and Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, by B.V. Narasimha Swami (ISBN 81-88225-74-6)
  • Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge, by Arthur Osborne
    Arthur Osborne (writer)
    Arthur Osborne was an English writer on spirituality and mysticism, and an influential disciple and biographer of Ramana Maharshi. When one of Osborne's books, Ramana Maharshi and The Path of Self Knowledge, was first published in 1954, it contained a foreword from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, at...

     online text
  • Sri Ramana Leela, by Krishna Bhikshu (Telegu Original) PDF version online
  • Timeless in Time: Sri Ramana Maharshi, by A.R. Natarajan
    A.R. Natarajan
    A.R. Natarajan was a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi who published numerous books on his guru. He was the president and founder of the Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Research Centre and the vice-president of the Ramana Kendra...

    (ISBN 81-85378-82-7)
  • Ramana Maharshi: His Life, by Gabriele Ebert (ISBN 978-1411673502)
  • Sage of Arunachala - A great documentary

Reminiscences

(Anonymously edited volume with many appreciatiions and reminiscences from others, plus many quotes from Ramana Maharshi)
  • A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi, by Major A. W. Chadwick (ISBN 81-88018-37-6)
  • Living By The Words of Bhagavan, by David Godman (no ISBN) about Annamalai Swami
  • The Power of the Presence, Part One, by David Godman (ISBN 0-9711371-1-0), about several devotees
  • The Power of the Presence, Part Two, by David Godman (ISBN 0-9711371-0-2), about several devotees
  • The Power of the Presence, Part Three, by David Godman (ISBN 0-9711371-2-9), about several devotees
  • Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, by Suri Nagamma (ISBN 81-88018-10-4), contains 273 letters from the period 1945 to 1950, each one corrected by Sri Ramana.
  • A Practical Guide to Know Yourself: Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi (ISBN 81-85378-09-6)
  • Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness (ISBN 1-878019-00-7)
  • Guru Ramana, by S.S. Cohen (ISBN 81-88225-22-3)
  • Moments Remembered, Reminiscences of Bhagavan Ramana, by V. Ganesan (ISBN 978-8188018437)
  • Living with the Master, Reminiscences by Kunjuswami (ISBN 81-88018-99-6)
  • Sri Ramana Reminiscences, by G. V. Subbaramayya

For Children

  • Sri Ramana, Friend of Animals: Hobbler and the Monkeys of Arunachala ISBN 81-8288-047-5
  • Sri Ramana, Friend of Animals: The Life of Lakshmi the Cow
  • Ramana Thatha (Grand Father Ramana), by Kumari Sarada ISBN 81-85378-03-7
  • Ramana Maharshi (Amar Chitra Katha: The Glorious Heritage of India series) ISBN 81-7508-048-5
  • The Boy Sage, by Geeta Bhatt (author), S.K. Maithreyi (Illustrator) ISBN 978-8182881129

External links