Ramana Maharshi: a biography

Sep 30, 2009

Photo of Ramana Maharshi
You need not aspire for or get any new state. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.

Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) is regarded as an Indian sage. He was born in Tamil Nadu, South India. After reputedly having attained liberation (moksha) at the age of 16, he left home for Arunachala, a 'sacred' mountain also situated in Tamil Nadu. There he spent the rest of his life. Although born a Brahmin, after having experienced moksha, he declared himself unattached to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions.

Sri Ramana 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 those who he felt could not understand that silence. His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Consciousness as the only existing reality. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry as the fastest route to moksha. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta, and Jnana yoga, he highly recommended devotion (Bhakti) and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.