What is extraordinary about Ramana Maharishi is that he has received exceptional grace.
He felt the thrill of spiritual aspiration from a young age and meditated with an enormous "thirst" to know the Self.
The nectar of spiritual achievement was his daily taste and his disciples appeared around him without calling anyone, attracted by the real and extraordinary spiritual realization of a silent master.
Of course, a good part of them just enjoyed seeing a master accomplished in the flesh, but quite a few knew the joy of spiritual depths near Sri Ramana Maharishi, thanks to the divine grace that was catalyzed by him.
Ramana Maharishi was born on December 30, 1879 and was given the name Venkataraman.
It was a day of celebration in which the Divine Grace of Shiva was celebrated through a procession with the image of Siva Nataraja.
Contrary to expectations, in childhood Ramana was not at all inclined towards religious life. He wasn't too attracted to school and suffered from sleepwalking, even though he was an intelligent, healthy and strong young man. In the summer of 1896, however, he had an experience of impending death that led him to the revelation of the Eternal Self.
The body dies, but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death.
The experience of death, although it came in an unexpected way, was an experience ramana wanted to understand.
When the fear of death and the feeling that he would die arose, he remained calm, reflecting:
"Now death is coming. What does that mean? What does it mean to die? This body dies."
Then he lay down on the floor like he was a corpse. He stopped breathing, squeezed his lips and thought:
"Well, now this body is dead. It will be carried to the pyre and there burned and turned to ashes. But with the death of this body, am I dead? Am I the body? This body is inert and silent. But I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of "I" inside me, separated from my body. So it's the Spirit that transcends the body. The body dies, but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the eternal Spirit."
It seems like a rational process, but Sri Ramana Maharishi told his disciples that the realization actually happened lightning: "I"i" was the only real thing.
The fear of death is gone once and for all. Since then, "I-Him" has continued to be perceived permanently, and the young Venkataraman has turned into a wise man. He became humble, gentle and detached from what surrounded him. He preferred to spend time in solitude, absorbed into himself. He was engulfed in ecstasy in the face of images of the gods and saints in the temple.
Thus, he ran away from home leaving only an explanatory note to his gesture, which ended with the indication not to be searched.
This may seem like a problem, but although it thus generated suffering to his princes, he was unlikely to find a less painful way for his parents and allowing for retreat into the spiritual life.
He spent the next ten years living in the temple and caves, meditating in total silence and detachment from the world.
The man who named him Baghavan and maharishi was his first disciple, the scholar Ganapathi Shastri, also known as Ganapathi Muni.
He visited Ramana in the Virupaksa grotto at a time when he doubted his spiritual practice and asked for his advice: "Everything I had to read I read; even Vedanta Sastra I fully understood it; I also made THE GAPA according to my heart's desire; but I have not come to understand what TAPAS means. That's why I sought refuge at your feet. Please enlighten me about the nature of TAPAS."
Ramana responded this time with live speech:
"If someone researches where the notion of 'I' comes from, the mind is absorbed there: it is TAPAS. When a MANTRA is repeated, and the one who repeats it investigates where the sound of that MANTRA comes from, the mind is absorbed in that place: this is TAPAS."
Ganapathi Muni then felt shrouded in the grace of the man who would become his master, and the answer he received was a revelation for him. He later composed hymns in Sanskrit in honor of Ramana Maharishi and wrote Ramana-Gita, in which he explains his teachings.
One day, the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will appear mysteriously.
Always ask yourself, without rest, who i am?
Analyze your entire personality. Try to see where the idea of me comes from. Keep meditating like this. Keep your attention inside. One day, the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will appear mysteriously. Pursue that intuition, let your thinking stop, and you will then achieve your goal.
Ganapathi Muni's visit was the beginning of what can be called Ramana Maharishi's public life
On the place where he was meditating, an ashramwas born, the disciples began to multiply, and he began to talk about the method of self-extension - ATMA VICHARA, which he considered the main way to the knowledge of the Divine Self.
Maharishi proposed to his disciples to ask themselves "Who am I?" in order to realize their divine nature, while advising them to avoid an intellectual response such as "I am cut, I am so many years old and I practice a craft, etc."
It is not to be sought to examine by the mind its own content, but to bring the first way of manifesting the mind – the thought of "I" – to its origin which is the Self. The question is actually the pretext for a conscious reflection on the essence that lies beyond words. This leads to the revelation that behind the verbal representations of oneself is the Eternal Self.
You're the Ecstasy
„Extazul nu e ceva ce trebuie obținut.
Pe de altă parte tu ești extazul.
Dorința (de a-l obține) este născută din senzația de incompletitudine.
Dar a cui este această dorință de incompletitudine? Întreabă-te. În somnul adânc erai în extaz.
Acum nu mai ești.
Ce s-a interpus între extaz și non-extaz?
Caută-i originea și află că tu ești Extazul.”
Ramana Maharishi wrote a little and only at the request of the disciples.
His most important work is "Forty Lyrics about Life". He also composed "Five Hymns to Arunachala."
The way of researching the nature of the self proposed by him is introspection (JNANA, knowledge). It aims to eliminate the identification of the Self with the physical body and everything related to it, including the mind. What remains is pure existence, pure consciousness and pure bliss (SAT – CIT – ANANDA).
They make up the nature of the Supreme Consciousness, the IMMORTAL Self ATMAN, the witness consciousness that is reached by transcending the visible world.
The experience of the Supreme Self is accessible to all. The self is not separate from us, it's not metaphysical and inaccessible. To perceive it, it's only necessary to get past the projections of the mind that always places it somewhere else. The self is here and now, hidden only by the veils of appearance.
Around him floated an atmosphere of peace and love. To a disciple who was concerned that he might, because of his sins, go to hell when he died, he replied, "If you go there, Bhagavan will come after you and bring you back."
When he got cancer and his followers were worried about dying, he told them, suggesting they wouldn't identify him with his physical body:"I'm not going anywhere, where can I go? I'll stay here forever."
He left his physical body for good on April 14, 1950, in the lotus position. It is said that at that moment a comet crossed the sky and set behind mount Arunachala.
His disciples report that initiation was given in silence, and the highest teaching consisted, for those who were able to receive it, precisely in the presence of Ramana Maharishi. Being around him, in silence, one could directly experience Self-realization.
Here is what Arthur Osborne, one of his close disciples, testifies to, who then took care of publishing maharishi's works and wrote several books about him:
„Bhagavan era rezemat pe canapea iar eu ședeam în primul rând din fața sa. S-a ridicat cu fața spre mine și, cu ochi scrutători, a sfredelit în mine pătrunzându-mă adânc, cu o intensitate pe care nu o pot descrie. Era ca și cum ochii lui ar fi spus: «ți s-a spus deja; de ce nu ai realizat asta până acum?» și apoi liniște, o pace adâncă, o ușurare și o fericire indescriptibilă.
Am început să trăiesc cu un ritm de fericire în inimă, simțind binecuvântarea și misterul celui care era Ghidul meu spiritual, repetându-mi ca pe un cântec de iubire că el era Ghidul meu spiritual, legătura între cer și pământ, între Dumnezeu și mine, între Existența fără formă și inima mea.
Am devenit conștient de uriașa grație a prezenței sale. Până și în aspectele exterioare se purta grațios cu mine, zâmbindu-mi când intram în hol, făcându-mi semn să mă așez în locuri în care mă putea privi în meditație.
VICHARA, continua interogare «Cine sunt eu?», a început să trezească în mine o anume conștiință a Sinelui ce se manifesta drept Baghavan în afară, precum și drept Sine interior în același timp.”
Frank H. Humphreys, his first Western disciple, told the story that he first met Sri Ramana Maharishi ina dream, then identified him with the help of photographs, and when he finally got to meet him physically, he looked him in the eye for half an hour:
"He has not altered his expression of deep contemplation at all. I began to realize that the body is the temple of the spirit. I could only feel that his body was not a man but was the instrument of God, that it was totally an embodiment of what God means more extraordinary. My sensations were indescribable."Frank H. Humphreys
"These are classes that should be written in gold letters in the calendar of our lives," Paul Brunton said, referring to his meeting with Ramana Maharishi. Appreciate to him the simplicity and modesty that he managed to maintain beyond the atmosphere of genuine spiritual greatness around him. He said that the presence of people like maharishi ensures the continuity of our connection with divinity and that we must accept the fact that such a wise man appears to reveal something to us and not to convince us of something.
„Ghidul spiritual este deopotrivă în afară și înăuntru. Din afară el dă un impuls minții să se întoarcă înăuntru. Din interior el atrage mintea spre Sine și o ajută să se liniștească. Iată harul unui Ghid spiritual. Nu există diferență între Dumnezeu, Ghid spiritual și Sine. Ghidul spiritual e înăuntru. Meditația are rolul de a destrăma ideea ignorantă că el este numai afară. Dacă el este un străin pe care îl aștepți, atunci e destinat să dispară... care poate fi utilitatea unei ființe trecătoare ca asta? Dar câtă vreme gândești că ești separat sau că ești trupul cu mădularele lui, este necesar și un Ghid spiritual exterior și va apărea ca având un corp. Când va înceta greșita identificare cu corpul, se va vedea că Ghidul spiritual nu este altcineva decât Sinele.”