Raman Maharshi
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  • 1. Who is Ramana Maharishi?. An awe inspiring sage whose presence graced the renowned the sacred Arunachala hill of Thiruvannamalai, in Tamilnadu during the first half of 20th century. He was known throughout as a silent sage whose peaceful presence and powerful gaze changed the lives of many.
  • 2. Who is Ramana Maharishi?. Encouraged people to look within and decide whether they were actually the body or the changeless eternal self within.
  • 3. Who is Ramana Maharishi?. Born on December 30 1879 seemingly as an ordinary mortal at a certain point of his life in an instant of realization that he grasped that his inmost awareness was actually that of the universal self. There was no struggle for self awareness.
  • 4. Sri Ramana Maharshi December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950 born Venkataraman Iyer, was an Indian sage. He was born to a Tamil Hindu Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After having attained liberation at the age of 16, he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus, at Tiruvannamalai, and lived there for the rest of his life.
  • 5. Early years Born in Tiruchuzhi, Tamilnadu, near Madurai. Named as Venkataraman In Madurai, living with his uncle attended Scott’s Middle school
  • 6. The Awakening, July 17, 1896 In 1892 Venkatraman’s (Age 12) father Sundaram Iyer died at the age of 42. He contemplated on the subject of death ,how his father’s body was still there but the “I” was gone. Attended American Mission High School. In 1895 he met an elderly relative from “Arunachala”, enquired about the location.
  • 7. The Awakening, July 17, 1896 On the above day at age 16 Venkatraman had a life changing experience. He spontaneouly initiated a process of self enquiry. Dramatized death . The body is dead. Am I dead?. Is the body I?. I am the spirit transcending the body. On Aug 29th 1896
  • 8. Arunachala, Thiruvannamalai,Location in Tamilnadu
  • 9. Thiruvannamalai
  • 10. Thiruvannamalai This is one of the places attributed to five elements viz., earth, water, fire, sky and air. This place is dedicated to the Fire element, whereas Chidambaram is Akasa sthala. It is also said that one attains salvation by merely thinking about Thiruvannamalai. The beautiful hill is said to be abode of sages. Located 187 Km from Chennai
  • 11. Tiruvannamalai, at the foot of Arunachala, is a town of medium size, 120 miles southwest of Chennai, an ancient village with a large and splendid temple. Yearly festivals draw large crowds of pilgrims to Tiruvannamalai from all over South India. This is especially so at Karthigai (known also as Deepam), which usually falls in November. On this occasion a beacon light of clarified butter (ghee) is lit at nightfall on the summit of the mountain.
  • 12. Think of Arunachala, you get liberation Expressed in the old Tamil saying: “To see Chidambaram, to be born at Tiruvarur, to die at Banaras or even to think of Arunachala is to be assured of Liberation.” “Even to think of” because in the case of the direct path physical contact is not necessary. Hence, it was no accident that the Maharshi made Tiruvannamalai and its sacred Arunachala mountain his home
  • 13. Thiruvannamalai
  • 14. Thiruvannamalai temple
  • 15. Temple towers Thiruvannamalai
  • 16. Arunachala Venkataraman meditated in many caves although was disturbed by local children often. Gurumurtam, Virupaksha cave , Patala Lingam vault, Where he spent days in samadhi. Finally for 17 years he moved to Virupaksha cave. A sadhu named Palaniswami had his first darshan of swami and since then stayed with him serving him.
  • 17. Family discovers his whereabouts Family members requested him to return. December of 1898 his brother and mother begged him to return, appealed to the devotees.
  • 18. Venkataraman’s response “ In accordance with the prarbdha of each the one whose function is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen , whatever effort one may put forth. What will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom is to stay quiet.” At this point the mother returned to Madurai
  • 19. Ramana’s first teachings IN 1902 a government official Sivaprakasam Pillai with writing slate in hand asked “how to know one’s true identity?.” The 14 questions put to young swami and his answers were Ramana’s first teachings. Widely known eventually published as “ Nan Yar?.”
  • 20. How the Maharishi got his name Several visitors came to him. Kavyakantha sri Ganapati Sastri, a vedic scholar came to see him in 1907. After receiving instructions from him he proclaimed him as Sri Ramana Maharishi .
  • 21. Life of a renunciate Led a modest and renunciate life. Just used a kaupina. “A wrong popular image..always in samadhi.” David Goldman has written extensively . From the period the ashram began to rise around him after his mother arrived Ramana was active in ashram activities
  • 22. The Westerners discover Ramana In 1911 Frank Humphreys discovered Ramana and wrote articles on him in The International Psychic gazette in 1913. It was Paul Brunton published the first book “A Search of Secret India “
  • 23. Other notable visitors Paramahansa Yogananda. Somerset Maugham. 1944 novel The”Razor’s Edge” models its spiritual Guru Sri Ramana Julian P Johnson Arthur Osborne
  • 24. Book on Ramana
  • 25. Many Books On Ramana
  • 26. Power of silence Sri Ramana was noted for his belief in the power of silence and his relatively sparse use of speech lack of concern for fame or criticism. Life style remained that of a renunciate. Never travelled outside.
  • 27. Final Years In November of 1948 a cancerous lump developed in Maharishi’s arm and was removed in Feb of 1949. Refused complete amputation of arm. After three operations on the evening of 14th april 1950 while his disciples were chanting “ Arunachala siva Arunachala siva” Bhagavan was in radiant joy ,at 8.47 PM breathing stopped
  • 28. Bhagavan’s demise At 8.47 on 14th april 1950 all over India there were independent reports of seeing a bright light rising into sky
  • 29. Bhagavan’s demise as reported by Henri Cartier- Bresson It is a most astonishing experience . I was in the open space in front of my house when my friends drew attention to the sky ,where I saw a vividly luminous shooting star with a luminous tail coming from the south moving slowly acoss the sky. We raced to the ashram only to find our premonition had been only sadly true.
  • 30. Method of teaching Urged people to practice self enquiry. Directed people to look inward rather than seeking outward for realization. The true Bhagavan resides in your heart as your true self. This is who I truly am. He viewed all who came to see him as the Self rather than lesser beings. ( “The Jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only Jnanis in his sight”)
  • 31. Maharishi’s love for animals Lakshmi the ashram cow. Animals treated as equals. Sick animals were brought to Bhagavan. Felt that animals could get salvation or Moksha
  • 32. His love for animals Favorite cow Lakshmi Believed that animals also can reach salvation
  • 33. Teachers in his tradition Considered his own Guru to be self in the form of sacred mountain Arunachala, Did not publicize himself as a Guru, Never claimed to have disciples and never appointed any successors
  • 34. Teachings Encouraged study of Ashtravakra Gita, Yoga Vashishta, Tripura Rahasya, Kaivalya navaneetam, Ellam Onre. Unlike traditional advaitic school discouraged most who came to him from adopting a renunciate life style
  • 35. Teachings Path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga) Consistent with Upanishads and advata vedanta, gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.
  • 36. Method of teachings He charged no money, and was adamant that no one ever ask for money or anything else in his name. He never promoted or called attention to himself. Instead Ramana remained in one place for 54 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone of any background who came to him and ask nothing in return.
  • 37. Method of teachings He considered humility to be the highest quality. that equality towards all was a true sign of liberation , and that a true jnani did was always for others, not themselves.
  • 38. Grace and Guru I have not said that a Guru is not necessary. But a Guru need not always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is an inferior and that there is a superior, all-knowing, all powerful God who controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him or does Bhakti. When he reaches a certain stage and becomes fit for enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and leads him on. That Guru comes only to tell him that ‘God is within yourself. Dive within and realize.’ God, Guru and the Self are the same.
  • 39. Renunciation Asked “How does a grihastha (householder) fare in the scheme of Moksha (liberation)?” Bhagavan said, “Why do you think you are a grihastha? If you go out as a sannyasi (ascetic), a similar thought that you are a sannyasi will haunt you. Whether you continue in the household or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind goes with you. The ego is the source of all thought. It creates the body and the world and makes you think you are a grihastha . The obstacle is the mind. It must be got over whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not at home? Therefore, why change your environment? Your efforts can be made even now - in whatever environment you are now. The environment will never change according to your desire.”
  • 40. Essential Message Who Am I ? Enquiry For all thoughts the source is the 'I' thought. The mind will merge only by Self- enquiry 'Who am I?' The thought 'Who am l?' will destroy all other thoughts and finally kill itself also.
  • 41. Ramana’s teaching “If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief. Find where from thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever- present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.”
  • 42. Arunachala Ashrama - New York Edgerton Boulevard Jamaica, NY 11432-2937 (718) 560-3196
  • 43. Ramanashrama Today