India is a land of great preachers and sages. Right from Bhaskaracharya to Sushruta, the country has witnessed the presence of numerous learned personalities, who had impeccable knowledge of gravity, atomic theory, cosmology and other concepts.
Ramana Maharshi is one such Indian sage, who received huge acclaim in not just India but the rest of the world. He was the greatest personality in India, who understood the concept of self-realization and came up with several new concepts and practices that were not known before. Most of his devotees used to address him as ‘Bhagavan’.
A Sneak Peak Into His Life
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was born in a village called Tirucculi in southern India on December 30, 1879. He was named as Venkataraman by his parents, who were the members of the Tamil Brahmin caste. At the age of 12, due to the sudden demise of his father, he was sent to Madurai to live with his uncle and attended the American Mission High School.
At the age of 16, he suddenly experienced his true self or I (a death-experience, where he felt that his body is dead, but he is still alive), and identified this state with Iswara, i.e. Shiva. Six weeks later, he journeyed to Arunachala, the holy mountain in Tiruvannamalai. It was this place where he turned into a sannyasi and soon people started regarding him as an avatar (incarnation of a deity). As time passed by, an ashram was constructed around him, where visitors started receiving spiritual instructions from him. At the age of 70 in 1950, he died of cancer, but his teachings remained alive.
The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi are so popular that many writers around the world have published them in their books, articles and journals. His famous teachings are described below -
Happiness: This concept explains that one's source of happiness resides within his Self. One's Self is no different than "Sat-Chit-Ananda" or "Paramatman". In order to realize this inherent happiness of Self, one must discover inner-self and understand ‘who am I’.
Self-Realization: This is the most popular Ramana Maharshi teaching that describes that realization is not about becoming or knowing anything. It is finding peace at oneself – understanding and accepting you are none other the Self.
Who Am I?: This is the self-enquiry concept which explains that the source of all thoughts surrounding one’s mind is ‘I’. the more you enquire your inner-self on the thoughts occupying your mind, the more you’ll be able to free your mind from them.
This is not the end; many other concepts, such as renunciation, jnani and surrender, have been taught by him, which are still prevalent across the globe in the form of translated books and articles. One can also find several interviews with Ramana Maharshi published in different languages.