Enlightened Wisdom and Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi
"Ramana Maharshi's wisdom is guiding millions of people."
~The Dalai Lama
To receive Ramana's
for Transforming your Mind
Ramana Maharshi was a great Indian sage who lived from 1879 to
1950. He had a powerful transformation when he was
16 years old where he surrendered to the experience of death,
and found "That" which never dies. A few months later he
left his home and village to live in one of the most holiest
places in India called Mt. Arunachala.
For 17 years Ramana lived in several different caves inside this
sacred mountain where he deepened his experience of Self-Realization.
During this time, many visitors seeking the Truth about
enlightenment were guided to sit with him. They came just
to experience his
calming loving presence which was very natural, simple, and yet
so powerful it would transform their lives forever.
Every full moon, tens of thousands of pilgrims walk 14km around the
mountain Arunachala hill barefoot, and arrive at the massive
1200 year old Annamalaiyar Temple (below) to complete their
prayer. It is one of the five main shaivite
holy places in South India and it is truly a life changing
Ramana had a very deep connection with animals and nature.
He was often visited by a cow he called Lakshmi who would lick his feet and other
wild animals would walk right up to him. Yet, he spent his life
guiding devotees and seekers in their path of spiritual
Knowledge and Self-Realization. He answered questions for hours
every day, and taught Self-inquiry - to ask oneself, “Who am I?”
- as the path to Enlightenment, or Self-Realization.
taught seekers that the God-Source, Spirit, Divine
Consciousness, Spiritual Essence (whatever you call it) is what
you really are. He found that surrendering to the truth of our
spiritual existence is the only path that is truly satisfying.
Nothing is more fulfilling than to unveil and discover ones real
"Self". This continuous re-discovering of the true you is
the experience of spiritual enlightenment.
spoke about following a non-dualistic path in life. When you
realize there is only one God, you drop the mind's
interpretations of duality. He shared about at the highest
level, "there is no doer". The body will do what it needs
to do in this lifetime to complete its karma here, yet you are
not the one doing anything. The mind will believe it is the one in
charge, yet there is something beyond the mind running the show.
"The sense of doership is bondage....Be
still and know that I am God." ~Ramana
Ramana spoke greatly about self-inquiry as a method of
discovering stillness of mind. He taught that all suffering
comes from ignorance of our true divine nature and an
over-identification with thoughts, mind and the ego. When
we become over-identified, we become confused, believing who we
are comes from our name, thoughts, personality, feelings, body, or anything associated with the material world.
"Agitation of the mind is the
cause of desire, the sense of doership, and of
personality, or the personal sense of "I." If that is stopped,
there is quiet." ~ Ramana
We constantly forget that we are this divine infinite soul that will
never die. We are temporarily a part of the physical
world, yet in actuality we always exist on a realm that is
beyond the physical.
can deeply relax inside, we can see that this spiritually
enlightened aspect of our soul is the natural state of our very
being itself. We are no longer distracted by our mind and
let go of trying to become spiritual or enlightened, and simply
relax into this pure spiritually enlightened soul we already
are! It is in this relaxation we re-discover the Infinite
Source naturally contained within our innermost being.
can surrender and stop the worried chattering mind, we can truly
relax into our Being. A space of deep inner peace is not
far away at all! It just takes trust, being the witnesser
and being open to it all. When you can finally relax,
there is a GREAT knowing that
everything is totally O.K. exactly the way it is.
This enlightened knowing goes beyond understanding that all is
well and that you are good enough as you are. It
acknowledges that all is God, divine perfection unfolding in
every direction and every moment. And this is the way the
Universe actually is...
This photo below
illustrates the caliber of Ramana's level of consciousness, as
you see Ramana is casually "hanging out" with
"Ramana's wisdom has
totally changed my life. His profound spiritual depth,
gentleness and understanding of the Self has blown away my mind
again and again. If you can apply his message to your life,
you'll find it is the most direct path to a profound spiritual
life. One that makes me dive perpetually deeper into my soul." ~
is one of Ramana's Greatest Spiritual Books You'll Ever Find. It
is a must read
on the spiritual path.
The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi
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from Ramana Maharshi
Know the Self, and
God is known. Of all the definitions of God, none is so well put
as the Biblical "I AM THAT I AM" in the book of Exodus. But none
is so direct as the name Jehovah "I AM." The Absolute Being is
what is. It is the Self. It is God.
All thoughts such as, "Attainment is hard," or "Self-realization
is far from me," or "I have to overcome many difficulties to
know Reality," should be given up, as they are obstacles and are
created by this false self, ego. They are untrue.
The normal self is the mind. The mind is with limitations. But
pure Consciousness is beyond limitations, and is reached by
investigation into the "I"
There is no moment when the Self as consciousness does not
exist, nor can the seer remain apart from consciousness.
There is only one state,
that of consciousness or awareness or existence. The three
states of waking, dream and sleep cannot be real. They simply
come and go. The real will always exist.
Actually, the idea of the Self being the witness is only in the
mind; it is not the absolute truth of the Self. Witnessing is
relative to objects witnessed. Both the witness and his object
are mental creations.
The mind is intangible, in fact it does not exist. The surest
way to control it is to seek it. Then its activities cease.
Do not doubt
that you are the Reality; live in that understanding. Never
question it by deferring your realization of it to some future
time. It is because people are victimized and hypnotized by such
false thoughts that the Gita says that few out of millions
realize the Self.
The Self is here and now and alone. It is not new and something
to be acquired. It is natural and permanent. The term "Self"
refers to the unlimited, the infinite Self; do not limit its
The Self is beyond duality. If there is one there will also be
two. Without one there are no other numbers. The truth is
neither one nor two. It is as it is.
Be always feeling and reflecting on the real Being. Be That.
Cling close to It. Let your quest be constant and sustained
until you catch the Self and thereby find eternal happiness.
The mind does not exist
apart from the Self, that is, it has no independent existence.
The Self exists without the mind, never the mind without the
The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great
bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not
yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm.
There are no others to be helped, for a realized being sees only
the Self; just like a goldsmith estimating the gold in various
items of jewelry sees only the gold.
All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to
seek within the Self for the true reality. All controversies
about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the
purpose of God, etc., are useless. They are not conducive to our
true happiness. People try to find out about things which are
outside of them before they try to find out "Who am I?" Only by
the latter means can happiness be gained.
The sense of
doership is bondage, and not the actions themselves. "Be still
and know that I am God." Stillness will prevail and there will
be no agitation of the mind. Agitation of the mind is the cause
of desire, the sense of doership, and of personality, or the
personal sense of "I." If that is stopped, there is quiet.
The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out "Who gets
the desire? What is its source?" When this is found, the desire
is rooted out and it will never again emerge or grow.
Meditation is not so much thinking of the Self as giving up
thinking of the not-Self. When you give up thinking of outward
objects and prevent your mind from going outwards by turning it
inwards and fixing it in the Self, the Self alone remains.
Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or
solitary places, or giving up one's duties. The main thing is to
see that the mind does not turn outward but inward.
Attending to the Self means attending to the work. Because you
identify yourself with the body, you think that work is done by
you. But the body and its activities, including that work, are
not apart from the Self.
The feeling "I work" is the hindrance. Ask yourself, "Who
works?" Remember who you are. Then the work will not bind you,
it will go on automatically.
Self-Inquiry directly leads to realization by removing the
obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already
Abide in your true nature. What does that mean? Cease
identifying with the objectified movement of consciousness;
i.e., with consciousness moving outward or objectively, and
remain in non-objective Awareness, or pure Being.
Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other
speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with
When one remains without thinking one understands another by
of the universal language of silence.
All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with
the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know
ourselves as the Self that we always are.
All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with
the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know
ourselves as the Self that we always are.
The moment you start looking for the Self and go deeper and
deeper, the real Self is waiting there to take you in
Consciousness of the Self is the normal state; our present
entanglement is the abnormal state. We imagine that we have to
develop towards a perfect state, when we are already in it now,
but have covered it with external things and thoughts.
talk of attaining the super-consciousness, but this is wrong.
This Self is our normal consciousness; we imagine we have to
develop and attain it, but we are in it all the time, it is just
that our attention is diverted away from it to the intellect and
All the ancient scriptures are intended simply to make us
retrace our steps to the original source. There is no need to
gain anything. We must simply give up false ideas and useless
accretions. Instead of doing this, we try to catch hold of
something strange and mysterious, believing that happiness lies
elsewhere. That is the mistake.
The Heart is the center from which everything springs. Because
you now see the world, the body etc, it is said that there is a
center for them called the Heart. But when actually in it, the
Heart is neither in the center nor at the circumference as then
there is nothing else.
The life-current originates in the Heart. This Heart is not the
physiological organ of that name, but a spiritual center near to
it. Thus everyone, even a child, of every creed or race, when
referring to the "heart" as a metaphor for their deepest
feelings will nevertheless point to the breast with their hand.
But such discussions as inside or outside the body cannot arise
When you have found the center, you will find that it
encompasses the whole world; if you want, the radius can be
extended to your body or to the world. We start with the wrong
presumption that the circle is confined to the human form.
Locate the center first. To that you always return, and you
always remain in it; it is the common center for all humanity
when they realize.
The Self is simple Being. Be! and there will be an end to
ignorance. The "I" is always there. There is no knowing it. It
is not new knowledge to be acquired. There is an obstruction to
its knowledge called ignorance. Remove it. Ignorance and
knowledge are not for the Self: they should be cleared away.
Can one go on thinking "I am God?" Is that right practice? Why think that? In fact you are God. But who goes around
saying, "I am a man," "I am a male?" Of course, if there were
any contrary thought that had to be refuted, such as, "I am an
animal," then you might say, "I am a man." To the extent of
crushing the wrong notion that one is this or that, according to
one's erroneous fancies, you may indulge in the thought, but
when the practice is over, the result will be no thought at all
but merely Self-realization. There is no need of or meaning in
thought at that stage; it is beyond conceptual thought.
There can be no real investigation into the Atman. The
investigation can only be made into the non-self. It is only
possible to eliminate the non-self. As the Self is always
self-evident, it will shine of itself. "Knowing" means "Being."
It is not relative knowledge.
Progress can be spoken of in reference to things to be attained,
whereas here it is the removal of ignorance, and not the
acquisition of knowledge.
The idea of diversity comes with body-consciousness, which arose
at some moment; it has an origin and an end. What originates
must be something. What is that something? It is
"I"-consciousness. On finding its source you realize Absolute
Can the world exist without one to cognize it? Which comes first
the being-consciousness or the rising-consciousness? The former
is always there and eternal; the latter rises and disappears. It
The fact is that you are ignorant of your blissful state.
Ignorance draws a veil over the pure Bliss. Direct your attempts
only towards removing the ignorance. This ignorance is just
wrong knowledge. The wrong lies in the false identification of
the Self with the body and mind. This false identity must go by
inquiry into the Self.
There is no reaching the Self. If it were to be reached, it
would mean that the Self is not here and now, but would have to
be gained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be
impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So
I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self. You are already
See what the Self is. What you consider to be the Self is really
either the mind, the intellect, or the "I"-thought. So hold onto
the "I"-thought and the other thoughts will vanish, leaving the
The changefulness is mere thought. All thoughts arise after the
"I"-thought. See to whom these thoughts arise. Then you will
transcend them and they will subside. That is to say, by tracing
the source of the "I"-thought, you will realize that the perfect
"I-I-I" is the name of the Self.
There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self
is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.
The inquiry should be where the "I" is. After the rise of the
"I"-thought, there is false identification of the "I" with the
body, the senses, and the mind. Self is wrongly associated with
them; one has lost sight of the true Self. It does not mean exactly the discarding of the
non-self, but more the finding of the real Self. The real Self
is the infinite "I-I" in perfection. It is eternal. It has no
origin and no end. The other "I" is born and dies. It is
impermanent. See to whom the changing thoughts occur. They will
be found to arise after the "I"-thought. Hold onto the
"I"-thought and they will subside. The Self alone will remain.
Are there two "I's?" How do you know your existence? Do you see
yourself with these eyes? Question yourself. How does this
question arise? Do I remain to ask it or not? Can I find myself
as I do in a mirror? Because your outlook has been turned
outwards, it has lost sight of the Self and your vision is
external. The Self is not found in external objects. Turn your
gaze around and plunge within. You will be the Self.
The peace that you discovered in your temporary spiritual
experiences was found in your Self. It was not imposed upon you.
A time will come when we shall have to laugh at our own efforts
to realize, for we shall find that what we were before and after
is the same.
One who knows the Self has nothing more to do, nor has he any
more thoughts. From then on, the infinite power will carry out
all further actions that may be necessary for him.
Peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within
yourself, you will then find it everywhere.