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  • Writer's pictureKrishna Bhatt

Who is Sri Ramana Maharshi?

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

In the spiritual tapestry of the 20th century, few figures shine as brightly as Ramana Maharshi. Known to his followers as "Bhagavan", his teachings radiate tranquility and Self-awareness, transcending geographical boundaries and touching the hearts of seekers worldwide. His message was profound yet simple: look within and discover the unchanging reality that underpins existence.

Early Life and Divine Calling

Born on December 29, 1879, in Tiruchuzhi, South India, amidst the fervor of the Arudra Darshanam festival, the young Venkataraman, later known as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, was enveloped in an aura of divinity from the outset. His childhood was ordinary; he played, laughed, and went to school. However, subtle signs of his spiritual inclination were evident even then, like seeking solace in the Divine Presence when confronted with worldly troubles.

His educational journey took him to Dindigul and later Madurai. But an extraordinary incident in Madurai marked a turning point. Pushing aside a grammar assignment, Venkataraman was gripped by an intense spiritual meditation. This transformative experience prompted him to embark on a journey to Arunachala, a place he had heard of but never visited.

Journey to Arunachala

The path to Arunachala was not straightforward. With limited funds and guided by divine providence, Venkataraman navigated through various towns, receiving assistance from strangers and overcoming obstacles. His unwavering determination was evident when, upon reaching the Arunachala temple, he declared, "I have come at your call, Lord. Accept me and do with me as you will."

Sri Ramanasramam: The Abode of Peace

From his initial days in the great temple of Tiruvannamalai, where he faced challenges from mischievous urchins, to the eventual establishment of Sri Ramanasramam, Ramana's journey was marked by unwavering spiritual dedication. The ashram, which started as a simple shed, gradually transformed into a spiritual haven where seekers from all walks of life found solace.

Ramana's days at the ashram were filled with deep silences, potent conversations, and compassionate interactions. He was accessible to all and often went on walks around Arunachala and nearby areas.

Legacy and Mahanirvana

Despite being diagnosed with sarcoma in 1949, Ramana's spirit remained unshaken. As he neared his earthly departure in April 1950, devotees around him sang hymns, seeking solace in collective prayer. His passing was marked by a celestial phenomenon, a luminous star that moved across the sky, signaling the transition of a spiritual titan.

Yet, as Ramana himself had proclaimed, he never truly left. His presence is palpably felt at Sri Ramanasramam, and his teachings continue to inspire and guide spiritual aspirants worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Ramana Maharshi's life was a testament to the boundless realms of spiritual realization. His teachings, rooted in the inquiry of "Who Am I?", offer a timeless beacon for those navigating the turbulent waters of existence. As we reflect on his legacy, we are left with a profound question: In our relentless pursuit of external achievements, have we paused to embark on the inner journey that Ramana Maharshi so ardently championed?

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