Bhagavan Ramana Mahrashi (1878 -1950) was probably the most honored Self –relised guru and spiritual of modern India. He taught the Yoga of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga) and the Vedantic path of Advaita or Non –duality, leading us to our true nature as pure consiousness beyond body and mind, death and sorrow.
Though Ramna never left the sacred mountain ofArunachala in Tiruvannamalai, South India where he resided, numerious people came from throughtout the world to seek his guidance, which he usually gave through silence or through short replies to their questions.
Upadesha Saram, which means the "Essence of Instruction", is the often regarded as his most important written work –an axiomatic text of a mere thirty verses. It summarizes his teachings on the Essence of Self –realization, guiding the disciple along the path to the highest awareness in a systematic manner, pointing out a variety of practices.
The current translation and interpretation by Acharya Vamadesa Shastri David Frawley, one of the most highly regarded Vedic teachers in the world today, explains each verses clearly and succinetly to reveal the depth of Ramana's insight for everyone to learn and benefit from.
Bhagavan Ramana Maharashi (1878 -1950) is probably the most reowned and respected sags of modern India, the very embodiment of the highest spiritual wisdom. He experienced his full Self –realization when a youth of only sixteen years and maintained that transcendent state of awareness throughout his life. Ramana can easily be compared to the greatest spiritual masters of humanity, most who had to labor much longer and face many more difficulties before reaching their full realization. Such an exalted teacher is extremly rare over the centuries and should be honored as a light for all humanity. Ramana is one of the main gurus for the world as a whole for years to come, spreading the trasnformative message of Self –inquiry, Self –knowledge and Self –realization for all, wiht clarity, compassion and grace.
The Mahrashi mainly taught through silence and only answered questions at certain times of the day. Yet his was never any ordinary silence consisting of a mere absence of sound or lack of verbal communications. It was the profound inner silence and immutable stillness of the spiritual heart, reflecting an unwavering abidance in our true Self and Divine essence beyond all names, forms, words, and expressions. Ramana was fully present and guiding other from within, even when externally the appeared silent, with eyes closed. His presence remains accessible to devotees and disciples even today.
The highest reality of pure Consciousness transcends body, mind and world. It is not the content of any idea, imagination or concept. It can only be approached through direction awareness and unmediated seeing, which is its very nature; just as the pure light of awareness. We may be able to communicate it to some degree by putting it into words; but we risk distorting it. We may misinterpret a mere verbal comprehension as a true compreshension of this very subtle and formless teaching. Therefore, as we strive to understand the words of the teachings, we should never forget that the transcendent silence behind them is the eventual gaol.
The Maharashi did not read many books and composed few written teachings of his own during his life. His native language was Tamil but he did create a few short texts in Sanskrit as well. These were composed with the support of Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, a great Yogi and Sanskrit scholar of the highest order in his right, and one of Ramana's earliest and most important disciples. The Maharashi's teachings placed in such Sanskrit verses are beautiful and poetic and yet reflect the highest truth and deepest insights with clarity and simplicity. They are gems of wisdom to be contemped upon throughout one's entire lifetime. His shorter works are like the new sutras of Self –realization for generations to come.
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