Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is regarded by some as one of the greatest saints of Hinduism in the 20th century. He lived in the sacred Tiruvannamalai hills near Chennai. The core of his teachings was the practice of atma-vichara (self-enquiry).
Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 - April 14, 1950) was a great Hindu mystic of the Advaita Vedanta stream. Born in a village called Tirucculi near Madurai in southern India, he was given the name Venkataraman . His father died when he was twelve, and he went to live with his uncle in Madurai, where he briefly attended American Mission High School. However, his thoughts soon turned to religion, namely mystic Hindu philosophies and understandings of universal divinity.
At the age of sixteen, he heard somebody mention "Arunachala." Although he didn't know what the word meant (it's the name of a holy hill associated with the Hindu deity Shiva) he became greatly excited. At about the same time he came across a copy of Sekkilar's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of Shaivite saints, and became fascinated by it. In the middle of 1896, at age 16, he was suddenly overcome by the feeling that he was about to die. He lay down on the floor, made his body stiff, and held his breath. "My body is dead now," he said to himself, "but I am still alive." In a flood of spiritual awareness he realized he was spirit, not his body.
Ramana Maharshi taught a method called self-inquiry in which the seeker focuses continuous attention on the I-thought in order to find its source. In the beginning this requires effort, but eventually something deeper than the ego takes over and the mind dissolves in the heart center. He is an acknowledged Hindu master of the Advaita Vedanta stream of Vedic thought, and has many followers throughout India and abroad.
- Selections of Writings by Ramana Maharshi
- Arunachala Ashrama
- Ramana Maharshi Pictures and selected quotes
- The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi edited by Arthur Osborne
- Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi edited by David Godman
- The Path of Sri Ramana (Parts One and Two) by Sri Sadhu Om
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