Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) is one of the greatest sages of modern India. He was a living embodiment of pure consciousness, the one ultimate reality as expounded by Hinduism's Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
As a young boy of 16, he was drawn to the South Indian town of Tiruvannamalai by the power of Arunachala, the town’s holy hill of jnana (knowledge).
An Ashram grew around him at the base of the hill and he lived there, accessible to all, until his samadhi in 1950. Sincere aspirants were drawn to him from all over the world; men and women, scholars and peasants, rich and poor, and even animals and birds. His was a blemishless life in every respect.
Even though the Maharshi taught primarily in silence, he also gave verbal instruction that flowed authoritatively from his direct experience of the truth of one consciousness pervading all. His primary teaching was that of Atma Vichara (self-enquiry). This is not a new method. However, in ancient times it had been a path reserved for the heroic few who could strive in solitude, withdrawn from the world in constant meditation. What Sri Ramana Maharshi did was to restore it in a new form combined with karma marga (the path of action), in such a way that it could be used in the conditions of the modern world. Since it requires no ritual or outer form, it is in fact the ideal and direct method for the needs of our times. For one who found Self-enquiry too difficult, he recommended the path of bhakti (devotion) and saranagati (surrender).
More than 70 years after his samadhi, devotees from all over the world continue to feel his living presence. Now, as then, he guides whoever approaches him. To all who seek, he is here.