About “Who am I” by Sadhu Arunachala (A. W. Chadwick). From his “A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi” - copyright Sri Ramanasramam.
After I had been here a day or two Bhagavan asked somebody to give me a copy of ‘Who Am I’ and told me to read it. Here is contained the essence of his teaching, and though given by him as a youth of only 21, it never needed to be changed. Bhagavan might talk all sorts of philosophy and explain various systems in answer to questions, but his teaching and instruction for sadhana were all contained in Who am I?. Everything else, as far as he was concerned, was padding or expansion for those who were not satisfied with the simplicity and straightforwardness of this little book. He had always insisted that the book should be sold so cheaply that it could be available to the poorest, and it originally cost no more than half an anna.
This wonderful little book comprises one of the first sets of instructions given by Bhagavan in about 1902 in writing as he was not speaking at the time. They are direct from his own experience and in no way influenced by his reading of various Upanishads and other sacred writings which were afterwards brought to him to explain. Later reading these books, he realized the philosophic import of what had happened to him and so was able to coordinate his experiences and fit them into the Hindu tradition. But in this book we have his teachings at first hand and uncoloured. Here we find their very essence and by the help of this single brochure can learn all that is necessary. No more is needed.