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Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi (Compass)

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I don't know how I have not come across Sri Maharshi's teachings before but am glad that I have done so, as he has coherently put into words what has been floating around in my head since a young boy. In saying this, there are some passages that are open for interpretation which depends on the attunement and spiritual depth of the reader. It is not really possible to truly grasp what he is talking about unless one has experienced the same strange states as he, a bit like hearing a description of the ocean without ever actually having seen it, smelt it, felt the enormity of it.

The second chapter in this part is about sat-sang, which may be literally translated as “sitting with the guru,” but refers to a kind of transference that flows from being together. When asked once by Swami Yogananda, a Swami with a large following in America, what spiritual instruction should be given to the people for their uplift, he replied: “It depends on the temperament and spiritual maturity of the individual. If you have the eyes to read this book with a clear mind it will have the ability to truly humble you. From then on it is more a process of being than doing, of effortless being rather than an effort to be. Ramana's teachings on Self-enquiry originated in his own awakening at age 16, when he became firmly aware of death.Ramana gave upadesa, "instruction or guidance given to a disciple by his Guru", [web 6] pointing to the true Self of the devotees and showing them the truth of it. This practice of self-attention or awareness of the ‘I’-thought is a gentle technique which bypasses the usual repressive methods of controlling the mind. What remains is an experience of being in which the sense of individuality has temporarily ceased to operate. As the practice develops, the thought ‘I’ gives way to a subjectively experienced feeling of ‘I’, and when this feeling ceases to connect and identify with thoughts and objects it completely vanishes.

The few writings he's credited with "came into being as answers to questions asked by his disciples or through their urging".The result of the union of believers with God, and therefore with each other, will be that the world will see in it a proof of the divine origin of Christianity, and will believe that the Father sent the Son into the world. I have always had a high respect for Ramana, but I was not able to understand him until I was in my 30s. You may be dreaming of something quite impossible, for instance, of having a happy chat with a dead person. When this expansion comes, one does not feel that one is running away from home, instead one drops from it like a ripe fruit from a tree. They would be told that if their attention was distracted by other thoughts they should revert to awareness of the ‘I’-thought whenever they became aware that their attention had wandered.

David Godman alongside Michael James are among the finest authorities in the world today on the life and teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, i recommend this book unreservedly for any serious seeker or student of Advaita. My prayer is that the many may become one, form one living glorious unity; - every part of which spiritual organism, while living a separate and differentiated life, is yet a part of a whole.

A sannyasi who apparently cast away his clothes and leaves his home does not do so out of aversion to his immediate relations but because of the expansion of his love to others around him. Sri Ramana Maharshi saw no conflict between working and self-enquiry and he maintained that with a little practice it could be done under any circumstances. If one remains still without leaving it, even the sphurana – having completely annihilated the sense of the individuality, the form of the ego, 'I am the body' — will itself in the end subside, just like the flame that catches the camphor.

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