Ramana Maharshi, also known as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, was a highly revered Indian sage and spiritual teacher. He was born as Venkataraman Iyer on December 30, 1879, in Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. At the age of 16, he had a transformative spiritual experience where he underwent a deep sense of self-inquiry and realization, which led to his spiritual awakening.
Following this profound experience, Ramana Maharshi left his home and family and traveled to the sacred mountain of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, where he spent the rest of his life in spiritual seclusion and meditation. He settled at the base of the Arunachala mountain, and his simple and humble life attracted numerous seekers and disciples who came to learn from him.
Ramana Maharshi's teachings centered around self-inquiry (atma-vichara) as a means to realize one's true nature. He encouraged people to question the nature of the self, asking "Who am I?" as a means to turn their attention inward and discover the essence of their being beyond the egoic self.
His teachings emphasized the non-dual nature of reality, stating that the individual soul (atman) is identical with the universal consciousness (Brahman). He taught that self-realization could be attained by focusing the mind on the source from which thoughts arise, leading to the dissolution of the ego and the realization of one's true, unchanging nature.
Ramana Maharshi's teachings spread far beyond India, and he became widely respected as one of the most significant spiritual figures of his time. He maintained silence for much of his life, using few words to impart his profound wisdom to those who sought his guidance.
Ramana Maharshi's teachings and the ashram he established in Tiruvannamalai continue to attract spiritual seekers and devotees from around the world. He passed away on April 14, 1950, but his teachings and influence endure, inspiring countless individuals on their spiritual quest for self-realization and inner peace.