Ramana Maharshi (Author of Be As You Are)Bhagavan Sri Rama?a Mahar?i (Tamil: ??? ??????) born Venkataraman Iyer, was probably the most famous Indian sage of the twentieth century, he was born on December 30, 1879 in a village called Tirucculi about 30 miles south of Madurai in southern India. His middle-class parents named him Venkataraman. His father died when he was twelve, and he went to live with his uncle in Madurai, where he attended American Mission High School.
At age 16, he became spontaneously self-realized. Six weeks later he ran away to the holy hill of Arunachala where he would remain for the rest of his life. For several years he stopped talking and spent many hours each day in samadhi. When he began speaking again, people came to ask him questions, and he soon acquired a reputation as a sage. In 1907, when he was 28, one of his early devotees named him Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Divine Eminent Ramana the Great Seer, and the name stuck. Eventually he became world-famous and an ashram was built around him. He died of cancer in 1950 at the age of 70.
Ramana Maharshi was born 30 kilometers south of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India.
At age 16, he heard somebody mention Arunachala. Although he didnt know what the word meant (its the name of a holy hill associated with the god Shiva) he became greatly excited. At about the same time he came across a copy of Sekkilars 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 didnt have a human guru (other than himself). He often said that his guru was Arunachala, a holy mountain in South India.
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 was born in what is now Tiruchuli , Tamil Nadu , India. In , an attraction to the sacred hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanars was aroused in him,  and in , at the age of 16, he had a "death-experience" where he became aware of a "current" or "force" avesam which he recognised as his true "I" or "self", [web 1]  and which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara ", [web 1] [note 2] that is, Shiva. This resulted in a state that he later described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani". He soon attracted devotees who regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan "the sight of God" , and in later years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received upadesa "spiritual instruction"  by sitting silently in his company asking questions. Ramana Maharshi approved a number of paths and practices,  but recommended self-enquiry as the principal means to remove ignorance and abide in Self-awareness, [web 2]  together with bhakti devotion or surrender to the Self. He was the second of four children in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family. His father was Sundaram Iyer — , from the lineage of Parashara, and his mother was Azhagammal —
R amana M aharshi Master of Self-inquiry at Arunachala. Ramana Maharhshi was a guru of international renown from southern India who taught during the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in near Madurai, Tamilnadu. His father was a farmer. He was the second of three sons. The family was religious, giving ritual offerings to the family deity and visiting temples. One unusual aspect of his family history was a curse that was put on the family by a wandering monk who was refused food by a family member.
Venkataraman's father was a respected pleader. He was popular, good at sports, very intelligent but lazy at school, indulged in an average amount of mischief, and showed little religious interest. He did have a few unusual traits.
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R ead the History of Sri Ramana Maharshi below so that you might see what has been necessary in the past to achieve Illumination. It can be realised by each and everyone in his own Heart. The jnana Guru of everyone is only the Supreme Self that is always revealing its own truth in every Heart through the being-conciousness 'I am, I am.
About ten years ago an Australian man at Ramanasramam asked if I would meet with a group of Australian devotees and talk to them about Ramana Maharshi. I agreed, but when I turned up, I discovered that it was going to be a formal interview with him, with the Australian devotees as an audience. Our dialogue covered a wide variety of topics. When I read the transcript later, I realised that, serendipitously, this format of going back to basics and correcting his erroneous beliefs had turned the interview into an ideal presentation of the life and teachings of Bhagavan for people who knew little or nothing about them. For years I had it posted on my old site as a recommended read for people who were new to Bhagavan. He wanted me to debate them publicly with a western vedantic scholar he knew, but I refused. This, then, is the edited and expanded version of our original dialogue.