b. A Divine Life

Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi … a way of divine life

Ramana Maharishi was, and is, regarded by many as an outstanding enlightened being. He was a charismatic person and attracted many devotees, some of whom saw him as an avatar and the embodiment of Shiva. Ramana Maharishi provided upadeśa (spiritual instruction) by providing darshan and sitting silently together with devotees and visitors, and also by answering the questions and concerns raised by those who sought him out. Ramana’s main means of instruction to his devotees in order to remove ignorance and abide in self-awareness was through silently sitting together with his visitors, using words only sparingly.

His method of instruction has been compared to Dakshinamurti – Shiva in the ascetic appearance of the guru, who teaches through silence: although he advocated self-enquiry as the fastest means to realisation, he also recommended the path of Bhakti and self-surrender (to one’s deity or guru) either concurrently or as an adequate alternative, which would ultimately converge with the path of self-enquiry.

The spirit of harmlessness that permeated the sage and his environment made even animals and birds make friends with him. He showed them the same consideration that he did to the humans that came to him. When he referred to any of them, he used the form ‘he’ or ‘she’ and not ‘it’. Birds and squirrels built their nests around him. Cows, dogs and monkeys found asylum in the ashram. All of them behaved intelligently – especially the cow Laksmi. He knew their ways quite intimately. He would see to it that they were fed properly and well. And, when any of them died, the body would be buried with due ceremony.

He never touched money and never asked for it. He owned no property — not even the ashram. He never so much as flirted with any of the many women who came to his ashram. He never verbally attacked a single soul, or spoke harshly against those who created mischief for him. Everyone who came to his ashram as a guest was offered food upon arriving. He never promoted himself. In his fifty years as a recognized guru, he wrote no more than two hundred pages of which one hundred pages were translations he had done of other great masters. He never offered miracles or claimed special powers, although miraculous things (such as spontaneous healings, etc) occurred spontaneously around him all the time. He never claimed to be the author of these occurrences and yet it was evident that somehow he was the source of them. He treated high and low with equal respect — he would take time for beggars who came to him and he would pay equal respect to the famous as well.

Bhagavan had his own unique way of life. These videos provide more detailed inisghts about his divine life.

1. Biography of Bhagavan in Hindi (Part 1)

2. Biography of Bhagavan in Hindi (Part 2)

3.Biography of Bhagavan in Hindi (Part 3)

4.Biography of Bhagavan in Hindi (Part 4)

5. Ram Dass’s beautiful video of narrations of Bhagavan’s biography

6. Bhagavan in the kitchen

7. Bhagavan’s devotees

8. Ramana and animals

9. David Godman on Bhagavan’s walks around Arunachala

10. Bhagavan’s peace, forgiveness and tolerence by David Godman

Resources, Important Inputs and Gratitude to the following:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramana_Maharshi
2. http://the-wanderling.com/Ramana.html
3. SriRamanaMaharishi.com for Vasundhara’s video on Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi & animals.

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