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Ramana Maharshi

(1879-1951). A spiritual teacher of South India widely considered as an authentic self-realized individual. Born at a village in Tamil Nadu, India, Ramana Maharshi was educated at a school in Madurai. While at school he experienced a profound transformation and later, in 1896, he left home never to return, traveling to Tiruvanamalai, south-west of Madras (now Chennai) where he eventually took up residence in a large cave on the slopes of the sacred red hill, Arunachala, where his life was spent in deep meditation. After an illustrious Brahmin pundit named Ganapati Shastri conversed with him and described him as a Great Sage of the highest spiritual realization, he was referred to as Maharishi and his fame grew, visitors flocking to hear him from all quarters of the world.

In 1901, at the age of twenty-two, Ramana Maharshi’s first work Self-inquiry, which is concerned with the path to Realization of the Self, was produced with all the authority of full spiritual knowledge. In 1902 there followed Who Am I? setting forth the central teaching that the direct path to liberation is Self-inquiry. He is regarded by many as the greatest Hindu saint of the twentieth century.

Michael Tiffin

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