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Ramana Maharshi
Sri Ramana Maharshi in his late 60s.
Birth Date (1879-12-30)30 December 1879
Tiruchuzhi, Virudhunagar, India
Died on 14 April 1950(1950-04-14) (aged 70)
Sri Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu, India
Birth name Venkataraman Iyer
Guru/teacher Arunachala
Philosophy Advaita Vedanta
Quotation

Of all the thoughts that rise in the mind, the thought 'I' is the first thought.

Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was an Indian sage and jivanmukta. He was born as Venkataraman Iyer, but is most commonly known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

He was born in what is now Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. In 1895, an attraction to the sacred hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanars was aroused in him, and in 1896, 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", and which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara", that is, Shiva. This resulted in a state that he later described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani". Six weeks later he left his uncle's home in Madurai, and journeyed to the holy mountain Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai, where he took on the role of a sannyasin (though not formally initiated), and remained for the rest of his life.

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. Since the 1930s his teachings have been popularized in the West, resulting in his worldwide recognition as an enlightened being.

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, together with bhakti (devotion) or surrender to the Self.

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