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8-Ramana Maharshi

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8-Ramana Maharshi: a great saint

Shree Ramana was renowned as a religious recluse and seer whose piety and philosophy of self-abnegation gained him followers in many countries. His devotees in Tiruvannamalai, who include men and women of many nationalities, held to their master's own philosophy as he was taken from them. They believe, like him, that there is no death, but that Shree Ramana's physical form has ceased to function, while his inner-being continues on an exalted plane.

It was his development of this theory that made the second son of an obscure village lawyer one of India's most revered sages.

Shree Ramana had humble beginnings, and his school record was far from brilliant. Neglecting his studies, he brooded on religious subjects. One day in July, 1896, while reflecting on the mystery of death, the young Venkataraman, as his name was then, conceived the idea that death of the body is a relative thing and that the intellect belongs to a power beyond which never dies.

After a month of profound meditation on this subject, he left home abruptly and repaired to the temple of his particular God, Arunaachal, in Tiruvannamalai. Here he shaved his head and adopted the robe of the Sanyaasee (holy man). Soon he came to be regarded in the neighborhood as a queer one and he was jeered, stoned and eventually disowned by his family.

To escape persecution, the young ascetic took abode in a cave. He became so immersed in meditation that, according to his own later accounts, he was totally unaware of the terrible ravages to his physique by starvation and the bites of scorpions and insects that nearly devoured him alive.

Though he rarely spoke-but composed religious expositions that later became famous throughout the Hindu world-the recluse attracted followers. Eventually, his dwelling became a place of pilgrimage. In later years, the large Aashram grew about the odd man, who made no effort to proselytize and continued in silent meditation and writing. His followers changed his name to Maharshi, which means a great saint.

In India, where thousands of so-called holy men claim close ties with the infinite, it is said that the most remarkable thing about Shree Ramana Maharshi was that he never claimed anything remarkable for himself, yet became one most respected of all.

This greatest "living saint" and a remarkable man of his time, Shree Ramana Maharshi, died at the age of 71 in his Aashram retreat at Tiruvannamalai near Pondicherry, India.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 02/23/14