about sri Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi was born (Venkataraman Iyer) on December 30, 1879, and hails from the village of Tiruchuzhi near Aruppukkottai in the Virudhunagar District of Tamil Nadu, South India. As the second of four children in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family, his father, Sundaram Iyer, traced his lineage to Parashara, while his mother was Azhagammal.
Belonging to the Smarta denomination, Venkataraman's family held regular worship sessions at home, venerating deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Surya, and Shakti.
At the age of seven, Venkataraman underwent his upanayana, the traditional initiation marking the introduction to Brahmanical learning and self-knowledge. Gifted with an excellent memory, he could effortlessly memorize Tamil poems after hearing them just once.
At around eleven years old, his father, aspiring for his sons to receive an English education, sent Venkataraman to live with his paternal uncle Subbaiyar in Dindigul. Despite attending a village school in Tiruchuzhi that exclusively taught Tamil for three years, Venkataraman later shifted to a Hindu school in Dindigul, where English was part of the curriculum, following his uncle's transfer to Madurai in 1891. This move marked a crucial period in Venkataraman's education and development, laying the foundation for his remarkable journey and profound spiritual teachings.
Venkataraman's educational journey led him through Scott's Middle School and later to the American Mission High School, where he first encountered Christianity. In November 1895, he had a profound realization that the sacred mountain, Arunachala, was not just a concept but a tangible place. This revelation deeply impacted him, reinforcing his awareness of its existence.
During this period, he immersed himself in reading Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, a text detailing the lives of the 63 Nayanmars. This literature left an indelible mark on him, unveiling the possibility of "Divine Union."
In July 1896, at the age of 16, Venkataraman experienced a sudden fear of death. This intense episode was marked by a surge of excitement or energy, akin to a mystical force taking hold of him. His body became rigid during this transformative encounter.
Reflecting on this experience, Ramana Maharshi wrote about inquiring within, leading to the profound realization that the true seer transcends the temporal self. This marked the beginning of a profound spiritual journey.
In his later years, he coined the term "akarma mukti" for his sudden liberation, distinguishing it from the gradual liberation ("krama mukti") associated with the Vedanta path of jnana yoga. This extraordinary event resulted in a state of mind he later described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani." Today, we delve into the spiritual legacy of Ramana Maharshi, exploring the transformative moments that shaped his profound teachings. He awakened humanity to the tremendous spiritual force of the holy Arunachala Hill, the spiritual center of the globe, and disclosed the straight way of practicing self-inquiry.