At the age of 16, Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), named Venkataraman at birth, had an intense spiritual experience involving a sudden and overwhelming fear of death. He went into the experience and it became the death of his ego, which invoked a flood of Self-awareness. Soon after, he left home for Arunachala – a South Indian mountain whose very name had mysteriously called to him as a holy place worth seeking – to pursue a purely spiritual life. He spent his time in deep meditation, often entering high states of consciousness and samadhi. Eventually he settled on the slopes of Arunachala and his followers built an ashram around him. He answered their questions and commented on the spiritual works they presented him, but always with the same simple issue, pointing to the source of our thoughts summed up in the question: “Who am I?.” Ramana Maharshi’s teachings are fundamental in Hridaya Yoga.
Several of Ramana Maharshi’s devotees recorded the advice and information he tirelessly provided to those who visited him. These teachings have been published in several books (whose titles can be found in the Suggested Reading list). Below we share selected excerpts that give a feeling for the perspective of this great jnana yoga master.