GURU RATING: 5 / 5 (EXCELLENT)
Ramana Maharshi is sometimes considered to be the perfect guru, if such a thing is even possible. He lived a simple life of service and made himself available to seekers at all times of the day.
He found the Light as a young man after being suddenly and unexpectedly overtaken by a violent fear of death. Rather than succumb to the experience, he observed it. Gradually, as the body fell away, he realized the truth of his immortal nature.
Who am I?
Maharshi’s spiritual practice can be boiled down to a simple phrase: who am I?
By continuously self-inquiring in this fashion, the false falls away to ultimately reveal the Self. It’s like continuously clearing away a window of all its dust so that the light, which has always been there, can shine through.
One might say that his technique is an introspective path to spiritual enlightenment. It takes a great deal of mental effort and discipline. Radical honesty is needed here. Any aspect of your life, your self, must be questioned. Continuously.
In reality, many of Ramana’s disciples followed his “who am I?” approach in a shallow way.
The phrase became a mere mantra, to be uselessly repeated over and over again. This may train to focus the mind but without the deep introspection, the practice is next to useless.
The Perfect Guru
Swaths of other gurus love Ramana Maharshi dearly because of how he lived his life.
Ramana completely devoted himself to his followers. Famous and well-loved in his time, he could have been a very wealthy man.
Instead, Maharshi lived a life of austerity and humbly prepared meals for his visitors. He always made time to answer their questions, even in the middle of the night. His life was a gift. He gave it all.
“Realisation is not acquisition of anything new nor is it a new faculty. It is only removal of all camouflage” – Ramana Maharshi