Sri Ramana Maharshi was born December 30, 1879 in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu, India.
At the age of 16, Ramana was struck with and intense fear that he was dying. He laid down and imitated his death, and in this suddenly saw what does not die.
After that moment Ramana's attention continually remained on his true nature. The ego was lost in a flood of Self Awareness.
He lost interest in school, friends and family. He only desired to sit concentrating on Self. Being called to the life of a renunciate and the holy mountain Arunachala, he left his family a note and departed for the mountain he would reside near for the remainder of his life.
He spent years in silence, absorbed in pure awareness. Despite Ramana's silence, austerities, and desire for privacy, he attracted attention from visitors, and some became his disciples.
select image to go directly to Ramana's website
In 1902, a government official visited Ramana in the hope of obtaining answers to questions about "How to know one's true identity". The fourteen questions put to the young swami and his answers were Ramana's first teachings on Self-inquiry, the method for which he became widely known, and were eventually published as 'Nan Yar?', or in English, 'Who am I?'.
His followers grew and eventually an ashram was formed. His teaching was primarily in silence. When people entered his presence, their minds would become still, and Self was clearly evident.
He urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry. He directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization. He viewed all who came to him as the Self rather than as lesser beings.
Many aspects of Ramana's life show his greatness among the many saints of India. Ramana's awakening occurred without any teaching or teacher. And although he was still a child, after his awakening, he constantly remained absorbed in Self until his death almost 55 years later.
He passed away in his ashram at the age of 70 on April 14, 1950.
Ramana Ashram Site
AHAM Site: USA and India Ashrams
SAT Site: Society for Abidance in Truth