The Spiritual Journey of Ramana Maharishi: The Sage of Holy Tiruvannamalai

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


Ramana Maharishi, born as Venkataraman Iyer in 1879 in Tamil Nadu, is one of India’s most revered spiritual leaders and sages, whose teachings continue to influence millions around the world. His journey from a young boy in a small village to becoming a spiritual luminary provides profound insights into the nature of self-inquiry and the pursuit of the ultimate truth. This blog post explores his life, teachings, and the enduring legacy of his spiritual inquiry.

Early Life and Awakening

Venkataraman was just an ordinary boy until a life-changing event at the age of 16. One day, he was gripped by a sudden, intense fear of death. This was not an ordinary fear but a transformative, introspective turning point. He lay down, motionless, and pretended to be dead. This simulation led to a profound realization, not of the death of the body but of the immortal nature of the spirit. He later described this experience as his first act of conscious self-inquiry, which awakened him to his true self, which was neither born nor could die.

Prompted by this deep spiritual awakening, Venkataraman left his home in Madurai in 1896, journeying to the sacred mountain of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, which he had heard of in a state of mystical attraction. It was in Tiruvannamalai that he spent the rest of his life, becoming known as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi.

Life at Arunachala

At Arunachala, Ramana Maharishi lived a life of extreme austerity, spending his initial years at the temple of Arunachaleshwara and later on the mountain itself. He soon attracted disciples who were drawn by the peace and enlightenment that seemed to radiate from him. Over the years, an ashram grew around him, where people from all walks of life came seeking spiritual guidance.

Teachings on Self-Inquiry

Ramana Maharishi’s teachings were simple yet profound, primarily focusing on the inquiry into the nature of the self. He advocated the continuous meditation on the question “Who am I?” as the most direct path to self-realization. Unlike other traditional philosophical methods that often involve rigorous intellectual understanding, Ramana’s approach was based on direct and simple introspection, focusing on the essence of the individual’s existence.

His method of self-inquiry involved tracing the sense of ‘I’ or ‘I-thought’ back to its source, the Self, or Atman. This practice, he assured, would lead to the realization of the ultimate truth, revealing that the individual self is an illusion and only the universal Self exists.

Legacy and Influence

Ramana Maharishi’s influence extends far beyond the borders of India. Prominent intellectuals, artists, and spiritual leaders from around the world visited him during his lifetime. His teachings have been the subject of numerous books and have significantly contributed to the spread of Advaita Vedanta in the West. The Maharishi’s approach has been appreciated for its non-sectarian nature, appealing to people of all religious and cultural backgrounds.


Ramana Maharishi’s life and teachings remain a beacon of spiritual wisdom and practical guidance. His emphasis on self-inquiry as a path to enlightenment offers a universal tool for spiritual liberation, accessible to anyone willing to look deeply within themselves. The simplicity and profundity of his message continue to inspire those on the spiritual path, echoing his profound belief in the inner Self as the ultimate reality.

His ashram, Sri Ramana Ashram, in Tiruvannamalai remains a place of pilgrimage and spiritual study, drawing seekers of truth from across the globe to the serene slopes of Arunachala, where the legacy of the great sage lives on, guiding and illuminating the paths of spiritual aspirants worldwide.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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