The Book of Ramana Maharshi


(1879 – 1950)

The ultimate truth is so simple; it is nothing more than being in one’s own natural original state…So our true nature is infinite spirit. Consequently life is about Being  rather Doing. About being still , and as you become more and more aware of yourself, all else will be known… [so] … no practices are necessary for this quest

One comes into existence for a certain purpose. The purpose will be accomplished whether one considers oneself the actor or not. And whatever is destined not to happen, will not happen, try as you may to make it happen. And whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.

The present difficulty is that man thinks he is the doer. But it is a mistake. It is the higher power which does everything and man is only a tool.

Just drop all seeking, turn your attention inward, and sacrifice your mind to the One Self radiating in the heart of your very being. For this to be your own presently lived experience, Self-Inquiry is the one direct and immediate way.

You have to ask yourself the question Who am I? This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you which is beyond the mind. Solve that great problem and you will solve all other problems.

You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain it or cultivate it. All you have to do is give up being aware of other things, that is of the not Self. If one gives up being aware of them, then pure aloneness remains and that is the Self…. [which] …. Is unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.

Your true nature is that of infinite spirit.

You need not aspire for or get any new states. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all…. Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render to the world.

There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something out there hiding our reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now.

It is a truth within the experience of everyone that there is only one Self.

Self is only Being – not this or that. It is Simple Being. BE, and that is the end of ignorance.

Your duty is not to be this or that. I am that I am sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words Be still. Be as you really are. Be yourself and nothing more. Remain aware of yourself and all else will be known

The heart is the only reality

Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.

Peace is your natural state. It is the mind that obstructs the natural states.

Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally perfect and unlimited. Later you take on limitations and become the mind.

To know One’s Self is to be blissful always.

Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means having no desires of your own.

By whatever path you go, you will have to lose yourself in the One. Surrender is only complete when you reach the stage Thou Art All and Thy Will Be Done.

There is neither creation nor destruction,
Neither destiny nor free will;
Neither path nor achievement,
This is the final truth.

And the ultimate paradox:

The world is illusory.
Brahman alone is real.
Brahman is the world.

Followed, lastly, by this piece of his down-to-earth teaching:

 Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s own true nature is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is simpler to wear shoes.

And here is a remarkable web-site devoted to his basic teachings: http:/