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Published by manoj nair

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Published by: manoj nair on Aug 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Be as you are
– The teachingsof sri Ramana Maharishi
In I896 a sixteen-year-old schoolboy walked out on his family and,driven by an inner compulsion, slowly made his way to Arunachala,a holy mountain and pilgrimage centre in South India. On his arrivalhe threw away all his money and possessions and abandoned himself to a newly-discovered awareness that his real nature was formless,immanent consciousness. His absorption in this awareness was sointense that he was completely oblivious of his body and the world;insects chewed away portions of his legs, his body wasted awaybecause he was rarely conscious enough to eat and his hair andfingernails grew to unmanageable lengths. After two or three yearsin this state he began a slow return to physical normality, a processthat was not finally completed for several years. His awareness of himself as consciousness was unaffected by this physical transitionand it remained continuous and undimmed for the rest of his life. InHindu parlance he had `realized the Self'; that is to say, he hadrealized by direct experience that nothing existed apart from anindivisible and universal consciousness which was experienced in itsunmanifest form as beingness or awareness and in its manifest formas the appearance of the universe.Normally this awareness is only generated after a long and arduousperiod of spiritual practice but in this case it happened
spontaneously, without prior effort or desire. Venkataraman, thesixteen-year-old schoolboy, was alone in an upstairs room of hisuncle's house in Madurai (near the southern tip of India) when hewas suddenly gripped by an intense fear of death. In the followingfew minutes he went through a simulated death experience duringwhich he became consciously aware for the first time that his realnature was imperishable and that it was unrelated to the body, themind or the personality. Many people have reported similarunexpected experiences but they are almost invariably temporary. InVenkataraman's case the experience was permanent and irreversible.From that time on his consciousness of being an individual personceased to exist and it never functioned in him again.Venkataraman told no one about his experience and for six weeks hekept up the appearance of being an ordinary schoolboy. However, hefound it an increasingly difficult posture to maintain and at the endof this six week period he abandoned his family and went directly tothe holy mountain of Arunachala.The choice of Arunachala was far from random. Throughout hisbrief life he had always associated the name of Arunachala with Godand it was a major revelation to him when he discovered that it wasnot some heavenly realm but a tangible earthly entity. The mountainitself had long been regarded by Hindus as a manifestation of Siva, aHindu God, and in later years Venkataraman often said that it wasthe spiritual power of Arunachala which had brought about his Self-realization. His love for the mountain was so great that from the day

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