Tiruvannamalai, located in Tamil Nadu, southern India is where Ramana Maharshi lived his life as an enlightened sage.
Here at the foot of mount Arunachala lies his ashram – Ramanaashram.
Although “Sri Bhavagan” left his body over 60 years ago, his presence is alive in this truly vibrant ashram, where many devotees live and work, perform ceremonies, offer readings from Ramana’s books, feed the poor, the animals, and all the visitors who come to their halls.
Meals are served in the traditional style seated on the floor with a banana leaf for a plate and no utensils. They consist of traditional vegetarian south indian food: dals, curries, ghee, rice, lassi, potato or corn fritters and other delectables that include the six flavors – sweet, sour, salty, astringent, pungent and bitter.
Arunachala is India’s holy mountain. Bhagavan lived in various caves on Arunachala mountain for many years. His numerous devotees constructed shade structures and paths for him to use.
The essence of Ramana’s teaching is this: We are all divine and awake. To know this we must overcome our belief in the thoughts that block that awareness. How? “Asking the question Who Am I, will destroy all other thoughts and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself get destroyed. Then there will arise self-realization.”
Sri Bhagavan achieved self-realization at age 16, whan he faced his fear of death and realized clearly without any doubt that the body dies, yes, but the being – the Self is untouched by all things that come and go. There are many remarkable books written by him and those who knew him. He is one of the great treasures of India.