Ramana Maharshi

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Crisis

Ramana MaharshiWe already mentioned in his short biography about his strange experience of death that Ramana lived with huge consequences regarding his later decision to leave his family and home town and depart to Arunachala.

This experience meant, in fact, the discovery of the Self, that is, the inner and eternal essence of the historical being.

Water vanishes then pours again through raining on earth and reach the sea through rivers. The same with man - in sleep, vanishes the separation from the whole, which returns in the waking state. Only in the waking state the personal ego is completely separated from the wholeness or the Self.

This happens because of samskaras or the unconscious tendencies and drives which determine the embodiment of the individual being or jiva . When dying, the individual being takes with him/her the samskaras which determine a new birth, and so forth.

Ramana remembered his death experience many times - here is a short account:

The shock and fear of death drove my mind inward and I said to myself mentally... 'Now death has come. What does it mean? Who is it that dies'? The body dies.' And at once I dramatized the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out... and imitated a corpse to give more reality to the enquiry..."Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead. It will be carried to the burning ground and then burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body, am I dead? Am I this body? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of 'I" within me apart from it. So I am the spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless spirit.' All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me as a vivid living Truth which I perceived directly, almost without thought process. ... From that moment onwards the 'I" or Self focussed attention on itself by a powerful fascination.

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