Author Topic: The New York Times Article On Ramana Maharshi on April 16, 1950  (Read 969 times)


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The New York Times
Sunday, April 16, 1950

Religious Recluse Mourned in India;Shri Ramana Maharshi Was Called a 'Living Saint' Made Abode in Cave

NEW DELHI, India, April 15 Hindu India mourned today the death of one of her greatest "living saints" and a remarkable man of his time, Shri Ramana Maharshi, who died last night at the age of 71 in his Ashram retreat at Tiruvannamalai near Pondicherry.

Shri Ramana was renowned as a religious recluse and seer whose piety and philosophy of self-abnegation gained him followers in many countries. His devotees in Tiruvannamalai, who include men and women of many nationalities, held to their master's own philosophy as he was taken from them. They believe, like him, that there is no death, but that Shri Ramana's physical form has ceased to function, while his inner-being continues on an exalted plane.

It was his development of this theory that made the second son of an obscure village lawyer one of India's most revered sages.

Shri Ramana had humble beginnings, and his school record was far from brilliant. Neglecting his studies, he brooded on religious subjects. One day in July, 1896, while reflecting on the mystery of death, the young Venkataraman, as his name was then, conceived the idea that death of the body is a relative thing and that the intellect belongs to a power beyond which never dies.

After a month of profound meditation on this subject, he left home abruptly and repaired to the temple of his particular God, Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai. Here he shaved his head and adopted the robe of the Sanyasi (holy man). Soon he came to be regarded in the neighborhood as a queer one and he was jeered, stoned and eventually disowned by his family.

To escape persecution, the young ascetic took abode in a cave. He became so immersed in meditation that, according to his own later accounts, he was totally unaware of the terrible ravages to his physique by starvation and the bites of scorpions and insects that nearly devoured him alive.

Though he rarely spoke-but composed religious expositions that later became famous throughout the Hindu world-the recluse attracted followers. Eventually, his dwelling became a place of pilgrimage. In later years, the large Ashram grew about the odd man, who made no effort to proselytize and continued in silent meditation and writing. His followers changed his name to Maharshi, which means great saint.

Here in India, where thousands of so-called holy men claim close ties with the infinite, it is said that the most remarkable thing about Shri Ramana Maharshi was that he never claimed anything remarkable for himself, yet became one most respected of all.


Original article can be found in newyorktimes website

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