Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge

Arthur Osborne

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2006.
172 pages
ISBN: 1-59731-005-0
Price: $19.95 US
Buy now on Amazon.com
ISBN: 1-59731-047-6
Price: $27.24 US
Buy now on Amazon.com

Arthur Osborne has packed into this small volume all of the essential information relating to the life and teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950). The extraordinary teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi continue to bless the lives of countless seeking souls, and his life fills us with wonder. As a teenager—hardly seventeen—he realized the Self through a spontaneous act of Self-enquiry without conscious effort or special training imparted by a teacher. He left his home in 1896 and came to Arunachala, where he lived as an all-renouncing sage in a state of continuous Self-realization for fifty-four years-until his mahanirvana in 1950. The author includes in this volume instructions given by Sri Ramana to devotees form all periods of his life. Sri Maharshi’s central message is that Self-knowledge is not something to be acquired afresh. It is only becoming aware of one’s own natural state of Pure Being, through Self-enquiry.

Sri Ramana Maharshi, as the foremost jñanin of modern times, is the essence of the Advaita Vedanta, the quintessential expression of Hindu spirituality. Yet he in no way represents a path of Knowledge as opposed to that of Devotion; in his own words: ‘Imperfect jñanaand imperfect bhakti are different; perfect jñana and perfect bhaktiare one and the same.’ Sri Bhagavan has affirmed that seekers who study these works are certain to attain the Bliss of Liberation.

Table of Contents

Preface—Foreword—Early Years—Awakening—The Journey—SeemingTapas—The Question of Return—Arunachala—Non-Resistance—The Mother—Advaita—Some Early Devotees—Animals—Sri Ramanashram—Life with Sri Bhagavan—Upadesa—The Devotees—The Written Works—Mahasamadhi—Continued Presence—Glossary


The heritage of India is enriched with numberless saints and yogis. Ramana Maharshi represents that tradition and his spiritual greatness is guiding millions of people. Such masters light the path and bring solace to suffering humanity.
Dalai Lama

That spiritual function which can be described as 'activity of presence' found in the Maharshi its most rigorous expression. Sri Ramana was as it were the incarnation, in the latter days and in the face of the modern activist fever, of what is primordial and incorruptible in India. He manifested the nobility of contemplative 'non-action' in the face of an ethic of utilitarian agitation, and he showed the implacable beauty of pure truth in the face of passions, weaknesses, and betrayals. . . . The whole of the Vedanta is contained in the Mararshi's 'Who am I?'
Frithjof Schuon, author of The Transcendent Unity of Religions

About the Author

Arthur Osborne (1906–1970) was an ardent devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi and particularly well known as founder-editor of The Mountain Path, the spiritual journal of Sri Ramanasramam. After completing his studies at Oxford, he moved first to Poland, then to Bangkok, where he lectured at Chulalonghorn University and through a friend learnt about French metaphysician René Guénon, whose works dealt comprehensively with Hindu metaphysics, eventually translating into English his Crisis of the Modern World. He later spent four years as a prisoner of war of the Japanese before being united with his family, who were waiting at Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai. He spent the remainder of his life there, writing about Sri Ramana and related subjects. He died in 1970, his body much weakened by the effect of his years in the concentration camp.