David Godman is the world's foremost researcher and scholar of
Sri Ramana Maharshi's life and teachings. He has
written or edited 16 books and numerous articles
about Sri Ramana, Sri Ramana's direct disciples,
and related topics. His first book,
Be As You Are,
published in 1985, has become the standard anthology of
Sri Ramana's writings. He has spent most of his life in
Tiruvanammalai where Sri Ramana's ashram is located.
David was born in 1953 in England. During his second year at
Oxford University, while reading Ramana Maharshi's writings for
the first time, he fell into a state of silence which transformed
the way he viewed himself and the world. Finding it impossible to
study for exams, he dropped out in his final year and rented a
house in rural Ireland where he read Sri Ramana's books and
The following year, in 1976, he went to India.
Despite his intention to stay for only six weeks, he
has been there almost continuously ever since, residing mainly
in Tiruvannamalai where Ramana Maharshi's ashram is located.
From 1978 to 1985 he was the ashram's librarian.
Starting in 1993 he spent four years with Papaji (H.W.L. Poonja) in
Lucknow where he wrote Nothing Ever Happened.
David is the author or editor of 16 books which are
Books Edited or Written by David Godman
Be As You Are
No Mind — I Am The Self
Livng By the Words of Bhagavan
Nothing Ever Happened
(three volumes) (1998)
Power of the Presence Part One
Power of the Presence Part Two
Power of the Presence Part Three
The Fire of Freedom
Guvu Vachaka Kovai
Sri Ramana Darsanam
Related Pages on This Site
Be As You Are
In our opinion this superb collection of extracts
Maharshi's writings and dialogues is
the best single-volume introduction to his
teachings. This is the book we recommend to people who want
to read about Sri Ramana for the first time.
The editor, David Godman, is probably the foremost
living expert on Sri Ramana's teachings. David has gone
through dozens of books by and about Sri Ramana and collected
passages which most clearly state various points of
his teaching. These extracts are organized thematically
into chapters with higher teachings first and
less important ones last.
David has also provided informative introductions
to each chapter and to the book as a whole as well as a
glossary and notes.
Where to Buy
Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Published by Penguin
No Mind, I Am the Self: The Lives and Teachings of Sri Lakshmana Swamy and Mathru Sri Sarada
Godman's second book describes the lives and teachings of two self-realized
sages, Sri Lakshmana Swamy and Mathru Sri Sarada. The book contains an extraordinary
blow-by-blow documentary of Self-realization: a partial transcript of remarks
made by Mathru Sri Sarada as her I-thought sank into the heart center and
dissolved. Mathru Sri Sarada is a disciple of Sri Lakshmana Swami, who in
turn was a disciple of Ramana Maharshi.
As the title suggests, this book consists of
interviews. Ten people sat down with Papaji and asked him questions,
and the resulting conversations were transcribed. The questioners include
Catherine Ingram, Wes Nisker, Shanti Devi, Chokyi Nyima Rimpoche, and Godman
himself. The book also includes a 62-page biography of Papaji by Godman.
Where to Buy
Published by Advahuta (1993)
Living by the Words of Bhagavan
This book is an autobiography of Annamalai Swami who became Self-realized
after many years of effort and close association with his guru,
Ramana Maharshi. It paints an unusually intimate portrait of the
Maharshi based on Annamalai Swami's ten years of interactions with him,
first as his personal attendant and then as supervisor of
building projects at Sri Ramanasraman. The book is sober and
free of the cloying sentimentality that mars many memoirs of
this type. This is not a hagiography; Annamalai's Maharshi is
a surprising figure who does quirky and even incomprehensible things.
The final section of the book
contains transcripts of conversations that Annamalai Swami held with
seekers in the 1980s. Annamalai Swami worked hard for many years to realize the
Self, making his advice especially useful to seekers for whom
Self-realization does not come easily. We think this is a wonderful
book, one of the best about Sri Ramana, and we recommend it very highly.
Nothing Ever Happened
This massive three-volume
biography of H.W.L. Poonja, widely known as Papaji, is one of the most
informative accounts ever written of the life and teachings of a self-realized
person. Papaji is largely responsible for the recent surge of interest in
applied Advaita in the West because he helped hundreds of Westerners attain
glimpses of the Self and then sent them home to teach.
Annamalai Swami: Final Talks
This small book is one of a half dozen
that we recommend most strongly to people who want
to practice self-enquiry in order to realize. It
contains transcripts of talks that
Annamalai Swami held with seekers during the last six
months of his life. His advice about how to practice
Self-enquiry is unusually valuable because he
worked for a long time to become Self-realized.
Annamalai Swami spent nearly ten years with Ramana Maharshi,
first as his personal attendant and later as construction
manager at Sri Ramana's ashram.
Photo by Geraldine Westrupp. Used by permission.
This page was published on September 28, 2001 and last revised on April 3, 2014.