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The Key to Self-Realization

The key to Self-realization is practice, practice and practice only.

By Major Alan W. Chadwick

DO NOT TRY TO GATHER MORE KNOWLEDGE, because finally, knowledge itself will become a great hindrance to Self realisation. When I made an effort to learn Tamil and sought Bhagavan's permission for it, his response was revealing. He said, “Why do you want to acquire one more dead weight? All knowledge will have to be finally given up to experience the truth.” You have to plunge within to experience the truth, through the relentless practice of the enquiry, “Who am I?” The key to Self-realization is practice, practice and practice only.

Text copyright © V. Ganesan. Text reprinted from Ramana Periya Puranam by V. Ganesan.

Photo: Sri Ramanasramam catalog number ooh_10.

Alan Chadwick took up permanent residence at Sri Ramanasramam in 1935 and remained there until his death in 1962. He was close to Ramana and knew him well.

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Recommended Books

Alan W. Chadwick, A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi

A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi

By Major Alan Chadwick (Sadhu Arunachala)

Major Alan Chadwick, a retired British army officer, did an extraordinary thing in 1935 after reading about Ramana Maharshi in Paul Brunton’s influential book. He sold his property, said goodbye to his family, and traveled to Ramana’s ashram with the intention of staying there for the rest of his life. And so he did. He took up permanent residence at Ramana’s ashram in 1935 and remained until his death in 1962. He was the first devotee who was allowed to build a house inside the ashram. He got to know Ramana extremely well, and he has compressed the essence of his experience and knowledge into this plain-spoken, forthright little book of 110 pages. Among the many reminiscences of Ramana that have been written by people who knew him, this is one of our favorites. It bears the stamp of its author’s personality: earnest, honest, stolid, faithful, affectionate. Chadwick was an admirable and likeable man, and so is the book. We recommend this book very highly.


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David Godman, Be As You Are

Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Edited by David Godman

In our opinion this superb collection of extracts from Ramana 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.


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This page was published on May 15, 2017 and last revised on May 16, 2017.


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