AFTER I HAD BEEN HERE A DAY OR TWO Bhagavan asked somebody to give me a copy of Who am I? and told me to read it. Here is contained the essence of his teaching, though given by him as a youth of only 21 it never needed to be changed. Bhagavan might talk all sorts of philosophy and explain systems in answer to questions, but his teaching and instruction for Sadhana was all contained in Who am I? Everything else, as far as he was concerned, was padding or expansion for those who were not satisfied with the simplicity and straightforward explanation of this little book. He had always insisted that the book should be sold so cheaply that it was available to the poorest and originally it cost no more than half an anna.
This wonderful little book comprises one of the first sets of instructions given by Bhagavan in about 1902 in writing as he was not speaking at the time. They are direct from his own experience and in no way influenced by his reading of various Upanishads and other sacred writings which were afterwards brought to him to explain. Later reading these books, he realized the philosophic import of what had happened to him and so was able to co-ordinate his experiences and fit them into the Hindu tradition. But in this book we have his teachings at first hand and uncoloured. Here we find their very essence and by the help of this single brochure can learn all that is necessary. No more is needed.
Copyright Sri Ramanasramam. This article is reprinted from A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi by Sadhu Arunachala (A. W. Chadwick)
Photo: Sri Ramanasramam catalog number gro_39.
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.
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.
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.
This page was published on May 15, 2017 and last revised on May 18, 2017.