Donnerstag, 18. September 2008

Foreword and Intro

Ramana Maharshi: His Life

A biography by Gabriele Ebert

Foreword by Alan Adams-Jacobs

Translated by Victor Ward

Copyright c 2006
by Gabriele Ebert
ISBN 1-4116-7350-6

translated from German into English by Victor Ward

(title of the original edition:
Ramana Maharshi: Sein Leben. –
Lüchow Verlag : Stuttgart, 2003)


Foreword by Alan Adams-Jacobs


Ramana Maharshi is universally considered as the Greatest Sage that has been born, as an act of Divine grace, on this planet for a millennium. Not since Adi Shankara has any Enlightened Being made such an impact on the spiritual development of our world both in the East and in the West.

This beautifully written and most expertly translated major biography of the Great Master fully illustrates this claim, most convincingly and in no uncertain manner. It is full of anecdotal history which brings to vivid life, the teachings and example of this supreme Spiritual Master.

He lived an exemplary life, beyond any fault and blemish. He was an example of moral purity and intellectual clarity. He was an inspiring Poet and wise Philosopher, but above all he largely taught through Silence. This is the rarest gift, even amongst Great Sages, and is the hallmark of the highest, most evolved example of humanity. In his personal life he was a model of love and compassion embracing all who came to him with true equanimity, and never refused guidance to any who approached him.

He was revolutionary and radical because he made his simple unique Direct Path to Self Realization available to all men and women who were earnest in their quest. The only qualification was a strong desire for liberation from the bondage of suffering in an illusory world. His simple method of Self Enquiry and Self Surrender did away with all the complicated and confusing spiritual practices and bizarre theories which have blurred and muddled the Path to Enlightenment for thousands of years. His way is available to every householder. It is an open secret. The only qualification is sincerity, and a serious intent to make effort along the lines he suggested.

He came to the Planet prepared to bring his message at one of the darkest times for our humanity when a great light was needed to restore the Dharma of Truth and Righteousness. His Maha-yoga embraces all the traditional paths of Devotion, Work, and Knowledge. It is available, without any change in life style for the ordinary householder. There is no longer any need to follow a monastic way to live a truly religious life in the twenty-first century.

As this book and many others, amply illustrate, he brought many of his devotees to Self Realization. His influence and guidance is still experienced today, even after his death, by those who are conscientiously practising his teaching. Most importantly he is responsible for the Renaissance of the Advaita Movement which is sweeping West and East like wildfire in the dense forest of samsara, and bringing much needed spiritual help to many thousands.

This book skilfully and meticulously written by Gabriele Ebert, with famed Teutonic thoroughness, devotedly recounts his life story in a masterly and scholarly manner. She is a child of our contemporary Western culture, so her book can be readily enjoyed by the Western, as well as by the Eastern reader. It was no less a personage than C.G. Jung who wrote in his essay on the Maharshi that in India he is the whitest spot in a white space. Could there be a higher commendation?

It is a privilege to heartily recommend this beautiful book to all those who are earnest in their spiritual quest and who genuinely wish to learn more about this Great Sage, his life and his teachings. I am confident it will thrill and instruct all those who are open to the possibility of Self Realization, now, for themselves, in this God-given life. It is a second education for those who see that all their life hitherto has been merely a preparation.

Alan Adams-Jacobs
Chairman, Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK
October 2003, Hampstead, London


Sri Ramana Maharshi, who has opened up the path of advaita to all people, is one of the most remarkable Sages of the modern era. After his enlightenment at age 17 he led a simple life on the sacred Hill Arunachala, in Southern India, for over 50 years, until his death in 1950. Attracted by the power of his presence, people from all countries, cultures and religions, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, came in their thousands to see him. Since his death nothing has changed, on the contrary, Ramanashram and Arunachala have become a vibrant spiritual centre and more and more people are showing an interest in the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.

There was a great deal of source material available for this new biography, as, over the last 50 years, many of the Maharshi’s devotees have published their recollections and diaries. The bibliography contains a list of all the sources used. The quotes included at the beginning of each chapter are direct quotes from Sri Ramana himself, unless otherwise indicated. Sanskrit terms are printed in italics and are explained in the glossary. Photos showing places today have been taken by me.


I would like to thank Victor Ward for this excellent translation, Alan Adams-Jacobs for the wonderful foreword and Miles Wright for his help in compiling the glossary and for looking through Chapter 18. Robert Högerle’s helpful suggestions were also very much appreciated. I am also extremely grateful to the President of Ramanashram - Sri V.S. Ramanan, and the President of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation in Bangalore - Sri A.R. Natarajan, for their authorisation to use the Indian publications and photo material.

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