Talk:Ramana Maharshi

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Bhakti before Awakening[edit]

In the section Awakening (1895-1896) I have removed this sentence

Filled with awe, and a desire for emulation, he began devotional visits to the nearby Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and, associated with this bhakti, later reported fever-like sensations.[web 1]

Reason - This sentence gives a wrong stress to bakthi before Awakening. Sri Ramana mentions that it is only after his spontaneous experiences of Awakening that he was able to experience bhakti completely. Refer http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/ramana-maharshi/death-experience/

One of the features of my new state was my changed attitude to the Meenakshi Temple. Formerly I used to go there occasionally with friends to look at the images and put the sacred ash and vermillion on my brow and would return home almost unmoved. But after the awakening I went there almost every evening. I used to go alone and stand motionless for a long time before an image of Siva or Meenakshi or Nataraja and the sixty-three saints, and as I stood there waves of emotion overwhelmed me.

Request regular editors of this page to review and advice Prodigyhk (talk) 17:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I've corrected the info. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:58, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I would question reliability of the web reference "Arthur Osborne" used. It seems Arthur has got it mixed up on this. Since, Sri Ramana himself has clearly stated that prior to his Awakening experience, the experience of bhakthi as superficial. And it was only after Awakening that he experience bhakthi in waves of emotion. Need a bit more work through on this :) Prodigyhk (talk) 03:51, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
The source was misquoted; it doesn't mention "bhakti" at all, so that was WP:OR. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 03:57, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Although the word bakthi has been removed, The section still indicates deep experience similar to bakthi before Awakening. - a state of blissful consciousness transcending both the physical and mental plane and yet compatible with full use of the physical and mental facultie'.. This is the reason I feel that the source had got it wrong. Since this section Awakening is a very important part of this document, request that we research further on this and edit to reflect the right sequence. Prodigyhk (talk) 06:07, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid that all the stories on his awakening are stories, interpretations by others. "The right sequence" is, I'm afraid, impossible to reconstruct. All we can do is give the information provided by those sources. Which might be a bit of a desillusion: such an inspiring person, yet also the subject of interpretation and "stories"... Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
We have records of Sri Ramana's own narrations about his Awakening, that we can use here. This will ensure that interpretations by other do not misled us and our readers. Prodigyhk (talk) 03:00, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Those records are not exactly reliable. See the section on "Awakening" in the article. There simply is not a record by Ramana himslef on his awakening. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:25, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

What do you mean there is no record ? Please read record of Sri Ramana's description on his state after Awakening regarding his visit to the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. Refer http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/ramana-maharshi/death-experience/
One of the features of my new state was my changed attitude to the Meenakshi Temple. Formerly I used to go there occasionally with friends to look at the images and put the sacred ash and vermillion on my brow and would return home almost unmoved. But after the awakening I went there almost every evening. I used to go alone and stand motionless for a long time before an image of Siva or Meenakshi or Nataraja and the sixty-three saints, and as I stood there waves of emotion overwhelmed me. Prodigyhk (talk) 08:26, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Joshua, this page http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/ramana-maharshi/early-life/ on the official page of Ramana Ashram does mention Sri Ramana's experience after reading Periyapuranam. But, does not mention about the experiences at Meenakshi temple before the Death like experience. Suggest we re-edit this paragraph as follows:
A month later he came across a copy of Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of 63 Saivite saints, and was deeply moved and inspired by it.[12] Filled with awe, and a desire for emulation, he started to experience blissful gratitude. A current of awareness had begun to awaken him, which he then thought was like some kind of pleasant fever. he began to vist ,the nearby Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, where he started to experience "a state of blissful consciousness transcending both the physical and mental plane and yet compatible with full use of the physical and mental faculties".[web 5] Soon after, on July 17, 1896,[12] at age 16, V
Prodigyhk (talk) 09:37, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Reply by JJ - Of course there are records - but not written by himself. All records apparently are influenced by the writers' perception of the chain of events. Soit, so be it. We also don't know who the historical Jesus "really" was.
Regarding the paragraph, if we are to delte a part of it, I'd delete more:
"A month later he came across a copy of Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of 63 Saivite saints, and was deeply moved and inspired by it.[12] Filled with awe, and a desire for emulation, he started to experience blissful gratitude. A current of awareness had begun to awaken him, which he then thought was like some kind of pleasant fever. He began to vist the nearby Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, where he started to experience "a state of blissful consciousness transcending both the physical and mental plane and yet compatible with full use of the physical and mental faculties".[web 5] Soon after, on July 17, 1896,[12] at age 16, V"
Agree with the modification suggested in this para Prodigyhk (talk) 07:46, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Lineage[edit]

With this edit the following sourced info was removed. Why?

"While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association[citation needed][note 1], he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated[web 3] other than his mother at death.[1]"
  1. ^ Osborne 1959, p. 74.

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:06, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

In my edit, I only moved this sentence to the end of the section. Later, in the edit here, you have removed this sentence, by errorProdigyhk (talk) 05:53, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Excuse me? You removed the sentence; it was inserted back by my revert, as you can see in the diff you provided. Could you try to be careful in your edits? You removed sourced info without explanation, next you say I made a mistake. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:21, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
In my original edit, I had moved this sentence to the bottom. While when you reverted my edit, you moved it to the top. Then, when I checked I did not see it at the original position and so I said you made the error.... one of those silly confusions.. like a dog chasing its own tail :)) Prodigyhk (talk) 02:49, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion for lineage-section[edit]

Regarding this section, suggest we relayout the data in the following flow : -> a) Sri Ramana was not part of any lineage. It is important for us to highlight that Sri Ramana's Awakening was a rare and spontaneous occurrence and not by the intervention of any Guru. b) Sri Ramana did not start any lineage to continue his work after him. Let us keep it brief. We do not need to highlight about claims and counter-claims of the supposedly "lineage" people :-)

The new text suggested as below:

Although Ramana's teachings have often been labeled as Advaita Vedanta[61], he never received initiation into the Dashanami Sampradaya or any other sampradaya[note 22] as a sannyasin.[web 19][63][web 18][note 23] A sannyasin belonging to the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, one of the monasteries founded by Adi Shankara, once tried to persuade Ramana to be initiated into sannyasa, but Ramana refused.[63] In the Arunachala Puranam[translation 2], left behind by an old man, Ramana found the following verse:
Those who reside within the radius of three yojanas (30 miles) of this place [Arunachala], even if they have not had initiation, shall by my supreme decree attain Liberation, free from all attachments.[63]. Ramana copied this verse on a slip of paper, and when the sannyasin returned, Ramana showed the verse, where-after the sannyasin gave up and left.[63]
Ramana did not publicize himself as a guru[57], never claimed to have disciples,[web 17] and never appointed any successors.[web 18][web 19][web 20][note 16] Ramana never promoted any lineage.[web 18][note 18]
While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association[citation needed][note 24], he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated[web 17] other than his mother at death.[1]
Despite this, there are numerous contemporary teachers who assert, suggest, or are said by others, to be in his lineage.[6][web 22][web 18][web 23][web 20][note 19][note 20] These assertions have been disputed by other teachers.[web 33][web 34]. In contrast to those Neo-Advaita teachers,[web 34] Ramana and like-minded teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj[web 34][note 21] never charged any fees or "suggested donations" and generously, virtuously, compassionately and heroically lived and exemplified the Advaita or Advaya, not just talked about it.[web 34]

sincere best wishes Prodigyhk (talk) 08:13, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't know where you live (India?), but where I and my dear opponent Iddli live, Neo-Advaita (which is not the same as Neo-Vedanta!!!) those "lineage-people" are an issue. And be sure, this Wikipedia-article is also being read by their followers. So, I don't agree with this change, and Iddli probably neither. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:25, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Presently I spend my time between India and other parts of Asia. These terms Neo-Advaita I found only during editing Wikipedia. Personally, think these are nonsense labels :)
About the "lineage-people", I see you and Iddli(talk)concerns. My suggestion remove all claims and counter-claims in this section. At present, the section "Lineage" sounds more like forum discussion. Need to keep focus on the subject Sri Ramana. Prodigyhk (talk) 02:49, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
And why do we "need to keep focus on the subject Sri Ramana"? I haven't seen a rationale for that yet. But I did notice that you did a lot of editing on Kalki Bhagavan; could it be that there is some personal interest for you in having removed this info on "teachers" claims on Ramana Maharshi? Maybe? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:37, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
yes. I do have great personal interest in the life of Sri Ramana, as he is one of the great world masters from my nation.
Other than the article on Kalki Bhagavan, I have also done work on I Am That, Ashtavakra_Gita and other articles which you can see from my user page.
This article on Sri Ramana does have a separate section for notable students, which already includes those who claim to be his students/lineages/etc. So we can remove the forum style discussion on claims/counter-claims in this section lineage. Prodigyhk (talk) 08:21, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is some repetition, indeed. We could move the lineage-section downward, end merge it with "devotees". Stiil, you're not very explicit on why this section should be removed, other than "forum style discussion". It is relevant, given the popularity of Ramana Maharshi in the west. And indeed, I noticed your other articles. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

I do not ask for this section Lineage to be removed. It is important to be kept. My request is we change the flow, and remove the parts on claims/counter-claims.
1. We start section on whether Sri Ramana comes from any lineage. This we are clear that Sri Ramana's awakening was a rare natural occurrence unlike that of say Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj who was part of Navnath Sampradaya Or Sri Milarepa who was from the Kagyu lineage. Sri Ramana is not part of any lineage nor want to be initiated into any lineage.
2. Next, we mention on if Sri Ramana started any lineage. And this we are clear that Sri Ramana, unlike say Sri Adi Shankara did not start any lineage.
3. We remove the sentences on claims/counter-claims of some about the existence of a lineage. It is a worthless discussion to include here. If they are worthy students of Sri Ramana, they will be included in the other section notable devotees.
Prodigyhk (talk) 07:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Let me think about it for a day or two; I've read your suggestion, but right now I don't have the time for constructive input. Maybe tomorrow-morning (it's early evening here in Holland now), and else the morning there-after. Okay? by the way, good addition on Friedman. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:47, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I took a look at it. The subsection "Lineage" is in the section "Charisma" - Ramana Maharshi's charisma, the effect he had on others.
The subsection has three parts:
  • Intro: "Ramana did not publicize himself as a guru" - This is an intro to the second part;
  • Lineage-claims: "Ramana never promoted any lineage. Despite this (etc)" - this is the central part. Ramana's charisma has been used as a legitimisation of a host of gurus, as illustrated by the links. The quote makes clear that there are essential differences;
  • Illustrative story: "Although Ramana's teachings have often been labeled as Advaita Vedanta" - htis makes clear that Ramana himself did not belong to a sampradaya. The anecdote is illustrative to this. It's very specific, and closes the subsection.
So, to my opinion, this subsection is well-placed, well-organised, and highly relevant to the article. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Excellent. We both have agreement that the sub-section is required. Good.
The deletion required is the forum style discussions on the claims/counter claims of the Neo-Advaita group. If you wish, you may re-edit and post these on the page Neo-Advaita. These do not need to be highlighted on this page. Prodigyhk (talk) 05:45, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You've got a funny understanding of WP:CONCENSUS: deleting the part you want to delete, while there is no concensus. You still haven't given arguments as to why "These do not need to be highlighted on this page". Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

The group Neo-Advaita that you belong to is a fringe group among the many millions of followers of Sri Ramana. If you want to highlight the personal differences within that fringe group, the right space is to included in that specific page Neo-Advaita. Please do understand I have no personal knowledge nor interest in this fringe group. I just find it written badly and is not required in this space.
Since we both disagree on this. It means there is no WP:CONCENSUS. The right action would be to remove it. If you require, you may request admin help to resolve this. Till then it will be best to delete it.
Had also included a large section of Sri Ramanashram. These are important historical information, with detailed references. Why do you remove it ? Prodigyhk (talk) 05:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)



Request for advice from other editors[edit]

My friend Joshua and I have a disagreement. Request for advice and suggestions from fellow editors. In this section, I removed the following text, detailing what I felt are petty claims/counter-claims on lineage from people who it seems belong to a western group known as Neo-Advaita

Despite this, there are numerous contemporary teachers who assert, suggest, or are said by others, to be in his lineage.[6][web 22][web 18][web 23][web 20][note 19][note 20] These assertions have been disputed by other teachers.[web 33][web 34]. In contrast to those Neo-Advaita teachers,[web 34] Ramana and like-minded teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj[web 34][note 21] never charged any fees or "suggested donations" and generously, virtuously, compassionately and heroically lived and exemplified the Advaita or Advaya, not just talked about it.[web 34]

Reason for deletion of this paragraph within this section. (1). This section is very clear that Sri Ramana does not have a lineage. No need to expand to give publicity for the claims and counter claims. (2) The Neo-Advaita group does have a separate page, where these claims/counter-claims are detailed in much length. (3) It is very poorly written like a forum style discussion.

Note - I do not have any personal bias against this group Neo-Advaita. The first time I read about this group is here on WP. Prodigyhk (talk) 05:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Let's be clear: I'm not a Neo-Advaitin. And simply removing content while there is no concensus is quite rude. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:00, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I have no problem with the lashram-section. You can re-insert it - in the original section. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I understand, it is difficult editing WP and work through disagreement. May be if we were to sit next to each other we could easily solve this. For the reasons mentioned above, I would prefer we just leave the specific paragraph deleted for now. Let us wait for other editors opinions. Also, you could tell me why you think it is important to be included in this page, since it is already well detailed in the other page Neo-Advaita.. Let us keep talking. and I am sure we can solve it. Have a great morning :)Prodigyhk (talk) 06:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Full protection[edit]

Joshua Jonathan asked me to take a look at this article; what I saw upon arrival is an edit war. As such, I have fully protected the article for a week. In that time, please use some form of dispute resolution to try to get outside input. The easiest first step is to ask for a Third opinion; if that doesn't give you enough input, you can start a neutrally worded request for comment.

Note that I did not protect the current version because it is "correct". In fact, I have no idea which version is better. I just protected it as the last version, what admins call protecting the "wrong version". So please don't take this as my endorsement of removal of the paragraph in contention. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:27, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Dispute resolution[edit]

Thanks for the intervention. I've asked Prodigyhk several times for further arguments than 'I don't like it'. The latest reponse was:

"(1). This section is very clear that Sri Ramana does not have a lineage. No need to expand to give publicity for the claims and counter claims." - Why not? Still no further arguments. This is another version of "I don't like it". See WP:IDONTLIKEIT;
"(2) The Neo-Advaita group does have a separate page, where these claims/counter-claims are detailed in much length." - So? I've explained the relevance of this subsection before, which was simply ignored;
"(3) It is very poorly written like a forum style discussion." - I simply do not agree with that qualification.

Basically, it comes down to ignoring the discussion, and simply pushing your point of view. Unacceptable for Wikipedia, and very poor behaviour. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I've requested [3O]. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:28, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Joshua you are making baseless allegations against me. I have raised my concerns on 8:13, 29 July 2013 Talk:Ramana_Maharshi#Lineage. Over the next few days, have explained to you need to change the flow and trim the section. When I found that 2 of disagreed on this, at 06:13,2/Aug/13 had included Talk:Ramana_Maharshi#Request_for_advice_from_other_editors. But, strangely you do not seem to appreciating that I do want to discuss and work out a solution with you.
Now to the above points, please note my response to you as below.
(1) I have highlighted earlier that the section Notable students, includes claims/ counter-claim arguments of Neo-Advaita folks. So, not required to REPEAT again in lineage
(2) the only reason you provided to keep the paragraph is --> {where I and my dear opponent Iddli live, Neo-Advaita those "lineage-people" are an issue. And be sure, this Wikipedia-article is also being read by their followers. So, I don't agree with this change, and Iddli probably neither.}. Do you have any other reasons other than this ? Please state your your reason clearly on why you require this claims/counter claims in multiple locations within this page.
Since we both disagree with each other, the way forward is we await opinion from few other editors to advice if this redundant sentence is to be a) included b) not included c) included in a modified form. We can then make the decision. Prodigyhk (talk) 03:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The whole reason this lineage-section is in the article, is because of those lineage-claims. If you think it's a minor issue, you could have asked for 3O before making your change. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Response from Mauna22 to request for advice from other editors[edit]

Hello Joshua and Prodigyhk! I would like to make my point here just in case you find it useful in this dispute.

1-Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi never gave initiation (Upadeśa) to anyone as far as we know. From that point on to talk about a lineage doesn´t make much sense to me. You can talk perhaps about a “Papaji lineage” if anything.

2-Sri Bhagavan, though usually linked to Advaita Vedanta was not strictly speaking a vedantin and he never got any kind of initiation into the order of Sankara.

3- Neo-Advaita is a very loose term to refer a movement in the west inspired by the teachings of various western (and eastern) teachers, but the movement itself is not Vedanta, much less Advaita Vedanta which is a branch of Vedanta ( Indeed in my opinion Neo-Advaita is not even non-dual but let´s keep this aside).

So I don´t think it makes much sense to talk about a lineage that never really occurred. He didn´t came from a lineage and he didn’t authorize anyone to teach under any kind of creed philosophy or set of teachings. In the other hand Neo-Advaita, it´s teachers and followers, are a motley crew with very different kind of sources of inspiration, something like the New Age movement. Anyone can claim to be inspired by this or that teacher, but does it make sense to let them be in an encyclopedic article? I don´t think so.

If the issue (the lineage) is such a big deal let it have its section on the Neo-Advaita article and that´s it. This lineage thing is more an annoyance than a real event in his life or teachins. The page for Ramana Maharshi is a great one, just keep it the closest to the man and the teachings as possible ;) Mauna22 (talk) 12:55, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Response from iddli to request for advice from other editors[edit]

As an editor who has worked extensively on this article for the last 6 years or so, I would like to suggest that we put back the section I wrote many years ago which handles the lineage question. Here is the earlier version:

Sri Ramana did not publicize himself as being a guru, he never appointed any successors, and he never claimed to have any disciples, either. While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association with him, he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated other than his mother at death. Sri Ramana declared himself an atiasrama [25](beyond all caste and religious restrictions, not attached to anything in life), and did not belong to any lineage, nor did he ever indicate that he wanted to create to a lineage. He considered his own guru to be the Self, in the form of the sacred mountain Arunachala.
His method of teaching was characterized by the following:
1. He consistently urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry;
2. He directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization. ("The true Bhagavan resides in your Heart as your true Self. This is who I truly am," he said.)
3. He viewed all who came to him as the Self rather than as lesser beings. ("The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight," Sri Ramana said.)
4. He charged no money, and was adamant that no one ever ask for money (or anything else) in his name;
5. He never promoted or called attention to himself. Instead, Sri Ramana remained in one place for 55 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone of any background who came to him, and asking nothing in return;
6. He considered humility to be the highest quality.
7. He said the deep sense of peace one felt around a jnani was the surest indicator of their spiritual state, that equality towards all was a true sign of liberation, and that what a true jnani did was always for others, not for themselves.
Despite the above and the statement of the Ashram's official magazine that there is no lineage[26], there are many contemporary gurus/teachers who publicly associate themselves with Sri Ramana, some who claim a kind of lineage with Ramana [27].

I wrote the above section to address, diplomatically, the topic of people making false lineage claims. I tried to make the language direct and clear and to avoid any disparaging remarks about any specific people who are confused about the lineage topic and have somehow come to believe they are part of a non-existent lineage. As you will note, the "lineage gurus" teach in a way that is not aligned with Ramana Maharshi's ways -- so if there were a lineage, which there is not, they would not qualify because they do not follow Ramana's practices (his refusal to allow any kind of fundraising in his name, his humility, his lack of claims of specialness, his uncompromising integrity, the peace he radiated to all (rather than scandals, hypocrisy, and doubletalk), etc. The section I wrote was intended to make clear, without naming any names, that anyone claiming enlightenment, calling attention to him or herself through publicity, and asking for money could not possibly be in Ramana's lineage in any sense of the word. Perhaps it would be best if we removed the last line of the section I wrote to make things even simpler.

The fact that people make absurd claims about a well-known figure does not seem to me to be a reason to devote a section of an article about that figure to these claims. There are droves of people claiming to be Jesus Christ but that does not mean we need to list them in Christ's wikipedia article or devote paragraphs to examining the validity of their claims. There are also people who claim to receive direct personal instructions from their wrist watches or their tennis shoes .... but we do not need to add sections under "Wrist Watch" or "Tennis Shoe" to explore all this confusion. It can go under an article on Delusions.

A primary reason for people in the spiritual business to claim ties to Ramana and have their names included in his wikipedia article is that this helps generate money. When I first began editing this article, there were all sorts of direct links from the Ramana article to the money-generating websites of various "lineage holders". I removed all these names and links because Wikipedia in not intended for this purpose. If anyone wants to write an article about any of these people and say, in that article, that they claim to be part of the non-existent lineage of a Guru who taught in a very different way from them, that is fine. I would feel quite differently about this whole matter if there was any validity to the claims and if they were not part of a business scheme. The whole thing could perhaps be moved to an article called "Spiritual Scams" or even "Spiritual Confusions" and explored in any sort of depth there. (Iddli (talk) 23:04, 3 August 2013 (UTC))

ACCEPT Iddli (Talk) suggestion to include the original text that was in place few years ago. This original text is well balanced and clear to the point. And also agree with Iddli the last sentence could be removed to keep it simple. Prodigyhk (talk) 13:09, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree too --Mauna22 (talk) 13:29, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
We've discussed this list of qualities before; most of them are unsourced, and were removed for that reason. The present discussion is not a valid reason to bypass WP:VERIFY and reinsert them; they are still unsourced. The subsection that is now in the article is sourced, even without the disputed lines. Replacing sourced info by unsourced info is not an option. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:26, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I propose that we find sources for the statements. I will work on this as soon as I get a chance. Joshua Jonathan, you say you removed the points that characterize Ramana's method of teaching because they were unsourced ... yet you have scattered throughout the article an invalid source (a self-published book) which I pointeded out months ago needed to be removed/cleaned up. Out of consideration for all your hard work and a desire to work cooperatively, I did not gut the article by removing all your improperly sourced statements, but hoped you would clean up your work. If you want to remove every line in the article that is not sourced in a way that complies with wikipedia rules, would you kindly remove all your own improperly sourced sentences before you remove other people's? Your style of editing seems to be to remove every edit that does not fit your own agenda, citing wikipedia rules for all your deletions or insisting that people justify edits that make perfect sense (such as the rather absurd question you directed at another editor: "And why do we "need to keep focus on the subject Sri Ramana"? I haven't seen a rationale for that yet.") Wikipedia is intended to be a collaborative effort, but you seem to have taken over the Ramana Maharshi article and the Neo-Advaita article and assumed the role of master editor, as if no one can make a change unless you approve it. I have read extensively on the subject of Neo-Advaita over the last few years but cannot touch that article without your deleting my edits. This heavy-handed approach drives away good editors who do not want to get into edit wars. I request feedback from other editors on whether we should source the list and add it back in. If necessary, we can adjust the wording of the points to better fit the sources and if something can't be sourced, we can delete it -- but I suggest we retain the spirit of the list. Would Proigyhk and Mauna22 and others please offer feedback about this approach and/or help with the sourcing of the list? Thanks. (Iddli (talk) 21:08, 4 August 2013 (UTC))
I think is the best option: to find sources for the statements. I don´t have the books with me now but I read “The path of self Knowledge” for instance and I know there´s plenty of information on most of the points, so instead spending time arguing and saying that there are no sources I think it would be better to collaborate and adding the references Mauna22 (talk) 21:57, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Please note that adding unsourced statements to the article is not an option--it's the opposite of a solution. Additionally, which book in the article is self-published? It should be removed, as should all statements it supports. WP:V and WP:RS are not things you can come to a consensus to ignore. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:25, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Qwyyrxian, I meant we should find the sources before adding that list (and sources) back into the article. The self-published book is called Ramana Maharshi: His Life by G. Ebert. (Iddli (talk) 23:32, 4 August 2013 (UTC))
Ah, good :). Sorry for misunderstanding. As for the Ebert book, every single reference to it should be removed from the article. JJ, are you willing to do so (if I've understood correctly, you added it first, right?)? Qwyrxian (talk) 01:31, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Now on checking the deleted paragraph, find sources used are direct links to self-published blogs/websites of those lineage claimants and their opponents. Request all lineage claims/attacks be kept out of this page. Let us keep focus on Sri Ramana and his teaching in this page. Prodigyhk (talk) 06:34, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Prodigyhk, I am in complete agreement with you. Let's keep the focus on Sri Ramana and his teaching. The article should not include any links to the self-published blogs of people making lineage claims or to other sites disputing these claims. As for the 7 points that characterize Sri Ramana's teaching, I have found sources for several and am looking for the rest. (Iddli (talk) 14:41, 5 August 2013 (UTC))

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Fair point about Ebert... I'm trying to take a Wiki-break, following Qwyrxian's advice; it helps Face-smile.svg I don't mind removing those parts myself, or replacing them with proper sources; yet the Wiki-break is all-right at the moment, and I'd like to continue it for a few weeks (also because we're renovating our new home), so I can't blame other editors if they remove those parts. There's always time later (or much later) to come back to those points and provide proper sources, if I can find them.
But I've also got a point on this: most sources on Ramana are written by admirers; many publications are publications from the Ramanashram. I'm afraid that the article relies heavily on such sources, and that most of them don't qualify as WP:RS or secondary source either.
As for the list: I'd found some references already, as mentioned in the Talk page-section I'd linked to; nevertheless I prefer straight statements on the non-existence of a Ramana-lineage, instead of a list of qualities from which readers are supposed to deduce that all thise Neo-Advaita teachers are different from Ramana Maharshi. It feels like some sort of WP:OR, and little hagiographic. But that's my personal feeling with it.
I also don't agree they shouldn't be mentioned; there are quite a lot of them, and Ramana is an inpsiration for many of them, so that makes them relevant. Not mentioning them makes Ramana appear as some sort of 'isolated', or 'timeless' phenomenon, whih he is (or was) not. it might also have the opposite effect, something like: "Ramana was a wonderfull person, my teacher is connected to him, so he/she is also a wonderful person".
Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:10, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

"if I can find them". Yeah, right... Or if anyone can find them. You are still acting as if you were the one and only intended editor as far as this page is concerned: [[1]] Mauna22 (talk) 06:14, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The message above was deleted by Goethean under the premise "rv violation of WP:TALK try to keep messages about article". I do not agree. My comment was about the heavy control an editor is trying to impose on this page, so yes my comment is about the article Mauna22 (talk) 19:30, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
You are incorrect. See WP:TALK. This talk page is to be used to discuss the article. Take your complaints about user behavior to the appropriate noticeboard. — goethean 19:52, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
goethean Request not disrupt by deleting talk message. The comment from Mauna22 is continuation to concerns raised by Qwyrxian about some edits by User:Joshua Jonathan. Please read above discussions for better understanding. Thanks Prodigyhk (talk) 02:00, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi User:Joshua Jonathan That is an excellent advice by Qwyrxian to take a break from wiki work. It is good. Have fun with the renovation work and ping us when you are ready. Prodigyhk (talk) 02:04, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Qwyrxian Iddli and Mauna22 thanks for all your inputs. Now, with User:Joshua Jonathan on his wiki break, I suppose we put this lineage issue on hold.

With regard to the issue of Ebert, noticed it is in multiple locations of the article. Will require much time to rework. For now, have removed it from the "Further reading" section [2] Prodigyhk (talk) 12:37, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

We've moved last week, and the house is great. The Wiki-break works good, though I'm taking now the opportunity to read and respond.
The "Further reading" section is exactly where Ebert could be mentioned; it gives suggestions for further reading, not sources for the article itself.
Regarding Mauna22's response & the use of sources: I do think that most sources on Ramana Maharshi are problematic, because most of them are written by admirers. Do you know of any academic or critical source on him? Most sources are written by admirers, made up of "narratives", idealised stories which use specific frameworks which are not explicated.
  • The enlightenment-story is a good example: it's clear that the best-known story is not an accurate account, but an account influenced by the ideas and beliefs of the writer.
  • Another example is the description of Ramana's first years at Arunachala, where he was just sitting in silence without eating. To "normal-life standards" this is pretty weird behaviour. Hadn't it been for some admirers who interpreted this behaviour as signs of enlightenment and holiness, Ramana might have starved himself. Is there any other interpretation possible? AMA Samy, an Indian Zen-teacher, has suggested that Ramana Maharshi may have been autistic, to explain this behaviour (in "Zen Heart, Zen mind"). Quite a different story, isn't it?
  • And Alan Edwards comes to the conclusion, in "Ramana Maharshi and the Colonial Encounter", that the popular (western) image of Ramana as a self-enlighted, "universal" "token of wisdom", was picked up by Indian nationalists in the 1930's and '40's and further popularised, because it fitted into their idealised image of India as a spiritual nation (remember: Ramana was a Tamil Shaiva bhakti, who has come known throughout the world as an Indian Advaita Vedanta jnanin. Anyone who knows just a little bit about Indian (regional) nationalism and religious factionalism, is probably aware of the discrepancies between those two sets of identities).
  • And of course, this western image was fueled by long-existing romantic western notions of India as a country where long-forgotten ancient wisom was still alive.
So, who makes the stories, and where is the critical information? For a balanced article, those questions are relevant too, not only the admiration. And don't get me wrong on that: I'm an admirer too. Ramana saved my soul when I was 18. But I'm 44 now, and I have questions about Ramana Maharshi and the context in which he lived and was/is admired, which are not answered by "narratives".
Greetings, and best to all of you. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:24, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
“The enlightenment-story is a good example: it's clear that the best-known story is not an accurate account, but an account influenced by the ideas and beliefs of the writer.”
What do you mean by that? Do you have the real and accurate version so you can compare it with the one influenced by ideas and beliefs of... Whom????
“Another example is the description of Ramana's first years at Arunachala, where he was just sitting in silence without eating. To "normal-life standards" this is pretty weird behaviour.”
Well, I read several accounts on Ramana´s life and I didn´t find anywhere such statement “without eating”. You can read for example in The Path of Self Knowledge by Osborne: “He lived in great austerity, eating only one meal a day and that merely the food that had been offered to the God in puja, without even salt for seasoning”. Are you looking at the wrong sources? It seems strange to me that with so many good biographical information you only find the “weird” ones.
NOTE: I´m sorry, I made a mistake, the previous quote (He lived in great austerity...) was about the sadhu Palaniswami, one of the first devotees of Sri Bhagavan, not about Bhagavan himself. A bit earlier in the same book we can find this comment about Ramana Maharshi´s diet during some time after his arrival at Tiruvannamalai: "He would sit motionless in samadhi (absorption) and sometimes nourishment had to be put into his mouth as he paid no heed when it was offered him.". There are few comments on this subject in the first pages of the book. Still there is no such thing as "without eating". Mauna22 (talk) 09:07, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
“AMA Samy, an Indian Zen-teacher, has suggested that Ramana Maharshi may have been autistic, to explain this behaviour (in "Zen Heart, Zen mind"). Quite a different story, isn't it?”
Yes, some people say some things, so? Since when is AMA Samy an authority regarding Ramana Maharsi´s life?
“And Alan Edwards comes to the conclusion, in "Ramana Maharshi and the Colonial Encounter", that the popular (western) image of Ramana as a self-enlighted, "universal" "token of wisdom", was picked up by Indian nationalists in the 1930's and '40's and further popularised, because it fitted into their idealised image of India as a spiritual nation (remember: Ramana was a Tamil Shaiva bhakti, who has come known throughout the world as an Indian Advaita Vedanta jnanin. Anyone who knows just a little bit about Indian (regional) nationalism and religious factionalism, is probably aware of the discrepancies between those two sets of identities)”
Ramana was an Atiasrama, which means he didn´t belong to any caste, creed or community. Indeed, as far as I understood, he cound´t care less about his status even as a person, not to mention nationality. Not a very good choice for a nationalist beacon I´d say. Again your point is: "some people say".
“And of course, this western image was fueled by long-existing romantic western notions of India as a country where long-forgotten ancient wisom was still alive”
“Of course”, which means is false, right? Well, that´s your opinion. Prove it to be wrong in the first place.
“So, who makes the stories, and where is the critical information? For a balanced article, those questions are relevant too, not only the admiration. And don't get me wrong on that: I'm an admirer too. Ramana saved my soul when I was 18. But I'm 44 now, and I have questions about Ramana Maharshi and the context in which he lived and was/is admired, which are not answered by "narratives"”
According to you opinions about Ramana´s life from people who merely meet him at some point like AMA Samy (who is attached to a particular religion) is relevant while the information given by people who lived during years in the proximity of him (and who knew the philosophical context of his teachings) is not reliable... Interesting to say the least.
By the way: you didn´t discuss any of the points people made here up, instead you are bringing third people opinions which only distort the debate. You spend so many time criticizing other people´s work and putting down their words saying there are just opinions with no steady information behind them when, indeed, you are the first one bringing here opinions, not facts or reliable data.
Mauna22 (talk) 10:49, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

GeorgeLouis (talk · contribs) wants to offer a third opinion. To assist with the process, editors are requested to summarize the dispute in a short sentence below.


GeorgeLouis (talk · contribs) welcome to the discussion. Request check the following for better understanding

Prodigyhk (talk) 02:15, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Viewpoint by (name here)
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Viewpoint by (name here)
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Third opinion by GeorgeLouis
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dead links[edit]

Footnote #44 and other links which resolve to bhagavan-ramana.org are dead. — goethean 20:50, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

I see that some of the links to that site still work, but the ones that went to whole books do not. This is likely because Sri Ramanasramam put out the word last year that they wanted all sites to take down free pdfs to entire books (which they hold the copyright to and which are available on their site, some for free). We need to sort out which of the bhagavan-ramana.org links still work and remove the ones that don't or redirect the link to Sri Ramanasramam's book section. I also see that someone has changed the spelling of "Bhagavan" above Sri Ramana's photo in the article so it is misspelled now. (Iddli (talk) 21:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC))
Not done for now: Could you make a list of which links are broken, and how you would like them to be updated? For example, they could be fixed, or tagged with {{dead link}}. Or perhaps it would be easier to put all the changes in a sandbox version of the article at e.g. Talk:Ramana Maharshi/sandbox so that I can see the exact wikitext that you would like updated. Once you have done this, feel free to reactivate the {{editprotected}} template. Best — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 05:03, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Seven Points[edit]

I paste here what I found in relation with the seven points suggested by Iddli. I make a new section since the old one is getting way too long. If you find the information interesting feel free to use it, I and kind of clumsy when it comes to edit ;P

Here we go:

1. He consistently urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry

“it is not only as a technique of meditation that Sri Bhagavan prescribed Self-enquiry but as a technique of living also” Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self Knowledge, P. 172

“He (Bhagavan) was quite categorical about its preeminence. “Self-enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are...” Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self Knowledge, P. 166

“Sri Ramana maintained that other techniques could only take one to the place where self-enquiry starts and so he never endorsed them unless he felt that particular questioners were unable or unwilling to adopt self-enquiry.” David Godman, Be As You Are, C. 10

2. He directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization. ("The true Bhagavan resides in your Heart as your true Self. This is who I truly am," he said.)

“All that appear outside are in reality inside and not outside; it is in order to teach this that in the Vedas also all have been described as of the nature of the heart. What is called the heart is no other than Brahman.” Ramana Maharshi, Vicharasangraham, C.8

“Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.” Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?, C.19

“Do not fix your attention on all these changing things of life, death and phenomena. Do not think of even the actual act of seeing or perceiving them, but only of that which sees all these things — that which is responsible for it all. This will seem nearly impossible at first, but by degrees the result will be felt. It takes years of steady, daily practice, and that is how a Master is made. Give a quarter of an hour a day for this practice. Try to keep the mind unshakenly fixed on That which sees. It is inside yourself.” Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self Knowlegde, P. 112

3. He viewed all who came to him as the Self rather than as lesser beings. ("The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight," Sri Ramana said.)

“A visitor asked Sri Bhagavan, “You are Bhagavan. So you would know when I shall get jnana. Tell me when I shall be a jnani.” Sri Bhagavan replied, “If I am Bhagavan there is no one besides the Self - therefore no jnani or ajnani. If otherwise I am as good as you are and know as much as yourself. Either way I cannot answer your question.” Sri Munagala S. Venkataramiah, Talks With Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, T. 48

“In most of the conversations in this chapter he accepts that his questioners perceive a distinction between the jnani and the ajnani, and, without challenging the basis of that assumption, he assumes the role of the jnani and attempts to explain the implications of being in that state.” David Godman, Be As You Are, C. 3

4. He charged no money, and was adamant that no one ever ask for money (or anything else) in his name

“Then (upon his arrival at Tiruvannamalai) , standing on the steps of the tank, he threw away his remaining money — a little over three rupees. He never handled money again.” Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self Knowlegde, P. 25

“Sri Bhagavan invited the thieves to coine in through thc proper doorway and asked the devotees to give them a hurricane lamp so that they could look for whatever they ivanted, yet they shouted angrily, "Where are you keeping your money?". "We are sadhus who live by begging, we have no money. From what you can find here, you may take away anything you want. We will come outside." so s-ayiilg, Sri Bhagavan came and sat outside followed by the devotees” Sri Sadhu Om, The Path of Sri Ramana, P. 24

“As he came out of the temple and was walking along the streets of the town, someone called out and asked whether he wanted his tuft removed. He consented readily, and was conducted to the Ayyankulam tank where a barber shaved his head. Then he stood on the steps of the tank and threw away into the water his remaining money. He also discarded the packet of sweets given by the Bhagavatar’s wife.” T. M. P. Mahadevan, M. A., Ph.D., Bhagavan Ramana

5. He never promoted or called attention to himself. Instead, Sri Ramana remained in one place for 55 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone of any background who came to him, and asking nothing in return

“Why did Sri Bhagavan, who was so modest, who insisted on equal treatment with the humblest, allow this prostration before him? Although humanly he refused all privileges, he recognised that adoration of the outwardly manifested Guru was helpful to sadhana, to spiritual progress. Not that outward forms of submission were sufficient. He once said explicitly, “Men prostrate themselves before me but I know who is submitted in his heart.” Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self Knowlegde, P. 141

“The rest of what we regard as Ramana’s life (he was sixteen or seventeen by that time) - this is how we shall call him hereafter - was spent in Tiruvannamalai.” T. M. P. Mahadevan, M. A., Ph.D., Bhagavan Ramana

“Whatever their reasons for coming almost everyone who came into contact with him was impressed by his simplicity and his humbleness. He made himself available to visitors twenty-four hours a day by living and sleeping in a communal hall which was always accessible to everyone, and his only private possessions were a loin-cloth, a water- pot and a walking-stick.” David Godman, Be As You Are, Introduction

6. He considered humility to be the highest quality

“One’s greatness increases to the extent one becomes humble. The reason why God is Supreme to such an extent that the whole universe bows to Him, is His sublime state of humility in which the deluded ego never rises unknowingly.” Sri Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai, Part One, C. 84 (V. 494)

“By his own life and example Sri Ramana taught us the great importance not only of kindness, love, tender-heartedness, consideration, compassion and ahimsa, but also of humility, selflessness, desirelessness, non-acquisitiveness, non-possessiveness, non-wastefulness, generosity, contentment, self-restraint, self-denial and utter simplicity of lifestyle.” Michael James, Happiness and The Art of Being, P. 599

“M.: Pride of learning and desire for appreciation are condemned and not learning itself. Learning leading to search for Truth and humility is good.” Sri Munagala S. Venkataramiah, Talks With Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, T. 253

7. He said the deep sense of peace one felt around a jnani was the surest indicator of their spiritual state, that equality towards all was a true sign of liberation, and that what a true jnani did was always for others, not for themselves

“Question 3: There are a number of spiritual teachers, teaching various paths. Whom should one take for one’s Guru? Bhagavan: Choose that one where you find you get shanti or peace.” A. Devaraja Mudaliar, Day by Day with Bhagavan, P. 197

“Sadhu Om (explaining a verse about bhagavan´s teachings): Since equality [samatvam] is the nature of God, God-experience is called samadhi [the state in which the mind stands in equilibrium]. Hence those who deny equality to others, are going against God.” Sri Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai, Part Two, C. 75 (V. 241)

“I have said that equality is the true sign of jnana. The very term equality implies the existence of differences. It is a unity that the jnani perceives in all differences, which I call equality.” David Godman, Be as You Are, C.3

“Sadhu Om: Sri Bhagavan used to say that doing nishkamya karma [i.e. performing action without desire for the fruit] truly means only abiding in the state in which one has no sense of doership in the actions that are performed.” Sri Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai, Part Three, C. 50 (P. 366) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mauna22 (talkcontribs) 20:11, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Mauna22 Since, I am busy with other tasks, will review and give feedback by next week. Prodigyhk (talk) 02:20, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Mauna22, you have done a magnificent job with this! (Iddli (talk) 16:15, 4 September 2013 (UTC))
Thaks both! We´ll keep in touch Mauna22 (talk) 10:21, 5 September 2013 (UTC)


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  1. ^ Osborne 1959, p. 74.