Talk:Ramana Maharshi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject India / Tamil Nadu / History (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject India, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of India-related topics. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Tamil Nadu (marked as Top-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Indian history workgroup (marked as Mid-importance).
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Hinduism / Philosophy (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Hinduism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Hinduism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Hindu philosophy (marked as Top-importance).
 
WikiProject Biography (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Religion / New religious movements (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by New religious movements work group (marked as Mid-importance).
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Philosophy (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
 
WikiProject Yoga (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Yoga, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Yoga on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
This article has an assessment summary page.


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)
I happened to see this dialogue and want to clarify something. Prodighyhk, it is always problematic to rely only on one source given that we generally only have subjective accounts of what RM said and it is widely accepted he said different things to different people based on the assessed need and the questioners state. In fact there is a direct account in the biography of his disciple Sri Matha Janaky of a conversation in 1938 where RM stated to her specifically in response to her questions about her pre enlightenment kundalini experiences that his (RMs) experiences at the temple prior to his awakening were associated with what could be considered bhakti and what he later understood was a kundalini awakening; therefore the statement: "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" is probably a far more accurate description. I suggest that David Godman would be a better person to contact to advise about such conflicts and reliable sources given his extensive knowledge as a researcher and librarian than editors over relying on some selected language from the Ashram website when it is not even clear what the context was. 138.163.0.42 (talk) 21:09, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

It's important to remember that Wikipedia articles are not written just for believers. Articles, such as this one, which have made serious claims of spiritual significance need to be written from an objective point of view. Claiming that he experienced the loss of individual self is not neutral, because that is not a claim which can simply be verified. Any verification of those claims would be subjective, and should be given context. Explaining the historical context of those claims, and what he had to say about those claims is more neutral. Likewise, saying he was "widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Hindu gurus of modern times" is absolutely a WP:PEACOCK phrase. Saying otherwise is absurd. "Outstanding" is a word which promotes, but does not have a clearly defined meaning. "widely acknowledged" is a WP:WEASEL phrase, because the only source supporting it is the Godman one that dominates the entire article, and cannot be considered impartial. There is so much more work that needs to be done on this article, but hopefully I've explained why I added the peacock tag, and why I have removed much of the more aggressively promotional content from the article. Grayfell (talk) 02:37, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Improvement of the teachings[edit]

If anyone has the time and motivation (I unfortunately lack the time at the moment) it would be great to clean up and expand the sections on self-enquiry and bhakti. The first is really a mess and needs all sorts of tender, love and care, whilst the section on Bhakti is very weak and underwritten. I would recommend this article as a source for the bhakti section:

[Link to copyrighted material removed, per WP:ELNEVER. Please do not restore unless it can be verified that it is not a copyright violation]

Much obliged in advance!

Bodhadeepika (talk) 19:02, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Weebly.com is a free website hosting service, which is a red-flag that the site is not a WP:RS. There is not indication of who started that site, or who is running it now. The specific page you link to was written by David Godman, but it's not clear that it was posted with his permission, which is a WP:COPYVIO and is strictly forbidden, per WP:ELNEVER. Please find a better source. Thanks. Grayfell (talk) 22:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi Grayfell, here is a link to the original article in The Mountain Path. The article is on page 1:
https://ramanafiles.s3.amazonaws.com/mountainpath/1981%20I%20Jan.pdf
Still, needs a wikieditor to read it, believe in it, source it and improve the bhakti section on Ramana's wikipage. Are you that wikieditor? :) Bodhadeepika (talk) 22:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
That source is much better, thank you. That PDF is linked from the magazine's website, which satisfies any copyright concerns I had. While not strictly necessary, it would be a good idea to find sources that are more independent of Ramana Maharshi. The magazine put out by his ashram is not neutral about him.
It might be helpful if you could be a bit more specific about what changes you would like to see, but I'm probably not the editor you're looking for. If I were to rewrite it, I would make the self inquiry section much, much shorter, as I think brevity is valuable, and there is much redundancy there. Grayfell (talk) 22:47, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree. The self-enquiry is bloated and difficult to read. I would propose shortening yet improving the self-enquiry section, with essential and good information, and expanding the bhakti section with this article as a source. Regarding Ramana, I think I'd struggle to find much that wasn't connected to the ashram, but maybe I'm wrong. Bodhadeepika (talk) 22:51, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Speaking about coincidence! "Atma-vichara" has been on my mind all night, intending to find out more about it this morning! Regarding the sources: there are hradly any independent sources on Ramana Maharshi; most of it is from devotees. which, of course, are not the most critical sources. Worse, most of them offer an interpretation of Ramana's answers to questions, without being aware that they are an interpretation. Anyway, I gues I'll give it a try. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Joshua, good stuff! It strikes me that all the quotes from Nan Yar? would be better placed in Ramana's Wikiquote page rather than here in Ramana's article, with just a few key quotes from Nan Yar? kept for reference and understanding. The part I am referring to is:
  • "Of all the thoughts that rise in the mind, the thought 'I' is the first thought."
  • "What is called mind is a wondrous power existing in Self. It projects all thoughts. If we set aside all thoughts and see, there will be no such thing as mind remaining separate; therefore, thought itself is the form of the mind. Other than thoughts, there is no such thing as the mind."
  • "That which rises in this body as 'I' is the mind. If one enquires 'In which place in the body does the thought 'I' rise first?', it will be known to be in the heart [spiritual heart is 'two digits to the right from the centre of the chest']. Even if one incessantly thinks 'I', 'I', it will lead to that place (Self)'."
  • "The mind will subside only by means of the enquiry 'Who am I?'. The thought 'Who am I?', destroying all other thoughts, will itself finally be destroyed like the stick used for stirring the funeral pyre."
  • "If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they arise?', it will be known 'To me'. If one then enquires 'Who am I?', the mind (power of attention) will turn back to its source. By repeatedly practising thus, the power of the mind to abide in its source increases."
  • "Knowledge itself is 'I'. The nature of (this) knowledge is existence-consciousness-bliss."
  • "The place where even the slightest trace of the 'I' does not exist, alone is Self."
  • "The Self itself is God."
Also, I may have initially entered in the two photos of Ramana sitting and lying in the old hall at too big a size, but surely now they are too small, and more thumbnails than anything else. Can we not find a happy middle point between the two? :) Say 300px? Bodhadeepika (talk) 09:35, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I've moved the quotes to WikiQuotes. As far the image-size: best thing may be not to fix the size; users can set their own preferred size.
Have a look at Talk:Self-enquiry#Scope of article and content about traditional Vedanta; those are interesting comments. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 11:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Presuming users even know about setting their own preferred sizes, which I imagine 95% don't. Anyhow, thanks for moving the quotes! Bodhadeepika (talk) 15:14, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Per WP:IMGSIZE it's better to use scaling factors, rather than pixels. This isn't as widely practiced as it could be (or I should say, I often forget to do it) but it's still a good habit to get into. Setting it to 300px might look better on some monitors, but on lower-rez ones, or on tablets browsing in web mode, it might be over-sized, while it might still be too small on larger screens. Users might not know how to adjust their preferences, but it's still better to give them the option, and to avoid overriding the settings of those who have figured it out. It's usually better to leave it at the default size when it's practical to do so. Grayfell (talk) 22:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Real Self is awareness[edit]

There's a tautology in Godman's quote. Godman says that "all-inclusive awareness" is the real self, that is, "essence" or "real nature." (my words). He also speaks of "permanent and continuous Self-awareness" - that is, paraphrased, ""all-inclusive awareness-awareness." This may the case too, awareness of awareness, but the first term, "all-inclusive awareness," says it all. The term "Self" lends itself too easily to reification, turning this "all-inclusive awareness" into some "thing" again. Pity. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:20, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

I-thought, 'I-I' and real Self[edit]

@Bodhadeepika: how about the additons to this section?

@Bodhadeepika: semantic?!? Yeah, I understand what you mean, yet it's the essence. It's not an addendum, it's where it starts! Anyway, this is fine too. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 17:33, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

@Joshua Jonathan: I think they are good additions to the teachings. Good stuff! I hadn't read that "Nan-Nan" in Tamil is thought of as "I am I". I knew that Bhagavan had said that "I am that I am" basically sums it all up, but it's nice to find out that aspect in Tamil. And of course, it's not entirely semantics, but you understood what I meant! :) Going through the teachings, I thought that in a way, it might be an idea to move Ramana's "first teaching" in response to his mother about the ordainer from the biographer part to the part on Silence, given that was his first verbal (albeit written) teaching. However, it is also important where it is in the story of his biography. There is a video that I have seen with David Godman where he describes the process of compiling 'Be As You Are', and he says that in doing so, he discovered, while going through all of Ramana's sayings, that Ramana's most common verbal response to seekers was not to tell them to go away and practise self-enquiry, but was instead to answer "you are already enlightened, there is nothing you have to do". That was pretty much his stock answer. However, if the seeker wasn't satisfied that they were already enlightened and needn't attain enlightenment, he would then most probably suggest self-enquiry. Bodhadeepika (talk) 19:03, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
That's a nice one, 'you're already there' (paraphrase)! Regarding "nan-nan", it's not all; it's the discovery of "sein an Sich." I liked it very much to discover that Ramana said that there's more, that this "nan-nan" disappears, and that "nothing" remains. To which 'you're already there' fits in nice. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:18, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Edit[edit]

@User:Joshua Jonathan - Yes, nuance that is better off in the main of the article rather than in the introduction of the article, where people who are not well versed in all of these terms or Ramana himself would be better served by having one term instead of three. Bodhadeepika (talk) 12:34, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Bodhadeepika, but I really disagree here. I fully understand your point about being concise, but your edit removed crucial information on the difference between realising "I-I", a central term in Ramana's death-experience; "Self-realisation," which is more like an interpretation of Ramana's insight and answers; and mukthi, liberation. They are not the same! By omitting this information, you remove an unique feature of Ramana's insight and answers, and force him into a standard mold of Indian spirituality, instead of focussing on his own unique features. That's a loss.
And you also removed the named explanatory note, which is repeatedly referred to in the body of the article.Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:11, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi Joshua, I'm not against having them in the article in the slightest. As I said above, I just think they shouldn't be in the introduction because it's not introductory information, it's detailed information and very good information at that, that is dealt with later on, and would be better placed later on. I didn't mean to remove that note... Anyway, as you wish. All the best! Bodhadeepika (talk) 07:35, 22 June 2015 (UTC)


Cite error: There are <ref group=web> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=web}} template (see the help page).