User:Joshua Jonathan/Ramana Maharshi and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

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Ramana Maharshi is known as a sage who attained full awakening at the age of 17. Yet, his awakening, or death-experience, may be due to a fit of TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy). The phenomena manifesting during his first and second death-experieces fit the descriptions of auras, phenomena that manifest during a fit of TLE. Furthermore, his absent-mindedness after his first death-experience may be a manifestation of a post-ictal psychosis, while his sudden hyperreligiosity is typical of the Geschwind syndrome.

Ramana's experiences have been interpreted in various, successive frames of reference. Ramana himself at first used a local frame of reference, referring to spirit possession, a frame of reference which is closely related to epilepsy and seizures. Local devotees regarded him as an incarnation of Shiva and as a holy men, due to his silence. Higher educated devotees, with a Brahmninical background, interpreted his experiences and upadesa within an (modern) Advaita Vedanta frame of reference. Early Western devotees placed him in a western frame of reference, influenced by the Theosophical Society. Later western devotees, from th 1980s/1990s onward, have been influenced by Osho (Bhagwan) and by neo-Advaita.

Contents

Ramana Maharshi's experiences[edit]

Pre-awakening experiences[edit]

As a young boy, Ramana used to play tough games with his friends. Occasionally, they would use Ramana as a playing-ball, throwing him over to each other.[citation needed] This may have caused brain-injury from faling hard to the bottom.

Osborne notes that Venkataraman used to sleep very deep, not waking up from loud sounds and even beatings at the body by others.[1] When he was about twelve years old, he may have experienced deep meditative states spontaneously. In Sri Ramana Vijayam, the Tamil biography that first appeared in the 1920s, narrates about a period a few years before the Self-realisation experience in Madurai:

Some incomplete practice from a past birth was clinging to me. I would be putting attention solely within, forgetting the body. Sometimes I would be sitting in one place, but when I regained normal consciousness and got up, I would notice that I was lying down in a different narrow space [to the one where I had first sat down].[note 1]

First death-experience[edit]

Several accounts of Ramana's first death-experience can be found. The biography by Narasimha, based on talks with Ramana, contains a redacted version. A partial transcript of a talk with Ramana, in which Ramana details his first death-experience, has been published by David Godman.[web 1]

According to Narasimha, in July 1896,[2][note 2] at age 16, a sudden fear of death befell him. He was struck by "a flash of excitement" or "heat," like some avesam, a "current" or "force" that seemed to possess him,[web 1] and he initiated a process of self-enquiry asking himself what it is that dies. He concluded that the body dies, but that this "current" or "force" remains alive, and recognised this "current" or "force" as his Self, which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara".[web 1] The full account is as follows:

Bhagavan: My fear of death was some six weeks before I left Madurai for good. That was only on one day and for a short time. At the time there was a flash of excitement; it may roughly be described as ‘heat’, but it was not clear that there was a higher temperature in the body, nor was there perspiration. It appeared to be like some avesam or some spirit possessing me. That changed my mental attitude and habits. I had formerly [had] a preference for some foods and an aversion to others. This tendency dropped off and all foods were swallowed with equal indifference, good or rotten, tasty or tasteless. Studies and duties became matters of utter indifference to me, and I went through my studies turning over pages mechanically just to make others who were looking on think that I was reading. In fact, my attention was never directed towards the books, and consequently I never understood their contents. Similarly, I went through other social duties, possessed all the time by this avesam, i.e., my mind was absent from them, being fascinated and charmed by my own Self. I would put up with every burden imposed on me at home, tolerating every slight with humility and forbearance. Periodically, interest in and introspection on the Self would swallow up all other feelings and interests.

That fear was only on the first day, that is, the day of the awakening. It was a sudden fear of death which developed, not merely indifference to external things. It also started two new habits. First, the habit of introspection, that is, having attention perpetually turned on my Self, and second, the habit of emotional tears when visiting the Madurai Temple. The actual enquiry and discovery of ‘Who I am’ was over on the very first day of the change. That time, instinctively, I held my breath and began to think or dive inward with my enquiry into my own nature.

‘This body is going to die,’ I said to myself, referring to the gross physical body. I had no idea that there was any sukshma sarira [subtle body] in human beings. I did not even think of the mind. I thought of the gross physical body when I used the term body, and I came to the conclusion that when it was dead and rigid (then it seemed to me that my body had actually become rigid as I stretched myself like a corpse with rigor mortis upstairs, thinking this out) I was not dead. I was, on the other hand, conscious of being alive, in existence. So the question arose in me, ‘What was this “I”? Is it the body? Who called himself the “I”?’

So I held my mouth shut, determined not to allow it to pronounce ‘I’ or any other syllable. Still I felt within myself, the ‘I’ was there, and the thing calling or feeling itself to be ‘I’ was there. What was that? I felt that there was a force or current, a centre of energy playing on the body, continuing regardless of the rigidity or activity of the body, though existing in connection with it. It was that current, force or centre that constituted my Self, that kept me acting and moving, but this was the first time I came to know it. I had no idea of my Self before that. From that time on, I was spending my time absorbed in contemplation of that current.

Once I reached that conclusion (as I said, on the first day of the six weeks, the day of my awakening into my new life) the fear of death dropped off. It had no place in my thoughts. ‘I’, being a subtle current, it had no death to fear. So, further development or activity was issuing from the new life and not from any fear. I had no idea at that time of the identity of that current with the personal God, or Iswara as I used to call him. As for Brahman, the impersonal absolute, I had no idea then. I had not even heard the name then. I had not read the Bhagavad Gita or any other religious works except the Periyapuranam and in Bible class the four Gospels and the Psalms from the Bible. I had seen a copy of Vivekananda’s Chicago lecture, but I had not read it. I could not even pronounce his name correctly. I pronounced it ‘Vyvekananda’, giving the ‘i’ the ‘y’ sound. I had no notions of religious philosophy except the current notions of God, that He is an infinitely powerful person, present everywhere, though worshipped in special places in the images representing Him. This I knew in addition to a few other similar ideas which I picked up from the Bible and the Periyapuranam. Later, when I was in the Arunachala Temple, I learned of the identity of myself with Brahman, which I had heard in the Ribhu Gita as underlying all. I was only feeling that everything was being done by the current and not by me, a feeling I had had ever since I wrote my parting note and left home. I had ceased to regard the current as my narrow ‘I’. This current, or avesam, now felt as if it was my Self, not a superimposition.

While, on the one hand, the awakening gave me a continuous idea or feeling that my Self was a current or force in which I was perpetually absorbed whatever I did, on the other hand the possession led me frequently to the Meenakshi Sundaresa Temple [in Madurai]. Formerly I would visit it occasionally with friends, but at that time [it] produced no noticeable emotional effect, much less a change in my habits. But after the awakening I would go there almost every evening, and in that obsession I would go and stand there for a long time alone before Siva, Nataraja, Meenakshi and the sixty-three saints. I would sob and shed tears, and would tremble with emotion. I would not generally pray for anything in particular, although I often wished and prayed that…

The rest of this particular manuscript is missing, but a few weeks later, on 5th February 1930, Narasimha Swami questioned him again on this topic, and Bhagavan gave the following answer:

It was not fear of death that took me to the Madurai Temple during those six weeks in 1896. The fear seized me for a short while when I was upstairs in my uncle’s house, and it gave rise to that avesam or current. That obsession made me introspective and made me look perpetually into my own nature, and took me also to temples, made me sob and weep without pain or joy or other explanation, and also it made me wish that I should become like the sixty-three saints and that I should obtain the blessings or grace of Iswara – general blessings, specifying and expecting nothing in particular. I had no thought or fear of death then, and I did not pray for release from death. I had no idea before those six weeks or during those six weeks that life on earth was full of pain, and I had no longing or prayer to be released from samsara, or human life or lives. All that idea and talk of samsara and bandha [bondage] I learnt only after coming to this place and reading books. I never entertained either the idea that life was full of woe or that life was undesirable.

That avesam continues right up to now. After reading the language of the sacred books, I see it may be termed suddha manas [pure mind], akhandakara vritti [unbroken experience], prajna [true knowledge] etc.; that is, the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani.

Question: How is it that there was a perception of difference and prayer that ‘I should become like the sixty-three saints and get Iswara’s grace?

Bhagavan: The akhandakara [unbroken] current was sporting with these and still remained despite that desire.

Second death-experience[edit]

Narasimha's biography contains an appendix, in which a second death-experience is described. Narasimha wrote that in 1912, while in the company of disciples, Ramana's vision was suddenly impaired three times by a "white bright curtain" which covered a part of his vision. At the third instance his vision was shut out completely, while his "head was swimming," and he felt his heart stop beating and his breathing seizing, while his skin turned blue, as if he was dead. This lasted for about ten or fifteen minutes, whereafter "a shock passed suddenly through the body," and his blood circulation and his respiration returned.[3] In response to "strange accounts" about this event, he later said that it was a fit, which he used to have occasionally, and did not bring on himself.[4] According to Osborne, it "marked the final completion of Sri Bhagavan’s return to full outer normality".[5]

The full account is as follows:

Suddenly the view of natural scenery in front of me disappeared and a bright white curtain was drawn across the line of my vision and shut out the view of nature. I "could distinctly see the gradual process. At one stage I could see a part of the prospect of nature yet clear, and the rest was being covered by the advancing curtain- It was just like drawing a slide across one's view in the stereoscope. On experiencing this I stopped walking lest I should fall. When it cleared, I walked on.

When darkness and faintness overtook me a second time, I leaned against a rock until it cleared. And again for the third time I felt it safest to sit, so I sat near the rock. Then the bright white curtain had completely shut out my vision, my head was swimming, and my blood circu-lation and breathing stopped. The sidli turned a livid blue. It was the regular death-like hue—and it got darker and darker. Vasudeva Sastri took me in fact to be dead, held me in his embrace and began to weep aloud and lament my death. His body was shivering. I could at that time distinctly feel his clasp and his shivering, hear his lamentation and understand the meaning. I also saw the discoloration of my skin and I felt the stoppage of my heart beat and respiration, and the increased chillness of the extremities of my body. Yet my usual current of (Dhyana) "thought" * was continuing as usual in that state als<x I was not afraid in the least, nor felt any sadness at the condition of my body. I had closed my eye, as soon as I sat near the rock in my usual posture but was not leaning against it. The body which had no circulation nor respiration, maintained that position still. This slate continued for some ten or fifteen minutes. Then a shock passed suddenly through the body, circulation revived with enormous force, as also respiration ; and there was perspiration all over the body at every pore. The colour of life reappeared on the skin, I then opened my eyes, got up and said a Let us go." We reached Virupaksha cave without further trouble. That was the only occasion on which both my blood circulation and respiration stopped."

Maharshi added, to correct some wrong accounts that had obtained currency about the incident, "I did not bring on the fit purposely, nor did I wish to see what this body would look like at death. Nor did I say that I will not leave this body without warning others. It was one of those fits that I used to get occasionally. Only it assumed a very serious aspect in this instance."

Absences[edit]

Several descriptions can be found on Ramana's silence when being questioned on spiritual matters. While this has been interpreted as a sign of wisdom by his devotees, it may also have been due to partial seizures.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy[edit]

Aura and symptoms[edit]

According to Narasimha, in July 1896,[2][note 3] at age 16, a sudden fear of death befell him. He was struck by "a flash of excitement" or "heat," like some avesam, a "current" or "force" that seemed to possess him,[web 1] and he initiated a process of self-enquiry asking himself what it is that dies. He concluded that the body dies, but that this "current" or "force" remains alive, and recognised this "current" or "force" as his Self, which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara".[web 1]

Ramana's experiences[edit]

Ramana describes the following phenomena, which can be recognised as aura's and symptoms of TLE:

Ramana TLE
First death experience
* "My fear of death"
* " It was a sudden fear of death which developed, not merely indifference to external things."
* A sudden sense of unprovoked fear[web 2]
* "Note that the overriding emotion experienced by Mohammed, Moses and St. Paul during their religious visions was not one of rapture and joy but rather of fear."[6]
"At the time there was a flash of excitement; it may roughly be described as ‘heat’, but it was not clear that there was a higher temperature in the body, nor was there perspiration." * A rising sensation in the abdomen[web 2]
* "Some patients have troubles finding appropriate words, or give very simplified descriptions (e.g. feeling of warmth rising in the body, “rising in the head, like bubbles in the head”"[7]
* "It appeared to be like some avesam or some spirit possessing me."
* "I felt that there was a force or current, a centre of energy playing on the body, continuing regardless of the rigidity or activity of the body, though existing in connection with it. It was that current, force or centre that constituted my Self, that kept me acting and moving, but this was the first time I came to know it."
* "I was only feeling that everything was being done by the current and not by me"
* "This current, or avesam"
* "Patients in the HYG more often reported actual experiences of some external being and an awareness of that being. This was described as either an evil or a great spiritual presence, and was associated with feelings of death and dying and an overwhelming feeling of fear. Such phenomenology is akin to the verbal reports from many patients with postictal psychoses. There is not just an awareness of the presence, but also an identification of this other essence. There is also the contrast between, on one hand, almost ecstasy (a miraculous event) and the experience of the presence of a great figure and, on the other hand, the more ominous feelings of fear, death, and punishment."[8]
"I came to the conclusion that when it was dead and rigid (then it seemed to me that my body had actually become rigid as I stretched myself like a corpse with rigor mortis upstairs, thinking this out) I was not dead." * "In a tonic seizure, the body, arms, or legs may be suddenly stiff or tense."[9]* "Tonic-clonic are the most common type of generalized seizures and the most severe of all seizures. Symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions and body rigidity. Violent shaking and loud noises are common symptoms. Prior to a tonic-clonic seizure, an individual may have smell, sensory, taste or vision change. Dizziness and hallucinations can also occur."[10]

During the tonic seizure phase, a person will appear to be stiff. The eyes roll, arms will extend, chest/arm/leg muscles will contract, the back will arch, and breathing may decrease or cease. He or she will have loss of consciousness with lips and face appearing blue.

Second death experience
* "a bright white curtain was drawn across the line of my vision and shut out the view of nature"
* "At one stage I could see a part of the prospect of nature yet clear, and the rest was being covered by the advancing curtain- It was just like drawing a slide across one's view in the stereoscope."
* [third time] "the bright white curtain had completely shut out my vision"
"When darkness and faintness overtook me a second time, I leaned against a rock until it cleared. And again for the third time I felt it safest to sit, so I sat near the rock."
"my head was swimming" "Some patients have troubles finding appropriate words, or give very simplified descriptions (e.g. feeling of warmth rising in the body, “rising in the head, like bubbles in the head”"[11]
* "darkness and faintness"
* "my blood circulation and breathing stopped. The sidli turned a livid blue. It was the regular death-like hue—and it got darker and darker. Vasudeva Sastri took me in fact to be dead, held me in his embrace and began to weep aloud and lament my death."
* " The body which had no circulation nor respiration, maintained that position still."
* "Tonic-clonic are the most common type of generalized seizures and the most severe of all seizures. Symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions and body rigidity. Violent shaking and loud noises are common symptoms. Prior to a tonic-clonic seizure, an individual may have smell, sensory, taste or vision change. Dizziness and hallucinations can also occur."[12]
* "I could at that time distinctly feel his clasp and his shivering, hear his lamentation and understand the meaning."
"This state continued for some ten or fifteen minutes. Then a shock passed suddenly through the body, circulation revived with enormous force, as also respiration ; and there was perspiration all over the body at every pore. The colour of life reappeared on the skin, I then opened my eyes, got up and said 'Let us go.'"
"I did not bring on the fit purposely, nor did I wish to see what this body would look like at death. Nor did I say that I will not leave this body without warning others. It was one of those fits that I used to get occasionally. Only it assumed a very serious aspect in this instance."

Sources on auras and symptoms[edit]

Fear[edit]
  • Mayo Clinic: "A sudden sense of unprovoked fear[web 2]
  • Meta-religion.com: "Note that the overriding emotion experienced by Mohammed, Moses and St. Paul during their religious visions was not one of rapture and joy but rather of fear."[13]
Rising sensation[edit]
  • Markus Gschwind and Fabienne Picard (2014): "Some patients have troubles finding appropriate words, or give very simplified descriptions (e.g. feeling of warmth rising in the body, “rising in the head, like bubbles in the head”"[14]
  • Mayo Clinic: "A rising sensation in the abdomen"[web 2]
Presence[edit]
  • Michael Trimble, Anthony Freeman (2006), An investigation of religiosity and the Gastaut–Geschwind syndrome in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, Epilepsy & Behavior 9 (2006) 407–414:
"patients in the HYG more often reported actual experiences of some external being and an awareness of that being. This was described as either an evil or a great spiritual presence, and was associated with feelings of death and dying and an overwhelming feeling of fear. Such phenomenology is akin to the verbal reports from many patients with postictal psychoses. There is not just an awareness of the presence, but also an identification of this other essence. There is also the contrast between, on one hand, almost ecstasy (a miraculous event) and the experience of the presence of a great figure and, on the other hand, the more ominous feelings of fear, death, and punishment."
Perceptual distortions[edit]
  • "As a child when i see this ring of light"
  • " 'visual snow'. This kind of looks like invisible dry rain"

Post-ictal psychosis[edit]

Ramana's behavior[edit]

After his death-experience, Ramana's behavior changed significantly. He lost interest in his daily routines, and after six weeks he run away from hom to the holy mountian Aranachula. There he neglected his body and his nutritious needs, only saved from starvation by the care of others, whi framed his idiosyncratic behavior as signs of holiness.

Sources on post-ictal psychosis[edit]

"Even with only this information, there can be little doubt that we are dealing here with a severe psychotic break."
"The most striking feature that distinguished postictal psychosis from both acute interictal and chronic psychoses was phenomenological: the relatively frequent occurrence of grandiose delusions as well as religious delusions in the setting of markedly elevated moods and feeling of mystic fusion of the body with the universe."
  • Mayo Clinic: "After a temporal lobe seizure, you may have [...] [e]xtreme sleepiness"[web 2]

Geschwind syndrome[edit]

His sudden and dramatic interest fits in with the geschwind syndrome, a "transformation of the personality brought about by TLE, in that for some it seemed to magnify or give rise to a preoccupation with religious or philosophical matters."[15]

Ramana's behavior[edit]

After the death-experience, Ramana displayed a sudden and extraordinary interest in religion. After this event, he lost interest in school studies, friends, and relations. He was absent-minded at school, "imagining and expecting God would suddenly drop down from Heaven before me".[web 3] Avoiding company, he preferred to sit alone, absorbed in concentration on this current or force,[16] and went daily to the Meenakshi Temple, ecstatically devoted to the images of the 63 Nayanars and of Nataraja, wanting "the same grace as was shown to those saints,"[web 3] praying that he "should have the same bhakti that they had"[web 3] and "[weeping] that God should give me the same grace He gave to those saints".[web 3][17][note 4]

Knowing his family would not permit him to become a sanyassin and leave home, Venkataraman slipped away, telling his brother he needed to attend a special class at school.[19] Venkataraman boarded a train on 1 September 1896 and traveled to Tiruvannamalai where he remained for the rest of his life.[citation needed]

Sources on Geschwind syndrome[edit]

Absent-minded[edit]

Several descriptions can be found on Ramana's silence when being questioned on spiritual matters. While this has been interpreted as a sign of wisdom by his devotees, it may also have been due to partial seizures. Shourie: "So what if the symptoms indicate that Sri Ramakrishna used to have ‘absence seizures’ from time to time, or the fits that Sri Ramana said he had were ‘partial seizures’?"[20]

The absent-mindedness may even be an "acquired trait," as apsychiatric nurse told me: people are absent-minded on occasion, learn that people leave them alone then, and then apply this as a "tactic" to get some rest.

Criticism[edit]

The notion of a link between temporal lobe epilepsy and mystical experiences has also been questioned and criticised.

"A critical assessment of reported cases of temporal lobe epilepsy and mystical experiences by Edward F. Kelly and Michael Grosso concludes that most of these cases are questionable, and that the described behaviors are better described as psychological automatisms.[21]"

Interpretations and frames of reference[edit]

Ramana's experiences have been interpreted in various, successive frames of reference:

  • Ramana himself at first used a local frame of reference, referring to spiriti possession
  • Local devotees regarded him as an incarnation of Shiva and as a holy men, due to his silence
  • More developed devotees interpreted his experiences and upadesa within an Advaita Vedanta frame of reference
  • Early Western devotees placed him in a western frame of reference, influenced by the Theosophical Society
  • Later western devotees, from th 1980s/1990s onward, have been influenced by Osho (Bhagwan) and by neo-Advaita

Making sense of experience[edit]

Attribution[edit]

"The meditator’s beliefs determine how he interprets and labels his meditation experiences [...] The Indian saint Ramana Maharshi saw his own transcendental states in terms of Advaita philosophy. He conjectures that during Saul’s great experience on the Damascus road, when he returned to normal consciousness, he interpreted what happened in terms of Christ and the Christians because at the time he was preoccupied with them (Chadwick, 1966). A person’s reference group gives him a gloss on his inner realities; Berger and Luckmann (1967) point out that while “Saul may have become Paul in the aloneness of religious ecstasy… he could remain Paul only in the context of the Christian community that recognized him as such and confirmed the ‘new being’ in which he now located this identity.”"

Narrativity[edit]

Ramana's interpretations[edit]

Avesam - Tamil Nadu and possession[edit]

At first, Ramana interpreted the presence he experienced as an avesam, a spirit which possesses a person. Seeing epilepsy as spirit possession is not uncommen, and the term graha may mean both "seizure" and "possession."[22]

Sources on avesam and spirit possession in Tamil Nadu[edit]
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism, "Possession is an important aspect of local religious practice, being the pivotal ... Possession is also a prominent feature of local worship in Tamil Nadu, and the term for it, iranku, means to 'descend'. The person on which the deity is thought to have descended is then referred to as a camyati, or 'god-dancer'(Diehl 1956: 177)"
  • Shamans, diviners, healers and fortune tellers in Tamil Nadu, India
  • Christa Neuenhofer, AYYANAR AND MARIAMMAN, FOLK DEITIES IN SOUTH INDIA
  • Smith, Frederick M. (2012), The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization, Columbia University Press
  • Dehejia, Vidya (1988), Slaves of the Lord: The Path of the Tamil Saints, Munshiram Manoharlal
  • Sophia Wadia, The Aryan path, Aham-graha, "graha means seizure or possession"

Shaivism[edit]

Though Ramana's answers explain and incorporate elements from Advaita Vedanta, his spiritual life is strongly associated with Shaivism. The Tamil compendium of devotional songs known as Tirumurai, along with the Vedas, the Shaiva Agamas and "Meykanda" or "Siddhanta" Shastras, form the scriptural canon of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta.[23] As a youth, prior to his awakening, Ramana read the Periya Puranam, the stories of the 63 Tamil saints.[24] In later life, he told those stories to his devotees:

When telling these stories, he used to dramatize the characters of the main figures in voice and gesture and seemed to identify himself fully with them.[25]

Ramana himself considered God, Guru and Self to be the manifestations of the same reality.[web 4] Ramana considered the Self to be his guru, in the form of the sacred mountain Arunachala,[26][27] which is considered to be the manifestation of Shiva.[28][26] Arunachala is one of the five main shaivite holy places in South India,[29] which can be worshipped through the mantra "Om arunachala shivaya namah!"[30] and by Pradakshina, walking around the mountain, a practice which was often performed by Ramana.[26] Asked about the special sanctity of Arunachala, Ramana said that Arunachala is Shiva himself.[31][note 5] In his later years, Ramana said it was the spiritual power of Arunachala which had brought about his Self-realisation.[28] He composed the Five Hymns to Arunachala as devotional song.[26] On the three occasions Venkataraman (Ramana) referred to himself he used the name Arunachala Ramana.[32] Ramana Maharshi also used to smear his forehead with holy ash, as a token of veneration.

In later life, Ramana himself came to be regarded as Dakshinamurthy,[33][34] an aspect of Shiva as a guru of all types of knowledge, and bestower of jnana. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, understanding and knowledge.[35] This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and giving exposition on the shastras.

Acquaintance with Hindu scriptures[edit]

During his lifetime, through contact with educated devotees like Ganapata Muni,[25] Ramana Maharshi became acquainted with works on Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta, and used them to explain his insights:[36]

People wonder how I speak of Bhagavad Gita, etc. It is due to hearsay. I have not read the Gita nor waded through commentaries for its meaning. When I hear a sloka (verse), I think its meaning is clear and I say it. That is all and nothing more.[37]

Already in 1896, a few months after his arrival at Arunachala, Ramana attracted his first disciple, Uddandi Nayinar,[38] who recognised in the him "the living embodiment of the Holy Scriptures".[39] Uddandi was well-versed in classic texts on Yoga and Vedanta, and recited texts as the Yoga Vasistha and Kaivalya Navaneeta in Ramana's presence.[39]

In 1897 Ramana was joined by Palaniswami, who became his attendant.[40] Palaniswami studied books in Tamil on Vedanta, such as Kaivalya Navaneeta, Shankara's Vivekachudamani, and Yoga Vasistha. He had difficulties understanding Tamil. Ramana read the books too, and explained them to Palaniswami.[41]

As early as 1900, when Ramana was 20 years old, he became acquainted with the teachings of the Hindu monk and Neo-Vedanta[42][43] teacher Swami Vivekananda through Gambhiram Seshayya. Seshayya was interested in yoga techniques, and "used to bring his books and explain his difficulties".[44] Ramana answered on small scraps of paper, which were collected after his death in the late 1920s in a booklet called Vichara Sangraham, "Self-enquiry".[44]

One of the works that Ramana used to explain his insights was the Ribhu Gita, a song at the heart of the Shivarahasya Purana, one of the 'Shaiva Upapuranas' or ancillary Purana regarding Shiva and Shaivite worship. Another work used by him was the Dakshinamurthy Stotram, a text by Shankara.[25] It is a hymn to Shiva, explaining Advaita Vedanta.

Ramana gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices from various religions,[45] with his own upadesa (instruction or guidance given to a disciple by his Guru)[web 6] always pointing to the true Self of the devotees.[46]

Differences between Ramana's upadesa and classical Advaita Vedanta[edit]

Although Ramana's upadesha has been interpreted as Advaita Vedanta, and he himself also referred to Advaita Vedanta, his upadesha differs significantly from classical Advaita Vedanta. In contrast to classical Advaita Vedanta, Ramana emphasized the personal experience of self-realization, instead of philosophical argumentation and the study of scripture.[47] Ramana's authority was based on his personal experience,[47] from which he explained classic texts on Yoga and Vedanta,[36][37] which he came acquainted with via his devotees.[48][49] Arvind Sharma qualifies Ramana Maharshi as the chief exponent of experiential Advaita, to distinguish his approach from Shankara's classical doctrinal Advaita.[50] Fort classifies him as a neo-Vedantin, because of the focus on self-inquiry instead of philosophical speculation.[47] Ramana himself did not call his insights advaita, but said that dvaita and advaita are relative terms, based on a sense of duality, while the Self or Being is all there is.[51]

Although Ramana's teaching is consistent with and generally associated with Hinduism, the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta, there are differences with the traditional Advaitic school. Advaita recommends a negationist neti, neti (Sanskrit, "not this", "not this") path, or mental affirmations that the Self is the only reality, such as "I am Brahman" or "I am He", while Ramana advocated Self-enquiry Nan Yar. In contrast with traditional Advaita Vedanta, Ramana Maharshi strongly discouraged devotees from adopting a renunciate lifestyle and renouncing their responsibilities. To one devotee who felt he should abandon his family, whom he described as "samsara" ("illusion"), to intensify his spiritual practice, Sri Ramana replied:

Oh! Is that so? What really is meant by samsara? Is it within or without? Wife, children and others. Is that all the samsara? What have they done? Please find out first what really is meant by samsara. Afterwards we shall consider the question of abandoning them.[52]

Indian devotees[edit]

Devotion[edit]

According to Wehr, C.G. Jung noted that Ramana Maharshi is not to be regarded as an "isolated phenomenon,"[53] but as a token of Indian spirituality, "manifest in many forms in everyday Indian life".[53][note 6] According to Zimmer and Jung, Ramana's appearance as a mauni, a silent saint absorbed in samadhi, fitted into pre-existing Indian notions of holiness.[54][55] They placed the Indian devotion toward Ramana Maharshi in this Indian context.[55][53][note 7]

Guru-bhakti & darshan[edit]

Many devotees visited Ramana Maharshi for darshan,[57] the sight of a holy person or God incarnate, which is advantageous and transmits merit.[58][59] According to Flood, in Indian religions the guru is akin to the image or statue of a deity in the temple, and both possess power and a sacred energy.[58] According to Osborne, Ramana Maharsi regarded giving darshan as "his task in life," and said that he had to be accessible to all who came.[57] Even during his terminal illness at the end of his life, he demanded to be approachable for all who came for his darshan.[57]

Objects being touched or used by him were highly valued by his devotees, "as they considered it to be prasad and that it passed on some of the power and blessing of the Guru to them".[60] People also tried to touch his feet,[48] which is also considered darshana.[61] When one devotee asked if it would be possible to prostrate before Sri Ramana and touch his feet, he replied:

The real feet of Bhagavan exist only in the heart of the devotee. To hold onto these feet incessantly is true happiness. You will be disappointed if you hold onto my physical feet because one day this physical body will disappear. The greatest worship is worshipping the Guru's feet that are within oneself.[62]

In later life, the number of devotees and their devotion grew so large that Ramana became restricted in his daily routine.[63] Measures had to be taken to prevent people touching him.[64] Several times Ramana tried to escape from the ashram, to return to a life of solitude. Vasudeva reports: "Bhagavan sat on a rock and said with tears in his eyes that he would never again come to the Ashram and would go where he pleased and live in the forests or caves away from all men."[65]}}

Ramana did return to the ashram, but has also reported himself on attempts to leave the ashram:

I tried to be free on a third occasion also. That was after mother's passing away. I did not want to have even an Ashram like Skandashram and the people that were coming there then. but the result has been this Ashram [Ramanashram] and all the crowd here. Thus all my three attempts failed.[65]

Avatar[edit]

Some of Ramana Maharshi's devotees regarded him to be as Dakshinamurthy;[33][34] as an avatar of Skanda, a divine form of Shiva popular in Tamil Nadu; as an incarnation of Jnana Sambandar, one of the sixty-three Nayanars; and as an incarnation of Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, the 8th century Mimamsa-philosopher. According to Krishna Bhikshu, one of his early biographers:

As Kumarila he established the supremacy of the karma marga, as Jnana Sambandar, a poet, he brought bhakti marga close to the people and as Ramana he showed that the purpose of life was to abide in the Self and to stay in the sahaja state by the jnana marga.[66]

Sources on Guru-bhakti and darshan[edit]

Advaita Vedanta and neo-Vedanta[edit]

Neo-Vedanta[edit]

Glenn J. Friesen has noted how the image of Ramana Maharshi had been influenced by neo-Vedanta notions of Indian spirituality.[67]

Narasimha's rewriting of Ramana's account of his first death-experience is typical. The notion of a feeling of heat is omitted, while the term "avesam" is replaced by the term "Self." This is an Advaita Vedanta term, which differs considerably from the Tamil term avesam.

Construction of an Indian identity[edit]

According to Alan Edwards, the popular image of Ramana Maharshi as a timeless saint also served the construction of an Indian identity as inner-oriented and spiritual, in opposition to the oppressive, outer-oriented, materialistic culture of the British colonial rulers:[68]

Hindus from all over India could look to the purely spiritual Maharshi as a symbol that inspired them to preserve their distinctive national culture and identity, which of course entailed forcing the British to quit India.[69][note 8]

Western devotion[edit]

Western esotericism and the Theosophical Society[edit]

Paul Brunton popularised Ramana Maharshi in the west. he was influenced by the Theosophical society and their notion of "masters of wisdom."

Neo-Advaita[edit]

Devotees of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh searched for new gurus after he deceased; some of them ended up with Poonja.

Neurological explanations[edit]

There is a growing interest in the neurological and cognitive aspects and correlates of mystical and religious experience, and Ramana's experiences do fit in with this research.

Ramana's epilepsy[edit]

Acknowledged fit[edit]

Ramana Maharshi himself acknowledged that he had occasional fits.

"Later, to correct wrong accounts that began to be spread, he added: "I did not bring on the fit purposely, nor did I wish to see what this body would look like after death, nor did I say that I will not leave this body without warning others. It was one of those fits that I used to get occasionally, only this time it took a very serious form."
What is, perhaps, most striking about this experience is that it was a repetition, heightened by actual physical demonstration, of that certainty of endurance through death which had constituted Sri Bhagavan's spiritual awakening. It recalls the verse from Thayumanavar, the Tamil classic which Sri Bhagavan often quoted: "When overpowered by the wide Expanse which is without beginning, end or middle, there is the realization of non-dual bliss.""
Recognition of Ramana's epilepsy[edit]
  • G.K. Pillai (2015), Monks are from Meditating Monkeys: Unravelling the Algorithm of True Spiritual Awakening:
  • "Since seizure was the defitive trigger in his case"
  • "The description of two subsequent experiences gave more clues to the first event that inititaed him was a seizure."
  • "He candidly admitted that the second incident was a "fit", which was the common parlance reference for an epileptic seizure. It was also stated that he used to get the same kind of fit occasionally."
  • "These seizure episodes conclusively establish the fact that he was prune to epileptic attack of a milder variety. The first awakening experience would have occurred when he was in the grip of a terrifying seizure. It was definitely a devastating experience for a teenager who got it probably from holding the breath to experience the effect of death."
  • See also

Classical interpretations[edit]

Epileptic personality[edit]
  • J. Devinsky & S. Schachter, Norman Geschwind’s contribution to the understanding of behavioral changes in temporal lobe epilepsy: The February 1974 lecture, Epilepsy & Behavior 15 (2009) 417–424:
"The psychiatric textbooks in the late 1800s commonly refer to the epileptic personality . . . [that] fit the modern temporal lobe epilepsy patient. In Freud’s essay on Dostoevsky, he quite clearly writes ‘‘We know that epilepsy produces these remarkable changes in the personality” [6]. The concept of the epileptic personality came under very heavy attack . . . an example where some perfectly good data was discarded for the wrong reasons.
In the late 1800s, people began to recognize that epilepsy patients suffered many disabilities in society which were clearly unreasonable. There were many laws preventing individuals with epilepsy from marrying, driving cars under any circumstances . . .. A very active movement later emerged to eliminate all of these medieval ideas. A concerted attack developed against every stigma associated with epilepsy. The epileptic personality came under attack very rapidly . . . people had no clear way to distinguish temporal lobe epilepsy patients from others. The whole concept of the epileptic personality was therefore rejected . . . dynamic psychiatry . . . reject(ed) all organic explanations for personality, and these were thrown out en masse . . .. Finally, the concept of the epileptic personality was thrown out because it defied common sense. For example, in the 1880s the epileptic personality included excessive religiosity. Well that didn’t make any sense—why should a discharging lesion within the brain make someone excessively religious. This was nonsensical, and as a result it could not be true. It happens to be true."
  • Simon Dein, Religious experience: perspectives and research paradigms, WCPRR June 2011: 3-9:
"The concept of religious experience developed as part of a key component of the 18th and 19th Century argument about individual authority and autonomy. These notions about individual religious experience provided protective and apologetic arguments about pure religion that could remain immune from enlightenment era reductionisms. Religious experience became naturalized into a taken for granted idea and played a pivotal role in developing arguments for the possibility for comparative study of world religions. Taves (1999) points out how the concept of religious experience in late eighteenth and nineteenth century evangelicalism meant religious experience in a particular tradition.
One of the first in depth discussions centering on religious experience was undertaken by psychologist William James who referred to the private nature of such experiences. For him, religious experience referred to “the feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves and stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine” (James, 1903)."

Comment: a 'de-naturalisation' of religious experience; objectivising and universalizing it by subjectivizing and individualizing it! It's strange that Freud didn't recognize the "Oceanic Feeling" as epilepsy; it's also noteworthy that William James was aware of epilepsy, but rejected it. Vivekananda knew of Ramakrsishna's epilepsy; yet, he was looking for "experientil certainty," and found it in Ramakrishna. Vivekananda was already infuelnced by western Universalism, and the notion of "religious experience."
And Paulus as a role-model for conversion-experiences (Nicolette Hijweeghe); again, epileptic personality as a role-model. Weird. But compare shamanism and spirit-possesion; we're still magical people in this regard! See also Ann Taves, Ann Taves (1999), Fits, trances and visions.

Cosmic consciousness[edit]
William James[edit]
Oceanic feeling & epilepsy[edit]
"What is, perhaps, most striking about this experience is that it was a repetition, heightened by actual physical demonstration, of that certainty of endurance through death which had constituted Sri Bhagavan's spiritual awakening. It recalls the verse from Thayumanavar, the Tamil classic which Sri Bhagavan often quoted: "When overpowered by the wide Expanse which is without beginning, end or middle, there is the realization of non-dual bliss.""
Altered states of consciousness[edit]

Neurological aspects and cognitive science of religion[edit]

Insular cortex[edit]
  • Picard, Fabienne (2013), "State of belief, subjective certainty and bliss as a product of cortical dysfuntion", Cortex 49 (2013) pp.2494-2500. Mysticism:
"Fabienne Picard proposes a neurological explanation for this subjective certainty, based on clinical research of epilepsy.[70][71] According to Picard, this feeling of certainty may be caused by a dysfunction of the anterior insula, a part of the brain which is involved in interoception, self-reflection, and in avoiding uncertainty about the internal representations of the world by "anticipation of resolution of uncertainty or risk". This avoidance of uncertainty functions through the comparison between predicted states and actual states, that is, "signaling that we do not understand, i.e., that there is ambiguity."[72] Picard notes that "the concept of insight is very close to that of certainty," and refers to Archimedes "Eureka!"[73][note 9] Picard hypothesizes that in ecstatic seizures the comparison between predicted states and actual states no longer functions, and that mismatches between predicted state and actual state are no longer processed, blocking "negative emotions and negative arousal arising from predictive unceertainty," which will be experienced as emotional confidence.[74] Picard concludes that "[t]his could lead to a spiritual intepretation in some individuals."[74]"
  • "In terms of function, the insula is believed to process convergent information to produce an emotionally relevant context for sensory experience. To be specific, the anterior insula is related more to olfactory, gustatory, vicero-autonomic, and limbic function, whereas the posterior insula is related more to auditory-somesthetic-skeletomotor function. Functional imaging experiments have revealed that the insula has an important role in pain experience and the experience of a number of basic emotions, including anger, fear, disgust, happiness, and sadness.[56]"
  • "It has been identified as playing a role in the experience of bodily self-awareness,[75][76] sense of agency,[77] and sense body ownership.[78]"
"“He fell to thinking, among other things, about his epileptic condition, that there was a stage in it just before the fit itself (if the fit occurred while he was awake), when suddenly, amidst the sadness, the darkness of soul, the pressure, his brain would momentarily catch fire, as it were, and all his life’s forces would be strained at once, in an extraordinary impulse. The sense of life, of selfawareness, increased nearly tenfold in these moments, which flashed by like lightning. His mind, his heart were lit up with an extraordinary light; all his agitation, all his doubts, all his worries were as if placated at once, resolved in a sort of sublime tranquility, filled with serene, harmonious joy, and hope, filled with reason and ultimate cause. But these moments, these glimpses were still only a presentiment of that ultimate second (never more than a second) from which the fit itself began. That second was, of course, unbearable. Reflecting on that moment afterwards, in a healthy state, he had often said to himself that all those flashes and glimpses of a higher self-sense and self-awareness, and therefore of the “highest being”, were nothing but an illness, a violation of the normal state and if so, then this was not the highest being at all but, on the contrary, should be counted as the very lowest. And yet he finally arrived at an extremely paradoxical conclusion: “So what if it is an illness?” he finally decided. “Who cares that it’s an abnormal strain, if the result itself, if the moment of the sensation, remembered and examined in a healthy state, turns out to be the highest degree of harmony, beauty, gives a hitherto unheard-of and unknown feeling of fullness, measure, reconciliation, and ecstatic, prayerful merging with the highest synthesis of life?”[1] p. 225f"
"In these words Prince Myshkin reflects the moments of his epileptic condition in Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”. For a long time those sentences were regarded as a product of the novelist’s artistic talent. Since recently only, we might suppose that they, in fact, realistically describe the great novelist’s own personal experience with ecstatic auras [1, 2], and Dostoevsky’s testimony can be considered the first appearance of ecstatic auras in literature [3]."
  • Markus Gschwind and Fabienne Picard (2014):
"Some patients have troubles finding appropriate words, or give very simplified descriptions (e.g. feeling of warmth rising in the body, “rising in the head, like bubbles in the head”,"
Brain and self[edit]

Religious parallels[edit]

Kundalini[edit]
  • "I knew the pwople round me were my family but they felt familar yet unfamilar and it all felt really surreal. I nicked named moments like that as realisations - becauase to me that is what they felt like and so that is all i could describe them as. There were many time when i was younger and several since where this has happened and at least once i can reember feeling that i had all my answers answred, what ever they may be or were??"
  • "Another wierd thing that i had no conrol over was staring into space or switching off, quite unawae that i am doing it as such, to observers its like I'm in a daze or trance."
  • "The very first time I had a Kundalini seizure I thought of the Picasso painting "Guernica", particularly the horse. [1]. I also felt like there was an eeeenormous diesel train going up through my spine and out my mouth."
  • "I've relived deaths from many past lives"
Shamanism[edit]
  • "Are you or have you been epileptic? You may be called to something important, possibly to shamanship, but it's not sure."
  • "Have you survived a deep coma or an apparent death? According to shamans, you have gone to the Land of the Dead and have returned. A person usually brings back shamanic powers from such a terrifying and dangerous journey."

Similar cases[edit]

Ramakrishna[edit]

Swami Vivekananda and Neo-Vedanta - Ramakrishna was also epileptic, and Vivekananda new this. Nevertheless, he took Ramakrishna as his spiritual rolemodel/hero.

Krishnamurti[edit]
Andre van de Braak[edit]
"NDM: On page 12 of your book, you experienced a non dual glimpse when having an epileptic seizure while reading Nisargadatta. Has this ever occurred since then and how do you know this was an epileptic seizure?
Andre van de Braak:: I have had similar non dual experiences since then, and they have been after drinking ayahuasca tea. As far as how I know that it was an epileptic seizure: the nondual glimpse was followed by a seizure when I went back into the house and started walking up the stairs. There was a psychotherapist there who told me later that I started having jerky, involuntary movements, and that my mouth started to foam. This is why he called an ambulance. In the hospital, they did EEG tests, but didn’t find anything abnormal."

See also[edit]

Psychology of religion
Framing & attribution
Shaivism & devotion
Western devotion

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The phrase ‘incomplete practice from a past birth clinging to me’ includes the Tamil term vittakurai which the Tamil Lexicon defines as ‘Karma resulting from acts performed in a previous birth, and which are considered to be the cause of progress in the current birth’. The implication is that some spiritual practice performed in a previous life carried forward and drew the young Venkararaman into states of absorption in which he was unaware of either his body or his surroundings.
  2. ^ According to David Godman, the date 17 July 1896 is based on astrology. Whether Venkataraman's awakening truly occurred on 17 July 1896, or rather, on a nearby date either side of the 17th, is unknown. However, it is known that Venkataraman's awakening did take place at some point in the middle of July of 1896.
  3. ^ According to David Godman, the date 17 July 1896 is based on astrology. Whether Venkataraman's awakening truly occurred on 17 July 1896, or rather, on a nearby date either side of the 17th, is unknown. However, it is known that Venkataraman's awakening did take place at some point in the middle of July of 1896.
  4. ^ Sudden conversion, following after epipletic seizures, is also described in the Geschwind syndrome: "... the transformation of the personality brought about by TLE, in that for some it seemed to magnify or give rise to a preoccupation with religious or philosophical matters."[18]
  5. ^ Shankara saw Arunchala as Mount Meru, which is in Indian mythology the axis of the world, and the abode of Brahman and the gods.[web 5]
  6. ^ Jung wrote the foreword to Heinrich Zimmer's Der Weg zum Selbst, "The Path to the Self" (1944),[53] an early collection of translations of Ramana's teachings in a western language.
  7. ^ Michaels uses Bourdieu's notion of habitus to point to the power of "culturally acquired lifestyles and attitudes, habits and predispositions, as well as conscious, deliberate acts or mythological, theological, or philosophical artifacts and mental productions"[56] in his understanding of Hinduism.
  8. ^ Edwards notes the pervading influence of western Orientalism on the perception of Ramana Maharshi, even in western scholarship, which tends to favour this picture of the timeless guru: "...scholarship can misinterpret and misrepresent religious figures because of the failure to recognise the presence of [Orientalist stereotypes] and assumptions, and also because of the failure to maintain critical distance when dealing with the rhetoric of devotional literature".[web 7] See also King, Richard (2002), Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East", Routledge, and Zen Narratives for a similar romantisation of Zen and its archetypal Rōshi.
  9. ^ See also satori in Japanese Zen

References[edit]

  1. ^ Osborne 2002, p. 4.
  2. ^ a b Natarajan 2006.
  3. ^ Narasimha 1993, p. 268-269.
  4. ^ Narasimha 1993, p. 269.
  5. ^ Osborne 2002, p. 60-62.
  6. ^ meta-religion.com, Transcendent Experience and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
  7. ^ Markus Gschwind and Fabienne Picard (2014)
  8. ^ "Michael Trimble, Anthony Freeman (2006), An investigation of religiosity and the Gastaut–Geschwind syndrome in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, Epilepsy & Behavior 9 (2006) 407–414
  9. ^ Epilepsy Foundation, Tonic Seizures
  10. ^ cerebralpalsy.org. Seizures and Seizure Control
  11. ^ Markus Gschwind and Fabienne Picard (2014)
  12. ^ cerebralpalsy.org. Seizures and Seizure Control
  13. ^ meta-religion.com, Transcendent Experience and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
  14. ^ Markus Gschwind and Fabienne Picard (2014)
  15. ^ Geschwind syndrome
  16. ^ Osborne 2002, p. 13.
  17. ^ Osborne 2002.
  18. ^ Teresa Sheppard, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and the Paranormal
  19. ^ Sri Ramanasramam 1981.
  20. ^ https://swarajyamag.com/books/shouries-two-saints-is-an-important-book-but-neither-original-nor-thorough
  21. ^ Grosso (2010), "Mystical Experience", in Kelly, Edward F.; Crabtree, Adam; Williams Kelly, Emily; Gauld, Alan, Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Rowman & Littlefield Unknown parameter |last 1= ignored (|last1= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |first 2= ignored (help); |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. ^ Sophia Wadia, The Aryan path, Aham-graha, "graha means seizure or possession"
  23. ^ Arulsamy 1987, p. 1.
  24. ^ Narasimha 1993, p. 17.
  25. ^ a b c Ebert 2006, p. 147.
  26. ^ a b c d Cornille 1992, p. 83.
  27. ^ Poonja 2000, p. 59.
  28. ^ a b Godman 1985, p. 2.
  29. ^ Singh 2009.
  30. ^ Frawley 2000, p. 121-122.
  31. ^ Venkataramiah 1936, p. Talk 143.
  32. ^ Ganesan, p. 9.
  33. ^ a b Frawley 1996, p. 92-93.
  34. ^ a b Paranjape 2009, p. 57-58.
  35. ^ Dallapiccola 2002.
  36. ^ a b Narasimha 1993, p. 24.
  37. ^ a b Venkataramiah 2000, p. 315.
  38. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 45-46.
  39. ^ a b Ebert 2006, p. 46.
  40. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 51-52.
  41. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 53.
  42. ^ Mukerji 1983.
  43. ^ King 1999.
  44. ^ a b Ebert 2006, p. 77.
  45. ^ Godman 1985.
  46. ^ Zimmer 1948, p. 192.
  47. ^ a b c Davis 2010, p. 48.
  48. ^ a b Ebert 2006.
  49. ^ Zimmer 1948.
  50. ^ Sharma 1993, p. xiv.
  51. ^ Venkataramiah 2000, p. 328-329.
  52. ^ Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 1973.
  53. ^ a b c d Wehr 2003.
  54. ^ Zimmer 1948, p. 53-55.
  55. ^ a b Jung 1948, p. 226-228.
  56. ^ Michaels 2004, p. 7.
  57. ^ a b c Osborne 2002, p. 139.
  58. ^ a b Flood 2011, p. 194.
  59. ^ Hinduism Today 2007, p. 149-151.
  60. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 152-153.
  61. ^ Hinduism Today 2007, p. 151-152.
  62. ^ Godman 1994.
  63. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 124-125.
  64. ^ Ebert 2006, p. 125.
  65. ^ a b Ebert 2006, p. 126.
  66. ^ Bhikshu 2004, p. ch.49.
  67. ^ Friesen, J. Glenn (2006). "Ramana Maharshi: Hindu and non-Hindu Interpretations of a jivanmukta" (PDF).
  68. ^ Edwards 2012, p. 98-99.
  69. ^ Edwards 2012, p. 99.
  70. ^ Picard 2013.
  71. ^ Geschwind & Picard 2014.
  72. ^ Picard 2013, p. 2496-2498.
  73. ^ Picard 2013, p. 2497-2498.
  74. ^ a b Picard 2013, p. 2498.
  75. ^ Karnath HO, Baier B, Nägele T (August 2005). "Awareness of the functioning of one's own limbs mediated by the insular cortex?". J. Neurosci. 25 (31): 7134–8. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1590-05.2005. PMID 16079395.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  76. ^ Craig AD (January 2009). "How do you feel—now? The anterior insula and human awareness". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 10 (1): 59–70. doi:10.1038/nrn2555. PMID 19096369.
  77. ^ Farrer C, Frith CD (March 2002). "Experiencing oneself vs another person as being the cause of an action: the neural correlates of the experience of agency". Neuroimage. 15 (3): 596–603. doi:10.1006/nimg.2001.1009. PMID 11848702.
  78. ^ Tsakiris M, Hesse MD, Boy C, Haggard P, Fink GR (October 2007). "Neural signatures of body ownership: a sensory network for bodily self-consciousness". Cereb. Cortex. 17 (10): 2235–44. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhl131. PMID 17138596.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

Sources[edit]

Printed sources
  • Picard, Fabienne (2013), "State of belief, subjective certainty and bliss as a product of cortical dysfuntion", Cortex 49 (2013) pp.2494-2500
Web-sources

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]