Certain human beings are permeated by an intelligence of love that moves through them always. We are irresistibly drawn to these peaceful, life-affirming beings, for they touch us in ways our mind cannot begin to fathom. With them we enter fully into our own hearts and taste freedom. The first time I felt this love was in a central London bookshop across the street from my yoga studio. I was browsing through the spiritual section and a book fell out of a shelf into my hand with a photograph of Ramana Maharshi on the front cover. As I gazed at the picture, I noticed the luminosity in his eyes and a sense of peace swept through my body. The photo sits on my shrine to this day, for as soon as I see his face I sense his unconditional love, compassion and acceptance for all of humanity. Ramana Maharshi played a central role in my journey of awakening, and you can find more information on him here.
And clearly he still was, for his presence permeated the entire ashram. This was my first experience with the unified field and the understanding that we are all eternal beings. I began to understand that no one dies. It is one thing to hear these words, and another to metabolize them. It took me many years to integrate this realization and begin to live, as Ramana had done, with constant awareness of the mysteries of the cosmos.
“So why is Ramana important now?” we may ask. He helps us understand that we are much more and also much less than we realize. Generally we live tormented by our misinterpretations of reality and each other. We have to understand that Ramana is not a material being as we know other humans, but a person who has dissolved enough to live from his true nature. He opened the doors of self-inquiry for many and demonstrated the ongoing process of Self-Realization.
Ramana led a simple, modest life, modeling the importance of humility and compassion. He was able to demonstrate his own non-attachment when thieves broke into the ashram, and he counseled the disciples and visitors to let them have whatever they wanted. He remained calm during the incident even when struck by one of the thieves. Ramana knew that nothing of value could ever be taken.
By John Patrick Sullivan and Ayn Cates Sullivan
For more about John Patrick Sullivan and the practice of self-inquiry visit: http://www.