Saturday, March 29, 2008

Be As You Are, Ramana Maharshi, Edited by David Godman - Katie Davis Blog

Katie Davis book review: Be As You Are, Ramana Maharshi

Essential Wisdom, Must Read, Extraordinary Sage

Be As You Are is a spiritual classic from one of the most revered sages of modern day India. First and foremost, the book carries the frequency of presence and will have its effect without even reading a single word.

As far as structure, David Godman has compiled Ramana's dialogues with his students with skill and clarity. I have the paperback edition which is 251 pages as well as an aged, original hardbound copy edition entitled "Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi" that was published by Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai in South India.

As far as structure, "Be as You Are" begins with Acknowledgments followed by an Introduction that introduces Ramana, his life, awakening and Self-realization.

The book is divided into six parts followed by a quite helpful Glossary, Notes and References, a Bibliography and an excellent Index.

Ramana is pointing to a single, indivisible Supreme Reality that lies deep within every human being. In fact, we are experiencing this Reality right now, we just may not be consciously aware of it.

Ramana, with the help of David Godman, begins in Part One by presenting the nature of True Self and who the "teacher" really is.

Part Two leads to Self-inquiry as a means to discover our true identity. It clearly presents the theory, practice and any misconceptions that we might have.

In Part Three, we focus on the guru and what the 'teacher' is actually representing and point to the stillness and silence of sat-sanga; being in the presence of someone who has realized the Self.

Part Four is an instruction on meditation and yoga (scriptures), the use of mantras (sacred words) and japa (repetition of the name of God) as well as life in the world.

Part Five is an important chapter for those awakening, since it is so easy to be trapped by spiritual experience, such as visions and psychic powers.

Finally in Part Six, creation theories are discussed and the reality of the world is revealed. He touches on the subject of reincarnation, the nature of God, suffering and morality, and ends with a discussion on karma, destiny and free will.

Sooner or later, you will be led to this profound spiritual classic, the extraordinary wisdom of Ramana Maharshi and realize the deepest peace.

I strongly recommend this book as well as the other spiritual classic, "I am That" by Nisargadatta.

~ Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy

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