The Single Best Advaita Book: Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge by Arthur Osborne

Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge by Arthur Osborne is in a different format than most Advaita books. It is a biography, and it was my introduction to Advaita. I thank my lucky stars that this Ramana book was the only one in stock at Borders Books when I wentyoung ramana maharshi looking a few years ago.

"Ramana Maharshi is the greatest sage of the 20th century," so says Ken Wilber. And reading that quote in Wilber's One Taste journals is what alerted me that maybe I should investigate this great Indian sage.

The Best Advaita Book There Is

Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge is the best book on Advaita for several reasons:
  • It focuses on the "guru of the gurus".
  • It is a biography and thus does not suffer from the dryness and repetition of so many other Advaita books.
  • It shows what Wayne Liquorman calls "living the Teaching" in action.
  • When I read it, I intuitively realized I had found, finally, my outer guru: Advaita itself. I have had little impulse to seek other teachings (previously a regular occurence) since I read Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge.
older ramana maharshi the advaita guruArthur Osborne was a Western devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi who founded and edited the well-known Mountain Path journal of Ramanashram, "Bhagavan's" ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India. Through his death in 1970 and beyond he was largely responsible for bringing awareness of Ramana to the Western world -- thank God for him!

Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge is truly the best Advaita book there is, and it works on you on many different level, all coming through the amazing story of this modern Indian sage who spontaneously awoke at the age of sixteen. The book details like nowhere else I am aware of the Maharshi's silent years immediately after he realized what he called the Self. For instance, he sat unmoving and uneating in the basement of a temple for months, with rats crawling on him, biting him everywhere, utterly oblivious, absorbed in the Self.

Thank God that over time Ramana decided to speak and write a bit, and that he lived on until 1950.

This book changed my life and revealed my own innate knowledge of the truth to me. I hope it has the same effect on you. It will always remain the best Advaita book.