‘I did not yet know that there was an essence or impersonal Real underlying everything, and that Ishwara (God) and I were both identical with It.
Later at Tiruvannamalai, as I listened to the Ribhu Gita and other sacred books, I learned all this and found that the books were analysing and naming what I had felt intuitively without analysis or name.’
Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-knowledge, p. 16
Ramana Maharshi, that great 20th century sage, explains in the above quote that his experience of Self-realisation was non-verbal. Though already self-realised at the time, he did not describe his experience in terms of that which changes (the transient) and that which never changes (the eternal), as is often traditionally done. It was only later, when listening to others read the scriptures, did he realise that his state had also been experienced and analysed by others before him, and that their traditional exposition described his…
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