Meet a Guru: Ramana Maharshi


Ramana Maharshi is a very well known Indian guru of the Advaita Vedanata philosophy. He died in 1950 but his quotes and books of his teachings continue to influence people today. (His birth name was Venkataraman Iyer and he is also sometimes called Ramanasramam).BackgroundIt is said that he became self-realized/enlightened by self-reflection (incited by ruminating on his father's death) and did not seek to go out and teach. Rather, students slowly began to flock to him because of his … [Read more...]

Meet a Sage: Adi Shankara


Shankara is an enormously important figure in Hinduism, most particularly my branch of Advaita Vedanta. He was a brilliant philosopher from a young age and wrote amazing commentaries on all the Hindu scriptures in the 8th century CE.He re-energized the branch of Hinduism known as Advaita or Smartha. He believed that the ultimate reality was one of complete unity.During his young life, he traveled by foot over all of India discussing and spreading his ideas, attempting to unify Hinduism. … [Read more...]

Meet a Guru: Bharati Tirtha


Sri Bharati Tirtha is my parents' guru. He is a Shankaracharya, which means a teacher of the way of Shankara. There are four seats in India for Shankaracharyas, one for each cardinal direction. The seats are not always filled. Sri Bharati Tirtha currently holds the seat in the south of India.A couple of years ago my family and I went to India to visit his ashram in Sringeri.He is quite a young man for a guru, but has gained great respect the world over. I heard a funny story that one of … [Read more...]

Meet a Guru: Swami Chinmayananda

The followers of Swami¬†Chinmayananda founded the Chinmaya Mission.BackgroundThe Swami was a Vedantic teacher who, like Easwaran, got a degree in English literature. He met Ramana Maharshi (there will be a post on him later) in college and was inspired to begin thinking about the meaning of life.Chinmayananda was involved in the movement to liberate India ¬†and spent several months in jail, coming very close to death. Eventually he studied Vedanta in a school in the Himalayas and after … [Read more...]