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Finding out who you really are
on January 22, 2010
Who Am I? - The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: T. N. Venkataraman, 1994. Paperback, 16 pages. No ISBN.
"Self-enquiry leads directly to Self-realization by removing the obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized." - Sri Ramana Maharshi.
This short pamphlet of just 16 pages which can be read in thirty minutes or so tells us all that we really need to know in order to set about finally understanding who we are. It begins by explaining that we aren't at all what we think we are - body, mind, and so on. It then goes on to describe a simple (though arduous) technique by means of which we can come to know who we really are.
My own edition contains a brief though very informative and well-written Introduction by T.M.P. Mahadevan. He explains that the book consists of a series of 28 questions asked by a young man who was undergoing a spiritual crisis and who visited the Maharshi seeking help; each question is then followed by the answer he was given.
The very first question he asked was "Who am I?" The rest of the book provides the answer, an answer that the Maharshi assures us will lead those tough enough to stay the course to liberation.