Sages & Gurus
Sri Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi had a spontaneous awakening at the age of 16, whereupon he left his family. He existed for years within a deep samadhi, barely conscious enough to eat or drink. He spoke very little and preferred to communicate through the essence of silence, yet people experienced a silent flow of power. His primary teaching was silence and maintained that consciousness alone exists. He encouraged self-enquiry and self-surrender as the two methods to truly connect with the underlying Self.
Ramakrishna was the original gangster of Guru’s, so to speak.
A legend, he was not a proponent of any one tradition or religion but saw equal value in all of them and sought to experience the sacredness of all of them. “He experienced all religions as a single spectrum of wisdom and devotion, as a communion of the Divine with the Divine in which both worshiper and worshiped emerge from the same Ultimate Consciousness” (Hixon 25).
Neem Karoli Baba
One of the most well-known gurus of our time, Neem Karoli Baba, also called Maharaj-ji, rose in popularity with westerners in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. He was a saint who performed countless miracles as told by devotees and fellow Indians.
Said to be the incarnation of Hanuman, Maharaj-ji loved everyone without discrimination. His message was simple, love all, feed all, and serve all. Neem Karoli Baba is the true embodiment of devotion. He made followers feel loved unconditionally, something that most had never felt before. Devotees tell stories of meeting Neem Karoli Baba and feeling like they finally found what they had been looking for, a feeling of home. Remarkably, he had a significant impact on everyone he encountered and forever changed the course of their life.
Swami Muktananda is one of the few Indian gurus who came to America in the ‘70s and went on many tours in the west. The founder of the Siddha Yoga spiritual path, Muktananda, established quite a large following and founded several ashrams in America and worldwide.