To cite this publication: Patrick Laude, Surrendering to the Self: Ramana Maharshi’s Message for the Present (London: Hurst, 2022).
The Indian sage Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) is perhaps the most widely known Indian spiritual figure of the last century, second only to Gandhi. This new book offers a fresh introduction to the Maharshi’s life and teachings, intending to situate him within the non-dualistic traditions of Hinduism. It also delves into themes and questions particularly relevant to the spiritual crisis and search for meaning that have characterized, in various ways, both the modern and postmodern outlooks.
While the Maharshi’s background and frames of reference were traditional, the spiritual resonance of his teachings in today’s world must also be recognized. The sage’s message lies at the intersection of the contemporary search for Self-knowledge, and today’s critical reflections on the foundations and limits of religion. Thus, the book comprises seven chapters that touch upon such central issues as the role of religion in Self-inquiry; the relationship between devotion and knowledge; the role and limitations of traditional forms; and the implications in our postmodern era of both the Maharshi’s emphasis on surrender, and his basic question: ‘Who am I?’