Ramana: There Is Nothing

The philosophy of this greatest sage can be summed up in just three words, ‘There is nothing.’

Major Chadwick was in close contact with Ramana Maharshi from 1935 until Ramana’s death in April 1950. Below are some short passages from his contribution to the book “Face to Face with Ramana”:


“Bhagavan (the title most used to address Ramana) was a very beautiful person; he shone with a visible light or aura. He had the most delicate hands I have ever seen with which alone he could express himself, one might almost say talk. His features were regular and the wonder of his eyes was famous. His forehead was high and the dome of his head the highest I have ever seen. His body was well-formed and of only medium height, but this was not apparent as his personality was so dominant that one looked upon him as tall. He was always scrupulously clean and his body gave off a faint perfume, though he never used any scented soap.

“Bhagavan always radiated tremendous peace, but on those occasions when crowds were attracted to the Ashram such as Jayanti and Deepam,(two Hindu religious celebrations)  this increased to an extraordinary degree. The numbers seem to call up some reserve of a hidden force, and it was a great experience to sit with him at such times.

“Bhagavan had a great sense of humour, and when talking a smile was never far from his face. He had many jokes in his repertoire and was a magnificent actor; he would always dramatize the protagonist of any story he related. When the recital was very pathetic he would be filled with emotion and could not proceed.

“If asked about Self-realisation, what it was like, or what would be our state in future, he would always reply, ‘Why worry about something in future? It is here and now which are important. You are always Self-realised, but only ignorant of the fact.

“The philosophy of this greatest sage can be summed up in just three words, ‘There is nothing.’ So simple yet so supremely difficult. This entire world that we see, this mad rush of people after money and ‘existence’ is just a fabricless thought. We are like the shadow of a leaf cast by the moonlight, intangible and unsubstantial. You may justly turn to me and ask, ‘Who wants this purely negative state?’ I can only reply, ‘It is just a question of taste.’ But this being nothing, there must obviously be a state which is something. That state is Self-realisation. Not only it is something but it is everything.”

About the author:

Major A.W. Chadwick O.B.E. (1890-1962) was in the British army serving in South America. After getting captivated by Brunton’s “A Search in Secret India” (no.1), he resigned his post, came to Sri Ramanasramam in November 1935, and remained there for good. He became Sadhu Arunachala and lies buried in the Ashram campus. He rendered into English all the original works of Sri Ramana, which were perused by the Maharshi himself. He authored “A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi” (1961).

3 thoughts on “Ramana: There Is Nothing

  1. Good post. Here’s a good quote by Ramana:

    “Discover to whom the thoughts arise. If the present ‘I’-ness
    vanishes, the discovery is complete. What remains over is the pure
    Self. Compare deep sleep and wakefulness. Diversity and body are
    found only in the latter. In the former the Self remains without the
    perception of body or of the world. Happiness reigns there.”

    From the book “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi”

  2. Pingback: The Undercurrent That Vivifies the Mind | heartflow2013

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