At first it seemed that Vedanta did not have quite
the intellectual sophistication of Buddhism and its direct mind teachings. Then I
discovered Advaita Vedanta texts like Avadhuta Gita and Ashtavakra Samhita that had this
as well. But more importantly I learned of a teacher who had the most enlightened teaching
that I had seen anywhere.
In the teachings of the Advaitic sage Ramana Maharshi I discovered a
Vedanta that was alive and intellectually sophisticated, yet spiritually profound and
experiential. Ramana Maharshi was like the quintessential sage, who perfectly understood
all the workings of the mind as well as the consciousness beyond it. I felt an immediate
pull from his picture from my first encounter with it. Ramana has remained as a kind of
spiritual father and as the ultimate model for enlightenment. I also corresponded with his
ashram in India and studied their magazine, the Mountain Path, which I would later write
Self-knowledge is the essence of all spiritual paths and the basis of
Vedanta, whose main motto is Know Thyself. Ramana embodied this path of Self-knowledge
completely and lived it fully. With him Vedanta became a living presence, a radiant flame
that persisted throughout all time and space.