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Happiness and the Art of Being: An introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana by [James, Michael]
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Happiness and the Art of Being: An introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Kindle Edition


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Length: 502 pages Language: English

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Happiness is our true nature, our essential being. The transient happiness that we seem to derive from external experiences actually arises only from within ourself, and is experienced by us due to the temporary calming of our mind that occurs whenever any of our desires are fulfilled. So long as our mind is extroverted, attending to anything other than our own essential self-conscious being, we can never experience perfect, permanent and unqualified happiness. To experience true and eternal happiness, we must attain the experience of true self-knowledge - that is, absolutely clear consciousness of our own essential being, 'I am'. Such is the truth revealed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

The philosophy of Sri Ramana derives solely from his experience of true, absolute, non-dual self-knowledge, an experience that transcends all thought, both rational and irrational. However, since we imagine the existence of duality, multiplicity and relativity, we seem to lack the non-dual and absolute knowledge of our own essential self-conscious being that Sri Ramana experienced as his natural state. Therefore he presented his philosophy to us in terms of a rational and logical analysis of our present experience of ourself as a finite individual consciousness, in order to enable us to be firmly convinced of the absolute reality that underlies and supports this finite consciousness that we now mistake to be ourself.

However, the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana are not only a rational philosophy, but are also a precise science and art. He intended his philosophy to serve only as the theoretical foundation upon which we should practise the empirical science of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), which is the art of keenly self-attentive and therefore perfectly thought-free being.

This book, Happiness and the Art of Being, is an in-depth exploration of both the philosophy and the practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Though it is intended primarily to be an introduction to his teachings, it is not a brief one, because in a clear and simple manner it provides a very detailed and deep insight into their core. Therefore though it has been written with the intention that it should be easily understood even by readers who have no previous acquaintance with any form of spiritual philosophy, it should also be useful to readers who already have a good understanding of his teachings.

Like the aim of his teachings, the aim of this book is to prompt each one of us to think more deeply about the reality of all that we as a seemingly limited individual consciousness experience and know, to help us to understand that the only absolute reality in our entire experience of duality and relativity is our fundamental consciousness of our own essential being, 'I am', and thereby to reinforce our love and effort to attend keenly and exclusively to this essential self-consciousness 'I am' in order to discover its true nature.

The author of this book, Michael James, spent more than eight years studying the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana and of his foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar, in minute detail under the clear guidance of another close disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Therefore the central focus of this book is on the teachings of Sri Ramana as expressed in his own original writings, and hence it contains accurate and carefully worded translations by the author of the whole of Sri Ramana's prose treatise Nāṉ Yār? (Who am I?) and of most of the verses of his philosophical poems such as Upadēśa Undiyār, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, Ēkātma Pañcakam, Āṉma-Viddai and Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ.

This kindle edition is a slightly revised version of the printed edition, and contains a detailed glossary.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 845 KB
  • Print Length: 502 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475111576
  • Publisher: Michael D A James; 4 edition (22 March 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NIHBXQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth presentation of the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi 3 July 2014
By KS - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Those who are looking for both an introduction as well as an in-depth study on the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi will be very pleased with this book. The book presents the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana in a systematic manner.

Sri Ramana's original works are quoted throughout the book with excellent commentaries. For example, Michael James has presented all the twenty paragraphs of the original essay version of Sri Ramana's 'Nan Yar?' or 'Who am I?' in different parts of the book with detailed commentary for each paragraph of 'Nan Yar?' Such a detailed commentary of 'Nan Yar?' is not available anywhere else. He seems to have mastered classical Tamil and it shows in his translation and commentary of 'Nan Yar'.

The final chapters deal with the technique of self-enquiry and will be very useful for serious practitioners of self-enquiry (atma-vichara).

Those who prefer a more concise discussion of Bhagavan Ramana's teachings can read Sri Sadhu Om's Path of Sri Ramana, Part 1. Both books follow similar pattern of discussion. (It should be noted here that Michael James spent more than eight years with Sri Sadhu Om who was a direct disciple of Bhagavan Ramana and also a close associate of Sri Ramana's foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar.) However, as mentioned above, 'Happiness and the Art of Being' also contains detailed commentary of Sri Ramana's original works like 'Nan Yar?' Personally, I enjoyed both the books and feel each has its own flavor.

Strongly recommend this book to any sincere student of Self-Enquiry (or Atma Vichara).
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The art and science of "being" 17 June 2010
By Mary Dettmers - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm loving this book. I read the introduction and last chapter and am now re-reading a page-a-day and making notes. If your intention is to just "be", author Michael James analyzes everything Bhagavan Sri Ramana (an adept at existence) ever said, wrote or did, repeating over and over in every conceivable way, that happiness IS our essential being. To attain true and eternal happiness, we must attain the experience of true SELF-KNOWLEDGE--absolutely clear consciousness of our own essential being.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous 20 December 2012
By Skids - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael James has produced the definitive guide of our time for Sri Bhagavan's practice of Atma Vichara. Clear, concise and created with love, following the practice detailed in this manual will lead one to Recognition of the Self.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so much good stuff I am reading slowly to take it all ... 18 February 2016
By JB - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
wow... VERY dense reading ... so much good stuff I am reading slowly to take it all in!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 March 2015
By denfo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Finally- a very explicit and detailed explanation for the philosophy of Ramana Maharshi and his teachings of "self-examination".