Author’s Note

Maha Yoga or the Upanishadic Lore

MAHA YOGA is the Direct Method of finding the Truth of Ourselves, It has nothing in common with what is commonly known as ‘Yoga’, being quite simple — free from mysteries — because it is concerned with the utter Truth of our Being, which is Itself extremely simple.
MAHA YOGA frees its follower from his beliefs, not to bind him with new beliefs, but to enable him to pursue with success the Quest of the True Self, which transcends all creeds.
MAHA YOGA has been described as a process of unlearning. Its follower has to unlearn all his knowledge, because, being in relativity, it is ignorance, and therefore a hindrance.
This true Yoga is the subject-matter of the Upanishads.
But the Truth that is to be found by this Yoga is eternal and needs to be testified to by living witnesses from time to time.
This book starts with the very reasonable assumption that only a living Teacher can tell us the Upanishadic Truth, not the Upanishads themselves, because they are just words and little more, while the Living Teacher is an Incarnation of the Truth we seek. The Living Teacher of our age was the Sage of Arunachala, Bhagavan Sri Ramana, of whose life a brief sketch is given in the first Chapter. His teachings are treated in this
book as the primary authority, and the Upanishadic lore as next in value — as amplifying and supplementing it. The reader need not accept anything that is set forth here, unless he finds it to be in consonance with the actual teachings of the Sage.



Preface to the Eighth Edition

Maha Yoga or the Upanishadic Lore

Maha Yoga or The Upanishadic Lore in the Light of the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana is both a profound exposition of Sri Ramana’s teachings and a lucid summary of the whole Vedantic philosophy, the ancient lore of the Upanishads. Before an aspirant embarks upon the practice of Self-enquiry, which is the cornerstone of Sri Ramana’s teachings and the essence of the Upanishadic lore, it is extremely useful — if not essential — for him to have a clear and well-founded understanding of the theoretical background upon which the practice of Self-enquiry is based, and such an
understanding is possibly not made available to aspirants anywhere so clearly as in this book, which elucidates many important aspects of Sri Ramana’s teachings.
The author of this book, Sri K. Lakshmana Sarma (‘WHO’), was amply qualified to write such an exposition, because he spent more than twenty years in close association with Bhagavan Sri Ramana and he made a deep study of His teachings under His personal guidance. One day in 1928 or 1929 Sri Bhagavan asked Lakshmana Sarma, “Have you not read Ulladu Narpadu?” Lakshmana Sarma replied that he had not, because he was unable to understand the classical style of Tamil in which it was composed, but he eagerly added that he would like to study it if Sri Bhagavan would graciously teach him the meaning. Thus began the disciple’s close association
with his Master. Sri Bhagavan started to explain to him slowly and in detail the meaning of each verse, and Lakshmana Sarma, being a lover of Sanskrit, started to compose Sanskrit verses embodying the meaning of each Tamil verse as it was explained to him. After composing each verse in Sanskrit, Lakshmana




In this book the author passes the philosophical portion of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching through the Advaitic acidtest, and then declares the teaching to be genuine coin of the Advaitic realm. For the author is a keen and uncompromising upholder of the doctrine that the world, God and the individual soul are really a unity and that their seeming separateness is but an illusion.
I am not sufficiently competent a metaphysician to pass judgement upon his conclusions, but I perceive that he states his case and rallies the Master’s statements to his support with a convincing and unhesitating pleading that must be difficult to refute. At any rate he has added many true points about other aspects of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching — such as the nature of the personal ego and the necessity of devotion in some form or other — and he writes with such clearness of thought and expression that I have frequently admired both his mind and his literary style. It is with some pleasure that I recommend this book to the notice of those interested in the metaphysical side of the Maharshi’s writings and sayings.