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Chapter Summary

Ramana Maharshi fitted the description of holiness bestowed on St. Teresa of Avila, for though his influence was far-reaching and profound he was, in some inscrutable way, extraordinarily ordinary. Venkataraman read little religious theory, but he had heard of the sacred mountain of Arunachala, and when he discovered it was a real place and not all that far away, he was amazed and excited. Soon after that he discovered the life-stories of the Tamil Saints and he realized that the Divine could be manifested in both places and in people. The first three visits to Arunachala changed Abhishiktananda radically. The silence of the mountain had transformed advaita from an inspiring subject of intellectual discussion to an experienced reality. One of the striking aspects of the entries made during this third visit to Arunachala was the struggle to make distinctions between theoretical understandings and experience-indeed between opposites of any kind.

Keywords: Abhishiktananda; advaita; Arunachala; Ramana Maharshi; Venkataraman



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