Maha Yoga (Book PDF Download)- The Upanishads in the Light of the Teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

Download Maha Yoga as PDF

From the Preface:

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.

Author’s Note:

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.

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11 thoughts on “Maha Yoga (Book PDF Download)- The Upanishads in the Light of the Teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

    1. I have much gratitude to and respect for Sri Lakshmana Sarma (LS) and his writings. He had a deep knowledge of Sri Ramana’s teachings. However he was not a Jnani. So while he was very familiar with various aspects of Bhagavan Ramana’s teaching and with Advaita philosophy, the full force and directness of the teaching does not come through.

      Unless the teaching is from a Jnani, it is very easy for subtle distortions to creep in. Whilst I have read Maha Yoga in the past, it was quite some time ago, but my recollection was that some subtle distortions were present.

      There is also a fair bit of philosophy here – it is quite wordy in places – and whilst this may be very helpful for some, especially those interested in Advaita Vedanta and the Upanishads, I prefer books that are more practically orientated and more directly point the way, and these tend to be written by Jnanis. Ask yourself after reading this book: ‘is the path to liberation clear to me now?’

      In short, it doesn’t fit the criteria I set out for my recommended reading list for LIBERATION.

      For similar reasons, the text Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad by LS, which is a very good text with wonderful teachings, is also not on the recommended reading list.

      (Note that another text of LSs is on the recommended reading list: Guru Ramana Vachana Mala, which is a short pithy collection of sayings of Sri Ramana put together by LS)

      Namaste & best wishes


  1. Thanks for your answer (which I understand and appreciate)

    But I have to say that MAHA YOGA was the first book in which I started to understand (at least intellectually) what Liberation could be.

    MAHA YOGA totally destroyed my previous beliefs about Self- Realization, what a Sage is, what remains or not remains after Liberation, etc..

    MAHA YOGA was, for me, the great destroyer of some of the most famous living teachers.


    For this reason only, I will always love this book.

    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Contents

        1.The Sage of Arunachala
        2.Are We Happy?
        3. Ignorance
        4. Authority
        5. The World
        6. The Soul
        7. God
        8. The Egoless State
        9. The Quest
        10. The Sage
        11. Devotion
        12. Some more Sayings of the Sage

        Just by looking at the table of contents of this book,
        You feel attracted.
        Let’s compare this TOC with the toc (or no toc at all) of
        the other books included on the list and we will have no more words to say.

        This is a real formative book, with structure, a real SRAVANA’s book

        And the chapters regarding THE EGOLESS STATE and THE SAGE,
        are UNIQUE .

        Mainly thanks to those two chapters I am following Ramani Maharshi (via TOM DAS), instead of get trapped undert the false teachings of Khrisna Menon lineage living teachers (who, by the way, consider themselves to be a kind of “enlightened ego’s in re-integration phase)

        If WHO was a Jñani or not, this book has been my GURU for a while.

        And by the way, I will re-read it just next week

        Best regards

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Luis, thank you for sharing further with me. I have re-read parts of the text, including the 2 chapters you cite, and I can see how this is indeed a maha-destroyer of false teachings! I think this is actually extremely valuable and I will now consider adding it to the recommended reading list. I will also review Sri Ramanaparavidyopanishad too in the same light, thank you and namaste


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