After I posted this, a friend emailed me the following paragraph:
We have read and re-read Ramana Periya Puranam and every time I read it, tears start to flow down my face. I feel an outpouring of grace whenever I read it. It’s one of the most powerful books that both my husband and I have come across, and I was very happy to see it mentioned in your blog.
That’s a better introduction to this book than anything I wrote, so I’m making it the new beginning of this post. Here’s what I wrote originally:
If you’ve been captured by Ramana’s gravitational field like I have been, you’ve probably read or at least heard of many books about him. I think there are well over two hundred.
I want to briefly mention a book that you may not have heard of: Ramana Periya Puranam by V. Ganesan.
This book will probably bring you as close as you can come to knowing what it felt like to be a direct disciple of Ramana at his ashram.
The author is Ramana’s grandnephew. As a boy he spent a lot of time in Ramana’s ashram and got to know many of Ramana’s direct devotees. This book contains biographies and reminiscences of 75 of them. Lots of photos, too.
Ganesan passes on to us teachings which he received from these people, which they in turn received from Ramana.
The subtitle is Inner Journey of 75 Old Devotees.
This book is in the same category as David Godman’s Power of the Presence series, which is also worth reading.
Because of Ganesan’s affectionate personality and, in some cases, because of his personal relationships with the people he writes about, the book is suffused by warmth and love.
It’s a lovely book, but probably only for people who love Ramana, but maybe also for people who are going to start loving Ramana. If you’re one of them, I recommend it.
Ganesan gives this book away for free. This is a legal copy.
Photo: Ramana at Skandashram in early days surrounded by visitors, from Ramana Periya Puranam.