Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Be As You Are” as Want to Read:
Be As You Are
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Be As You Are

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,709 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Ramana Maharshi was one of the most significant spiritual teachers to emerge from India during the first half of the century, and remains widely admired. This recent collection of conversations between him and the many seekers who came to his ashram for guidance contains the essence of his teaching. His concern throughout his long life of imparting his experience to others ...more
Paperback, Reissue edition, 251 pages
Published September 29th 1988 by Penguin (first published 1985)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Be As You Are, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Be As You Are

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,709 ratings  ·  88 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Be As You Are
Berit Ellingsen
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is regarded by many as the ultimate work in modern Advaita and nondualism, and rightfully so. Sri Ramana Maharshi was a sage's sage, as well as everyone's sage, and his words have inspired a whole generation of western awakened.

Even if you don't agree with all of Ramana's methods and ways of expressing nondual knowledge, there's no denying that this is an absolute classic in the field. For many this is the only book on nondualism they will ever need.

Each chapter centers on one or a f
Akemi G.
If you read and "get" this book, you don't need to read any other spiritual books. Be as you are. 10 stars.
(Sorry, when a book is really super good, I'm lost for words.)
Jason Gregory
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the literature translated and presented to express the depth of Ramana Maharshi's teaching I feel David Godman has done the best job in my opinion. His use and understanding of important Sanskrit words backed up by a clear interpretation of the heart of Ramana allow for the reader to really dive into this book. In saying this, there are some passages that are open for interpretation which depends on the attunement and spiritual depth of the reader. Misinterpretation of these books can ...more
Daniel Prasetyo
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is edited by David Godman, one of Sri Ramana's devotees. Containing some of important topics like meditation, enquiry, yoga, and the nature of God, a great book if you interested to Sri Ramana's teachings. In this book, David Godman try to explain what Sri Ramana's means of The Self, Sat-chit-ananda, God, The Heart, Reality, etc. But for me the best part of this book is chapter 7, surrender. It has been one of the most challenging part of my spiritual life, and this chapter was help me ...more
Harry Green
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No words can describe how grateful I am to Ramana Maharshi. He has change "my" life to see the world as it is. ...more
Bernie Gourley
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the early days of yoga, before there was Power Yoga or Yin Yoga -- or even Hatha Yoga or Raja Yoga, there were three approaches to yoga. Bhakti yoga was devotional yoga, the yoga of the believers who pursued the path through worship. Karma yoga was the yoga of action: practiced by doing selfless deeds. Jnana yoga, often said to the hardest, was the path of knowledge, and it involved intense study and – in particular – introspective study of the jnani’s own mind. Sri Ramana Maharshi was one of ...more
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The best of them all for self inquiry. Ramana simply points aims, and shows who/what you are. There are many spirituality books out today, and from many perspectives and religions and philosophies. They all have their value on the way to truth, but they all have to go once the seeker gets serious. I'm hopeful one day even Ramana's book will have no further use for me. However, this book and others by RM stands as the best to me. BAYA can reel you back into the basics (good for keeping 'beginners ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This man appeared to me in a dream. A book I keep close to me.
John Burns
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in Indian spiritual philosophy
Shelves: non-fiction
I was very impressed with Ramana Maharshi. As with many abstruse spiritual texts, they refer to mental states that are rarefied and experiential. It is not really possible to truly grasp what he is talking about unless one has experienced the same strange states as he, a bit like hearing a description of the ocean without ever actually having seen it, smelt it, felt the enormity of it.

As with so many spiritual texts, I am reading the words of these special individuals who have attained a very u
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A spritual classic. David has done exemplary service in re writing the original "Talks with Ramana Maharishi". It is a work of love and devotion. he has digested and edited the original material which was in colonial - Indian -English in both style and Spirit. Though valuable and interesting social document - it is layered with the then prevailing Scenes which reflect the behaviour and culture of the bygone era. While the accuracy of this original document is confirmed by many authentic sources, ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Currently reading this for the second time. The author has done a commendable job in compiling many random or unrelated Q&A talks by Ramana into some possible topics and categories related to Advaita and the teachings of Nonduality.
Some find this book hard to grasp, most likely because taken on an intellectual level it can be dry or nonsensical. However, when meditated on, or taken slowly and consciously, it has the power to cause us to awaken from our semi-hypnotic sleep state that we call "dai
Clifford Stevens
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ramana Maharshi never wrote a book himself, so this is a compilation of his talks and statements. He really has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter, and there is no doubt of his being one of the great masters of modern times. What is interesting is that people try again and again, but he will make no exceptions, because the I AM is Absolute, unconditional for everyone, without exception. The dialogues with him show very clearly how hard it is for people's egos to accept what is saying ...more
This is probably the most widely read book on Ramana Maharshi's teachings. Since its first appearance in the mid-80s, it has been, outside India, the standard introduction to Bhagavan's teachings. Dialogues with Ramana are arranged by topics, with the most important teachings on each subject differentiated from the remainder. Introductions to each chapter summarize Bhagavan's views on each subject. ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Francis Bacon once said 'Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested...', this book is the one to be swallowed, chewed and digested.

This is not a book for a beginner to Vedanta philosophy, it delves deep into the intricate concepts of atman, introspection and personal god(Ishvara). For all new aspirants, I recommend another marvelous book 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna', as a good starting point.

Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book! I didn't read it all in one go as there was a lot to reflect on. But I enjoyed the way it was presented and although it was somewhat repetative at times, it didn't fail to inspire me in my daily meditation practice. A true master. ...more
Craig Kissho
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Profound and scary, this is one of the books that have changed my view and outlook on life. That nothing ultimately exist, that life is a meaningless dream, and everyone is the same entity playing hide-and-seek to 'experience' itself. Read this book on and off, skrlipping between chapters. ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hinduism
Not recommended for beginners in the path of "spirituality". Ramana Maharishi talks strict Advaita, very easy to be misinterpreted. Should be read after considerable experience (likewise with AshtAvakra Gita. I say so due to my own misinterpretation of it once) ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Paramguru of Gangaji, Sri Ramana's teachings have shown me a way of knowing our true nature that has brought a finer sense of equanimity to my life... ...more
Gavin Whyte
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great read. A truly amazing book. It has led to some profound changes in my own perceptions of reality, and for that I give thanks.
Prashant Hegde
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book influenced me a lot. I have seen my Guru Samartha Shreedhara Swamy Maharaj in Ramana Maharshi while reading this book.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read book. Has the power to transform consciousness and bring us one step closer to the Truth.
I must confess, I originally was quite reluctant to read Ramana Maharshi, in fact; I'm quite reluctant for any supposed "guru" who has gotten popular in the last century or so. Especially to those after the mid-20th century when individuals such as Rajneesh and Muktananda became popular...and then hated.

But I submitted and read this, which is more of an anthology than to a proper work of Maharshi's, taken from at least half-a-dozen books. It appears most come from the "Talks with Ramana Maharshi
David Geschke
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Took me over two years to get through this book piecemeal. Tough reading for me. I did finish it, though - so three stars for that. Not sure this is a book I’d ever highly recommend to anyone though.
Amedine Amedine
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hindu-philosophy
As I said in my earlier update the book is badly formed. You only get comfortable reading it a little bit because of the answers of Maharshi.
I think some of the editor’s explanations were unnecessary as the answers are very clear and repetitive.
The questioners keep bringing the same subject about how to attain the natural state of the self or self enquiry. Maharshi’s method is simple but effective as it is the natural way of expanding in consciousness.
Maybe as they say Maharshi was a little b
Stephen Monroe Monroe
The editor points out that the book is written in such a way that advanced readers will "get it" early on, and that later chapters are trying to communicate the same idea using different methods. I found that after about a third of the book I was seeing the same idea repeated and decided to move on to another book. It's a powerful message and I would recommend reading it to those on their own spiritual journey. ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I give it only four stars because I believe that I am not spiritually evolved enough to get the full benefit of this person's teaching. However, there is some part of me that feels I will get more out of it with a later read, so will keep it and read it again later. It resonates with me in that this Teacher is trying to assist others in releasing the false ego-self. That is something all of the spiritual teachings have in common that presently mean something to me. ...more
Karlo Žamić
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This work has a lot to offer to beginners and advanced alike. The self is the central theme of Sri Ramana's teaching that permeates every part of this Q-A structured book. It offers a lot of insight on a wide variety of concepts and goes through all core Hindu principles from the view of the non-dual self. ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
David Godman did a really good job of putting together the Master's teachings in an easily comprehensible Q/A format. This was my first book on Ramana Maharshi/Advaita vedanta and Jnana Yoga and now I'm hungry for more. ...more
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I like most of David Godman's writing, in this I strongly advise skipping his introductions to each chapter, and just reading the dialogues with Maharshi, every word of which I find a gem. ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Just brilliant. :)
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Living with the Himalayan Masters
  • The First and Last Freedom
  • Freedom from the Known
  • Autobiography of a Yogi
  • The Book of Secrets (Complete)
  • Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
  • Holy Science
  • The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment
  • Being Aware of Being Aware
  • A Search In Secret India: The classic work on seeking a guru
  • Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself
  • The Way of Liberation
  • Think on These Things
  • The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi (The Classic Collection)
  • Thoughts in Solitude
  • Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became
  • 365 Tao: Daily Meditations
See similar books…
Bhagavan Sri Ramaṇa Mahārṣi (Tamil: ரமண மஹரிஷி) born Venkataraman Iyer, was probably the most famous Indian sage of the twentieth century, he was born on December 30, 1879 in a village called Tirucculi about 30 miles south of Madurai in southern India. His middle-class parents named him Venkataraman. His father died when he was twelve, and he went to live with his uncle in Madurai, where he attend ...more

News & Interviews

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
6 likes · 1 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Does a man who is acting on the stage in a female part forget that he is a man? Similarly, we too must play our parts on the stage of life, but we must not identify ourselves with those parts.” 10 likes
“Reality must be always real. It is not with forms and names. That which underlies all these is the reality. It underlies limitations, being itself limitless. It is not bound. It underlies unrealities, itself being real. Reality is that which is. It is as it is. It transcends speech. It is beyond the expressions 'existence', 'non-existence' etc.” 9 likes
More quotes…