According to his Wikipedia:

Ramana Maharshi was an Indian Hindu sage and a jivanmukta (liberated being). He was born Venkataraman Iyer, but is mostly known by the name Bhagavān Sri Ramana Maharshi.

It's obviously not uncommon to find in all the books written on him, where the Maharshi is frequently referenced with the epithet of "Bhagavān".

Now, we all know the "classical" definition of a Bhagavān is:

ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य धर्मस्य यशसः श्रियः।
ज्ञान-वैराग्ययोश्चैव षष्णां भग इतीङ्गना ॥ विष्णु पुराण ६.५.७४॥

Complete splendor, virtue, glory, opulence, knowledge, dispassion -
these six "qualities" are known as "bhaga' (भग).
And the one, who possesses all these six qualities is known as Bhagavān (भगवान).
|| Viṣhṇu Purāṇa 6.5.74 ||

There's another definition in the same text:

उत्पत्तिं प्रलयञ्चैव भूतानामगतिं गतिम्।
वेत्ति विद्यामविद्याञ्च स वाच्यो भगवानिति ॥ विष्णु पुराण ६.५.७८॥

The one who has the complete knowledge of creation, dissolution, knowledge, ignorance, etc. that person or thing is also called Bhagavān.
|| Viṣhṇu Purāṇa 6.5.78 ||

Question -

On what basis, is Ramana Maharshi 'referred with' or 'given' the title of Bhagavān?

Did Ramana Maharshi ever, in the recorded witness, exhibited the above mentioned "six-qualities" of Bhagavān?

Or the title is used more in an honorary/celebratory sense only, in reference to the second definition above?

Any such record found in any of the works on him, which tell the significance of the "Bhagavān" title given to him ?

  • 3
    Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni (who became disciple of Ramana Maharshi) gave the title of 'Bhagvan Shree Ramana Maharshi'
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 12:02
  • 2
    But exactly on what basis, did he ever clear that @Tezz ?
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 12:04
  • 5
    Ramana Maharshi is considered Kartikeya and Ganapati Muni form of Ganesha, Ramana Maharshi broke his 12 years of silence to answer the question of Ganapati (on their first meeting). After hearing his answer and remaining with him he became sure that he was realized Rishi and gave that title. Btw disciple of Ganapati Muni - Daivarata was an actual BrahmaRishi who heard new mantras of RigVeda in his meditation. Thus some Riks were recovered due to him. But I think someone more knowledgeable than me on topic of Ramana Maharshi should write an answer to this question.
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 12:09
  • 1
    @Tezz Bhagavan had reached Tiruvannamalai in 1896, lived in many places and moved to Virupaksha cave in ~1900. While he hardly spoke in this period, it is incorrect to say he maintained silence in this period. He wrote Who am I, self enquiry, translated vivekachudamani etc. before 1907. Therefore, it is incorrect to say, he broke his silence to the answer the question. The rest of your answer regarding Daivarata is perfect.
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 5:38
  • 1
    @Tezz It is wrong. There are many such things on the web and even in non-ashram books. I am referring to authentic biographies and books. Please refer to this exact question from the book. english.sreyas.in/…. The self realization book is considered the most authentic biography. In addition, you may refer to Bhagavan's own admission that there was no vow of silence.
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


This incident is given in the book, Self realization by B.V. Narasimha swami.

The Muni approached the Virupaksha Cave where Brahmana swami lived on the 18th of November 1907.

Sastri quivered with emotion as he walked up to the Virupaksha cave. Luckily for him the Swami was seated alone on the outer pial. Sastri fell flat on his face and held the Swami’s feet with both hands and his voice trembled with emotion as he said: “All that has to be read I have read. Even Vedanta Sastra I have studied. I have performed japa to my heart’s content. Yet I have not up to this time understood what tapas is. Hence have I sought refuge at thy feet. Pray enlighten me about the nature of tapas.” For fifteen minutes the Swami silently gazed at Sastri as he sat at his feet in anxious expectation. None came to interrupt them at the time. Then the Swami spoke in short and broken sentences in Tamil:

(If one watches whence the notion of ‘I’ springs, the mind will get absorbed into that. That is tapas). (When a mantra is repeated, if attention be directed to the source whence the mantra-sound emanates,* the mind will get absorbed in that. That is tapas.)

This instruction filled Sastri’s heart with joy. He stayed for some hours and ascertained the Swami’s name from the attendant Palaniswami to be Venkataraman. Sastri immediately composed five stanzas in praise of the Swami in which he contracted his name to Ramana which has stuck to the Swami ever since. In the letter which Sastri wrote next day to his relations and disciples he mentioned the upadesa (instruction) he had received from the Swami known as Brahmana Swami on the hill; and added that he must henceforth be called ‘Maharshi’ since his teaching was quite original, and nothing like what had been found in any book that Sastri had read. He wished all his own disciples to call Brahmana Swami Bhagavan Maharshi. Since that day this name has come into vogue among his devotees; and to Sastri must be given the credit for its currency.

It should be noted that Ramana (Whose original name was Venkataraman) was called Brahmana Swami till that time.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .