B. V. NARASIMHA SWAMI wrote the first detailed English biography of the Maharshi in 1931, and Suddhananda Bharati wrote the Tamil biography. Ramana Leela. The Telugu Biography written by Oruganti Krishnayya has the distinction of being corrected twice by the Maharshi prior to it being reprinted. It is not only the most objectively-correct biography, it is also the most extensive.
Dr. Lingeswara Rao of Andhra Pradesh, carefully read through Ramana Leela and noted down passages not found in English publications. Below, we reproduce some of his English translations.
The Maharshi's Father's elder brother, Venkateswaram Ayyar, renounced at the age of eighteen. He lived at the Chidambaram Temple and worked clearing the premises of thorns, etc.
At birth, Bhagavan was given the name Venkateswaram Ayyar, which corresponded with the name of their family deity, Sri Venkateswara of Tirumala. Later, when he registered for school, the name was changed to Venkataraman.
Bhagavan was called Ramana, or sometimes even Ramani by an elderly relative named Lakshaman Ayyar, who was well-versed in Telugu. Bhagavan, as a boy, learned some Telugu and would converse with this relative in that language. Consequently, he began to call his father Nayana, the Telugu equivalent for 'Daddy'.
The young Venkataraman and his brother Nagaswami were sent to their Uncle's home in Dindigul so they could receive an education in English. When their Uncle was transferred to Madurai the two boys followed.
When Bhagavan first arrived at the Arunachala Temple in Tiruvannamalai in 1896 it was 6 a.m. The Temple was then being renovated and was not open to visitors until 8 a.m. But when Bhagavan arrived all the doors were open and he walked straight to the inner sanctum without seeing anyone.
Bhagavan was initially called Brahmana Paradesi. Mendicant sadhus were then normally called Paradesis. When he was carried from the Patala Lingam to the Subrahmanya Temple and was under the care of Mouna Swami, his greatness was then realized. Then his name was changed to Brahmana Swami.
Nelliapa Ayyar (Bhagavan's Uncle) failed to persuade Bhagavan to return to Madurai. One Narayana Swami Ayyar [Sri P. V. Somasundaram's Father], who accompanied Nelliapa Ayyar, became annoyed and approached the young Swami with the intention of taking him by force. Suddenly he felt a burning sensation all over his body and, because of it, gave up the idea.
One night in the year 1934 someone asked Bhagavan: "Do you have dreams?"
Bhagavan: "Doesn't one dream in sleep?"
Questioner: "Did you ever have seminal discharges during sleep, or in dreams."
Everyone present felt disgusted at the question, but Bhagavan without the slightest sign of annoyance, calmly replied: "Yes. What of that ? It may happen even if one eats hot foods. How does it matter? You are thinking I am this body. Hence the wrong understanding that if one loses the essential fluid of the body, one shall fall from brahmacharya and tapas. It occurs to me that I am living simultaneously in twenty different worlds with diverse bodies. How can I worry over such losses or biological changes in all these body parts. The essence is not the body and its various metamorphosis but Atma Gnana Nishta, the abidance in Self-Knowledge. We are the Ever-Changeless.