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Sri Ramana Gita

INTRODUCTION In 1903 there came to Tiruvannamalai the great Sanskrit scholar, poet and Yogi, Ganapati Sastri known also as Ganapati Muni because of the austerities he had been observing. He had the title Kavya-kantha (one who had poetry at his throat), and his disciples addressed him as Nayana (father). He visited Ramana in the Virupaksa cave quite a few times. Once in 1907 he was assailed by doubts regarding his own spiritual practices. He went up the hill, saw Ramana sitting alone in the cave, and expressed himself thus: "All that has to be read I have read even Vedanta sastra I have fully understood I have done japa to my heart's content yet I have not up to this time understood what tapas is. Therefore I have sought refuge at your feet. Pray enlighten me as to the nature of tapas. " Ramana replied, now speaking, "If one watches whence the notion 'I' arises, the mind gets absorbed there, that is tapas. When a mantra is repeated, if one watches whence that mantra sound arises, the mind gets absorbed there that is tapas. " To the scholar this came as a revelation he felt the grace of the sage enveloping him. He it was that proclaimed Ramana to be Maharshi and Bhagavan. He composed hymns in Sanskrit in praise of the Sage, and later composed the Ramana-Gita explaining his teachings. Ganapati had a large band of disciples and they all gathered at Skandasram to ask the Maharshi to clarify knotty questions. The Muni agreed to cast the answers in verse form - as a Gita -in Sanskrit-in the traditional 18 Chapters. The work was fully completed by 1917 and the Maharshi approved the work. The Ramana Gita Extracts from Bhagavan and Nayana by S. Shankaranarayanan [This is the Biography of Ganapati Muni] THIS IS one of the important works on Maharshi's teaching by his illustrious disciple Vasishta Ganapati Muni. It records the instruction of Maharshi on various themes of spiritual importance and mode of sadhana in answer to serious queries addressed to him by sincere devotees and aspirants. Most of the queries belong to the period of 1916 and 1917 when Bhagavan was least communicative. It is to the credit of the questioners that by their seriousness of purpose and sincerity of aspiration they could draw the Maharshi out, and it was most fortunate that Vasishta Muni was present on those occasions, himself at times being a questioner, to give an authentic and authoritative record of the whole proceedings. The work consists of three hundred verses in mellifluous Sanskrit, and is divided into eighteen chapters. The metre employed is mainly anustubh, though in the eighteenth chapter drutavilambitam vasantatilaka, rathoddhata and svagata are employed. The work is fashioned on the lines of Bhagavad-Gita and bears the name of Gita. It is also divided into eighteen chapters. A question may arise here that the appellation Gita belongs only to Bhagavad Gita and it would not be proper to call any

other teaching as Gita. But there have been precedents where teachings of spiritual import have been called Gita. Thus we have rama gita, hanuman gita, ganesa gita, ribhu gita, etc. The story of Dharmavyadha in Mahabharata is known as vyadha gita. As Maharshi's
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teachings are of great spiritual import and authoritative because of authentic experience, the work is called Gita. It is called Ramana Gita because the Teacher is Maharshi Ramana, and whatever Maharshi imparts, it is based on his own experience and inner vision and not based on the scrutiny of sastras either past or present. This does not mean that Maharshi's teachings are not according to sastras. Any discerning reader would find that whatever Maharshi says not only accords with sastras, but throws light on many points in the sastras hitherto obscure and unexplained. One thing has to be remembered that Maharshi's teaching does not demand as a prerequisite any knowledge of the sastras or any religious teaching. Its concern is mainly with Man and his essential problem. Though questions might have been asked by each one from different view points, the answers from the Maharshi always emanate from the standpoint of the Self. As Self is the common denomination to all people in all walks of life, the teaching is relevant to all without any distinction and is the need of the hour. The primary purpose of the teaching is Self-enquiry and taking one's stand in the Self. It is traditionally explained that man has got four purposes in life, which are known as purusarthas. These are dharma righteous conduct, artha the meaning and purpose of things, kama desire and mokshaliberation. Thelastoneissaidtobethesupremepurposeoflife,parama-purusartha. According to Maharshi there is only one purpose in life for man, that is to seek the Self and remain in it all the time. Dharma is that which holds, dharanat dharmah and righteous conduct is the one that holds the society together. But in truth, that which holds everything intact is the Self. Artha is the meaning and purpose. Only because of Self everything has a meaning. Kama is desire, andthethingthatapersondesiresmostishimself,whichistheSelfwithinhim. Mokshaliberation is the state when the Self sparkles all the time as the real 'I'. Thus, behind the four purposes of life exists only one real purpose, that is seeking the Self. It is not the purpose of this Teaching to enunciate a new doctrine, to find a new religion or creed. Maharshi is gracious enough to share his experience with the enquirer. As his approach is so radical, you are shaken to the foundations, all your pet theories get demolished. But like some other Masters, he does not leave you severely alone after that. He gives his gracious guidance to build on the ruins and he leads you on towards finding the Self. The questions taken up for consideration by the Maharshi are often intricate, relating as they do to the deepest experiences in Yoga, and involve very subtle

perception and analysis. But fortunately Ramana gita has been commented upon by the Scholar Yogi, Sri Kapali Sastriar, the illustrious disciple of Vashistha Ganapati Muni, and his commentary prakasa, in simple and lucid Sanskrit throws a flood of light on all abstruse points and is a great help for the proper understanding of the high philosophical concepts and deep spiritual imports embodied in the teaching of the Maharshi. The text deals with thirty-seven questions by various aspirants including the Muni, and extensive and clear-cut answers to them by the Maharshi. Each chapter deals with a theme, tells the occasion, the exact date according to the Christian era in most cases, gives the background and details of discussion. But all chapters do not deal with questions and answers. The second chapter which is like a crest-jewel in the whole composition, narrates an incident in 1915 when the Maharshi gave out the essence of his teaching by means of the famous verse hrdayakuhara madhye. An exposition of this verse forms the
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theme of the second chapter. Similarly, the fifth and sixth chapters do not contain any questions. Maharshi, out of his own volition, without anybody asking him any questions, imparted to all those present around him the secrets of hrdaya vidya and the various methods of controlling the mind. These are recorded in all detail in the fifth and sixth chapters. Let us now enumerate the topics discussed in other chapters.
Chapter 1: The Importance of Self-abidance

In the first chapter are discussed the importance of spiritual practice, the supreme state which is the real form of the Self, and what happens when the practice is started with a desire to achieve something.
Chapter 2: THE THREE PATHS Chapter 3: THE PARAMOUNT DUTY/TASK

In the third chapter is mentioned the most important thing to be done by man in this life, which is the realization of one's Self and the role of japa of mantras like pranava to achieve it.
Chapter 4: Nature of Knowledge

The fourth chapter deals with the great secret of knowledge and the poise of all activities in the Self.
Chapter 5: The Science of the Heart Chapter 6: Mind Control Chapter 7: SELF ENQUIRY-COMPETENCE AND COMPONENTS Chapter 8: ON ASHRAMAS

The seventh and eighth chapters deal extensively with the nature of Selfenquiry, with the fitness of persons for this, the purpose of religious rituals and rites and the purpose of the four asramas, stages of life. Here it is unequivocally declared that deliberation on oneself is the highest merit to be obtained, the sacred of the most sacred things svavimarshah param punyam pavananam hi

pavanam. Chapter 9: ON CUTTING THE KNOT - GRANTHI BHEDA The breaking of the knot in the heart by Self-enquiry is discussed in the ninth chapter, Chapter 10: while the tenth discusses the place of man in society and advocates universal brotherhood for the welfare of mankind. Chapter 11: The secret harmony between knowledge and the siddhis one gets in sadhana is explained in the eleventh chapter. Chapter 12:
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The twelfth chapter deals with the questions put by Sri Kapali Sastriar to the Maharshi and the Maharshi's subtle analysis of the relationship between sakti and sakta, the force and the possessor of force.
Chapter 13:

The thirteenth chapter entirely breaks new ground. Vasishta Ganapati Muni's wife is the questioner here. The Maharshi declares that a woman has an equal right with man for sannyasa and the body of a Self-realized woman, when she leaves the body, has to be interred and not burnt. This becomes the authority later on to erect a samadhi over the corporeal remains of the Maharshi's Mother who got Selfrealization with the active help of Maharshi himself.
Chapter 14:

The fourteenth chapter gives an exposition on jivanmukti, liberation even when living in a body.
Chapter 15:

The fifteenth discusses about the true nature of three instruments of devotion, sravana hearing, manana thinking and nididhyasana desire to visualize, in their role of seeking the Self.
Chapter 16:

The next chapter deals with the true nature of bhakti, devotion.
Chapter 17:

The seventeenth chapter deals with the attainment of knowledge. Self-knowledge is not acquired daily little by little. When practice attains maturity, Selfknowledge flashes forth suddenly like the sun.
Chapter 18:

The eighteenth and last chapter contains twenty six verses out of which twenty four verses are in praise of the Maharshi, describing his very human and divine qualities. These are exquisite pieces of Sanskrit poetry in beautiful meters of druta vilambitam, vasantatilaka and rathoddhata. The last two verses in svagata metre comprise the question and answer on the Siddhas. Amongst the twenty four verses of praise is the famous sloka, nilaravinda suhrda which was later approved

by the Maharshi as his own dhyana sloka and the enunciation of the mantra of Maharshi in the verse vedadipaka damanottara, which was later commented by the Muni separately in his gurumantra bhasya. Thus the whole work harmonizes every spiritual endeavor and philosophical concept from the standpoint of the Self and is an inspiring guide to all those who sincerely aspire for the higher values of life. 1. The entire Universe is but a tiny ripple in that infinite Ocean of Sat-ChitAnanda. Sri Ramana; in my heart I dwell upon him, who inheres therein, the unfathomable Ramana, who has transcended all realms of thought. Krishna Bhikshu Translation: On the Importance of Spiritual Practice Composed by Ganapathi Muni Translation by Sri Visvanatha Swami and Prof. K. Swaminathan INVOCATION
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Second Question: v. 5 Is a study of scriptures enough by itself to liberate those desirous of knowledge, or is spiritual practice according to the Master's injunction also necessary? Answer: v. 12 The seeker of knowledge does not achieve his end merely by a study of the scriptures. Without upasana* there cannot be attainment for him this is definite. v. 13

Experiencing the natural state during spiritual practice is called upasana, and when that state becomes firm and permanent, that itself is called jnana.
Kapali Satstriar Translation: v. 14

Abandoning the sensory objects, remaining in one's own nature, in the form
of a flame of knowledge is said to be the natural state of the Self. Commentary: Bhagavan Maharshi lays down of his own accord the form of spiritual practice he intends. The knowers of the Self speak of the natural poise that is accomplished without any effort in the course of Sadhana as practice by the strength of

constant repetition it becomes steadfast, firm and ready at hand... what is


this natural state, in v. 14 he explains. *spiritual practice AR Natarajan Translation: First question: Vs 4 Will the discrimination between the `Real' and the `Unreal' itself be enough

to `liberate'? Or is there any other spiritual practice for it? Second question: Vs 5 For the seekers of truth, is the critical study of the scriptures alone enough for liberation? Or is spiritual practice in accordance with Guru's guidance also necessary? Commentary: (Vs 4&5) (in Vs 4 & 5 Ganapati Muni refers to the two traditional methods for (attaining liberation.) These verses deal with the question of the best method for liberation. The freedom sought is from the cycle of Karma, of birth following death and death following birth without a break. Actions, good and bad, have an ethical content producing results in time, in accordance with the divine law. The effort of all spiritual seekers is to be free of this bondage to karma, to sorrow. The scriptures
declare that 5

Brahman alone is `Real' the

fullness of Consciousness. The body and the world are `jada' or insentient

unreal. The traditional way to attain knowledge is to negate the world as unreal and affirm the reality of Brahman. Such practice, it is said would
and therefore lead to the firm conviction of the truth of the proposition, and would result in Selfknowledge.

When the phenomena are negated as Unreal what remains is


It may be noted that this practice is different from discrimination between

Real.

`Nitya' permanent and `Anitya' transient.

Such discrimination would bring about dispassion for the world. It is also necessary to mention that the other limbs of spiritual practice for Selfknowledge are said to be the absence of desire for fruits of action on earth or in heaven, sustained urge for liberation and the cultivation of six virtues, each of which has to be mastered before proceeding to the next, namely, calmness, restrain of mind, control of senses, withdrawal, forbearance, faith, singlemindedness. * (* Vivekachudamani-Vs 20,21,71) The doubt is whether this practice alone would suffice. This arises in the context of the scriptural emphasis on experience by

direct perception of truth.

Here it is necessary to make a reference to certain fundamental points made by Ramana on the question of liberation. He points out that liberation and the sense

of doership are linked. As long as one considers that he is the doer there is no

escape from the fruits of action. ** He further points out that it is only who
thinks he is bound who has to think in terms of the opposite, freedom. So one

should question for whom is this bondage? `For whom is this liberation?' Such an enquiry would reveal the true nature of the individual to whom they relate. ***. The method of self-enquiry taught by Ramana is dealt with in chapter 7 (**Sat-Darsanam Vs 38). (***Talks with Ramana Maharshi Ps 357,358) AR Natarajan Translation:

Answer to first Q-Vs 4, is seen in Vs 10 & Vs 11) Vs 10 Self-abidance alone can

release one from all bondage. However, the discrimination between the `Real' and `Unreal' leads to distaste for the transient. Vs 11 The profound jnani is always rooted in the Self alone. He does not think
of the universe as `Unreal' nor does he see it as apart from himself. Commentary: The reply to the first question is categorical. It is only the fire of knowledge that can burn away karma and liberate. Such knowledge would be firm only if based

on experience, based on Self- abidance. .... .... bondage is born of attachment to the pleasurable and dislike for the unpleasant. Discrimination produces a firm intellectual conviction of the lack of value of all things transient. It therefore ripens the mind for single-minded pursuit of the effort necessary for Self-abidance. A clarification given by Ramana is worth noting. He says that "an examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena leads to `vairagya'". Hence this discrimination is "the first step to be taken and will result in contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure etc. The
`I'- thought becomes clearer for inspection". *~ (*~Talks with Ramana Maharshi Ps 26)

.. Though engaged in activity he (jnani) is not distracted from the Self (consciousness within). His mind is never externalized.... He is fearless. ....
The world is `Unreal' if seen only as
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form and name.....

The wise perceive both , the differences, the names and

forms, and the underlying unity. Since nothing is seen as apart from himself, the world too is seen as
permeated by consciousness and cannot therefore be `Unreal'....... Ramana also states that while the existence of the world is accepted both by the wise and the

ignorant, the difference lies in the fact that the ignorant foist an independent

reality on the world while the wise are conscious only of the Self, the Real. *~*
(*~*Sat-Darsanam Vs 18) AR Natarajan Translation:

Answer to Q2 is covered in Vs 12,13 &14) Commentary: The term `Upasana' or `sitting near' has been differently interpreted. According to some it is the study in depth of the scriptures. Some others say that it is the spiritual practice in accordance to the Guru's guidance. Yet others say that it is the continuous repetition of the holy mantras. In line with the enquiry method taught by him Ramana equates it with intermittent abidance in ones natural state during When such abidance becomes steady it is termed Knowledge (jnana). The

spiritual practice. The emphasis clearly shifts to practice and experience.

means and the end are not different. Implicit in the reply is the idea that knowledge and ignorance can alternate till knowledge becomes steady...(i.e. )

when abidance is unshaken by sense attractions. an alternative translation: Ramana Gita ... English translation & commentary by A R Natarajan. (5th edition 1999) It is said that in the days of yore, Siva, as Dakshinamurti, the Great God, chose to teach a handful of disciples, just four of them, the way to Self-knowledge. The Chandogya Upanishad talks of the Sanat Kumara regarded as the foremost of the knowers of the Self, teaching just one hungry seeker, the sage Narada. For, what matters is earnestness, a total involvement, an exclusive concern to find

out

the truth. In this century such a blessing fell on a small band of persons to whom
it was given to learn the science of the Heart, from Ramana Maharshi. The setting was the Virupaksha cave and Skandasramam on the Holy Arunachala Hill in the years 1913 to 1917. The questioners were Ganapathi Muni, Daivarata, Karshni, Yoganatha, Kapali, Visalakshi, Vaidarbha and Amritanatha. Just eight of them but they have placed generations of spiritual seekers in their debt by covering the whole gamut of what matters for those concerned with Self-knowledge. Ganapati Muni, the divinely inspired composer, was the son of Narasimha Sastry. He was born on 17th Nov 1878 in Kaluvarayi in Andhra Pradesh. At a young age he had mastered the scriptures, meditated on the meaning of many sacred mantras and observed hundreds of austerities. Yet, peace was denied to him till he

surrendered to Ramana, and learnt directly from him the truth about tapas, about penance. Ramana himself has made it clear that the composition is authentic
and that it records accurately the conversations. Once he remarked, `Remembering such talks was child's play for him. He could listen to a long and intricate lecture and produce the gist of it accurately in the form of sutras not Introduction
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omitting anything of importance which had been stated so remarkable was his power of memory. He must have reproduced Ramana Gita in that way. ' There have been six English translations of the Ramana Gita from 1935 to 1977 but the only commentary was by Kapali Sastri in Sanskrit, in 1941. This book is the first English commentary on the Ramana Gita. A rare blessing indeed to be give this opportunity. How can one repay the debt to the Maharshi? (a picture of Ganapathi Muni from this book by A R Natarajan can be seen in the photos file)
Ganapathi Muni Posted: 20-Mar-2004 - Resolution: 285 x 400
Thumbnail: 1 KB | Screen Size: 13 KB | Full Size: 734 KB

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 2. This Sri Ramana Gita is the purer Ganges.

It arises from the greater Lord of the Hill, Sri Ramana Muni the poet Ganapathi cleansing, at every step, the worst errors and reaches the sea, the devotees heart. Here begins: THE RAMANA GITA Composed by Ganapathi Muni Translation by Sri Visvanatha swami and Prof. K. Swaminathan and flows out, the path being the voice of *** CHAPTER 1: `The Importance of Self-abidance'***
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1. I bow to Maharshi Ramana, Karttikeya, Son of Shiva In human form And set forth his teaching in this lucid work. 2 & 3. In the year 1913, Common Era, The 29th of a cold December night When all devotees were seated round With attentive minds, I asked Bhagavan Maharshi for definite answers To certain questions. Note: Karttikeya is Skanda a son of Lord Shiva. Ganapati Muni, drawing on the Puranas , saw Ramana as an embodiment of Skanda come to slay the Demon Ego, Taraka. AR Natarajan Translation: Commentary: Ganapati Muni describes Ramana as the human embodiment of the divinity, Kartikeya, the pre-eminent teacher of the Self. This reference is based on the

repeated visions the Muni had. The Muni later extols Ramana's divinity in chapters eleven and eighteen. Kartikeya is referred to as Sanatakumara in Chandogya Upanishad, and as teacher of Brahma-vidya to the great sage Narada. Ramana is cast in the same role, as his divine purpose was visualized by the Muni to be the same. ]] v. 9:Hearing these questions of mine, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, to dispel my doubts, and in the plenitude of his Grace, spoke thus: First Question v. 4 Is Mukti to be had by mere discrimination between the Real and the Unreal, or are there other means for the ending of bondage? Answer v. 10

Abidance in the Self alone releases one from all bonds. Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal leads to non-attachment.
Note :In the original text the questions are grouped together and so are the answers. To make it easier to follow, here the questions and answers are juxtaposed and placed together.
To be continued with the Second Question. 9

Question 3

Ganapati Muni asks Sri Bhagavan

Kapali Sastriar Translation: 6. Does one established in Consciousness conclude that he is established in Consciousness knowing the fullness of things or the ceasing of knowledge ? Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 6. How does one, abiding in the Cognizant-Self recognize himself as such? Is it by knowing the fullness of his enlightenment or is it by his indifference towards sense-objects ? Ramana answers; Kapali Sastriar Translation: 15.

impressions, the Jnani would be, without a doubt, able to conclude that he is
a Jnani himself. 15. In the firm, natural, innate state, the Self, in that Supreme Silence, where there is no urge to respond to any impulse, by that very sign the Enlightened know, without any doubt, that they are Enlightened. Further to the previous correction. Both Kapali and Krishna give the answer to Q. 3 as verse 6 only. The answer to 4 they give as 16 only [Kapali only the first half]. To Q. 5 Kapali gives the second part of 16 and ends the whole chapter on 17. To Q, 5 Krishna gives 16 second half of 16 and 17 as answer to Q, 6. So it looks like our three translators are perhaps working from different versions of the original Text. Perhaps the Muni made revisions or there are printers errors. Perhaps we each better be faithful to our own printed texts in English regardless of what differences may appear and let the reader get the gist. What do you think? Question 3 AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 6 How does a person of `steady knowledge' know that he is one such? Is it because of the awareness of the fullness of his knowledge? Or is it because of cessation of objective* awareness? Vs 7 By what hallmark do the learned recognize the Knower? (note: this is later referred to as the fourth question with answer in Vs 16) Commentary: Theexpression`sthitaprajna'means`onewhoisrootedinSelf-knowledge'. Thewisdomofsuch a person is steady and firm. For such a person there are no

When the Natural State becomes fixed by a silence devoid of

others

Perception of oneness does not mean that such a person is not aware of

objects. It only means that Self-attention is not lost because of objective*

awareness.
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The Muni puts the questions from two angles: from the viewpoint of the knower himself and that of the onlookers. Something should stand out in a person to enable his or her identification, straightaway, as a wise person.

*(Note : Natarajan's use of the word `objective' should not be confused with its use as in opposite of `subjective') Answer

Vs 15 In the firm natural state, through the silence of the mind free of all

tendencies, the knower knows himself as such, without any doubt.


Commentary:

This is Ramana's answer to the third question. The expression `mouna' means silence. It may be wrongly taken to mean refraining from speech. `What is the good of keeping the mouth closed and letting the mind run riot?' Ramana would ask. Nor could it refer to forced stillness brought about by breath-control and certain other spiritual practices. The silence referred to in this verse is the natural

quietness of the mind, a mind which does not become externalized by contact with sense objects, because tendencies have been destroyed. The flame of knowledge burns away the seeds of the latent tendencies which pull out the mind. The certainty of the knower springs from the firmness of his experience. Such silence is potent and knowledge is best communicated by the truly silent ones. Dakshinamurti Siva, of yore, and Ramana, of the
present exemplify this. The Third Question of Ganapati Muni to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Krishna Bhikshu Translation: v. 12&13: When one is fit for Self-Enquiry, by his non-

attachment for sense-objects and by discrimination, are ceremonial baths,


sandhya1, repetition of mantras, oblations poured into the fire, chanting of Vedas, worship of Gods, bhajan, pilgrimage, sacrifice, giving in charity and observance of special spiritual practices, are these of any use, or are they a waste of time? Answer v. 14: For competent beginners with waning attachments, all these aids will make the mind increasingly pure. v. 15:

Virtuous activity of mind, speech and body, destroys the contrary activity
of mind, speech and body. v. 16: All this (virtuous) activity of competent persons, mature and endowed with minds of highest purity, benefits the world. v. 17:
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Men of mature wisdom perform action for teaching (for example) and for the welfare of others, not out of fear of (violating) scriptural injunctions. v. 18: Virtuous actions performed without a sense of difference and without attachment do not stand, O best of men, in the way of Self-enquiry.

v. 19: The non-performance of prescribed actions by a mature person pursuing Self

enquiry is no sin. For Self enquiry is itself the most meritorious and most

purifying (of actions) v. 20: Two ways of life are seen in the mature among competent seekers renunciation of action for solitary communion, and action for the good of others.
Question 4
Ganapati Muni asks Sri Bhagavan

Translation Sri Visvanatha Swami and Prof. K. Swaminathan: 7, By what indications are the learned able to recognize the Jnani? Answer: 16. [first half]From the mark of equality towards all Beings one's [attainment] of Jnana is inferred. Kapali Sastriar Translation: Commentary: ..... he sees all Beings as equal to the Self.... to have in them an equality of

vision without any differentiation..... this is not an outward mark.... but palpable to the inner eye and recognized by mature minds... by those whose minds are turned inwards...
This is an extract from the commentary now published by Ramanasramam, slightly paraphrased. Kapali's commentary has only recently been translated into English by S. Sankaranarayanan. The commentary was written at the same time as the Muni composed the Gita , shown to Bhagavan and approved by him. A report of this event is in Kapali's Diary appended to the Commentary. AR Natarajan Translation: Question 4 Vs 7 By what hallmark do the learned recognize the Knower? Answer Vs 16 Let one know that he is knower by his hallmark of equality for all creation.
Commentary:

This is the answer to the fourth question. The wise are indrawn, Self-rooted. So there may not beanyexternalinsigniaofthegreatstate. Howthenisonetofindoutwhetheroneisa`knower'or not? Their state is apprehended by others by the unitary vision of the person. In the vision of the wise,

everything is perceived only as the Self. The absence of others' makes for
a
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natural and universal love in which the question of preference does not arise. His equal treatment of all creation would stand out.

Ramana has clarified to Kapali Sastri what exactly the equality of a `jnani', a wise one, means. "The very term equality implies the existence of differences. It is a unity which the wise one perceives in all differences, which I call equality. Equality does not mean ignorance of distinction. When you have realization you can see that these differences are formal. They are not substantial or permanent and what is

essential in all these appearances is the one `Truth' the `Reality'. "
Question 5
Ganapati Muni asks Sri Bhagavan

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 7. [second half] Does Samadhi lead only to Enlightenment or does it confer the

fruit desired ? 16 [second half] Answer: Though Practice is begun with desire,

when Samadhi ensues surely the desire will be attained.


AR Natarajan Translation:

Q5 Vs 7(a) Does samadhi', the conscious absorption of the mind in the

Heart, result only in knowledge or does it also fulfill desires? Commentary: The scriptures have described different kinds of `samadhi'. Merging in reality and remaining unaware of the world is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Remaining in this primal, pure natural state without effort is Sahaja Samadhi. In this state
activity and objective awareness do not distract one from Self-rootedness. The doubt is about what happens to the pre-existing desires Answer to Q5 Vs 17 Even though the practice of absorption of the mind in the Heart is begun for

fulfilling a desire, that desire also will certainly fructify.


[note: commentary re answers 5 &6 to follow Vs 18] Question 6 Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 8. The Muni: If one comes to abide in the cognizant-Self practicing yoga for a desired end, is the fruit of that desire obtained or not ? 17 Bhagavan: In practicing Yoga with a desire, if one comes to abide in the joy. ---------------This completes Chapter 1-----------------13

cognizant-Self, though the desire fructifies, it will not lead to any exuberant

AR Natarajan Translation: Question 6 Vs 8 If one practicing yoga for fulfilling a desire becomes a steadfast knower of the Self will that desire be fulfilled or not? Commentary:

It is said that Self-abidance destroys all desires. If that be so the question arises as to what would be the fate of the particular desire for the satisfaction of which the spiritual practice was commenced. The doubt is if it would also be washed away.

Answers to Q5 & Q6 Vs 17

Even though the practice of absorption of the mind in the Heart is begun for fulfilling a desire, that desire also will certainly fructify. Vs 18 While practicing yoga with a desire, if one becomes a person of steady wisdom, even though the desire is fulfilled there would be no elation. Commentary: These are the answers to fifth and sixth questions. The single-minded pursuit

of certain spiritual practices might be for the fulfillment of a particular desire say, wife, children, wealth etc. The single-mindedness brought about by such motivation might result in the absorption of the mind in the heart. The doubt
was about the pre-existing desire. Ramana's reply is clear, that desire too would be satisfied. It is no doubt true that the desire too would fructify, but for the one who had

serried it, it would no longer produce any happiness. Why? Free from desires born

of attachments, all events good and bad would be seen neutrally, with neither depression nor elation.
NOTE: Sri. Natarajan includes in his Ramana Gita the Sanskrit version in Bhagavan Ramana's own handwriting at the beginning of each chapter. These were made available by Sri V. Ganesan. You can see these in the `Ramana Gita' folder under `Photos'. Krishna Bhikshu Translation: v. 1 In the Chaturmsya1 of 1915 of the era of the Son of God, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi uttered in a verse the essence of his teaching: v. 2 --------END of Chapter 1... `The Importance of Self-abidance'-------*** Chapter 2... `THE THREE PATHS***
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Hrdaya kuhara Madhye The Eka Sloka In the interior of the heart-cave,

Brahman alone shines in the form of the Atman with direct immediacy as I, as I. Enter into the heart with questing mind, or by diving deep within, or through control of breath, and abide in the Atman.
v. 3 Whoever understands this verse, the essence of Vedanta, uttered by Bhagavan Maharshi, will never again be assailed by doubt.
Sri T. V. Kapali Shastriar's

Commentary: on The Eka Sloka (Chapter Two Verse 2 of the Ramana Gita) FIRST, HERE is the story - Bhagavan's own account as told to Suri Nagamma - of how the Eka Sloka came to be written. " In 1915 Jagadeesa was staying in Skandasram during 'Chaturmasya', and one day he wrote down in a piece of paper 'Hridaya Madhye', held it in his hand and sat down. When I asked him what it was he said he wanted to

write a sloka but when he actually began it, only that much he could write. "I asked him to complete the rest. He said that nothing was coming forth and thereafter just left the paper under my seat. Though I reminded him any number of times he pleaded his inability. One day he left for some place. Before his return, I completed the Sloka, wrote below that as 'Jagadeesan' and showed it to him as soon as he returned. Those days he was very young. He said "Is it not Bhagavan who completed it? Why is it written as Jagadeesan?' I said 'I don't know that! was it not Jagadeesan who completed it?' Then, saying 'If it was written by Jagadeesan please give me the paper' he took it away and preserved it with him. " Suri Nagamma, to whom this account was given, wanted to have from Bhagavan in an explicit manner what was, as usual with him in such matters, left implicit. She records that she asked him further about this sloka: "Bhagavan himself is Jagadiswara, is it not so?" Bhagavan just replied evasively "That is alright" and proceeded to divert the subject by a narration as to how the Sloka ultimately came to be incorporated in Ramana Gita. Thus Bhagavan had left us in no doubt that the prompting and the product was that of Lord of Universe 'Jagadeesa' Sri Ramana Himself. Another important thing about this sloka is that it is the first composition of Bhagavan in Sanskrit. Earlier his compositions were in Tamil. When Kavya Kantha Ganapati Muni, the great Sanskrit scholar, saw this sloka he was beside himself in joy and proclaimed it as "Ramanopanishad", "Hardopanishad". He decided to write out an exhaustive commentary on it. When in 1916 a reference was made about this in the presence of Bhagavan, Kavya Kantha said "The time for that is yet to come. I shall compose something like Geeta (the Bhagavad gita) as a commentary. " That was how Ramana Gita itself was born. Here now is the verse itself, followed by Kapali Shastry's remarks taken from his Commentary: on the Forty Verses:
15

"In the interior of the heart cave, Brahman alone shines in the form of the Atman with direct immediacy as I, as I. Enter into the heart with questing mind, or by diving deep within, or by control of breath, and abide in the Atman. "
"Just as one forgets all other thoughts and keeps aside all other cares, and holding breath and speech gets into the well and plunges deep and plunges deep to find the lost article even so one has to forget for the moment all his responsibilities

and cares and take a deep plunge into the deeper truth of himself, holding

calm his breath and mind which would otherwise dissipate his energy and divide his interests. Thus he gets into a movement of plunge that deepening and deepening with a vigilant and discerning eye develops into a supreme awareness.
"The methods hitherto suggested (i. e. in the Forty Verses) are all some sort of

search with the mind and indeed they yield results of their own: and the

earnestness of the search determines the measure of success. But in this verse the method called 'Plunge' is suggested, and this is the real test of earnestness. For an honest whole-hearted attempt involves the gathering up of all one's divided interests and dissipated energy into a concentrated effort of the whole man, of his being in all its entirety. It
is not a partial attempt by the mind or by means of controlling the lifebreath. "Here restraint of breath and speech are suggested as a means and an

accompanying condition of the 'Plunge'. Restraint of speech suggests a mind equipped for the attempt with preliminary calm. Restraint of breath also is spoken of here both as a means and as a necessary condition. It is easy to see that it naturally accompanies a serious attempt of this kind. But how is it a means?

The discipline of regulating the breath has a value to life-breath, as it clears

away to a certain extent the impurities that are the heritage of a life that is divided in its interest. Besides,

the discipline of regulating the breath, Pranayama, gives a certain purity to life in the body and thereby helps the mind to have control over itself by getting clear of the arrogating advances of life upon it. An impure and weak mind is a slave

of life which is ever out for the satisfaction of appetite - hunger and thirst - and is full of desire for enjoyment of sensual objects. The Sadhana by which Prana is purified goes a long way to purify and elevate the mind.
"It must be noted that what is enjoined here is the adoption of any means, that will enable one to take a determined dive to find the Real in the deep. Though the Maharshi's attitude to Sadhana may be summed up in one word

Nishtha - (steadfast abidance) - leading to or realized in Prapatthi - (self-

surrender to the Lord, in the knowledge of ones own helplessness), he has no


predilection to any of the stereotyped yogas, for instance the Jnanayoga of Neti (not this, not this) or the Bhaktiyoga with its eight limbs of sravana, kirtana, etc, or the Rajayoga that aims solely at the mind becoming entranced into a state
16

undisturbed by the world. The Vichara or quest is described as a quest for the

Self by the calm collected and deepening mind.... When the mind becomes calm, free from all thoughts other than the single thought of the Self and begins to search for it in silence, then alone real quest for the Self vichara may be said to begin. "
"As in a well of water deep, dive deep with Reason cleaving sharp. With

speech, mind and breath restrained,

Exploring thus mayest thou discover The real source of ego-self. "

Kapali Shastriar Translation: Note: This sloka is repeated in verse 8 of the Supplement to the 40 Verses and is engraved in gold letters on black basalt above Ramana's couch in the new hall.
There is also a Commentary published by Ramanasramam by C. Sudarsanam in Pamphlet Form

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 1 In the rainy season of 1915. , Bhagavan Ramana Rishi stated the essence of his teachings in a verse. Vs 2 In the center of the Heart-cave, Brahman shines alone. It is the form of Self experienced directly as `I'-`I'. Enter the Heart through self-enquiry or

merging or by breath-control and become rooted as That. Commentary: There are 300 verses in Ramana Gita. Of these, this verse only was composed by the Maharshi himself. Although the other verses composed by the Muni also set out only the teachings, this verse has a special significance. For, great importance has to be attached to the words of seers as they express their direct vision of the Truth. It is also the first composition of Ramana in Sanskrit. ......In 1915, Jagadiswara Sastri ,an ardent and scholarly devotee, wrote the first few words of this verse, `Hridaya kuhara madhye' , `in the center of the

Heart cave', but could not proceed further however much he tried. After some
futile attempts, he went out leaving the paper under Ramana's seat. Before he returned Ramana himself had completed the verse. * [*Letters from Sri Ramanasramam by Suri Nagamma.. pg 341] Ganapati Muni regards this verse as containing the essence of Ramana's teachings. Hence gives it pride of place through an exclusive chapter. Note that `Heart', `Brahman', `Atman' & `Self' are used interchangeably by Ramana. However use of expression `Heart' is most commonly seen. This `Heart' is not the blood circulating organ to the left but the spiritual heart. Based on his own experience, Ramana locates it 2 digits to right of center of chest...It is at once the seat of the Self& the source of the ego, the individuality. Scriptures declare,

`Brahman' shines in hearts of all creation, pure, eternal & selfluminous. Ramana describes how consciousness shines forth by itself, spontaneously, taking form of an un-broken feeling
17

of `I'. a continuous throb of consciousness, `I'-`I'. The expression Brahman `alone' indicates absence of duality. In Upadesa Saram Ramana explains true import of individuality is the Heart, to be self, is only a phenomenon of the waking state. since it shines always without a let. Whereas, the `I' thought or ego we take The ego perishes, as it were, daily in deep sleep and logically one cannot be that which comes

and goes. It must be the Heart which sparkles always because there can be

no break in one's being.


Though feeling of fullness as `I'-`I' is continuous even when one has notion of separateness, awareness of this feeling would be absent. When through

conscious effort the `I' thought is traced to its source and merged there, one becomes conscious of the continuous sparkle of the Heart.
In '40 verses on Reality', Ramana makes it clear that consciousness of the `I'-`I' is different from the ego or the idea of individuality. Ego is limited, separative and particular. The feeling of `I'-`I' is the limitless expanse of

consciousness. The `I' thought, ego, is termed `Aham-Vritti' and the shining of
the `I' in the heart is called `Aham-sphurti'. Ramana describes the latter `as an incessant flash of `I' consciousness, you can be aware of it, feel it, hear it, sense it'. * When questioned by Kapali Sastri as to how to feel in this in the body, Ramana explained "that the whole body becomes a mere power, a force current. Life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet and as you go deeper

and deeper you become a mere center and then not even that for you become mere consciousness". **
[*Sat Darshana Bhasya-P xx, **Ibid Pxxi] ........... Ramana's translation of this verse into Tamil and Malayalam, in the `Supplement to Forty verses' needs to be noted. The English translation of this reads as follows. `In the interior of heart-cavern, Brahman shines alone as `I'-`I', as the Self.

Resort to the heart by diving deep within through self-enquiry or by subsiding the mind along with the breath. You will become established in the Heart. '* On plain reading it would appear that two alternatives are suggested, that of merging through self- enquiry or merging through breath control. The alternatives are suggested since the mind and breath have a common source, the Heart. Ramana has explained in Upadesa Saram that they

are two branches of the same tree, `Sakti, `Power'. **here again the two paths indicated would be more for practice. The second alternative is more in the nature of an aid to the first, the subsidence of the

mind. {*supplement to Forty verses-Vs 8. **Upadesa Saram Vs 12. }


To blow up the controversy whether the paths are three, two or one is to miss the wood for the trees. It is important to remember that the point which Ramana is emphasizing is that direct experience is possible and that one should somehow

enter the Heart for which the suggestions mentioned would be complementary in
practice. The self-enquiry suggested is not to be pursued weakly but with total interest diving deep like a pearl diver exploring the ocean bed for

pearls. *Or like one trying to recover something which has fallen into water. The mind has to be gathered completely at its root, the `I'-thought.
18

Regarding breath control, it may be mentioned that in the Ramana way the emphasis is not on hatha- yogic practices of controlling breath, which involve time and need expert guidance. Instead, the mind is used for watching the breath. On such watching the breath would be regulated. Further, it is to be noted that though it would appear from a literal reading that Ramana gives the same position to breath control as for self-enquiry it is not really so. On a reading of his views on mindcontrol in this work, and from his replies to the doubts of seekers, it would be clear that Ramana regarded breath regulation only as a temporary aid for self-enquiry itself. For, it would serve as a brake to the ceaseless thought flow which prevents total attention to the `I'- thought Another reason why Ramana does not recommend breath regulation as an independent means is because such regulation often produces temporary stillness of the mind. This would leave the problem of the ego, or thought of separateness, untackled. It is only through conscious effort, through self- enquiry, that the subsidence of the mind at the source takes place. Vs 3 Whoever understands this verse, uttered by Bhagavan Maharshi, containing the essence of Vedanta, will never again be assailed by doubts at any time. Commentary: The Muni is in raptures over the preceding verse for, seekers of truth have been given a simple and direct way to Self-abidance. The verse's authoritative nature springs from its being the words of Ramana, one abiding firmly in the state of

steady wisdom. Doubts will come to an end for a path


has been indicated the treading of which leads to for oneself.
THE THREE WAYS

direct experience

of truth

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 4. in the first half of verse 2 , Bhagavan has indicated the location of the Self in the physical body of the five elements. 5. in the same place the characteristics of the Self are stated and any form of dualism negatived. Its direct and immediate cognisability is affirmed ; which contradicts the various characteristics of the supreme adumbrated by the Dualists. 6. In the second half ,[v. 2]instructions in the pursuit of spiritual practice are given to the disciples by the path apparently threefold but in essence one. 7.. The first part is termed margana or search; the second is majjana, Diving in; the third is prana Rhoda, control of the flow of life force. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 4 In the first half of the verse Bhagavan has indicated the location of the Self within this visible body, formed or five elements. ---------------This ends Chapter 2. -------------19

Commentary: In this and subsequent three verses the Muni explains the special features of verse two. The location indicated is based on Ramana's own experience. Some points need clarification. The body is limited by time and space. The Self, however is untouched by both. How then can it be said that the limited consciousness has a particular location in the body? * The answer is that so long as one is identifiedwiththebody,everything,beitGodortheSelfhastoberelatedtoit. Thisposition would be clearer when one goes through chapter five of this work where Ramana sets out how the fullness of consciousness, the Self, is related to the reflected consciousness of the mind. [*'Five Verses on the Self Collected Works-p11] Vs 5 In the first half of the verse itself the nature of experience of Self-

knowledge is set out, difference from God denied, direct experience is affirmed, rendering descriptive attributes of the Self- superfluous.
Commentary: In the scriptures the Self has been described. Such description, though helpful,

provides only vicarious knowledge. When direct experience takes its place by diligent pursuit of the way suggested by Ramana, there is no longer any need for intellectual comprehension of the nature of the Self. In terms, the essential

identity of individual, God and Self is set out, to be found out

experimentally. Vs 6
In the second half of the verse instruction is given for the practice, by a disciple, of the three different methods which in essence are one. Vs 7 The three paths are self-enquiry, merging in the Heart, and regulation

of breath.

Commentary: The first path is termed `margana', search, the second `majjana', and the third `pranarodhana' or regulation of the breath. These are methods for tracking back the ego. , the mind, to its source. Such subsidence is a pre-condition for one to become conscious of the eternal `sphurna', or the `feeling of existence'. Ramana scholars, have over the years, translated this verse very differently. There are as many as fourteen different versions. * it may be mentioned that the Muni has specifically stated that three separate paths are indicated for practice, by a disciple. He has hastened to add that the paths are essentially unitary in nature. In what sense could they be said to be one? The mind is pushed inward till the separate identity is lost in the oneness of the Heart. As for regulation of breath, the watching of it helps to steady the mind and gives the necessary thrust to push within. In this light it is seen to be complementary to

by self-enquiry and this has to be pursued further by continuing the enquiry

self-enquiry, which could be termed as `The Path'. [*Eka Sloka by Sudarsanam-P11] [Note: Sanskrit version of Chapter 2 in Bhagavan's writing can be seen in `Photo'Ramana Gita album] Translation of Visvanatha Swami and Prof. K. Swaminathan ----------------End of Chapter 2.. `The Three Paths'
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*** Chapter 3-THE PARAMOUNT DUTY/TASK *** 4. Daivarata: What in brief is the means to know one's Real nature ? What is the effort that can bring about the sublime inner vision?
5.

Strenuously withdrawing all thoughts from sense objects, one should

remain fixed in steady, non-objective Enquiry.

6. This in brief, is the means of knowing one's own Real nature ;this effort alone brings about the sublime inner vision. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 1 For the delight of the wise, the conversation between Daivarata and Acharya Ramana is recorded in this chapter. Vs 2 "Bhagavan, what is the paramount duty of a human being caught up in the cycle of births and deaths? Please decide on one and expound it to me. " Commentary: Three things are said to be rare: human birth, desire for liberation & the grace of a Sadguru. Human birth follows umpteen ups & downs in karmic cycle. Humans alone are endowed with discriminative faculty, capacity to choose between alternatives: ethical and nonethical, pursuit of temporary pleasures and freedom from tyranny of karma. Therefore, human birth provides opportunity to regain knowledge about oneself. Hence the importance of single-mindedly getting to know the paramount duty, performance of which, brings about Self-

knowledge.

Vs 3 Bhagavan replied, `For those desiring the highest, discovering one's

own true nature is most important. It is the basis of all actions and their fruits. '
Commentary: Note that Ramana's reply is specifically `for those desiring the highest'-- not the

ordinary man unconcerned with liberation. When sights are set on the highest, only

direct experience of the truth would suffice.

To be in `one's own true nature' is to be in the natural state i. e.. `sahaja'. Ramana himself was always in that state. It is `natural' because it is inherent a state of bliss in which consciousness shines in all its fullness. It is to be discovered, found out anew, because, awareness

of it is not possible with the mind externalized. When the mind

turns inward through self-enquiry, what was lost is found again.

Ramana also explains why this discovery is to be regarded as most essential.

Since all spiritual practices have as their goal, Self-knowledge, discovering

ones own true nature determines 21 all one's actions and their fruit. Further, actions are only possible because
the mind is being ignited by consciousness. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 4 `Briefly, by what spiritual practice does one become aware of one's own true nature? What effort brings about the exalted inner vision?' Commentary: The natural state is supreme. Scriptures prescribe several spiritual practices as the way to be conscious of it. Hence the question, which practiced is for abidance in the natural state. The tendencies in the mind must be eradicated if the

mind is to be free of the outward movement.


ThepracticewhichmakesthispossibleissetoutinVs5&6. Vs 5

Withdrawing all thoughts from sense-objects through effort, one should remain fixed in steady non-objective enquiry.
Vs 6 This in brief, is the practice for knowing one's own nature brings about the exalted inner vision. Commentary: Latent tendencies and the false notion that happiness lies only in sense objects, keep the mind externalized. this effort alone

tapped by turning the mind inward.

However, happiness is our inherent nature, to be

Ramansaysthatthroughenquiryrelatedtotheindividualorself,suchin-turningwouldtake place. One can only enquire about the familiar, the known. The unknown cannot be enquired into although it can be imagined, conceptualized. The spirit of enquiry, a strong

urge to find out the truth about oneself, is the first essential ingredient. Elsewhere Ramana asks, `What is the use of this life without the spirit of enquiry?'* Then alone one would seek to find out whether the individuality, the `I'-thought, the ego, is the totality of us or whether our true `personality' has an altogether different dimension. This approach makes
the self-enquiry an adventure,*~ and sustains it despite the journey being often seemingly long & endless, the ceaseless thought movements so hard to quieten.

Here Ramana emphasizes the need for steadfastness and faith in pursuing the

enquiry to its logical end, - Self-knowledge.

[*Marital Garland of Letters-Vs 46. ...*~ `Why Ramana' by Kumari Sarada Ramana

Smrithi] It should be noted that since the center of attention is the seer, the individual, the subject, - what is suggested is a non-objective enquiry. In all

spiritual practices there is a subject-object relationship of the individual carrying a particular name, form or sound. Ramana's method of enquiry is about the source of the ego, the subject. Since the individual `I'-thought functions always in association with other thoughts, when the rising of other thoughts is

controlled through self-enquiry, in a sense it is


22

deprived of its habitual support.

Then there would be no alternative for

the individual except to look within, for its true support.


Other methods employ a subject-object relationship in practice -- it is only in the end that the `ego', the subject, is tackled. In selfenquiry however, the practice

is to find out the truth about the subject, the individual, from the very beginning. It is therefore a direct path or a straight path.
Question Vs 7 Best of sages, will the observance of the code of conduct prescribed in the scriptures continue to be helpful till success is achieved ? Commentary: ...if one is soaked in other spiritual practices or has no natural inclination for selfenquiry the doubt is bound to arise as to the utility of other practices, either by themselves or supplementarily. Answer Vs 8. Prescribed rules of conduct do help the effort of the earnest seekers. The

do's & don'ts drop off by themselves for those who have attained success.
Commentary: Steadfast pursuit of spiritual practices purifies the mind and makes it

steady. To this extent they


strengthen the mind and self-enquiry would be rendered easier.

When Self-

knowledge dawns, the mind is quiet, sunk always in the Heart. Then the question of
any spiritual practice would not arise.
Question Vs 9 Cannot success be obtained by repetition of syllables, to the same extent as by exclusive, steady, non- objective self-enquiry ? Commentary:

Self-enquiry makes the mind supportless by dissociating the `I'-thought from other thoughts, and the mind perforce automatically turns within. In repetition of the mantra, the mind is kept alive and gradually becomes one pointed and capable of adhering to a single thought.
Vs 10... Earnest seekers who incessantly and with a steady mind, repeat sacred

syllables or `OM', will attain success. Vs 11


23

By repetition of the sacred syllables or the pure `OM' the mind is withdrawn from the sense objects and becomes one with Self.
Commentary: Though Ramana would never hesitate to state that self-enquiry is the `infallible means' he would also not disturb people's faith. This is because he recognized the fact that the best suited spiritual practice would depend on one's temperament. One therefore finds in Ramana Gita as also in the Talks with Ramana Maharshi, replies suited to the temperament and background of the questioner. One has to note that the repetition of the sacred syllables should be incessant and steady. Ganapati Muni, a master of mantra sastra, its tireless practitioner for years on end, found that the peace which should have followed did not. This at once underscores the advantages as well as the limitations of `other methods' and the effectiveness of self-enquiry. Ramana's advice to find out the source of the `I'-thought, or the sound of mantra, revealed the truth to the Muni. * It could be said that the Muni's earlier practices had ripened him, making realization instantaneous on hearing from Ramana himself about self- enquiry. [* Bhagavan and Nayana by S. Sankaranarayanan P4] Vs 12 This marvelous conversation took place on the seventh day of the seventh month of the year 1917 of the Christian era. ( Note: Sanskrit version of Ch. 3 in Ramana's hand writing can be seen in `Photo' file in Ramana Gita album. ) (Bhagavan answers questions raised by Ganapati Muni ) AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 1&2 Best of sages which these meditations, `I am Brahman', `Brahman am I', `I am all', `All this is Brahman' can be termed `knowledge'? Or is it different from all these four concepts? Commentary: First two, affirm identity of the individual with Brahman, with the Self. Next two are indicative of the all pervasiveness of the Self from which the

individual is nonseparate. ThesearescripturalassertionsoftheTruth.


Answer Vs 3-4. There is no doubt that all these meditations are conceptual. Abidance in

one's own pure state is `knowledge' according to the wise.


----------[End of Chapter 3] *** Chapter 4 .... 'Nature of Knowledge'...***

24

Commentary:

Self is beyond thoughts, cannot be reached by ideas. Therefore, concepts , however lofty, cannot serve the purpose. Only direct experience born of inhering in the Self can provide `knowledge' which cuts the very basis of separative existence from the ignorance of one's true nature. Ramana asks, 'How then to know that which is beyond the mind? To know it is to abide firmly in the Heart. '*
[*Sat Darshanam Prayer 1] The doubt then arises about the utility of scriptural practices... intellectual comprehension of oneness and universality of the Self, is of great help to purify the mind and prepare it for practices leading to freedom. Ramana makes it clear that the practice of affirmation of identity with the

Self is an aid for Self-knowledge,**.... cutting at the root of idea- `I am the body'.... The strangle hold of long ingrained habit, of limiting the Self to
the body, is corrected. Having thus comprehended the truth, ...proceed to be `That' by enquiring and reaching the Self. *~ [** Ibid Vs 36, *~ Ibid Vs 32] Question Vs 5-6 Lord of the sages, can Brahman be comprehended by thought? Please remove this doubt arising in my mind. Answer Vs 7-8

If thought seeks to comprehend Brahman, which is one's own self, it loses its separate identity and becomes `That'.
Commentary: Here the `vritti' or thought referred to can only be `Aham-vritti', the `I'thought. For, in self- enquiry, rejection of other thoughts precedes focusing of attention on the root thought.

Ramana says elsewhere `meditating without thought on your formless being, my form dissolves like a sugar doll in the sea'. The merging of individuality in

the Self is like a river joining the sea. The river can no longer be separated from the sea. The form of the pure mind is Brahman itself, for it is nonseparate.
...Ramana has said.. `.. comprehension through thought is not to be taken to mean "that the pure mind measures the immeasurable Self. It means that the

Self

makes itself felt in the pure mind so that even when you are in the midst of thoughts you feel the presence". * [*Sat-darshan Bhasya Talks Pxii] Vs 9 This brief, thrilling
conversation took place on the 21st of July 1917.

--------- End of Chapter 4...'Nature of Knowledge' ------------*** Chapter 5...' The Science of the Heart ***
25 This is a long dissertation by Ramana on the Science of the Heart, 20 verses in all. I propose to post just a few verses at a time. Alan

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: Question


4. If the Heart be located in 'Anahata Chakra'* how does the upward movement of the lifeforce in Yoga begin in Mooladhara ?** *Chakra in center of chest opposite physical heart. ** Chakra at base of spine. It is not clear who asked this question or whether it is rhetorical ?

Answer
5. The Heart is different from the blood circulating organ. Analyzed 'Hrid* plus Ayam' is

Hridayam which word thus expresses the nature of the Atman Hrid* means that which attracts everything into itself finally. The entire word therefore means 'that which into all things subside at the end'. 6. Its location is on the right side of the chest and not on the left. The Light flows
from that Heart to the Sahasrara* through Sushumna**
*Chakra at top of head **Main channel along spinal chord.. Vs 1 Ramana Muni spoke exhaustively about the Heart on 9th of August 1917. Vs 2 Descriptions of the Heart are only mental concepts. Vs 3 In brief,

That from which all thoughts of embodied beings spring is the Heart.

the `I'-thought is the root of all thoughts. The source of the `I'-thought is the Heart.
Commentary (abridged)

Knowing the source is of utmost importance for the practice of tracking back thoughts to their origin. No thoughts can exist without `me', the individual, the `I'-thought..... only
Ramana is pointing out the source of all thoughts- the Heart.

then other thoughts get linked to it... So, source of `I'-thought is the source of all other thoughts...... Why say the `I' thought has a source? Answer lies in our daily experience.... `I'-thought is a phenomenon of the waking state. Daily it `perishes' in deep sleep no thoughts at all, not even `I'-thought..... Thus it rises on waking, subsides when sleep overtakes.

If one enquires wherefrom

the `I'-thought rises and subsides, the answer would be found experientially, as the Heart. Then all the descriptions about the Heart (mental concepts) would become superfluous-there would be direct knowledge.
26 Vs 4 If the `Heart' be the seat of the `Anahata Chakra' how can the practice of yoga begin in the `Muladhara'?

Commentary:
Muladhara is the first, Anahata is the fourth charka. Yogic texts do not speak of the heart & Anahata charka as one. Ramana has also clarified that `Anahata chakra' is not the seat

of the Heart,- Anahata is not the same as the Heart center. Anahata is the charka lying behind the Heart. Lalitha Sahsranama has it-`salutations to the core situated in
anahata' and the next mantra, `in the Heart'. Thus it is clear that `anahata' is not the same as `Hrit'. Vs 5 This Heart is not the blood-pumping organ. `Hridayam' means `This is the

center'. Thus it stands for the Self.


Vs 6 The location of the Heart is on the right side of the chest and not on the

left. The light of consciousness flows from the Heart through `Sushumna' channel to `Sahasrara'. Commentary: Ramana's teachings point out that the fullness of existence is shining always in the core of the Heart not a physical but a spiritual Heart - the Heart being the source of the mind. He invariably referred to his
own experience as the authority for it. "The Heart that I speak of is non-physical and is only on the right side. It is my experience and no authority is required by me. Still you can find confirmation in a Malayalam Ayurvedic book and in `Sita' Upanishad. "........... Ramana's experience... death and deathlessness co-existed. The glow of the be yypara nadi'. Vs 7 Vs 6 The location of the Heart is on the right side of the chest and not on the left.

Heart as `I' was felt directly............. How can a physical location

AR Natarajan Translation:

consciousness flows from the Heart through `Sushumna' channel to `Sahasrara'.


The light of From `Sahasrara' consciousness

spreads all over the body, and

then the experience of the world


in the cycle of births and deaths.

arises. Viewing themselves as different from that consciousness human beings get caught
Commentary:

Body is inert, not self-conscious. The light of the Self is reflected in the mind, making all activity possible. The delusion of separate existence arises in a mind ignorant of the source of its light and its all pervasive nature. Vs 8 The `Sahasrara' of one who abides in the Self is pure light only. Any thought which approaches it cannot survive.
Commentary:
27 The mind stuff of the ignorant is filled with latent tendencies-a mixture of

idleness, activity and equipoise. The wise mind is pure, always submerged in

the Heart. The equipoise of the wise remains always undisturbed. thoughts needed for effective performance of necessary action rise and end automatically with no carry forward of thought as residual memory.
Vs 9

Even when objects are perceived because of their nearness, it does not destroy yoga as the mind sees no differences. Commentary:

Perception of sense objects immediately externalizes the mind. Tendencies of the mind pull it outward when there is such an association. In contrast, wise minds are naturally quiet. All residual tendencies having been burnt, contact with objects does not disturb. Inherence in the Heart remains. Everything is seen as permeated with consciousness. Differences which are the hindrances are absent.
This is a long dissertation by Ramana on the Science of the Heart, often using the language of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, 20 verses in all.

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 10. If Chit or Awareness is firm and single pointed, even when objects are sensed, that state is called 'Sahaja Sthithi'. 11. The body is an epitome of the entire universe and the Heart is the

epitome of the entire body. Therefore the Heart is the epitome of the entire universe.

The universe is none other than the mind, and the mind none other than the heart.
12. Note: Kapali Sastriar translates 'epitome' as 'macrocosm'. Thus

the entire story of

the universe ends with the heart.


Vs 10 The state in which awareness is firm, even when objects are sensed, is called the natural state. In `Nirvikalpa Samadhi' there is

no objective perception.

(i. e. perception of

objects). Commentary (paraphrase)

In the last Vs of this chapter, Ramana defines `Samadhi' as the

conscious merger of

the mind in the Heart.


The `natural state' is `Sahaja Samadhi' (sahaja sthiti).

samadhana, you remain calm, composed, even while active. You realize you are moved by the deeper real Self within. You have no worries, no anxieties, no cares. Here you come to
28

"For, here you have

realize that there is nothing belonging to you, the ego. Everything is

done by something with which you get into conscious union".


it

In `Nirvikalpa

Samadhi' the mind is silent, but there is no objective awareness. "For in this state (mind) has no `vikalpa'- no need to swing between possibilities & probabilities. "

According to yogic texts the mind is in `Sahasrara' in this state. The difference is that in the `Sahaja' (natural) state there is awareness of objects and activity, but it

does not disturb Self-attention.


Vs 11 The

entire universe is in the body and the whole body is in the Heart. Hence the universe is contained within the Heart. Vs 12 The universe is only in the mind and the mind is nothing but the Heart.
Thus the entire story of the universe culminates in the Heart.

Commentary:
..... The fact that

the universe is contained in the mind, is evident on examining the

dream state - The body is lying inert, yet several different situations & scenarios are experienced vividly by the mind. In deep sleep, when mind is absent, there is no world. Waking, is the mind lighting up the world, although mind & world rise simultaneously. Also, perception of the world is only through sense organs controlled by the mind. One could therefore say, separate status, its

the world is but the mind*. The mind has no independent or

source is in the Heart which is the support of all 3 states, waking, dream and sleep. [*Ibid Vs 6]
Ramana has referred to these verses when replying to a doubt of a devotee about nadis & channels. " So the

Heart comprises all.

This is what is taught by Svetaketu by the

is a point without dimensions. It expands as the cosmos on the one hand and as the bliss on the other. That point is the pivot. From it a single Vasana starts, multiplies as `I'-thought, experience and the world. When I was staying in
illustrations of the seed of a fig tree. The source Skandashramam I sometimes used to go out to sit on a rock. On occasions others would join. Suddenly we once noticed a small moth-like insect shooting up in the air like a rocket from the crevice in the rock. Within a twinkling of an eye it had multiplied itself into millions of moths forming a cloud and hiding the sky from the view. We wondered and looked at the place from

pinhole and knew that many insects could not have issued from it in such a short time. That is how Ahamkara, the ego, shoots up like a rocket and instantaneously spreads out as the universe. The self is bound to the Heart. The Heart is therefore the center". **
where it had shot up. We found it was only a [** Talks with Ramana Maharshi - Ps 578, 579] This is a long spontaneous dissertation by Ramana on the Science of the Heart, not prompted by a questioner, often using the language of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, 20 verses in all Translation by Krishna Bhikshu: 13. The Heart exists in the body even as the Sun exists in the universe. The

mind exists in Sahasrara as the orb of the moon in the Universe.


29

14. As the Sun lights up the Moon even so this

Heart imparts light to the mind.

15. A mortal not established in the Heart, perceives only the mind, just as the light is perceived in the moon in the absence of the Sun. 16. Not perceiving that the

Source of the Light is one's own Real Self, and perceiving the objects through the mind as apart from himself, the ignorant one is deluded. 17. The Enlightened One inhering in the Heart, sees the light of the mind merged in the light of the Heart, like the light of the Moon in daylight.
Translation by AR Natarajan: Vs 13 The Heart is to the body what the sun is to the world. The mind in `Sahasrara' is like the orbit of the moon in the world. Vs 14 Just as the sun gives light to the moon, the

Heart lights the mind.

Commentary:
The moon has no separate existence from the sun so too the mind only reflects the consciousness of the Heart. It is because of this that

enquiry centered on finding out the mind's source will take one back to the Heart.
Vs 15 A mortal absent from the Heart sees only the mind, just as the light of the moon alone is seen at night when the sun has set. Vs 16

Unaware that the true source of consciousness is one's own Self, and mentally perceiving objects apart from oneself, the ignorant are deluded.
Commentary:
In the waking state, we function only with our minds. In dream state one's identity need not be the same. In sleep, the mind too is asleep. Proceeding only with reference to the

waking experience one is apt to presume that the mind is all, and that it is independently conscious......... only a properly directed enquiry would moon's light is derived from the sun.
Vs 17

reveal the truth, that the origin of the mind's light is the Heart, just as the
The mind of the knower, abiding in the Heart, is merged in the

consciousness of the Heart like the moonlight in daylight.


Commentary:
There is a world of difference between a Heart based life and the mind based one. For

those whose mind is dead, in the sense that latent tendencies are destroyed, only the form of the mind remains. it is rid of content.
30 Translation by Krishna Bhikshu: 18. The Enlightened One knows the mind as the expressed meaning of the word 'Prajnana'* and the Heart as the thing meant.

The Ultimate Divine is not different from the

Heart.
*Knowledge of the Ultimate.

19. The

notion that the Seer is different from the Seen abides in the

mind. For those that ever abide in the Heart the Seer is the same as the Seen. 20. The thought process, suddenly broken by swooning, sleep, excessive joy, fear etc. goes back to its original place in the Heart.
21. The embodied do not know that at that time thought has entered the Heart. But are

aware of it in Samadhi. The difference leads to a difference in names.


Note: names like 'sleep' etc. Kapali.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 18 Though the verbal meaning of the word `Prajnana', intelligence, is the word mind, the wise know its essential meaning to

be the Heart.

Commentary:
Literally translated, `Prajnana' means mind. However.... the limited and derived intelligence of the mind cannot be expressive of the content of the term `Intelligence'. The

unlimited consciousness of the Heart alone can be its connotation.


Vs 19

The difference between the seer and the seen is only in the mind. For

those abiding in the Heart the perception is unitary, one.


Commentary: Since the first thought, the primal thought, is one of identification with the

body, a particular name and form, the perception has perforce to be dualistic. All

duality ceases when the mind is lost in the Heart. Vs 20 When there is a forcible arrest of thoughts, by swooning, sleep, excessive joy or sorrow, fear, and so on, the mind goes back to its source, the Heart. Vs 21 Such merger is unconscious and the person is unaware of it. However, when one consciously enters the Heart it is termed `Samadhi'. Hence the difference in
names.

Commentary:

alert, attentive enquiry about the nature of the mind leads to conscious immortality. Though the merger of the mind in the Heart takes
In the Ramana way, place involuntarily in the situations set out in the preceding verse, it serves no purpose, because when the 31

thought processes revive, externalization of the mind would continue unabated. In contrast a conscious merger of the mind in the Heart during vigilant self-enquiry leads to a continuous erosion of the latent tendencies until the knowledge dawns by total destruction of tendencies.
[NOTE: Sanskrit version of Ch1,2,3,4,5 in Ramana's own hand writing can be seen in `Photo' file-`Ramana Gita' Album] Translation by Krishna Bhikshu. 1. Having thus explained the Essential Nature of the Heart, Sri Ramana Muni, eminent among

the Knowers of the Fundamental Truth of Things, explained the way of controlling the

mind.
2.

Men [and women] are enamored of sense objects and their thoughts ever flow towards them. Inherent tendencies[vasanas]* are powerful and the mind is therefore very hard to control. *Fixations in the mind [conditioned reflexes brought about by associations] on which depends the reaction or response to any stimulus. They are carried over from birth to birth and new ones formed in this birth. 3. It is fickle and it hops from one object to another incessantly. One should control it by controlling the Prana*,when it ceases to be active, as a tethered animal. *Purification of the mind brought about by the practice of Pranayama, subjugating the breath and life force by restraint. Later in the Chapter Ramana has simplified the Practice of Pranayama to:- one deep exhalation , one deep inhalation, restraint of breath for 4 counts and then a deep exhalation. This may be repeated a few times daily. See also his essay "Self Enquiry' in
Collected Works which can be downloaded from the Ramanasramam Web Site. Breath and

mind emanate from the same Source therefore control of breath leads to

control of mind and its purification to a more satvic maturity. He also gives

watching the flow of breath as a means, and Japa, as the Chapter proceeds.
Breath Restraint is also an option when practicing Diving Into the Heart' see Ramana Gita Chapter 2. V 2.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 The best of knowers of the truth, the sage Ramana, having explained the science of

the Heart, spoke of the means of controlling the mind. Vs 2 Men attached to objects and having endless thoughts due to the strength of latent tendencies find it difficult to control the mind. ---------End of Chapter 5...' The Science of the Heart --------*** Chapter 6...'Mind Control ***
32

Commentary:
...note that verses in this chapter are spontaneous statements made by the Maharshi and not replies to questions. One has to look for the cause of

restlessness of the mind. Any action done with the sense of doership leaves a residual memory after the action is over.
Experiences of past action are stored in the mind and give it a directional pull. When similar situations arise, this pull from the seeds of past action, called `vasanas' or latent tendencies, would externalise the mind. Contact with

the sense objects in the present can be expected to produce the mental

reactions of going along with or resisting a particular action, depending on the pleasantness or unhappiness of the past experience. If the storehouse of such tendencies is left uncontrolled, the mind becomes a prisoner of the past and is unable to be steady or steadfast in meditation. If mind control
is desired, the question would naturally arise, as to how these tendencies can

beeradicatedorreduced.

Theultimatesolutionisonlythroughfindingonesowntrue

nature, for that alone can burn away the vast mass of tendencies. Till then,
along the way, the Maharshi suggests aids. These aids are spelt out in the subsequent verses. Vs 3 One should

control the fickle mind by restraint of breath. Then it

would, like a tethered animal, cease to stray. Commentary:

If the mind is strong, not distracted, then self-enquiry can take place without aids. A weak mind, dissipated mind however, needs a prop in order to
stick to a single thought stream.
Breath- regulation would serve this purpose best. In his `Upadesa Saram' Ramana gives another analogy, that of a bird being caught in a net. Then, perforce the mind's freedom would be curtailed. Ramana says, "the mind is the

rider and breath is the horse. `Pranayama', breath-regulation, is a check on the horse, by that the rider is checked. Just a little may be done. It serves as a brake serves a car". *
[*Conscious Immortality Paul Brunton -P15] Translation by Krishna Bhikshu. 5. Control of breath means merely watching with the mind the flow of breath.

Through such constant watching kumhaka [retention] does come about.

6. for those unable to achieve kumbhaka this way, the method of Hatha Yoga [Pranayama] is prescribed. 7. That is rechaka[exhalation]should be done for one unit of time.

puraka[inhalation]for one unit. kumbhaka[retention]for four units. Thus the channels of the life Force are purified. AR Natarajan Translation:
33 Vs 5 Watching the flow of breath with the mind is restraint of it. Such watching,

if constant, steadies the breath. Commentary: Since breath-regulation is an important aid for mind control, the question
arises, what constitutes such control. Ramana provides an original solution, which is different from the yogic practices set out in the next verse. For, what matters is the

mind. And the use of it for stabilizing breath is a new path, as effective as yogic practices
needing expert guidance which may or may not be available. The condition precedent for the effectiveness of the method is that the watching should be constant. Vs 6 If the mind lacks the necessary strength for constant watching of breath then

restriction of breath by hatha-yogic practices is suggested.


Vs 7

Exhaling one unit of time, inhaling one unit of time, and retaining breath for four units purifies the channels through which breath flows. Commentary:
Verse seven sets out what is meant by hatha-yogic practice. Ramana recommends it as the second best method for breath regulation.

Watching the breath is preferred if one

is able to do so because then the subsidence of breath comes about naturally, whereas hatha-yogic practices bring it about by force. Ramana recommends
different alternatives because of different natural temperaments. Also, somehow,

one

should get back by any appropriate method best suited to the practitioner, to the source, to the Heart. 8. When they become clean [the channels of the 'life force] Prana gets controlled gradually.
Control of every prana-activity is called 'Suddha Kumbhaka'.
9. Others,thatisJnanis,define

'Rechaka' as the abandonment of the 'I am the

body' idea. 'Puraka' as the search for the Self, and 'Sahaja Sthithi' or abidance in the Self as 'Kumbhaka'. 10. Even by Japa of Mantras mind gets controlled. Then the Mantra becomes one with the mind, as with the Prana.
When the letters of the Mantra become one with the 'Prana' it is termed Dhyana and when Dhyana becomes deep and firm it leads to Sahaja Sthithi. 11. 12. By

constant association with Great Enlightened Saints*,also the mind merges in its own source.
*Seers is the translation of Swaminathan. 34 translation & commentary by AR Natarajan: Vs 8 Breath-control comes about gradually when the channels are purified. When such regulation becomes permanent it becomes natural. Vs 9 The wise regard the giving up of the notion `I am the body' as exhaling, self-

enquiry as inhaling, and abidance in the Heart as natural subsidence. Commentary:


The

root cause of mental distractions is the ego or the self-imposed limitation of identifying oneselfwithaparticularnameorform. Itisthiswhichexternalizesthemind. Self-enquiry is the most potent means for ridding oneself of this false idea and for the mind to be absorbed in the Heart.
Vs 10 The mind also gets controlled by repetition of sacred syllables. the syllables, the mind, and the breath become one. Then

Vs 11 The

merging of the mind and breath is termed `dhyana' and it leads to

the natural sate when it becomes deep and firm. Commentary:


A time-honoured method of mind control is the repetition of sacred words. Done in loud or low tones, mental repetition is superior.

Mental worship is considered superior as it require alertness to mental movements, and the mind could be quickly brought back
to the desired thought. Such mental attention leads simultaneously to even breath and this in turn enables the journey back to the source. A

stilled mind can be used to pursue a single thought till the mind merges in the Heart.
Once again, the emphasis is on somehow quietening the mind, enabling its in-turning

and returning to the Heart.


Vs 12

By keeping daily, the company of great ones always rooted in consciousness, ones mind gets merged in its source.
Commentary:
........ Scriptures say, three things are rare: human birth, desire for knowing the truth and the company of sages. Vs 12 deals with the third...... ...In ch. 6, Ramana suggests four

means: i) breath-regulation by watching with the mind, ii) forcible control of breath through hatha-yoga, iii) single-minded repetition of certain sacred words, iv) the company of the great ones. Again the point made is that somehow, one must merge the mind in the source. Of
course, these means are not alternatives. They can be and are often combined in spiritual practice. 35 A Story... ..... the company of those rooted in `Sat' or `Truth' is referred to. Only

in their presence is the mind subdued. Dakshinamurthi Siva, a classic example, transmitted wisdom to four disciples through his potent silence. Ramana used to relate a
story to illustrate the value of the presence of such great ones....... `Once Tatvaroyar, a disciple of Swarupanand, composed a special verse in praise of his beloved master. When learned scholars heard it, they objected saying that a verse in that metre could be written only in praise of a hero who had killed a thousand elephants. So Tatvaroyar took them to his master so that they could know for themselves. When they all reached there, the master revealed the truth by his silence. Many days and nights passed, but those who came to dispute remained, sitting quietly oblivious of the purpose for which they had come. Ultimately the master himself willed to bring to an end the quietude by allowing a thought ripple in his mind. '* [*Talks P216]

The atmosphere of purity and serenity surrounding such a person makes the minds of those intheirpresencealsotranquil.
"Iftheassociationofthewiseisobtained,towhatpurposeare the various methods of

self-discipline? Tell me, of what use is the fan when the cool, gentle south wind is blowing. "**
[** Supplement to Forty verses Vs 3]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


1. The seventh canto narrates the splendid dialogue between Karshni of the Bharadvaja family and Acharya Ramana. 2. Karshni asked; What is the nature of self Enquiry ? Which is the result hoped for by its pursuit ? is a greater good obtainable following any other path ? Bhagavan said:

The 'I Thought' is said to be the totality of all thoughts. The Source of that 'I Thought' must be searched for [investigated].
AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 This seventh chapter records the excellent conversation between Karshni of Bharadvaja line and Acharya Ramana. Vs 2 What constitutes self-enquiry? What is its utility? Can better results be achieved through other methods?

Commentary:
Daivarata had been advised by Ramana to pursue non-objective enquiry, an enquiry

centered on the subject, the individual, steadfastly and single mindedly*. (The
tools used for achieving this are explained in later verses. ) The questioner (in Vs 2) wishes to know the relative merits of this path and that of others like breath-control, incantations, repetition of sacred words and the like..... Even a fool would not wish to act without seeking benefit. Hence the need to know about the value of this method, self-enquiry.

--------- End of Chapter 6...'Mind Control --------*** Chapter 7... SELF ENQUIRY-COMPETENCE AND COMPONENTS
[*Ramana Gita Ch 3, v 5] 36 Vs 3

The `I'-thought is said to be the sum total of all thoughts. Enquire into the source of this `I'- thought. Commentary:
In Science of the Heart (Ch. 5), Ramana has already indicated, on the basis of his own experience, that

the `I'- thought is the core or essence of the mind and that it springs from the Heart. *... the
enquiry `Whence am I?' has been repeatedly stressed by Ramana in all his teachings

`Wherefrom

does this `I' thought arise?' if one enquires thus, it vanishes;** `On the rising of the ego everything rises; with its subsidence all subsides; the ego is therefore all, tracking it is the way to victory over everything. '# [*Ibid Ch 5, v 3.
first essential for the search is the attitude of enquiry, an attitude of doubt about our identity and the strong urge to find it. Next, of course is to gather together the distracted,
**Upadesa Saram v 19. #sat darshanam v 26] The

scattered mind at the core by fixing attention on the root `I'-thought. The mind should be turned inwards and kept active in the quest without

taking in external impressions or thinking of other things. Vigilance is


needed not only to ward off distracting thoughts, but also to proceed deeper within, but not be taken in by mental quietness. The one for whom the silence exists

there is no escape from effort till the `I'-thought, the mind, is sucked into the Heart. If properly directed, the joy of the journey itself will sustain the effort. The onward process of effort (and tasting bliss of the Self) and slackening of effort (and slipping back to the thought world) goes on till Self-abidance is continuous, till the `I'-thought stays merged in its source, the Heart.
has to be enquired into. Paradoxical as it may seem,

Self-enquiry is the straight path because in this method the final question is the one that is raised from the beginning. The nature of the mind is enquired into straightaway. Ramana explained to Paul Brunton the advantage of self-enquiry, `Mental quiet is easier to attain and earlier, but the goal is

mental destruction. Most paths lead to the first. Whereas self-enquiry leads to it
quickly and then to the second'. * In other words, other means may also lead to the

subsidence of the mind, but it would rise again.

For, they imply the retention of

the mind as the instrument of practice, which would lead to its perpetuation. The ego may

take different and subtler forms at different stages of ones practice but it is itself never destroyed. ** Another basic advantage of self-enquiry is that it can be practiced wherever one is and in whatever situation. It does not depend on

outer circumstances, the shaping of which may be beyond ones control.


[*Conscious Immortality Paul Brunton, **Maharshi's Gospel P 51]

All spiritual effort is to get back to the Heart. For this, attention to the `I'-thought is an effective means because `it is the only clue we have about
ourselves'. It is like a dog tracking the master from whom it has parted, by unerringly holding on to his scent. `I' is the sense of existence in the ego,

the reality which is mixed up with the erroneous idea of identification as

If one holds on to the `I' to the exclusion of everything else then it would lead one back
`this'.
37

to the Heart for it is an `infallible' clue. Tracking

the `I' thought to its

source is a `spiritual treasure hunt'. And in this what is required is to isolate

the ego from its associates, other thoughts, to question its false quietude, and to push beyond, where effort is no longer possible. The seeker, the individual, would be `drawn within' into the source and only a vast beatitude would endure. *
[*The Ramana Way in Search of Self Kumari Sarada]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 4. This investigation (V. 3)is Self Enquiry, and not pouring over scriptural texts.

When the Source is searched for, the I Notion merges into that Source.

'I-thought' is only a semblance [reflection] of the Self. When that thought dissolves, there remains the undiluted primary Self, the Reality, Perfect and Full, all around. 6. The result that flows from Self Enquiry ,is the end of all miseries and difficulties, This is the last word on 'rewards' (Phala). There is no greater reward than this.
5. The

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 4 This is self-enquiry and not the critical study of scriptures. When the source is searched the ego gets merged in it.
Commentary:

Critical study of scriptures provides intellectual comprehension of truth, but does not by itself provide the direct experience.
The

enquiry pertaining to the self, the subject, the `I', results in conscious merging of it in the Heart, therefore provides direct experience of the fullness of existence. ...the search for the source is emphasized because, when the habitual anchorage of the `I'-thought with other thoughts is cut off, thus isolating the `I'thought for inspection,itsescaperoutesthedissipatingthoughts,arecutoff. Thenitmustnecessarily fall back on the Self, its succour. * When through effort, mind is gathered at its root and lull is transcended, the `I' comes within the magnetic zone of the Heart in which it will perforce merge.
[*Liberating Question Kumari Sarada P24] Vs 5 The

Self alone remains, in all its perfection and fullness when the ego, which is its reflection, merges in it.
Commentary: ....... questions would arise: What happens when the mind merges in its source? Would one cease to exist? Would there be a void? Would action be possible? Theses doubts arise because ones whole world is centered on the mind or feeling of separate

existence. It is precisely these fears that are allayed by this verse. All that would happen
would be a shift. Instead of a

mind based life, a Heart-based life would take

over.
38

Its nature would be integral, whole and perfect. Thereafter, one would be aware of the feeling of fullness as `I'-`I'. `When

the `I'-thought

perishes then another `I'-`I' springs forth as the Heart spontaneously. It is existence in all its
fullness. ' The question would then arise, are there two `I's? Not so.
Ramana has already explained that the mind is only the reflection of the Heart. So long as one is not aware of his fact, and the mind is regarded as separate, it would not be possible to be aware of the throb of the Heart as

mind is absorbed in the Heart, the incessant flash of `I' `I' of consciousness, is felt. When the sun rises, all activities of the world are carried on. Similarly when consciousness, which is unlimited and complete, alone remains, actions will be performed automatically and perfectly. Vs 6 The result of self-enquiry is the cure for all sorrows. It is the highest of all results. There is nothing greater than this.
the fullness of oneself. When the Commentary (paraphrase):

Self-enquiry opens up awareness of the inherent bliss which we are, by cutting at the root of the primal ignorance of ones true nature, arising out of identification of oneself with thebody.
Theprimalignorancebeingthecauseforallsorrows,thereisnogreateractionorresult.

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


7. Wonderful mystic powers may be had through other means. Even when they are obtained,

bliss can be had only through Self Enquiry.


8. Krishni asked;

Who is said to be fit to go on with this Enquiry? can one know by himself his own fitness ?
Bhagavan replied:

One whose mind is pure through Upasana [spiritual practice]or other means, or by the merit of his deeds in past lives, whose mind perceives evils [imperfections] alone, in the body, and sensory objects.
AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 7 Marvelous occult powers are possible through practices other than self-enquiry. But

even if one secures such powers

ultimately self-enquiry alone gives liberation. Commentary:

A common human hankering is for powers, `siddhis'. Such powers dazzle the unwary. They

lead one away from the

single-minded search for Self-knowledge. Ramana always cautions


illumination and

against their lures.... they help no one to know the Self. Ramana advises Humphreys that "clairvoyance clairaudience are not worth having when far greater 39 Ramana also points out that such powers are no better than dreams. They come and

peace is possible without them than with them. "* [*Glimpses - Humphreys P26] Liberation implies freedom from thought movements following erasure of latent tendencies. True power can only be firm abidance in the Self, in the Heart, for then one cannot relapse into the illusion that one is the body.
go. They involve exercise of the mind and are within its framework. Vs 8 Who is considered fit for self-enquiry? Can one know his own fitness? Vs 9

He whose

mind has been purified by spiritual practices or by accumulated merit of

past lives, and who

has distaste for the body and the sense objects is fit for such enquiry. (commentary to follow Vs 9,10& 11 taken together)

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


8. Krishni asked; Who is said to be fit to go on with this Enquiry? can one know by himself his own fitness ? Bhagavan replied: 10.

One whose mind feels utter distaste whenever it has to function amongst sense objects and whose mind realizes that the body is transitory, he is said to be the fit one for Self Enquiry.
11. By two signs, that is 1] realization that the body is transitory and perishable and 2]the distaste felt towards sense-objects, one's own fitness for Self Enquiry can be recognized. 12 & 13. Karshi asked , When one is fit for Self Enquiry by his distaste for sense-objects, or by discrimination, will baths or Sandhya [adoration of the sun at dawn, noon and

dusk] Japa, oblations poured into the fire, chant of vedas, worship of Gods, bhajans, pilgrimages, sacrifice, giving in charity, and observance of special spiritual practices, aid his purpose or are they just to while away time ?
Bhagavan replied: 14.

shrinking attachments, all these works will make the mind increasingly pure.
AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 8 Who is considered fit for self-enquiry? Can one know his own fitness?
(answer...v9,10&11) Vs 9 40 He whose

if the competent one starts on the Self Enquiry, with

mind has been purified by spiritual practices or by accumulated merit of past lives, and who has distaste for the body and the sense objects is fit for such enquiry. Vs 10
The one who feels utter distaste when his mind has to move among sense-objects and who is conscious of the transitoriness of the body is said to be a competent one for self-enquiry. Vs 11 By the

marks of a sense of transitoriness of the body, and by detachment to sense-objects, ones fitness for self-enquiry can be known. Commentary:
Is self-enquiry possible only for the spiritually mature?.......... The scriptures prescribe several spiritual practices for the purification of the mind, including

discrimination between `Real' `Unreal', permanent-impermanent. (discussed in Ch 1)........... Ramana's replies are always
positive, the truth being explained in the light of the natural inclinations of the questioner. Perhaps this is why Ramana replies that

vairagya, non-attachment to sense-objects and distaste for transitory things, is a mark of those suited for self-enquiry. It would be
useful to remember that Ramana's emphasis is not on the qualities of the mind, not on its content, but about its nature and about its

source............ It could be said that all those who are prepared to keep the gunpowder of the

brave enough to be prepared to lose life in order to find it, are fit for self-enquiry.
spirit dry, who are earnest to find out the truth, all those

Vs 12 & 13 For the one who is ripe for self-enquiry by his discrimination and non-

attachment, are Baths, prayers at stated times, meditation, maintaining the sacred fire, worship of God, devotional singing, pilgrimage, sacrifice, charity, austerities,
useful? Or are they a mere waste of time? Vs 14 For competent beginners with waning attachments all these actions make

the mind increasingly pure.


Commentary: Essentially the question is whether the supplementing of self- enquiry by other spiritual practices,.......... would be necessary or not. Ramana's reply in v14, covers the early stages of the practice of self-enquiry, when enough faith in its exclusive practice might not have developed and skill in practice not yet achieved. Besides, one may be reluctant to give up fully or partly the practices one is habituated to. At this stage, the other practices would

help in purifying and strengthening the mind for pursuing self-enquiry more effectively. Krishna Bhikshu Translation:
15.

Meritorious actions of the mind, the speech and the body

destroy

other contrary actions of the mind, the speech or the body. 16. All these actions of the ripe, competent persons, of extremely pure minds, result in the good of the world. 17. The wise act to serve as models for others, and for their well-being and not through fear of the compelling scripture. AR Natarajan Translation:
41 Vs 15 Virtuous activity of the body, speech and mind destroys the opposite

activity of body, speech and mind.


Commentary

Activity is inevitable for those not firmly established in the Truth, in the Heart. Such activity can be only one of the three types, using the
body, speech or mind. The activities set out by Karshni in verse 12 are virtuous activities, engaging in which prevents the contrary activity of mind leading tofurtherinvolvementinsenseattractions.
Thevalueofvirtuousactionsliesintheirpurificatory

effect. When the sense of doership is destroyed by self-enquiry, action would be neither good nor bad but only be for the welfare of the world.
Vs 16

Activity of mature masters with

absolutely pure minds

benefits the

world.
Vs 17 The mature masters do not engage in actions out of fear of spiritual injunctions. Their actions are for welfare and teaching of others. Commentary: The meritorious actions set out in Vs 12 (Baths, prayers at stated times, meditation, worship, etc, etc. ) may be performed for fear of violating spiritual injunctions. Atonement would become necessary for failure to observe such injunctions. The wise know of no fear be it of the spiritual authority or any

fear cannot motivate them. Nor can the satisfaction of desires be the cause of that activity.
other.
So

`For the exalted yogi abiding steadily in the natural state, having destroyed

the mind, is there any action left'?* asks Ramana. Again, he queries, `who can understand the exalted state of the one whohasdissolvedtheegoandisalwaysabidingintheSelf?'. Ifthereisnoreasonforsuchpersonsto be performing actions the question arises as to why they are active. It is to teach the world by example, to be a guide-post for those treading a path to Self and `no one can come near him without being

blessed. ' Ramana was asked why he did not go about preaching the Truth and his reply was, `How do you know I am not doing it? Which is better, to preach loudly without effect or to sit silently sending out Inner Force?'** [*Sat
Darshanam Vs 31, **Maharshi's Gospel P16]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


18.

Meritorious actions of one, who has destroyed the sense of difference between the Self and the World, and that are carried out with non-attachment,
do not stand in the way of Self Enquiry.
19. When a ripe one [mature jiva] in the pursuit of Self Enquiry does not act as prescribed, sin does not accrue. Self Enquiry is of the greatest merit and is the Holy of Holies. 20.

Activity of the ripe souls fit for Enquiry is two-fold. they give up activity only for practicing yoga [meditation or upasana] in solitude ; they favor action only for the sake of others
AR Natarajan Translation:
42 Vs 18 Meritorious actions done without attachment and without a sense of

difference do not obstruct self- enquiry.


Commentary:

Action, if ethically right and done with detachment towards the fruits, will
not hinder self- enquiry. By implication, the opposite type of action, namely action for fulfilling desire, would deflect the mind from self-enquiry. Vs 19 Failure to perform prescribed action is not sinful for the wise. For, self-enquiry itself is the most meritorious and the most purifying.
Commentary:

Whether the wise act or remain inactive they can incur no sin. The one for

whom merit and demerit exists is destroyed in the fire of knowledge. Incessant self-enquiry which enables unswerving abidance in the Heart,
immerses one in consciousness, total and free from any blemish. Vs 20 The wise appear to fall into two categories, those who renounce action for solitary communion and those engaged in action for the welfare of others.
Commentary ............there is an

apparent difference in the ways of life of the wise. Some are lost in nirvikalpa samadhi with no object-awareness, and others are active working for the good of the world. The activity of the latter does not disturb their rootedness in the Heart. They abide in the
natural state. Since their ego is dead, their action does not bind them. Krishna Bhikshu Translation:
21. Karshni asked: If there is another way to obtain the Final Liberation , is it one or varied ? May Bhagavan be pleased to tell me. 22. Bhagavan replied: One strives to attain ;[the jiva] the other [Self] seeks the one who

strives to attain.

mind of one meditating on one object only takes one form only. [one pointedness]
The first goes the long way but at the end attains the Self. 23. The A

single form of the thought [one pointedness] leads on to the abidance in the Self. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 21 Bhagavan, please tell if there are paths to liberation other than self-enquiry? Are these paths one or different? 43 Vs 22 Otherpathsstrivetoattainsomething,self-

enquiryseekstheonewhomakestheeffort. Thefirst one takes longer but in the end the Self is known.
Commentary: Self-enquiry taught by Ramana is a straight path. Attention is focused from the very beginning on the mind, its nature and source. The other methods, worship of God,

action performed without desire for results, breath-control, meditation on

identity with Self, all these gradually purify the mind. The thought veil which

separates one from the natural state is not consciously tackled until self-enquiry is practiced. Hence other paths are necessarily longer.
Vs 23

Meditation on a single thought makes the mind one pointed and such one pointedness leads to Self-abidance. Commentary: In Upadesa Saram Ramana points out that the mind which has been gathered together through spiritual practices should be used to push inward till the goal, the Self, is reached. *
[*Upadesa Saram Vs 13]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


24.

If one Meditates continuously, he may not desire that end [SelfAbidance] but he would [eventually] Abide in the Self. The other , the Enquirer, knowingly Abides in the Self. 25. The object of Meditation, be it a Deity or Mantra or any other High Object, on which one meditates, merges at the end into the Great Effulgence of the Self. 26. Either through Meditation or Self Enquiry the same goal is attained. One subsides into 'That'
through Meditation ,the other through Knowledge. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 24 The one who meditates attains the Self without being aware of it. himself

in the Self. ' Commentary: In the path of self-enquiry, the mind has to be ever

vigilant and cannot be allowed to lapse into inattention. By effort, distracting thoughts are warded off and one holds on to the core thought. When the mind is turned inward by enquiry it is kept active. The merging of the mind in the Self comes from conscious effort. It is a
`conscious immortality'. Dualistic paths too would take one to the same goal ultimately.

Even during practice, in the direct path, selfenquiry, there would be the experiencing of the bliss of the Self. In the paths
What then is the difference? `The enquirer consciously loses 44

retaining the ego, the fullness of the experience is postponed till the end when the worshipper unconsciously merges in the worshipped, the Self. Vs 25 The excellent object of meditation, be it God or a sacred word, merges in the end in the great fire of the Self.
Commentary: The

subject-object relationship which subsists in all forms of meditations using the mind comes to an end when one attains the Self. All duality ceases. The one all pervasive consciousness alone remains.
Vs 26 Thegoalofthemeditativepathandself-enquiryisone. Theformerreachesstillnessthroughcontemplation and the latter through knowledge. [NOTE: Sanskrit version in Ramana's own handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file in `RamanaGita' folder. ]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


1. In reply to another question of Karshni himself, Bhagavan Muni enunciated what conduct was allowed in each of the four ashramas. 2. Be he a bachelor or householder, an anchorite or an ascetic, a woman or a Shudra,

whoever is ripe and fit, may investigate the Supreme. 3. This order in the ashramas serves, like a flight of steps, in finding the Supreme.
One of a very ripe mind need not follow this order.

AR Natarajan Translation:

Vs 1 In reply to another question by Karshni, Bhagavan explained the duties of the four stages of life. Vs 2

A bachelor, a householder, a forest-dweller, a sanyasi, a woman or a person outside caste, may enquire into Brahman, if ripe.
Commentary: The important point made by Ramana in this chapter is that self-enquiry and Self-

knowledge are common property and that stages in life, sex and the like have no relevance for it. The scriptures divide life into four stages (as above) and prohibit study of the Vedas by women and persons not
belonging to the three castes. The doubt would arise whether the stages in life have any relevance for pursuit of self-enquiry, and whether engaging in spiritual practices for enlightenment is open to women and to those not belonging to any of the

-------End of Chapter 7... SELF ENQUIRY-COMPETENCE AND COMPONENTS ----*** Chapter 8... ON ASHRAMAS ***
45 castes. Ramana makes it clear that these restrictions have no connection with seeking

Self-knowledge. All that is needed is the maturity for such enquiry. Vs 3 The stages are ladders for reaching the Supreme. They do not apply to one with a mature mind.
Commentary: Here again Ramana emphasizes that question of stages and gradual development would

not apply to those who have through proper practices succeeded in purifying the mind. Krishna Bhikshu Translation:
4. This 0rder {Of the Ashramas] is again prescribed that the affairs of the world may go on smoothly and well. The duties of the first three Ashramas do not go against Jnana. 5. Asceticism means pure Jnana , not wearing the ochre robe or having a tonsure. However, initiation into asceticism is accepted as a way to remove several hindrances in one's

path. 6. Were spiritual power kindled in Bramacharya, the first Ashrama, by discipline it becomes later a big flame by thorough study of scriptures and increase in higher
knowledge..

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 4 It is for smooth working of the affairs of the world that these stages in life have
been prescribed. The first three stages do not stand in the way on knowledge. Commentary: ......Ramana negates the popular belief that one has to renounce home in order to

attain Self-knowledge. Firstly, whether one is able to renounce home or is forced to stay in it depends on the karmic forces at work. Secondly, the discriminative faculty, the capacity to enquire about ones true nature is a liberty given to all.
Thirdly, the

renunciation necessary for knowledge is of attachments of

the mind. Ramana told a person who wished to resign his job, `Renunciation does not imply apparent divesting of customs, family ties, home etc. , but renunciation of desires and attachment. There is no need to resign your job, but to resign yourself to Him, the bearer of the burden of all'. *
[Crumbs from His Table by Swami Ramananda Svarnagiri P. 43] Vs 5 `Sanyasa', true renunciation, is pure knowledge. It is not the ochre robe or a shaven head. However, this stage is intended to ward off obstacles to knowledge. Another translation of verse no. 5: 'Popular opinion [or doctrine] (matah) states that this stage of life is for warding off various hindrances, [however, in truth,] sannyasa is

unsullied knowledge not an ochre robe or shaven head. '


Commentary: 46 Ordinarily, after going through the first three stages,- bachelor, householder, forest dweller,- one is expected to renounce everything. The symbol of such renunciation is the wearing of ochre cloth and the shaving of the head. But these are only outward marks.

What matters is the renunciation of ego. The one who does so is a pure flame of knowledge, a true `sanyasi'. This is not to say that the fourth stage is purposeless. Its value consists in creating outer circumstances conducive to pursuit of Selfknowledge. ( Note that the next three verses deal with the reverse position, the specific
question whether the householder can attain knowledge. ) Vs 6 One whose energies are well developed even as a bachelor, by diligent study of scriptures and by practices suited to attainment of knowledge, shines more in later life.

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 7. A pure Brahmachari becomes a pure Householder. That Ashrama exists that all the world may be served and benefited. 8. Even for the embodied householder, if he be completely non-attached, the Supreme light shines forth for him or her without doubt. 9, The learned prescribe the third Ashrama, that of the Anchorite, for Tapas [keen
spiritual endeavor]. One should become an Anchorite , whether with a wife or without one.

When the sins of a Yogi of a ripe-mind are burned away by Tapas, asceticism the fourth estate comes by itself, in its own good time.
10. 11, This added instruction in the 7th and 8th chapters was given by Bhagavan, the same year on the 12th of August [1917].

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 6 One whose energies are well developed even as a bachelor, by diligent study of scriptures and by practices suited to attainment of knowledge, shines more in later life. Vs 7 Purity as a bachelor leads to purity in life as a householder. The householder's role is to benefit all. Vs 8 Even for the householder, if he is

completely detached, the supreme light

shines forth. This is certain.


Commentary: In common parlance a married person is regarded as fit only for performance of worldly

duties. It is believed that he cannot become Self-aware. Ramana's replies to two specific questions on this point are worth noting. A seeker queried, `Can a married man realize the Self?' `How does a grihasta fare in the scheme of liberation'? Ramana replied, `Married or unmarried a man can realize the

Self, because that is here and now'.... `Why do you think you are a `grihasta'? Whether you continue in the household or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind haunts you. Your efforts can be made even now, whatever be the environment'. * True penance is finding out the nature of the mind and
47 [*Maharshi's Gospel Ps 5-7] Vs 9 The learned prescribe a life in the forest as a Commentary Under modern conditions, leading a

abiding at its source, the Self. For this, no stage of life is a hindrance. third stage for performance of

austerities. At this stage one may be with or without ones wife. life of seclusion, of withdrawal from

activities, would correspond to this stage. The purpose is to orient oneself to an


exclusive spiritual life.
Vs 10 For the yogi whose

`tapas', penance, has burnt away his sins, the fourth stage (sanyasa) comes by itself in due time.
Commentary Renunciation of home is recommended in scriptures when one has graduated to it after having gone through three earlier stages. But this does not hold true for those who are

ripe for incessant pursuit of enquiry. For them the dross is burnt away by the dips into the Heart during the practice of self-enquiry. The true meaning of `tapas' is the state when the truth shines forth in all its fullness when all mental activities have ceased. * The natural state is free from sloth. One established firmly in it is incessantly performing the most difficult tapas spontaneously. **
[*Upadesa Saram v30,** Ramana Gita Ch 11 v 18] Vs 11 This teaching in the seventh and eighth chapters was given by Bhagavan on the 12th August, 1917.

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:


1. On the night of August 14 ,I {Ganapati Muni] put a question to the Maharshi regarding

'Granthi Bheda'[On Cutting the Knot] on which even the learned have doubts. 2. The high-minded Bhagavan Sri Ramana Rishi, listened to my question , spent a time meditating in his divine mode, and spoke.
3. "The

association of the Self with the body is called the Granthi [knot].

By that association alone one is conscious of his body and actions. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 On 14th August, at night, I questioned the Maharshi `on the cutting of the knot', regarding which even the learned have doubts.

-------End of Chapter 8...

-----

*** Chapter 9... ON CUTTING THE KNOT - GRANTHI BHEDA ***


48 Commentary Ganapati Muni himself seeks clarification on this crucial question. It is said that

cutting

this knot is essential for knowledge..... Ramana's detail explanation in the next 21 verses would
underscore the importance of this topic. The

first manifestation of ignorance is the rise of the

`I-thought'; the individualization of the Self. This is described as a knot which an aspirant for
liberation has to cut. This idea is found in the Upanishads but nowhere explained technically as in Ramana Gita. * [*Sri Ramana Gita Dr. Va Sarma The Mountain Path Jan68 P57-61] Vs 2 The effulgent Bhagavan, Ramana Maharshi, listened to the question, meditated for a

while, and spoke in his divine way.


Vs 3 The `knot' is the Commentary

link between the Self and the body. Awareness of the

body arises because of this link. Consciousness flows from the Heart to `sahasrara' and spreads from there to the entire body. By itself the body is insentient and it is because of this link, connecting it to the source of consciousness, the Heart, that it becomes active. Heart have been explained in
detail in this work itself. * [*Ramana Gita Ch5, Vs 6,7]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:

4. The body is completely inert. The Self is active and Conscious. The mechanics of the flow of consciousness from the Their association is inferred from the experience of objects [through the intellect-Swaminathan and Visanatha and Kapali Sastriar].

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 4 The body is matter, the Self is consciousness. The link between the two is inferred through the intellect. Commentary The body is sometimes compared to a corpse by Ramana. When the life force leaves the body, if it had an independent consciousness it would protest against being carried stiff to the cremation ground. It does not. It cannot. In deep sleep, the body from which the mind is switched off, is as good as dead and would be taken to be so but for the divine plan that keeps up the minimum breathing. Though

inert, it is seen to be conscious and activities continue through it. On the other hand, the Self is the fullness of consciousness but remains unseen and unmoving. Though insentient, if bodily movements become possible, would it
not be a legitimate inference that the body has a nexus with consciousness? The body becomes conscious only by reason of this association.

Ramana explains the nature of this link. "The body is insentient, the Self does not

rise. Within the

body's limit an `I' rises between the body and Self. It is named `knot of matter and spirit', 49 `ego', `bondage', `subtle body' and `mind'. "* This is a special contribution of Ramana. The ego, individuality, is the link,- the knot, which has to be cut. Since the nexus, the `I' , partakes of the characteristics of both consciousness of the heart (from which it has risen) and of matter (the body with which it is associated), it becomes a bridge back to consciousness. For cutting the knot, the path of self-enquiry would be the direct way.
[*Sat Darshanam v24]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 5. Oh child, when the rays of Consciousness are reflected in the body, the body acts.
In sleep[swoon] etc. the rays are not so reflected and caught, and therefore some other seat of the Self is inferred.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 5 It is by the diffused light of consciousness that the body functions. Since there is no awareness of the world in sleep, swoon, and so on, the location of the Self is to be inferred. Commentary The Self is all pervasive. Yet it must have a location in the body too. How can one state this? This is because daily, in sleep, although the body's existence continues,

the world is not perceived. Would it then not be reasonable to infer that individual
consciousness has merged in its source within the body? The same can be said to be true of other situations like swoon, excessive fear and so on. When there

is no cognition of objects then too the separate consciousness, the body-

mind, must have merged within, in the


conscious source. Again, if activity is possible on waking, should it not be because of the mind and the body being ignited by consciousness within? Since body consciousness is non-existent in some states, it follows that the body is not self-luminous.
From another angle it would be more appropriate to say that the consciousness is derived.

body too is within the

Self instead of thinking the Self is within the body, for it is the source from which all
Krishna Bhikshu Translation:
6. Electricity and similar forces which are subtle, pass through the gross wires. Similarly the light of active consciousness passes through a nadi [nerve] in the body. 7. The effulgent light of active-consciousness starts at a point, and gives light

to the whole body, even as the Sun does to the world. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 6 Just as the unseen electric current passes through the visible wires, the flame of consciousness flows through the various channels in the body. Vs 7 50

The flame of consciousness, taking hold of a center, lights up the entire body just as the sun illuminates the whole world.
Commentary Two apt analogies have been given by Ramana who explains in these verses and the subsequent three verses the mode of the flow of consciousness from the Heart to

different parts of the body. The Heart remains in its seat, unswerving, but from it
emanates the consciousness of the body in the same way as the sun lights the world. `The

Self is the electricity, dynamo, the mind is the contact switchboard, while the body is the bulb. '* The link is through various channels termed `nadis'.
[*Conscious Immortality Paul Brunton P81]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 8. When that light spreads out in the body one gets experiences in the body. The Sages call the original point 'Hridayam' [The Heart].
9. The flow of the rays of the light is inferred from the play of forces in the nadis. Each of the forces of the body courses along a special nadi. 10. The active consciousness lies in a

distinct and separate nadi which is called

Sushumna. Some call it 'Atma Nadi' or and others 'Amrita nadi '.
AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 8 It is because of the spreading of consciousness that one becomes aware of the body. The sages say that the center of radiation is the Heart.
Vs 9 The flow of consciousness is inferred from play of forces in the channels. The forces course the body, each hugging its particular channel. Vs 10 The channel through which consciousness flows is termed `sushumna'. It is also called `atma nadi', `para nadi' and `amrita nadi'. Vs 11 Because consciousness pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the

body, regards the body as the Self, and views the world as apart from oneself.
Commentary Though each sense organ has its own channel, the pride of place is for `sushumna'

channel because consciousness flows through it to the mind and it is the mind which in turn controls the senses. This channel is therefore also termed as the life giving one and the supreme one.
Since the entire body is thus permeated by consciousness, the

unwary come to

identify themselves with the body. They do not pause to consider whether they are
only that, nor do they enquire about the source or center of consciousness. If one

regards oneself as a particular name and form,


51

he has separated himself from `others'. Variety is perceived and the unity

behind that is lost sight of. This is termed as primal ignorance for it is from
this that the rest of the attachments flow. Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 11. The Individual permeates the entire body, with that light, then becomes ego-centric and thinks that he or she is the body and that the world is different

from himself or herself.


12.

When the discerning one renounces egotism and the 'I am the body' idea and carries on one pointed enquiry into the Self, the movement of life-force starts in the nadis.
13,This movement of the force separates the Self from the other nadis and the

Self then gets confined to the Amrita Nadi alone and shines with a clear light.

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 11 Because consciousness pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the body, regards the body as the Self, and views the world as apart from oneself. Vs 12 When the discriminating one becomes detached and, giving up the idea that one is the body, single- mindedly enquires, the churning of the channels takes

place.
Commentary Ramana now sets out the method for getting rid of this false notion. The wrong notion

about oneself, of limiting oneself to a particular name and form, is bound to last only as long as one does not enquire undistractedly. But once enquiry is afoot about the assumption and one searches for the true import of `I' then the ego which cannot bear the searchlight of enquiry takes to its heels. *
Then there is a

churning and the life force which was disturbed throughout the body becomes centered in the supreme channel only.............. in the Ramana-path
the enquiry about the self takes place through two attention focusing devices `wherefrom

does this `I' arise?' and `what is the truth about the I?'. [*Sat Darshanam v25]
Vs 13

On such churning of the channels, the self gets separated from them and

shines forth by clinging to the supreme channel.


Commentary

When the spirit of enquiry is absent the `I-thought' is mixed up with a

host of other thoughts. On a properly directed self-enquiry the link with other
varied thoughts is cut, dissipation ends, and the mind is gathered together at its root. When it is thus deprived of its associates, the `I-thought', the

ego, has necessarily to fall back on its source, the consciousness. It gets merged there and shines as `That'. It may be noted that Ramana has stressed that it happens only on single-minded self-enquiry. Sri Kapali Sastri in
his commentary refers 52 to the churning of the sea of milk in the Puranas which produced the drink of immortality,

self-enquiry dissociates the `I- thought' from other thoughts and establishes the link with the eternal, ever
amrita. He says that in like manner

liberated Self. As a consequence of the single-minded enquiry, the individual, functioning hitherto through different nadis, stays in the channel linking the `sahasrara' with the Heart.
Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 14. When the very bright light of that active-consciousness shines in the Amrita Nadi alone, nothing else shines forth except the Self.

In that light, if anything else is seen, even then it does not appear as different from the Self.
15.

The Enlightened one knows the Self as vividly as the ignorant one perceives his body etc. shine to the

body. 16. When Atma alone shines, within and without, and everywhere, as
ignorant, one is said to have severed the knot {Granthi bheda occurs]. AR Natarajan

Translation:
Vs 14

When consciousness stays in the supreme channel only, then `Self alone shines'.
Vs 15 Even though the Vs 16

objects are near they are not seen as separate. He is aware

of the Self as clearly as the ignorant one is of his body.

The one to whom the Self alone shines, within, without and everywhere, as name and form would for the ignorant, has cut the knot.
Commentary These three verses deal with the state of one who has, through self-enquiry,

succeeded in reaching the Self. For this the mind has to be silent. Only the one whose latent tendencies have been burnt in the fire of knowledge, through

practice of repeated dips into the Heart by vigilant inward search,cansucceedinthis. Thereafteralldualityceases.

A bodily location has been indicated for the Heart. So long as one has wrongly

identified himself with the body such indication is necessary and helpful for

spiritual practice. Once knowledge dawns, consciousness is seen everywhere, and not only within. Why? This is because it is all pervasive. It envelops the entire universe and nothing can exist apart from it. This means that for the wise the barrier of space is also cut, not only that of time. *Once the limitation of particular name and form is broken the fullness of existence is felt and is

never lost sight of.


53

Is there objective awareness for the wise? Yes. But it does not distract their

awareness of the throb of the Heart. The manifold forms have lost their power to deceive. For such a one the formless source of the seen is real, complete'. ** The `knot' which is cut is the nexus between matter - the body,

and consciousness - the Heart. Thereafter, instead of functioning through the

reflected light of consciousness - the mind, ones life would be Heartbased. Action would be perfect.
[*Ibid v16,**Ibid v18]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation: 17. Therearetwoknots. one,thebondoftheNadisandtwo,egotism. The Self even though subtle, being tied up in the Nadis, sees the entire gross world.
18. When the

light withdraws from all other Nadis and remains in one Nadi alone, the knot[between awareness and the body] is cut asunder and then the light abides as the Self. 19. As a ball of iron heated to a high degree appears as a ball of fire, this body heated in the fire of Self Enquiry becomes as one permeated by the Self.
AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 17 The Knot is two-fold, one of the channels, and the other of mental attachment. The perceiver, though subtle, sees the entire gross world through the channels.
Commentary In verses 9 & 10 it was seen that

each sense organ is connected to the Heart

through its own channel. Unless the light of the mind functions, no perception is possible. The perceiver's mind uses these channels and the whole sensory world is felt. This verse (17) refers to the state prior to the cutting of the
knot, before self-enquiry has fructified and enabled the clinging to a single-channel. Vs 18

When the mind is withdrawn from other channels and is in the supreme

channel alone, then the link with the body is cut and one abides as the Self.
Commentary The idea set out in vs14 &15 is reiterated. Vs 19

The body of one who abides in the Self through self-enquiry is resplendent just as a heated iron-ball appears as a ball of fire.
Commentary 54 The

body of the wise is the temple of God. For, the consciousness of the Self permeates every pore of their body. The body too acquires a special
luster. To bring home the point Ramana gives an analogy. The iron-ball by itself is lifeless but when heated properly, and as long as it remains heated, it will appear like the fire which heated it. It is significant to note that Ramana refers eveninthisversetothemeansbywhichthegoalisreached,namely,self-enquiry.
Thisemphasizes its importance.

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:

20. Then for the embodied the old tendencies inherent are destroyed, and then that

one feels no body , and therefore will not have the idea that he is an active agent [Karta].
21. When the Self does

not have the sense of active agency, karmas [tendencies, actions and their results] etc. are destroyed for him. As there is
none other except the Self doubts do not sprout for him. 22. Once the knot is cut, one never again gets entangled. In that state lie the highest power and the highest peace. End of Chapter. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 20 The latent tendencies of the past pertaining to the body-mind complex are destroyed. There is no sense of doership because there is no body

consciousness. karma of such a one is destroyed due to the absence of the sense of doership. No doubts arise since the Self only exists for him.
Vs 21 It is said that the Commentary It is said that the cutting of the knot ends all doubts and destroys all karma. The why of it will be evident from these two verses. Ramana continues to state what happens when through intelligent, unwearied search one

abides as the Self. Not only

does the body of such a one shine like a heated ball of iron, he is also freed of all

bondage. The momentum of karma stops. For, though one may be involved in activity, such activity does not bind in the absence of the idea that it is his action. It is the sense of doership which binds. If one thinks that one is the doer one must reap the fruits. But this idea ends for him who enquires `who is the

doer?' and enters the Heart. Then all karma ends.


*
[*Sat Darshanam v38] Here it may be mentioned that karma is three-fold. the total load, `sanchitha', that which has begun to operate in this life, `prarabdha', and that which we are creating now, `agami'. While it is generally agreed that the balance of old karma

and the future karma would be wiped out, some hold the view that the portion of the karma which has started cannot be warded off. One sees the knower too
having bodily ailments and so on and infers that the wise are also still caught in this portion of karma. Ramana however, negates 55 this idea. He says that it would appear to be so only from the point of view of the onlooker.

When the fan is switched off the movement does not stop immediately. But

the wise person is unaffected by the event. He may be suffering but he

does not identify himself with it.


Ramana put it in another way too. `If the agent, the doer, upon whom karma

depends, namely the ego, merges in its source and loses its form, will karma which depends on it alone, survive?'* He also gives an apt analogy to prove his point.
If a person who has three wives dies then none can remain unwidowed.

Similarly when the doership is absent, none of the three forms of karma can

survive. ** Doubts end because direct experiential knowledge has taken the place of indirect knowledge based only on scriptural studies.
[*Words of Grace-Spiritual Instruction-P61, **Supplement to Forty Verses- v 33] Vs 22 The one whose knot is cut can never again become bound. one of supreme power and peace. Commentary The mind of such a one is naturally silent since all tendencies which externalize the This state is

mind have been destroyed. So, the state is, understandably, one of supreme peace. But how is it supremely powerful as well? This is because it is the ultimate source of everything. In that state, consciousness is untrammeled in any manner.
Chapter 9 concluded. [Sanskrit version in Sri Ramana's handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file, `Ramana Gita' album]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation: 1. We record in this, the Tenth Chapter, the conversation between Yati Yoganatha and Maharshi Ramana, which will rejoice Society. 2. Oh Great sage, what is the relation between society and its members ? Lord, be
pleased to explain this for the progressive improvement of Society. Bhagavan 3. In a Society consisting of followers of diverse ways of life, Oh best of Sadhus,

Society is like the body and the members like its limbs. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 This chapter records the conversation between Yoganatha and Maharshi Ramana for

conferring joy to Society. -------End of Chapter 9... ON CUTTING THE KNOT - GRANTHI BHEDA---*** Chapter 10... ON SOCIETY ***
56 Vs 2 Great Sage, what is the relationship between the individual and society? Please explain for the welfare of the society. Commentary The Maharshi had transcended the rules and obligations of society and was therefore in a position to advise objectively and courageously. Yoganatha is therefore keen that society should benefit from the advice of the Maharshi. V3 In a society comprising of followers of different ways of life, society is like the

body and individuals are like the limbs.


Commentary Society comprises of various streams differing on the basis of location, background and other factors. Even so, they are only parts of the whole of the society. Their cohesive

functioning is essential, as the proper functioning of each limb is necessary for the human body as a whole. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation: 4. Oh Sanyasin , a member prospers by working for the good of Society like a limb serving its body. 5. Through mind, speech and body one should always conduct

oneself so as to serve the interests of Society and should also awaken his circle to do likewise. 6. One should build up one's own circle so as to serve the interests of Society and then make it prosper so that Society itself may prosper. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 4 An individual prospers by working for the good of the society like a limb being useful for the body. Vs 5 One should serve the interests of the society through body, speech and mind and enthuse his circle to do likewise.
Commentary It may be noted that what is emphasized is actual conduct, practice, and not mere

preaching.
Vs 6

One should build up ones own inner circle and make it prosper so that it may serve the interests of society and make it prosper also.
Commentary

Working for the welfare of ones own group is not for selfish ends but for prosperity of the entire society which is seen to be integral. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:
57 7. Among the Wise some extol Peace and others Power. Which of these, Oh Lord, is the better means for promoting the well-being of Society ? 8. Peace is for purifying one's own mind; Power for the progress of Society.

Society should be raised through Peace and then Power established. Comment: The Jnani mitigates the world situation through his Presence. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 7 Yoganatha asked, `Some praise peace, some others extol power. Which is needed for the welfare of the society?' VA 8 Bhagavan replied: For purifying ones own mind, peace is required, power for society's progress. Society should be raised through power and then peace should be established. Commentary

For purification of the individual, quietness of mind is a pre-condition. The spiritual practices necessary for mind's purification are not possible if the mind is disturbed and wandering. Hence peace is a must for the individual. Society cannot function unless law and order prevails. Power is necessary to sustain order.
Maharshi however makes it clear that power, though absolutely essential, is not sufficient.

Once order is established through power, it is only the peace of the individuals who constitute the society which matters. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:
9. Oh Great Sage, what is the Supreme Goal on Earth to be attained by Human Society as a whole ? 10. Bhagavan: Brotherhood based on a sense of be attained by Human Society as a whole.

Equality is the Supreme Goal to

11, Through Brotherhood, Supreme Peace will prevail among mankind and then this entire planet will flourish like a single household. 12. This conversation between Yoganatha, the Sanyasin, and the Gracious Maharshi took place on the 15th of August 1917. This ends Chapter 10.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 9 Yoganatha asked, `Great Sage, what is the supreme goal to be attained by entire human society?' Vs 10 58 Bhagavan replied, `Brotherhood based on equality is the supreme goal of human

society'. Vs 11 Through brotherhood peace and amity will prevail among mankind and the world will flourish like a single household.
Commentary The Maharshi has placed before humanity a lofty ideal. The inter-relationship is to be

on a feeling of oneness, of equality. This is the most important verse of this chapter
and it visualizes the position as to how the world would be if all are wise. Ramana has earlier referred to `equality' as the hallmark of the wise. * It has been explained there that

equality does not mean the absence of difference but awareness of the essential unity. Brotherhood would mean the presence of a feeling of oneness.
[*Ramana Gita Ch1-v16] Vs 12 This conversation between the ascetic Yoganatha and the compassionate Ramana took place on the 15th of August 1917. Chapter 10 Concluded. [Sanskrit version in Sri Ramana's handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:


1&2 On the night of the 16th. , when he was alone, I approached the Guru , the Great Sage,

the most eminent of the Enlightened who always abides in the Self, the Illustrious Ramana, now in human form, and sang his praises so as to be blessed with
Jnana, hard to gain.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 & 2 I approached the Guru, pre-eminent among the knowers of Brahman, who abides

always in the Self, the


great sage, the illustrious Ramana, in human form, on the night of the 16th when he was alone and sang his praise to be blessed with wisdom so hard to attain. Commentary In the words `in the human form' we find a hint of the divine vision which the Muni was blessed with. That vision set out in the later verses enabled him to have an idea of the true

stature of Ramana as Subrahmanya, the God who is regarded as peerless among seers of Brahman. In this chapter the
questioner is the Muni himself. The praise in twelve verses which flows mellifluously evidences the pedestal on which the Muni always places Ramana as the world-teacher.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation: -------End of Chapter 10...ON SOCIETY -----

*** Chapter 11... ON COMPATIBILITY OF JNANA AND SIDDHIS ***


59 From here to verse 15 , when the original question is recalled , the Muni poetically sings the glories of the Maharshi, his Sad Guru. This translation, as are all the others, is in prose and therefore cannot capture the poetic feeling of the Muni's Sanskrit. 3. In you alone are found Supreme Abidance in the Self and the clearest

intellect. You are the repository of all knowledge even as the ocean is of all waters.
4. Oh far-famed in boyhood itself, in your seventeenth year, you gained the

experience

of the Self, inaccessible even to Yogis.


I have, however, attempted an English versification.

SUPREME ABIDANCE in Self is found in thee oh Sage, containing, clear intelligence alone; as ocean to waters, akashic, all is known. Far famed in youth; at
seventeen years we see thee realize Self, from fear of dreaded Yama free. Even Yogis, such a state, cannot attain alone?

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 3 In you alone is found the supreme abidance in the Self and the purest mind. You are the repository of all wisdom, just as the ocean is of all waters. Vs 4 You became very famous by attaining wisdom, hard to get even for Yogis, in boyhood
itself, in your seventeenth year. Commentary The experience referred to by the Muni is Ramana's death experience. In his seventeenth year while studying in the tenth standard, Ramana had a confrontation with death. A sudden and unaccountable fear of death

drove his mind inward to find out what death meant. In later years he narrated his
experience thus: "Well then", said I to myself, "this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body am `I' dead? Is this body `I'? This body is silent and inert. But I feel the full force

of my personality and even the sound `I' within myself apart from the body. I

am therefore, the deathless spirit untouched by death". * From then onwards he remained always in the state of steady wisdom. Even though Ramana remained silent for
several years thereafter, his authentic greatness was such that his guidance was sought by earnest seekers of truth. Known as Brahmana Swami, his fame spread even when he was hardly out of his teens. By western reckoning he was sixteen years of age when he became a Sage. [*Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge by Arthur Osborne P 19]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:


From 3 to verse 15 , when the original question is recalled , the Muni poetically sings the Glories of the Maharshi , his Sad Guru. This translation, as are all the others, is in prose and therefore it cannot recapture completely the beauty of the Muni's Sanskrit. 5. Who can describe, Oh Lord, your state of Being in which

all these visible

objects appear as mere shadows?


60 6. To those drowning in this terrible samsara, tossed hither and thither, and struggling to

cross this great suffering, you alone are the sovereign refuge. This verse has become a favorite amongst many devotees. An attempted versification follows.

Compared to thy Flawless Being, One alone, All things are like merest shadows, even stone.
As the waves of samsara drown the Soul, Which is hither and thither tossed and hurled, Struggling to swim across this suffering world. Thou art our Sovereign Refuge, perfect, whole. ==========================================================

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 5 Oh Lord, is it possible to describe your state in which the entire visible world is

seen as shadows?
Commentary Two verses by Ramana himself, one in Ulladu Narpadu and another in Upadesa Saram,* extol the Jnani. He asks `who can understand the state of one who has dissolved his

ego and is abiding always in the Self? ** [*Upadesa Saram V15, ** Sat-Darshanam
V31] Vs 6 You are the supreme refuge for those tossed about hither and thither immersed in this terrible world and struggling to cross this great sorrow.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:


From 3 to verse 15 , when the original question is recalled , the Muni exuberantly and poetically sings the glories of the Maharshi , his Sad Guru. This translation, as are all the others, is in prose and therefore cannot recapture the beauty of the Muni's Sanskrit. 7. Oh Brahman, through God-given vision, I behold you again and again as Subrahmanya, the best of Brahmanyas, in human form. 8. Lord, not in Swamimalai, nor in Tirutanni hill, nor on top of Venkatachala do you now dwell. In reality you are in Arunachala. 9. Oh Lord, you taught, in ancient days, the secret

buma vidya [knowledge of the

ground of Being] to Maharshi Narada, who served you as a disciple.


AR Natarajan Translation:
VS7 61

By the divine vision given to me I see you, again and again as Subrahmanya, the foremost among the knowers of Brahman, in the human form.
VS8 You are not residing in Swamimalai, nor in Tiruttani, nor on the top of Venkatachala. You dwell now in reality in Arunachala. VS9 Once you taught the secret of the science of the Self to Maharshi Narada who served you as a disciple. Commentary ............... the Muni describes his vision made possible by the opening of the eye of wisdom through divine grace. Chandogya Upanishad refers to the teaching of the science of the Self to Narada by Sanatkumara. Narada was well versed in scriptural knowledge but could not attain the bliss of Self-abidance. The secret of it was learnt by him from Sanatkumara, with whom the Muni identifies Ramana. There is also an autobiographical

touch in this verse. The muni had performed severe austerities, repeated sacred syllables times without number and was vastly erudite in the scriptures. Yet peace eluded him till

the secret of Self-knowledge through search for the source of thought and

sound was revealed to him by Ramana. *


[*Bhagavan and Nayana P4]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation: From 3 to verse 15 , when the original question is recalled , the Muni poetically and exuberantly sings the glories of the Maharshi , his Sad Guru. This translation, as are
all the others, is in prose and therefore cannot fully recapture the beauty of the Muni's Sanskrit. 10. Those learned in the Vedas say you are Brahmarshi Sanatkumara. Those learned in the Agamas acclaim you as Subrahmanya, the chief of Gods. 11. Only the names differ, not the person. Sanatkumara and Skanda are in reality but

synonyms for you. 12. Once before born as Kumarila, the best of Brahmins, you
reestablished the Dharma propounded in the Vedas. 13. Oh Bhagavan, when Jains caused confusion in the Dharma, you came down as Jnanasambandha in Dravidadesa and established the path of devotion. Versification. Vedic Sages praise thee as Sanatkumara, Scriptural scribes claim thee as Subrahmanya. Synonymously all hail thee as Lord Skanda! Best of Brahmins, bright Kumarila reborn, You restored our Dharma, fire flame of Vedic dawn. Among doubting Jains in Dravidadesa, your descent Did clear the inward path, as Jnanasambandha sent. Oh glorious One! who guards our Dharma here on Earth From those fixed in scriptural learning's arid dearth.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 10 62 Those learned in Vedas say you are Brahmarishi Sanatkumara. While those steeped in Agamas acclaim you as Subrahmanya, the chief of Gods. Vs 11 Only the names differ, not the person. Sanatkumara and Skanda are only synonyms you. Vs 12 Once before you were born as Kumarila, the best of Brahmins and re-established the dharma set out in the Vedas. Vs 13 When there was confusion in dharma you were born in Tamil land as Jnana Sambhanda and established the path of devotion. Vs 14 O glorious one! You have once again come back to earth to proclaim knowledge of Brahman obstructed by those satisfied with scriptural learning only.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation: The Muni now prepares us , after his Poem in praise of Bhagavan, to return to his original question. 15. Lord, you have removed many doubts raised by Disciples. May you be pleased to clear this doubt of mine also.
16. Oh Lord of Munis, are Jnana and Siddhis mutually incompatible, or is there some relation

between the two ? The Muni now prepares us , after his Poem in praise of Bhagavan, to return to his original question. VERSIFICATION 15 & 16 "LORD, CLEARING myriads of doubts of your many devotees, Dispel this question causing me vexation and turmoil Must Jnana and Siddhis part as water doth from oil or may they confluent, flow in one who Really Sees?" From the Muni's biography it is noted that he possessed many Siddhis as a consequence of his strenuous Tapas and Yogic Practice -so this question was important for him.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 15 Master, you have dispelled several doubts of disciples. Please remove a doubt of mine. Vs 16 Are wisdom and `siddhis', powers, opposed to each other? Or is there some relationship between them? Commentary This verse refers to powers and their relation to knowledge. `Siddhis' or

powers like clairvoyance, thought-reading and the like which sometimes occur during serious `spiritual practices', are in fact `distractions' from the inward movement. For, they involve the use of the mind and they externalise it. In the Ramana path of self-enquiry, the use of the mind is exclusively for paying attention to the root `I'-thought. In the end the mind would get destroyed in the process, in
the same way as a 63 stick used for stirring the funeral pyre would also be consumed by the fire. The question would naturally arise as to how powers, which are mental, could survive in the state of wisdom attained through self- enquiry. If they could co-exist the further question as to how the two are interrelated would arise.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation:


The Muni has now returned to his original question. 17. Thus praised and questioned by me, Bhagavan Ramana looked intently at me and said.

well established in sahaja sthiti* performs by his very nature inviolable tapas day by day. There is no sloth in sahaja sthiti. " *one established in the innate Self and abiding therein.
18. "One who is Versification Bhagavan Ramana looked at me with his penetrating gaze, "For those in

sahaja stithi tapas ensues throughout his days, Sahaja Stithi is not a state of torpor in which to laze. ' AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 17 Thus praised and questioned by me, Bhagavan Ramana looked at me majestically and said: Commentary

One of the time honoured modes of directing grace on the disciple is through the eyes of the Guru. Ramana would often look intently at the questioner, remain silent for some time before replying, in order that it may have its full impact. For, the words themselves are inadequate to communicate. The spiritual power of the force of Sadguru's experience is conveyed by such a

look. We have a description of it by M. A. Piggot, the first Western lady devotee to visit Sri Ramanasramam. `I tried to concentrate my mind. Suddenly I became conscious that Ramana Maharshi's eyes were fixed on me. They seemed literally like burning coals of fire piercing through one!'*
[*Mountain Path 1970 M. A. Piggot] Vs 18

The natural state is free from sloth. One established firmly in it is incessantly performing the most difficult penance, spontaneously.
Commentary Ramana first explains the state of knowledge, an understanding of which would

enable one to see those powers in their proper perspective. It implies firm abidance in the natural state. Bhagavan has pointed out to Daivarata that

discovering ones own true nature is the paramount duty for those desiring the highest. * Ramana has also stated that when sense objects are discarded one abides as a pure flame of knowledge and that this is the natural state. ** In that state silence born of destruction of tendencies reigns supreme. In this verse it is affirmed that firm
abidance in this state, the natural state, is the most difficult austerity. Such
penance is however 64

sense of doership, the thought that one is performing tapas, is absent, it being a state in which there is no movement of thought at all. Where is the need for tapas or penance for such a
termed effortless. Why? Because the

one? The penance is natural, like it is for fire to burn or living beings to breathe. Hence the adjective `spontaneously'. It is termed as difficult for it represents the

state of freedom beyond the mental states of waking, dream and deep sleep. To the onlooker the state of the wise would appear inert, when all
thought movements cease. Hence it is explained that it is not so for one is pure consciousness in that state. Intelligence is then sharp like the tip of kusa grass
for it is

unhampered by attachments.

[*Ramana Gita Ch3 v3, **Ibid Ch1 v14]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


The Muni has now returned to his original question 19

Inviolable Tapas is nothing but

natural [effortless] abidance in the Self. By such incessant Tapas, fresh ripeness comes from moment to moment. 20. By such ripeness siddhis
may in course of time come to the Seer and , if prarabdha lies that way, even a

Jnani may sport such powers.


Versification The Sage's Tapas, is to rest in the Natural State, And effortlessly free, attain a peak so great That Siddhis may rise through ripeness of his fate; One firmly settled in the Self, sports as he may dictate.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 19

Natural abidance in the Self alone is difficult penance. By such daily penance one is ripe from moment to moment.
Commentary The process of ripening in wisdom is usually associated with the stage of spiritual

effort or upasana, when Self-knowledge is intermittent and not steady or permanent.


The

Jnani who abides in the Self is fully ripe, there is no incompleteness in his knowledge. The question therefore arises as to how
`ripening from moment to moment' can apply to a Jnani. It could only mean that by and

reason of their not slipping from the natural state, such ones are always ripe

their perception is total, the ripeness being the automatic feature

of their state.
Vs 20 Powers come to the seer by such ripeness. He will sport such powers only if so fated. Commentary ........... To think that a Jnani is devoid of power because he does not display it

would be ignorance. For the onlookers some Jnanis are seen to be performing miracles visibly by making even the dead
65

alive, some others are still and motionless like a waveless ocean and do not exercise these powers which they posses in equal measure. Why this difference? Ramana says that it is because of their karma that some Jnanis sport the power.
This raises many issues. Where is the karma for those who have destroyed triple karmasanchitha, prarabdha and agami? It is true that some schools of thought take the view that such portion of the karma which has begun to bear fruit on birth continues as long as the body lasts; but Ramana does not subscribe to this. In his view

when one enters the Heart by self-enquiry and cuts out the root of the sense of doership, then all karma comes to an end. * So the question arises as to what does Ramana
mean by stating that a `Jnani' exercises powers because he is so fated? This is from the point of the on-lookers not the wise one. Because others see the body of the wise

person going through experiences similar to theirs they presume he is also subject to fate's domain. Similarly though Jnani's mind is dead, and he cannot exercise any power by will, because he is in fact displaying such powers it could be said that he is doing so by reason of vestiges of his karma which has not exhausted itself.
[*Sat Darshanam v38] While clarifying the doubts of Humphreys, Ramana points out that great ones like Christ

while exercising powers were not conscious that they were doing so. * They were merely

channels of divine power. Since sense of doership is extinct, the exercise of powers by some
and not by others is

only due to the play of cosmic forces.


[*Glimpses FH Humphreys P 25]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


21, Just as to the Sage the

world appears as nothing but the Self, even so the ever still as

play of siddhis is regarded by him as nothing other than the Self.


22. If prarabdha does not lie that way, the Sage though full of Power is

the waveless ocean.


Versification: Just as to the Sage, the Self appears as nothing but the world, So the sports of Siddhis are as the powers of Self unfurled. If his fate does not move in that way of preordained motion, The Sage although full of

power is still like the waveless ocean, AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 21 The wise do not see the world as apart from the Self. Even while exercising powers they do not regard it as other than the Self.
Commentary The

vision of the wise is unitary. There are no others for them. All is one Self. The powers too are integral to it.
Vs 22 The wise one whose fate does not lie that way* remains motionless like a waveless ocean, even though he is full of power. 66 (*ie. not fated to sport powers v20) Commentary .........Apparently, the one who is actually seen to be exercising powers is the one having them. But it is not so. Whether the Jnani exercises it or not he is the repository of all power, just as the ocean is the repository of all rivers. It is because of this fact that even though the Jnani has

no sankalpa, a

specific desire even to help or intervene in the course of events, as soon as a matter is brought to his notice `automatic divine activity' flows from him.
Ramana explained to a devotee that the very `presence can do wonders, give peace of mind and liberation to ripe souls'. The Jnani does save his devotees, not by thought, which is non-existent for him, but by his very presence. * The analogy of the ocean is given to indicate the majesty of his state. [*Mountain Path Jan 1966] Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation 23. Abiding in his own natural state, he does not go seeking anything else.

Abidance in the Self is the sum-total of all powers. 24. Effortless Tapas is termed the sahaja state. In that state, it is thought, powers arise through ripeness.
Versification

He seeks nothing else abiding in the Natural State This is the summation of all Powers , so doth the Sage relate.

Effortless Tapas is termed as Samahdi Sahaja, These are the words of wisdom
from Bhagavan Ramana. Ramana Gita [Translation & Commentary by AR Natarajan] Chapter 11 `On Compatibility of Gnana & Siddhis' Vs 23 Abiding in the natural state he does not go searching in any other path. Self-abidance is the sum total of all powers. Commentary The

powers which dazzle the mind, clairvoyance, clairaudience etc. , involve the use of the mind. A search for them deflects one from the search for the SELF. The
possession of these powers does not make for a happier life, nor does it bring about an attitudinal change in dealing with persons, events and things. Ramana would remark humorously that while the magician deludes others, he himself is not caught in the

illusion; whereas the one who exercises powers not only deludes others but in the end is caught up in it as well. Ramana is emphatic that the only true power, the

miracle, siddhi, is Self-abidance and that all others are comparable only to dreams. `The other miracles are like dreams which last till waking'. * When one understands the true nature of the mind through self-enquiry, he wakes up from the dream that mental powers are worth seeking, as far greater

power can be had by holding on to the Self. A man who abides steadily in his
own natural state becomes an heir to all power and the necessity for seeking powers elsewhere would not arise at all. Ramana laughs at the attitude of "those madmen who without realizing the power which animates them, expect to attain all
67

supernatural powers. This reminds one of the story of a lame man who said, `If I am
supported on my feet, what can the enemy do?'"** [*Sat-Darshanam V35, **Supplement to Forty Verses-Collected works pg122 v15] Vs 24 Effortless penance is termed the natural state. It is considered that powers arise from the ripeness born of abidance in the natural state. Commentary

All powers seek the one who does not slip out from the state of wisdom. They

come naturally for the Jnani is omnipotent , whether he shows the powers
openly, impelled by momentum of karma, or imperceptibly but surely by his very presence. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation 25. One firmly established in the Self, though surrounded by many, performs awe-inspiring Tapas. For him there is no need of solitude. 26. They know nothing who think that Jnana is devoid of Power. For a Jnani abides in his Real State of Being which is the plenitude of Power and all round perfection".
This ends Chapter 11.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 25 Even though surrounded by many, one who is always established in the Self is

performing inviolable penance. There is no need for solitude for him. Commentary In

nirvikalpa samadhi there is no outer consciousness while reveling in the Self. In the case of sahaja samadhi or natural abidance in the Self, there is awareness of the outer world but that object-awareness does not distract or deflect one's abidance in the Self. Self- recollectedness would always be there like sruthi or music and all action would be done in that current. The one in that state neither seeks company nor shuns it. He is always in solitude, for, the mind is pure and sunk in the source. It is only for the practitioner, the one in quest of truth, that withdrawal or solitude, and favorable environment are needed. The wise are always alone though
surrounded by a crowd. Vs 26 Those who consider that wisdom is devoid of power are ignorant. For the

Knower abides in the Self which is the source of all power and fullness of Being.
Commentary 68 Ramana is quite emphatic that the Jnani, the wise one, is all powerful too. One should

not be taken in by appearances, by his apparent inactivity. All powers come of their own accord to him without him having to seek them. Those who come into the orbit of his powerful presence reap the fruits in material prosperity, in quickened search for truth, and in escaping the bondage to karma. Since the wise one is Consciousness itself, he taps the source of all power.

Chapter 11 concluded. [Sanskrit version in Sri Ramana's handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album] Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


1. On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Kapali: 2. Oh Bhagavan, in the every-day life of both the Jnani and the ignorant,

one observes the triad, subject object and cognition.


3. By what special attribute then is A Jnani superior to the ignorant one? oh Lord, may you be pleased to clear this doubt of mine. *The Fundamental Powers originating from Brahman or the Self.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 1 On the 19th, Kapali of the Bharadwaja lineage, eminent among the learned, questioned guru Ramana. Vs 2

In the daily life of both the wise and the ignorant, one observes the triad, the seer, seen, and the act of seeing.
Vs 3 Then by what special characteristic is the wise one greater than the ignorant? Please clarify this doubt of mine.

Commentary It is true that the hall-mark of the wise is their equal vision. There are no walls

separating them from `others' due to their perception of oneness.

In the sahaja or natural state, the wise one cognises the world. There is no loss of body consciousness. If there is awareness of the body, then the question would arise as to how

his perception is different from that of the ignorant person who functions with `body-I am' idea. For the onlooker it would appear prima-facie that for the wise also
the triad, subject, object and act of cognition exist. The confusion arises because, for all outward purposes, there is no difference. The

differences in the perceptions are explained by Ramana in the subsequent three verses. -------End of Chapter 11... ON COMPATIBILITY OF JNANA AND SIDDHIS ----*** Chapter 12... ON SAKTI ***
69 ===== [Note: The Sanskrit version of Ch12 in Sri Ramana's handwriting has been uploaded to `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' folder]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan; 4. For one to whom the Subject is not different from the Self, the

Object and the cognition also do not appear different from the Self. 5. For one to whom, owing to attachment, the Subject is different from the Self, the Object and the cognition too appear different from the Self. 6. Even in this seeming ignorance, the Jnani perceives the essential Unity, The ignorant one, caught in the seeming difference considers himself as separate. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 4 For the one for whom the subject is not different from the Self, the object and the cognition also do not appear different from the Self. Commentary

For one whose Self-abidance is steady, the vision is unitary. The separate perceiver-`I'-individual, is not there. The subject-seer, is merged in the Self. The wise would see the form, the foam and the waves, and also the water in the ocean. Similarly they would be aware of thought waves and also of the Self on which the movement takes place. The subject, the individual consciousness, and the objects are seen as movements arising from the Self and subsiding in it, as one integral whole. The triads do not, therefore, exist.
Vs 5

For those attached to the body the subject is different from the Self. The objects and the cognition too are different from the Self.
Commentary He difference in the outlook of the wise and the ignorant is clearly explained. So long as

the seer, the mind, or the ego, is regarded as an independent entity, - a

separate source of consciousness, dualistic vision alone will result. This springs

as an attachment to the body or identification with a particular name and

form. It is only through steady self-enquiry that the mind merges in its
source, the Self. Till such time as the mind has not subsided in its source,

variety, and not the underlying unity, would be seen.


Vs 6 70

Even in the difference, the essential unity is perceived by the wise. The ignorant
caught up in variety considers himself as separate. Commentary

The mere fact that the Jnani, the wise one, is aware of the body and the world does not mean that his perception is the same as that of the ignorant. He is always aware of his true nature, of the totality of consciousness. The ignorant person makes the initial mistake of identification with a particular name and form and so long as this identification is not cut at its root through self- enquiry, everything else is seen as apart from oneself. The mind divides and of the wise. The difference therefore, lies in the angles of vision.*
[*Sat-Darshanam v18]

separates. This divisive outlook is in direct contrast to the unitary perception


Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan; 7. Kapali: Lord, that Being, in which these differences of triads appear, is it endowed with Sakti or devoid of Sakti ? Bhagavan: 8. Child, that Being, wherein these differences of triads appear is said

to be All Powerful by those who know Vedanta.


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. 9. Kapali: That Divine Sakti of which the Vedantins speak, is it dynamic or static ? 10. Bhagavan: Child, it is only because of the movement of Sakti that the worlds

come into Being. But the Reality on which the movement is based never moves. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 7 Lord, the Self, on which the triads appear, is it endowed with Shakti, Power, or is it powerless? Commentary The Self is limitless, the unmoving substratum of all

change. In movement, in action alone one sees the expression of power. Does it
mean that the unmoving one, the Self, is devoid of power? Such doubts arise. The term

Shakti has been translated as `Power' in all the verses. Vs 8 Child, the Self on which these differences of triads appear is said to be the repository of all power by those versed in Vedanta.
Commentary 71 Vedic texts proclaim that `the Self is everything' and that `Brahman is all'. Ramana

too proclaims that `Brahman alone shines as the Atman' in the heart. Obviously, the all pervasiveness of the Self itself is evidence of its

omnipotence. Again, God, Iswara, though always reveling in the Self is the cause of
creation, preservation and destruction. Ramana had earlier clarified to Ganapati Muni that

those who think that the wise are powerless are ignorant.* Body and mind are both only matter ignited by the energy source within, the Self. Ramana has
explained earlier to the Muni the mechanics of it. ** The question of Self being powerless cannot arise. [*Ramana Gita Ch2 v18, **Ibid Ch9 vs6 &10] Vs 9 The power of God, referred to by those learned in Vedanta, is it dynamic or static? Commentary

The all powerful God is the ground, the unmoving principle is also the movement, the manifestation.
In movement one obviously perceives power. But can it be said that the ground too is powerful, even though devoid of movement or action? Movements or actions become powerful because of it. Not knowing the potency of Ramana's silent power some

would ask why he should not preach the truth to the people at large/ Maharshi's reply is the apposite. `How do you know that I am not doing it?..

Communication of knowledge can really be done in silence only'.* Ramana would point out that the `influence of the Jnani steals into you in silence'.
The real force is within as the Self, which though static is all powerful.
[*Maharshi's Gospel Pg16] Vs 10 It is because of movement of power that the world comes into being.

dependent is firm.
Commentary The ground, on which it is

Just as movement of pictures of a film can be seen only if there is a firm screen, the activity which causes the appearance of the world to the seer is not possible unless the base, Self, is itself unmoving. In fact the static aspect of power and the dynamic are non-separate. God and His power though seen as the
base and movement are really one like fire and its power to burn. The manifest aspect of reality, Shakti, is not apart from the unmanifest. Ramana points out that `the seer, the seen, the screen on which it is projected & the

light, are all only the one'. * [*Sat-Darshanam v9] Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan: 11. The movement of Sakti which is based on the immovable Reality and which is the cause of the world, the learned term indefinable Maya. 12. The movement appears as if Real to the Subject. In Reality there is no

movement in Being, Oh best of men. 13. The seeming difference between Iswara and Sakti arises from dualistic vision.

72

If the vision is withdrawn into the Source, the two become One. AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 11

The movement on the immovable which is the cause of this world is termed by the learned as the indescribable illusion.
Commentary The much bandied word `Maya' or `illusion' is used in this verse. Maya is indefinable

because the movement seen apart from the reality, the substratum, is illusory.
The origin of this movement said to be without a beginning, cannot be understood when one is in the state of ignorance. In the state of knowledge, the immovable and the

superimposition will be seen integrally. For this, the knot of ignorance has to be cut by vigilant self-enquiry centered on the true import of individuality. Maya's veil is in reality only the veil of thought. When the mind is impure and externalised it is unaware of its link with its conscious source, the Self. It is

under the illusion that its power is independent. When one enquires into the nature of the mind, and searches within for the source, employing the twin weapons in the Ramana-armoury, `Who am I'? and `whence am I'?, then gradually the veil would be torn and the truth would be revealed. Vs 12 The movement is taken to be real by the subject. Actually there is no movement of the Self.
Commentary This is the illusion. The idea of movement is superimposed on the unmoving. As explained by Ramana earlier in this chapter the first mistake is to regard the subject

as separate from the Self. Then the further mistake, of considering the movements of
this separate subject as the movements of the Self itself, would follow. Vs 13 Iswara and His power are seen as separate because of dualistic vision. If the mind

is merged into its source the two become one.


Commentary

Dualistic vision arises when ego rises on waking or in dream. Then, forgetting the source the individual looks at everything divisively. If the ego is merged in the source by conscious effort then oneness of perception is restored and wholeness of existence is felt. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Kapali: 14. Bhagavan, this activity of Iswara which is the cause of this vast Universe, is it Eternal or not? Please enlighten me. 15. Bhagavan:

Though the Supreme moves because of His own Supreme Sakti, He is in Reality unmoving.
73

Only the Sage can understand this profound mystery.

16. Movement by itself is activity and activity is called Sakti. The Supreme Person

through his Sakti created all that we see. AR Natarajan Translation:


Vs 14 Kapali said, Bhagavan, is the activity of God, which is the cause of this vast world, eternal? Please clarify. Commentary .......... The doubt is raised because God is eternal. Can it be said that his activity too is eternal? Vs 15

Though movement is caused by the Supreme's inherent power, actually it is unmoving. This is a secret known only to sages.
Commentary In verse twelve Ramana has already explained that in Reality there is no movement. Here he reiterates this proposition and puts a stop to the argument. Movement itself

being illusory the whole explanation relating to Iswara and His powers is from the relative
point of view. Since doubts would continue to arise, Ramana states that it is a secret known only to sages. Once a person learns to

abide in the natural

state, the truth would be revealed.


Vs 16 Only movement is activity and it is termed `Power'. Everything seen is created by

the Supreme person through His own power.


Commentary

The creator and His power being one the entire creation is the manifestation of his own power since nothing exists outside the one, the Supreme. Everything,
stability and movement, can only be aspects of it. Ramana brings out the same idea in his Upadesa Saram where he points out `Is there another consciousness to light

Existence? Existence itself is the consciousness from which the `I' arises. '*
[*Upadesa Saram verse 22]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan:. 17. Activity is of two kinds: pravritti [manifestation] and nivritti [withdrawal]

The Vedic text "where all this has become Atman itself", refers to nivritti. 18. Thus the word 'sarvam'. [all this] refers to the many [seen] during dualistic vision.
74

The word 'abhoot' [has become] implies some kind of activity. 19. The specific expression 'Atman itself' implies that the multitude of diverse things born of it must in the end be withdrawn into the Atman. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 17 Activity comes under two categories, manifestation and subsidence.
The Vedic text `When all has become the Self'

refers to subsidence.

Vs 18 The word `Sarvam', `all this', refers to the many seen during dualistic vision. The `abhoot', has become , implies some activity.

Commentary

How can the Real, the one be the many? The answer is that it would be so when the dualistic vision prevails. The dualistic view persists until such time
as the nature of the ego, of the mind, and its source are understood. It would persist till the illusion that the subject is separate from the Self lasts. The existence of the many would, therefore, be seen to be temporary.
Vs 19 The expression `Self itself' implies that the variety must in the end subside into the Self. Commentary .... If

the multitude were independent of the `Self' they would have

independent reality, a separate permanent existence. In fact however, they arise and subside in one reality. Hence though the forms are many the substance, the essence, is only the Self. Those who are pursuing the method of self-enquiry are familiar with the daily birth of the `I'-thought, or individuality, on waking, and its daily death when sleep overtakes. The rising of the ego and its subsidence would evidence the fact that it has a conscious source within the Self. It is the Self which lights the

mind and the world and envelops all creation.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan:. 20. Oh best of men, without Sakti, Being is not apprehended. Sakti has

two names, vyapara [Activity] and asraya [Ground]. 21. The learned say that work such as the creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the universe is vyapara [Activity] Oh best of men, asraya [Ground] is nothing other than Being. 22. Because Being is itself everything, it depends on nothing else.
75

He who understands Sakti as both Activity and Ground , he alone knows. AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 20 Awareness of Self is not possible without power. Power has two aspectsactivity and ground.
Commentary Movement cannot be perceived without a stationary base. How is the opposite also true? How is it possible to apprehend the ground through movement, through power? When

through self-enquiry the mind is pushed within, one becomes aware of the

sparkle of the Self as `I'-`I' within the Heart. The movement referred to must therefore be understood as diving within, the inner journey linking one with consciousness. Vs 21 The learned say that work such as creation of the universe is movement. Self.

Commentary

Creation includes the sustenance and dissolution of the world also. This is termed activity. The base of all the three is only the Self.
Vs 22 Self is not dependent on anything else because of its universality. He who understands it to be Commentary The

both movement and ground alone knows.

ground is only the The Self itself is the subject, `the eye complete and limitless'*. It is selfluminous and the source of luminosity of all creation. In this verse Ramana again
stresses the

integral nature of God, the manifest and unmanifest. [*Sat Darshanam v3]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan:. 23. In the activity there can be no diversity for SAT [Being]. if satta [Nature of being] be other than Sakti, then no activity can ever rise. 24. If, in course of time, the

great dissolution of

the universe should occur, this activity merges, as it were, into Being without any difference. 25. Without Sakti none
of this activity can ever be; neither creation nor cognition consisting of the triad [subject, object and cognition]. ============================================================= 76

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 23 Diversity in Reality would not arise in the absence of movement. The movement cannot exist apart from Reality. Commentary Once again the interlaced nature of power and the ground are emphasized. Earlier the Vedic text that Self itself has become everything has been explained. Diverse

forms for underlying reality can arise only if there is movement of thought away from the stillness of existence. Again, how can there be movement unless sustained by consciousness?
Vs 24

If in course of time the great dissolution of the universe should take place, this activity subsides into the one, the Self.
Commentary What is referred to here is the `Mahapralaya'. What happens is only a lulling of activity for the time being and not destruction. It will sprout again when the new cycle of creation starts. Vs 25 All this activity is not possible without `Shakti', `Power', neither the world nor the awareness of it, consisting of the triad. Commentary The triad are he seer, the seen and the act of seeing. The mind's source is clearly indicated to be the Self by Ramana in Upadesa Saram. The mind's consciousness,

its power, is the reflected power of the Self. The world has no independent existence of its own. The mind projects the world and sees it. Hence it is said that neither the world nor the mind can exist without power, the power being that of the Self. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan:. 26. The one transcendent Sakti is known by two names; Being as Ground, and Activity, because of the work of Creation. 27. Best of men, to those who consider movement alone to be the mark of Sakti, one has to point out that there

exists some Supreme reality as the Ground. 28. That sole, Supreme Reality is by
some called Sakti, by others Being, by others Brahman and by still others Person.

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 26 77 The one transcendent power is known by two names, the Self, because it is the ground, and Power, because of the work of creation. Vs 27 To those who regard movement alone as the mark of power, one has to point out that there is one supreme reality as the base. Commentary Ramana points out the fallacy of thinking that the activity alone is power. Then there should be two realities, the unmoving, unchanging eternal source and the movement. Reality is

only one and, as explained in the earlier verse, it is termed ground or activity with
reference to the function. Vs 28 The one supreme Reality is termed as `Shakti' by some, as `Self' by other learned ones and by yet others as a `Person'. Commentary `The reality is only one the learned call it by different names'.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan:. 29. There are two ways, child, in which Truth is apprehended. It is defined in terms of its characteristics. And it is directly experienced as

Reality.

knowledge of Being can be had in two ways, through its activity, or by experiencing it as such; that is indirectly through its attributes [characteristics] or directly by being One with it.
30. Thus,

AR Natarajan Translation:
Vs 29 Truth is apprehended in two ways, by indication and in reality. By indication it is spoken of as Real and it is experienced as Reality Commentary

Knowledge about reality is indirect, when it arises from proper understanding of the

When one abides in the natural state the experience is direct `aparoksha'.
scriptures through guru's guidance. Vs 30 Self-awareness can be had in two ways, through its activity or experiencing it as such by its attributes, or by being with it. 78 Commentary

Self has two characteristics. The asraya ie. ground, and movement or, the mind and world. Logically, awareness of the Self could be in one of two ways. It can be

experienced directly inwardly by abiding in it and outwardly by perceiving that everything is the Self.
Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan: 31.

Being is said to be the Ground , my child, and activity its attribute, by

understanding through activity the Source of activity, one gets firmly established in the Ground. 32. Being goes with attributes. And attributes go with being. The relation between the two, it is said, is one of identity.
33. As Being is apprehended only by its attribute, namely activity it is eternally active. Comment: It is interesting to note that the use of this term 'Ground' is one often used by Meister Eckhart, a Non-Dual Christian.

AR Natarajan Translation: Vs 31 It is said that Self is the ground and activity is its attribute. source of activity, one gets firmly established in the Self.
Commentary

By understanding through activity the


Ramana brings one back to his teaching that the search for the source of the one for

whom the activity exists leads one back to the Self. According to him, selfenquiry is the enquiry `wherefrom does this `I'-thought arise*, `when the source is searched for the ego gets merged in it'**. Elsewhere too Ramana emphasizes this. `to enquire silently and deeply as to the source of the mind, the `I' alone is self-enquiry'. "The `I' does not rise in the real state,

search for the source of `I' dissolves it; when the `I' rises all rise, find out with keen intellect whence this `I'. "*~* Quest for the source is
the activity which leads one back to the Self and merges one there.
[*Upadesa-Saram v19, **RamanaGita ch7vs4-5,*~*Sat-Darshanam v9] Vs 32 Self goes with attribute and vice-versa. The two are inseparable. Vs 33 Since the Self is known only by its attribute, activity, it is eternally active. Commentary 79 Reference could be made to earlier verses 24 & 25 wherein it has been pointed out that

activity goes on in time without let and is possible only because of the power of

the Self. Therefore it is only the manifest aspect of Self which is known. Since this goes on always it could be said the Self is eternally active. The eternal nature of activity has been explained to Kapali Sastri who queried, `Worlds are created and they perish. How can you say that activity is eternal?' ramana replied `Every moment there is creation, every moment destruction. There is no absolute creation and absolute. Both are movement and that is eternal'. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
On the nineteenth day, the high-minded Bharadwaja Kapali, great among the learned, questioned Guru Ramana. Bhagavan: 34. Activity

is not other than Being, if you see, indeed all this

knowledge of difference is but imaginary. 35. This creation called the sport of Sakti is only an idea of Iswara. If the idea is transcended, Being alone remains.
This ends Chapter 12 from the Ramana Gita, the Science of Brahman and the Scripture of Yoga composed by Ramana's disciple Vasishta Ganapati. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 34 If one understands properly, activity is not different from the ground. The thought that they are different would be conjectural. Commentary Having stated in the preceding verse that Self is seen to be eternally active, Ramana brings one back to the proposition which he has repeatedly emphasized in this chapter, namely, that it is the

characteristics activity & stillness which seem to give an appearance of difference, but in Reality the Self is only one. Why does Ramana call the idea, that the two are different, imaginary? It is because it springs from the thought that the subject is separate from the Self. The ego, imagining
itself to be different from the Self, is unaware of its essential strength and its link

with consciousness. The false knowledge ends when through properly directed enquiry the doership idea is uprooted. Vs 35 The creation termed the sport of power, is an idea of God only. If the idea is transcended the Self remains.
Commentary The multifarious creation is born of the eternal activity of God, Iswara. It is called a `leela', a sport of His powers, His Shakti. The creator is not apart from His creation and is the consciousness, the substratum of everything. It is for this reason that Isavasya Upanishad declares that Iswara pervades the entire universe. The difference between the idea of creation and that of the individual is that the Creator is omniscient and omnipotent. His intelligence is unfettered by attachments, and His powers 80

is the product of a mind which is dissipated by attachments and the limitations of inadequate power are superimposed on it.
are limitless. The individual's creation

In the second half of the verse, Ramana reverts to his basic teaching that the world and

mind exist so long as mind's nature is not understood. If by search for its

source the mind merges in the source, the Self, then all ideation, all conceptualization would cease. For, the individual for whom conceptualization exists would cease to exist. All that would remain is the one true seer. If this
happens, the

to an end.

differences which exist between God & individual would come


The difference was one of form and intelligence*. God's form is the

universe in all its variety, the individual's a particular name and form. God's

intelligence is complete, that of the individual is warped & limited. But


once the import of the true `I' is apprehended these differences are lost and the one essence remains.
[*Upadesa-Saram v24] [Sanskrit version in Ramana's handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita album']

CHAPTER 13,V. 1,2,3,4 Translation Sri Kapal Sastriar


Here the wife of the Muni is the questioner. Ganapati introduces her first in four poetic verses. 1-4 Like moon-light to the family of Atris* the daughter in law to the House of Vashistas, mother of Mahadeva of resolute mind, drawn towards God Knowledge, an exemplar of women. Unwavering in the austerity of service to people, holding the great discipline of knowledge lauded by Brahma and other Gods, the first and foremost preceptor of the Vidya of Goddess Tara** in the South of the Vindhyas, famous as companion in my austerities- Visalakshi of unblemished limbs, dear to me, approached the Sage Ramana, benefactor of the world, with two questions , put through my mouth.

-------End of Chapter 12... ON SAKTI ----*** Chapter 13... On The Equality of Women for Sannyasa ***
81 *Line of the Upanashadic Sage Atreya. **A tradition of Tantra Shastra bequeathed by Female Gurus. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1, 2, 3, & 4 Light of the moon of Atreyas, married into Vasishta lineage, mother of brave Mahadeva, knower of Brahman, an ideal wife, devoted to the welfare of the world and the practice of the great `Sri Vidya' praised by sabes, the first guru south of Vindyas in `Tara Vidya', my friend in tapas, Visalakshi of great fame, submitted two questions through me to Ramana, the sage and friend of the universe. Commentary This chapter is important and is of prophetic value. It must be remembered that Ramana's replies concerning woman's status in essential spiritual matters were given in the early part of the century when co-status for women was not generally accepted. \again, one of the questions raised was to become of direct relevance when the Maharshi's mother Azhagammal was absorbed in the Self a few years later. In this verse the adjective `friend

of universe' seems to be used for Ramana because his replies are relevant to everyone for
all time.

These verses evidence the respect in which the Muni held his wife Vislakshi. In his Sanskrit commentary Sri Kapali Sastri mentions that the praise given to the Muni's son Mahadeva, is because at the tender age of ten he became a full recipient of the grace

of the Maharshi for the steadfast pursuit of self-enquiry, making him an heir to Self-knowledge.
[Note: Sanskrit version of Ch13 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

CHAPTER 13,V. 5&6 Translation by Sri Kapali Sastriar [author of Sat-Darshana Bhashya -'K']
[Here the wife of the Muni, Visalakshi, is the questioner. Ganapati has introduced her already in four poetic verses. ] 5. If women, stationed in the Self, because of obstacles, take to Sannyasa, renouncing family life, has it the approval of the Shastras? 6. For one liberated even when alive, if her body drops, what is the proper thing to do afterwards-cremation or internment? AR Natarajan Translation Vs 5 If obstacles to Self-abidance arise for women, do scriptures permit their renouncing the home and becoming renunciates? Commentary The Hindu scriptures divide the stages of life into four. Brahmacharya, Grihasta, Vanaprasta and Sanyasa the life of a celibate, householder, forest dweller and renunciate. Sanyasa has been generally understood to be permitted for men only, and not for women. The doubt is therefore expressed as to whether renunciation of home is permissible for women too. The question itself refers only to earnest seekers solely concerned with

Self- knowledge and who are therefore keen on overcoming all obstacles on its path. Maharshi, because of his
82 steady wisdom was in a position to interpret the ethical code of conduct. His words, based

on direct experience of Truth are not only a gospel for his devotees, but have a validity for all.
Vs 6 If a woman liberated while alive, sheds her body, what would be the right thing to do, cremation or burial? Commentary

Ordinarily, cremation is regarded as proper on death. However, for a `Jivan Mukta', the one liberated while in the body, it is said that the body should be interred sitting in a yogic posture. Elaborate methods have been prescribed by
seers like Tirumular for the manner in which it should be done. The doubt raised is whether this rule is equally applicable to a liberated woman as well.

Translation by Sri Kapali Sastriar {Sanskrit] English rendering by S. Sankaranarayanan.


7. Bhagavan, the loftiest amongst the Seers, knowing the essential meaning of all the Shastras, having heard this couple of questions, pronounced his decision. 8. For women mature in Sadhana, living in their own true form, Sannyasa is not

blameworthy as the prohibition has been withdrawn.

AR Natarajan Translation Vs 7 After listening to the two questions, (vs5,6) Bhagavan , the great sage, the knower of the essence of scriptures, gave his decisions. Commentary It is said that one should learn the scriptures at the feet of the Guru. In this case the teacher knew the import of the scriptures by his unique spiritual stature and was, therefore a fit person to learn from. It is important to note that the Muni uses the expression `decisions' and not `replies'. This is because the questions relate to practice of dharma, observance of a correct ethical code. Maharshi's words themselves are the

authority for the validity of the replies. Vs 8 Since scriptures do not prohibit it, there is nothing wrong in a woman abiding in the Self and becoming an ascetic when fully ripe.
Commentary Restrictions based on sex cannot apply to the discharge of namely,

discovering one's true nature. Life has a dual purpose, the exhaustion

one's paramount duty,

of a portion of the ethical balance sheet and the use of the discriminative faculty to search and find the Truth. The regulation and codes of conduct are applicable within the karmic framework and cannot bind ripe souls who have transcended its limitations. The only qualification for renunciation of home, equally applicable to men and women, is that one should be ripe for it. Often in the spur of temporary
disappointment or of the stresses and pressures of daily life one might put on the ochre robe and regard oneself as a Sanyasi. Such mere change in environment and status is not what is required. Hence in the reply Maharshi refers to `ripeness' as a pre-condition. 83

Translation by Sri Kapali Sastriar {Sanskrit] English rendering by S. Sankaranarayanan. Bhagavan: 9, As there is no distinction in liberation and knowledge, a woman also liberated when alive should not be consigned to flames. Her body is verily a temple of God. 10. All the blame that is attached to the burning of the body of a liberated man is equally applicable to the burning of the body of a liberated woman.
11. On the 21st. day, this matter was declared about the woman of knowledge by the Sage, Ramana Maharshi. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 9 In liberation and Self-knowledge there is no difference between men and women. The

body of a woman liberated while alive is not to be cremated as it is a temple of God.


Commentary

Distinctions of sex are based on the `I am body' idea. Once this is

transcended one becomes a pure flame of knowledge, neither male nor female. For liberation and knowledge, men are not superior to women, both are at par. The
body of a liberated one, man or woman, is not mere flesh and bones but a

pure channel of the divine, radiating God. It is worthy of worship and the
body has to be preserved for such worship by performing appropriate rites and building a samadhi and shrine over it.
There is a reference to this view in a prayer by Ramana to Arunachala a few years earlier in 1914, when he had prayed for mother's recovery from typhoid, wherein he asks "where is

the need for cremation if one's dross is washed away by the fire of knowledge?"* There seems to be a divine purpose in this question because precisely this
very doubt arose in 1922 regarding Azhagammal. She had attained liberation by the grace of Ramana. When the question arose as to whether her body should be buried or cremated the Muni pointed out that the issue had already been settled by Ramana's reply in `Ramana Gita'. Mother was interred, a samadhi was built over her body and, subsequently, a

shrine where regular worship is performed.


[Bhagavan Ramana and Mother p16] Vs 10

The adverse consequences which flow from the cremation of the body of a liberated man will follow even if the body of a liberated woman is cremated.
Commentary This statement follows from the basic proposition that

in liberation there is no

distinction of sex. To cremate a liberated person's body is equivalent to


burning a place of worship and is bound to be beset with adverse consequences not only for those responsible for it but also for the community at large.
Vs 11 These points regarding a liberated woman were elucidated on the 21st ay of August by the sage Ramana Maharshi. 84

-------End of Chapter 13... On The Equality of Women for Sannyasa ----*** Chapter 14... JIVAN-MUKTI *** Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
1. & 2 On the night of the 21st August 1917,wise Bharadwaja, born in Sivakula family, great among the learned, well versed in speech, questioned the Maharshi on JIVANMUKTI and, in the hearing of all the Maharshi replied. 3. JIVANMUKTI is firm abidance in Being, unaffected by scriptural or worldly

ideas.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1 & 2 On 21st August Vaidarbha of Bharadwaja lineage, born of Sivakula family, great among learned, adept at speech, questioned the Maharshi on liberation while alive. After listening the Maharshi replied in the hearing of all. Commentary The adjective adept has been used for the questioner Vaidarbha since it would be seen from Ramana's replies set out in the next fifteen verses that all aspects have been fully covered.

`Jivan Mukti' is the cutting of the sense of doership linked with identification of the Self with the body. The Self- abidance of one in this state is firm. The cutting of the knot of matter and spirit has been dealt with
fully in chapter nine of Ramana Gita. The replies of Maharshi are particularly significant

because he had become a `Jivanmukta' at the tender age of sixteen, after his

confrontation with death which made him experience directly the import of the true `I'. *
[*Self Realisation BVNarasimha Swami-p21 ] Vs 3

Steady abidance in the Self undisturbed by scriptural or worldly ideas is `Jivanmukti'.


Commentary In the very first chapter of Ramana Gita, on `Upasana', Ramana has made a distinction between abidance in the Self and firm abidance in it. * The intermittent

experience of the Self by conscious effort is termed `abhyasa' or practice. Only when the `I' is merged firmly in the source it is the state of liberation while in the body.
The reference here not only to worldly ideas but also to scriptural thoughts, is significant. For, many seekers are apt to be lost in a maze of scriptural learning losing sight of

the fact that the purpose of the scriptures is only to point the way to experience the Truth for oneself. The knowledge
Again,any

whichtheyprovideisindirectanddescriptiveandisnotasubstitutefordirectexperience.

thought movement, even if it be noble or dharmic, is a distraction to Self-abidance. The mind of a `Jivanmukta' is waveless, completely free of thought like a vast ocean in the mid-afternoon, without even a ripple.
[*Ramana Gita Ch1,v13]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


85 V4 Bhagavan: There are no differences in

Prajnana [transcendental awareness]. Hence Mukti

is of one kind only. One liberated while yet in the body is called a Jivanmukta.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 4

Liberation is only of one kind. There is no difference in the state of awareness. One liberated while in the body is called `Jivanmukta'.
Commentary In verse 3, one characteristic of `Jivanmukti', firm Self-abidance, has been set out. Here another characteristic is mentioned. Even though such a person is having a body, he is in fact bodiless for he is no longer deluded by the idea that he is the body. Some scholars talk about different types of liberation, while in the body or after the body drops off; liberation with form, without form, and so on. These are mere ideas centered on the ego. When on

proper enquiry the ego is merged in its source, then all those concepts too automatically end. Since the Maharshi states that the death of ego is liberation, he asserts that liberation is only unwavering inherence in the Self and that other attributes like continuing in body or becoming invisible

are immaterial.
om namo bhagavate sri ramanaya At what stage do [the scriptures] become useless? When their

essence is realized. The scriptures are useful to indicate the

existence of the Higher Power (the Self) and the way to gain it. Their essence is that much only. When that is assimilated

the rest is useless. But they are voluminous adapted to the development of the
seeker. As one rising up in the scale finds the regions one has passed to be only steps to the higher stage, and so on, the steps ascended become purvapaksha* successively until the goal is gained. When the goal is reached it remains alone, and all the rest becomes useless. That is how the sastras become
useless.... (from Talks, no. 63) * prima facie argument advanced as justification; a former view on a particular point. SAstrIyairlaukikaiScApi pratyayairavicAlitA | svarUpe sudRDhA nishThA jIvanmuktirudAhRtA ||3||

Jivanmukti is very firm abidance in one's natural state, through an absolute conviction, which remains undisturbed by the ideas of the Sastras or indeed by the ideas of the world.
Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
86

5, There is no difference between the experience of a Jivanmukta and that of

one who, according to the scriptures, goes to Brahmaloka and gets liberated there. 6. Identical with the experience of the above two is that of the Mahatma whose pranas merge into pure Being even here at the time of death.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 5 There is no difference in the experience of one liberated while alive and that heard of in the Vedas, of one who goes to Brahmaloka and gets liberated there. Vs 6 The experience of a great person whose life force merges in the Self at the

time of death is the same as that of the above two.


Commentary

Many ripe persons are absorbed in the Self at the time of death either by strength of their past good actions or by the grace of God or the blessings of a Sadguru. Ramana clarifies that they too are on par with those who were liberated while in the body, or those who get liberated in `Brahmaloka'. It would be worth recalling here that the Maharshi liberated his mother, Azhagammal. On the day of her liberation he went into her room in the morning and sat by her side. Throughout the day he had his right hand on her spiritual heart and his left on her head. By his grace all the remaining tendencies, which would have given rise to future births, were pushed back into the Heart. So, when the end came it became an absorption of the life force and thought force into the Heart. A liberation, not death. *
[*Bhagavan Ramana and Mother p40]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation 7. Abidance in the Self is the same for all, the destruction of bondage is the same
for all, and there is but one kind of Mukti. Difference between Muktas appears only to the minds of others. 8. Oh best of men, the

Mahatma who abides in the Self and gets release while yet alive, his lifeforces too get absorbed in the Self even here.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 7

Liberation is of one kind only. Self-abidance is the same, ending of bondage is the same. Differences are only in the minds of the onlookers.
Commentary 87 The onlooker is unable to perceive the essence things and is caught up in theories

about difference in types of liberation such as during life, at the time of death and in `Brahmaloka'. But the basic issue is whether there is difference in the state of

liberated persons. The answer is `No'. Why? Because liberation only means

firm Self-abidance.
Vs 8 Best of men, the life force of the great person who abides in the Self and gets liberated while in the body is absorbed in the Self even here. Commentary The absorption of life force in the Self is the mark of liberation. For one who is

liberated while in the body such absorption takes place at the point of the dawning of Self-knowledge. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
9. Bhagavan: In some cases, owing to ripening of Tapas, the attain

intangibility, while the form remains.

Jivanmukta may in time

10. With further maturity, even disappearance of form [invisibility] ensues.

Remaining as Pure Awareness alone, such a Siddha disports himself as he likes.


AR Natarajan Translation Vs 9 In some cases, the one liberated while in the body may in time, due to

ripening of penance, even obtain the power of intangibility while the form remains.
Commentary

Those whose abidance is steady are always performing penance. Why then are the
expressions `in time' and `ripening' used? An explanation is being give about a particular power which some liberated ones have. It cannot be because of their difference from other liberated ones for it has been reiterated in the earlier verses that the state of the liberated ones is identical. Why the difference? For this, one could usefully refer to an earlier doubt of Ganapati Muni as to whether the previous desires would be fulfilled even after Self-knowledge. * The answer was that they may be fulfilled but it would not be a matter for elation. For, the liberated view everything neutrally. From this one could say that the earlier yogic practice with a desire for tangibility might get fulfilled in

time and lead to the existence of the power in a liberated one though it would not make any difference to his state.
[*Ramana Gita Ch1,v8] Vs 10

Even invisibility might arise. The one endowed with such power sports as he likes as consciousness only.
Commentary In the earlier verse the power of being outside the pale of touch is referred to. In this verse the power to remain out of sight is mentioned. One should, however, remember that absence of such powers does not make any difference in the state of the

liberated one.
88

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation 11. Oh best of men, these two Siddhis of the body may come about in a short time through Divine Grace. 12. Difference in siddhis does not mean any difference in Mukti. One who abides in the Self is a Mukta whether with or without the body.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 11 These two powers of the body may come about even in a short time by the

Grace of God.
Commentary The first point made is that the two powers referred to in the earlier two verses pertain to the body. The body becomes intangible or invisible. Ordinarily, like any other karmic factor, the power would come about when the time is ripe for it. However it could be

quickened by the operation of divine grace. The question would arise as to how
the liberated one, whose state is not different from that of God himself, can in any way benefit from divine grace? The answer is that these powers pertain to the body. The

body continues to be subject to the laws of karma and grace. Since the powers are products of karma the Creator's grace could hasten the process. Vs 12 These differences in powers do not mean any difference in liberation. One who abides in the Self is liberated whether in body or not.
Commentary Again Ramana makes it appoint to draw attention to the fact that powers, whatever they

may be, have no essential link with the state of liberation. They pertain to the body. And how can they affect one who has no attachment to the body? What

matters is steady Self-abidance. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation 13. He who ascends to higher Worlds through [sushumna] nadi and along the path of Archis [the way by which it moves] gains liberation forthwith by virtue of the enlightenment arising there. 14. To a loving devotee of well-ripened mind the ascent through the nadi to the highest goal occurs through Grace Divine.

15. He can roam at will in all the worlds, assume as many bodies as he likes and

even confer Grace on others.


AR Natarajan Translation Vs 13 89 He who ascends through amritanadi along the path of `archis' gains liberation immediately because of the enlightenment arising there. Commentary The

amritanadi is the channel for the flow of consciousness from the Heart to the mind center and the path by which it travels is termed archis.
Vs 14 For an earnest seeker with a well ripened mind the ascent to the highest goal occurs by divine grace. Commentary

When the seeker's mind becomes purified by unwearied pursuit of self-enquiry or contemplation of God, he becomes ripe for receiving the grace of a SadGuru or God. Such grace accelerates spiritual evolution and bestows the

highest.
Vs 15

He can move as he pleases in all the worlds, assume as many bodies as he desires and even confer grace on others. Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation
Bhagavan: 16. Some wise men say Kailasa is the world of the liberated, others Vaikunta and yet others the region of the Sun. 17. Oh learned one, like this and other planets, these worlds of the liberated also are

projected on Being by the marvelous power of Sakti.


End of Ch 14. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 16 Some wise men say that Kailasa is the world of the liberated, others Vaikunta, and yet others the region of the Sun. Commentary Worshippers of Siva regard Siva's world Kailasa as the abode of the liberated. Similarly, worshippers of Vishnu regard His region Vaikunta as the place of the liberated. Others regard the solar sphere as the habitation of the liberated. Vs 17

Like the earth and other planets these worlds of the liberated are also

projections on the Self caused by its marvelous power.


Commentary Ramana brings the questioner back to essentials. While replying to Kapali he had earlier made it clear that the world regarded as the sport of power is only the idea of God, the creator. * Similar too are these worlds, said to be the home of the liberated. Whatever

may be the world in which the liberated one is, he is not taken
90

in by the play of power. He has transcended conceptualization, and having

merged his life force in the Self he is ever reveling in Truth. [Ibid-Ch12 v35] ----------------------------Ramana Gita Chapter 14 Concluded. [Note: Sanskrit version of Ch14 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album] Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


Ganapati Muni: 1. Oh Lord , the best in the line of Sages, what is meant by Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana ? 2. Thus questioned by me , Sri Bhagavan, the best of the knowers of Brahman, spoke in the gathering of disciples on the morning of the 22 day of August 1917. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1 Lord, what is meant by `Sravana', listening to the Truth, `Manana',

contemplation on it, and `Nidhidyasana' abiding as that.


Vs 2 Thus questioned by me, Sri Bhagavan, the best of knowers of Brahman spoke in the gathering of disciples on the morning of the 22nd August. Commentary The scriptures declare that for the discovery of the Self, one should listen about

it, contemplate on it and abide as that, each leading to the other. Being one of
the most important scriptural statements, Ganapati Muni seeks his Sadguru's clarification of it. [Note: Sanskrit version of Ch15 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


Bhagavan : 3. Some say that Sravana is listening to the Preceptor as he expounds the Vedantic Texts with meaning and commentary. 4. Others say that Sravana is also listening to a Teacher who knows the Atman explaining in his own language and words the nature of Being.

-------EndofChapter14...JIVAN-MUKTI ----*** Chapter 15... OM, SRAVANA, MANANA, NIDIDHYASANA ***


AR Natarajan Translation 91 Vs 3 Some say that listening to the Truth is the hearing of the teachers exposition of vedantic texts with meaning and commentary. Vs 4 Some say that listening to the truth is hearing the explanation, in the own words of the Knower of Self, of his experience about the nature of the Self.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


Bhagavan: 5 & 6. Having listened to the Vedantic Texts or the Guru's Own Words. or without either, but owing to merit earned in past lives, listening to ones own Heart

declaring itself as the root of the 'I' thought, different from the body and mind-this is Sravana in Reality.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 5 & 6 Having listened to the Vedic texts or Guru's exposition of one's true nature or, without either, by accumulated merit of past lives, if one listens to one's Heart declaring that it is the root of the `I'- thought, apart from the body, it is in fact listening to the

Truth. Commentary This verse sets out Ramana's own experience. When confronted with fear of death

Ramana transcended it by being a witness to his own death and by being simultaneously aware of the full force of his personality, of the `I'-`I' shining within the Heart. * Ramana's teaching that the `I'-thought is the root of all thoughts and the Heart is the base from which the mind rises, is also set out in the verse itself. Listening to it is listening to the Truth. This is an
original interpretation of the Vedic text, based on Ramana's own experience. [*Ramana Maharshi & the Path of Self Knowledge by Arthur Osborne p19]

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


Bhagavan: 7. Manana, according to some, is enquiry into the meaning of the Sastras. In reality it is Enquiry into Being , the Self. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 7

Study of the scriptures is said to be contemplation of the Self. Actually, only self-enquiry is contemplation of it.
Commentary Traditionally, dwelling on the meaning of the words in sacred texts is regarded as contemplation on Truth. However, self-enquiry alone is meditation on it. Ramana gives the

pride of place to self-enquiry because


92

it is the only effective means of tackling the ego. Unless ego's source is understood, Self- knowledge is not possible. Hence it is the second and essential
step preceding Self-abidance.

Professor K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Translation


Bhagavan: 8. Some say that the intellectual conviction of the identity of Brahman and Atman, without doubt or misunderstanding, is nididhyasana. 9. Mere scriptural knowledge of this identity, however free from doubt or misunderstanding, does not by itself confer experience. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 8 Some say that the apprehension, through discrimination, of the identity of

the individual and Brahman, free from doubt or misunderstanding, is Selfabidance.


Commentary The scriptures declare through sacred words like `I am That', `Brahman am I', the individual's identity with Brahman. A firm and unwavering conviction of this feeling of

oneness, of nonseparateness, is regarded as abiding as Truth.


Vs 9 Even if knowledge of the scriptures is free from doubt and misunderstanding it does not by itself confer experience. Commentary Scriptures are guideposts, pointers of the way which a seeker has to tread to make it his own experience. RAMANA GITA CHAPTER 15. OM, SRAVANA, MANANA, NIDIDHYASANA

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


Bhagavan: 10. Oh Vasishta,

both doubt and misunderstanding are dispelled by

experience alone, and not by hundreds of Scriptures.


11. The Scripture dispels the doubt and misunderstanding of one who has Faith. When the Faith weakens a little, they both reappear. 12. Oh Vasishta, it is

only by experience of

Being that they are both eradicated once for all. Hence firm Abidance in Being is termed Nididhyasana. AR Natarajan Translation
93 Vs 10 Vasistha, doubt and misunderstanding are removed by experience only and not by hundreds of scriptures. Vs 11 The scriptures dispel the doubt and misunderstanding of one with faith, when faith falters even a little, they both revive. Vs 12 Vasistha, it is only by experience of Self-abidance that they are both uprooted. For, abidance in Self is said to be abiding as the Truth. Commentary Since scriptural knowledge is vicarious and based on faith, it rests on uncertain foundations.

experience of Self-abidance then faith in Truth becomes firm. Then all doubts cease. The means and the end are not separate since the Self
If however, one has

is ever present and the enquiry and search only enable one to discover it. Ordinarily, in all individual spiritual effort the Self and seer and seen are separate. But the Self is the subject, the eye, and therefore, to think of it can only be to abide as it. * [*Sat Darshanam V2] Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
Bhagavan: 13. When one's mind wanders outside, my child without firm abidance in Being, even the study of hundreds of scriptures cannot confer direct, immediate Knowledge. 14. Oh great Kaundinya, if firm

abidance in Being becomes natural [and effortless] this indeed is final freedom and the Supreme State, and is called Direct Realisation. This ends Chapter 15.
AR Natarajan Translation Bhagavan: 13. When one's mind wanders outside, my child without firm abidance

in Being, even the study of hundreds of scriptures cannot confer direct,

immediate Knowledge.
14.

Oh great Kaundinya, if firm abidance in Being becomes natural [and effortless]

this indeed is final freedom and the Supreme State, and is called Direct Realisation. This ends Chapter 15. Vs 13 When, without abiding in the Self, the mind wanders, even the study of hundreds of scriptures cannot confer direct experience. Commentary 94

An externalised mind, a mind in constant movement outward because of attachments, cannot turn within and subside in the source. The inturning of the mind and the plunge within are essential for the experiencing of

the Self. Hence, a mind though learned in scriptures, if subject to the pulls of
the senses, would be incapable of experiencing the Self.
Vs 14 Kaundinya, if

firm abidance in the Self becomes natural, it is freedom, the supreme state, and is termed direct experience.
Commentary During spiritual practice the mind might have long spells of dips in the Self. But such

intermittent abidance can only give a taste of the happiness and act as a spur to further effort for reaching the goal. When the mind naturally and without

effort, spontaneously remains merged in its source the Self, then experience

of the Self-abidance is direct. It is final freedom. Then the sense of doership is dead, the stillness of being is not disturbed by distracting thought. It is the Supreme State, for it is one where bliss inundates always, and the experience, being one's own, is direct.
Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
1. Then questioned regarding Bhakti, the best of men, the highly auspicious Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi spoke thus: 2. The SELF is dear to all, Nothing else is as dear.

[Note: Sanskrit version of Ch15 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Love, Unbroken like a stream of oil, Is termed Bhakti.


AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1 Then, questioned regarding love of God, the best of men, the highly auspicious Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi spoke thus: Vs 2 The Self is dear to all. Nothing else is dear. Love unbroken like a stream

of oil is termed `Bhakti. ' -------End of Chapter 15... OM, SRAVANA, MANANA, NIDIDHYASANA ----*** Chapter 16... On Bhakti ***
95 Commentary The statement reminds one of the advice of Yagnavalkya to his wife Maitreyi in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, be it that of wife for the husband, mother for the

child and so on, is sweet only because of the love for the Self. The love

mistakenly identified with a name and form, really springs from the Self, the source of all love and bliss. Reference to a steady stream of oil is a traditional analogy and would suggest a continuous relationship between subject, the individual, and the object, God. Such a steady contemplation would in time result in the merging of the individual in the particular godhead. The ecstasy of such union is termed `para bhakti' or

supreme devotion.

In upadesa Saram, Ramana uses a different expression, `like the flow of ghee', to

indicate the sticking endearment between the devotee and God which comes

inevitably from a steady and loving relationship. * Ramana's reference to

the Self as dear to all is worth noting. Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada refers to bhakti as contemplation on the Self, which in practice means constant recollection of the identity of individual and God, or the Self. [*Upadesa Saram v7]
-------------------------------- [Note: Sanskrit version of Ch 16 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


3,

Through Love the Sage knows that God is none other than his own Self. Though the devotee, on the other hand, regards Him as different from himself, yet he too merges and abides in the Self alone. 4. The Love which flows unbroken like a stream of oil, towards the Supreme Lord, leads the mind infallibly into Pure Being, even without
one's desiring it.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 3

The learned one knows, through love, that God is not different from oneself. Though the devotee regards God as apart, he merges in Him and then abides as the Self.
Commentary The approach to God, the spiritual practice of those pursuing the pathway of wisdom is to meditate on the individual's the meditation on unity, is the way. Votaries of the path of devotion begin by

identity with God; for them `I am That' contemplation,

regarding God as he object of worship but in the end, when through the

strength of the single thought of God their devotion deepens, then they too merge in the Godhead or the Self.
Vs 4

Even when bereft of the desire for it, love, flowing to God like a steady stream of oil, undoubtedly leads to the Self.
96 Commentary

All thoughts emanate from the Self for, the root of all thoughts, the `I'thought, rises from the Self. When the mind is gathered together, and a This is because God and the Self are not different in essence. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
5. &6.

single thought of the Supreme prevails, it leads one back to the source.

When the Devotee, regarding himself as a separate, limited individual of poor understanding, and desirous of deliverance from suffering, takes the Omnipresent Supreme Reality to be some deity and worships it, even then he attains in the end 'That' (alone).
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 5 & 6 Even the one who regards himself as being limited in intelligence and

different from God, who worships the all pervading Supreme as a particular

deity and prays to it for deliverance from suffering attains in the end the Supreme only.
Commentary

"And what is `Siva-worship' now? Beholding but his glorious presence in elements five, sun, moon, and every living being, each apt response and timely service to these amounts to Siva worship, excellent and ever fresh. "* But so long as one regards oneself as a particular name and form, the manifestation of the One Supreme as all names and forms of this variegated universe is not evident. The deity is also regarded as a
particular name and form. The question arises whether such particularized worship would lead to the

awareness of the all pervading nature of the Supreme? The answer is `yes'.
For, the worship of Supreme, in whatever name and form, leads to a vision of

its essence. ** In time, when devotion ripens, the differences cease, the devotee merges in God the substratum of all existence.
[*Sayings from Muruganar's Guruvachaka Kovai Ramana Maharshi by Swaminathan. **Sat Darshanam V8]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami 7. Oh best of men, one who attributes names and forms to the Deity, through these very names and forms, transcends all name and form.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 7 Though Commentary 97 The

name and form are superimposed on the deity, one transcends

these very names and forms through them.

Supreme is the formless source of all form. A particular form or name as Siva, Vishnu, Subrahmanya, is superimposed by a devotee. Such
limitations spring from the ignorance of the devotee who not only regards himself as a particular name and form but also regards the Supreme as a particular deity with a specific name and form. The
question arises if the true nature of the Supreme would be known to the devotee not withstanding the approach. Ramana answers that it would be known.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami 8. When BHAKTI has grown perfect, then hearing once about Reality is enough, for it confers perfect knowledge. 9. BHAKTI not continuous like a stream is called intermittent BHAKTI. Even this is bound
to result in supreme BHAKTI. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 8 When devotion is complete, listening once is enough. Then, devotion itself

confers perfect knowledge.


Commentary The

listening, sravana, is listening to the reality, to one's identity with the Self and being That. In Upadesa Saram, Ramana points out that by constant single thought, ultimately one attains the repose of the Self, free from thought. He terms this as supreme devotion. * for, the thought of God only, to the exclusion of all thoughts, is really to think of Self, for Self and God
are essentially one. Reference could be made to the earlier verses 3 & 4 of this chapter
where it has been pointed out that even without desiring it the

devotee ultimately merges in and abides

as the Self. Though the paths of devotion and knowledge are different in practice, in
the end self-knowledge alone must result but pursuit of either path. [*Upadesa Saram V9] Vs 9 When devotion does not flow like a stream of oil it is termed intermittent

devotion. But it is certain to be the cause of supreme devotion.


Commentary

Even though contemplation of God is not steady, but only off & on, it is still called devotion. Why? This is because it leads to intense devotion, to uninterrupted

meditation on God. Though single minded devotion like that of `the steady flow of
a stream' is superior to broken devotion, yet the latter is bound to lead one to the highest form of devotion. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
8. When BHAKTI has grown perfect, then hearing once about Reality is enough, for it confers perfect knowledge. 9. BHAKTI not continuous like a stream is called intermittent BHAKTI. Even this is bound to result in supreme BHAKTI. 98 ==================================================== AR Natarajan Translation Vs 8 When devotion is complete, listening once is enough. Then, devotion itself confers

perfect knowledge.
Commentary The

listening, sravana, is listening to the reality, to one's identity with the Self and being That. In Upadesa Saram, Ramana points out that by constant single thought, ultimately one attains the repose of the Self, free from thought. He terms this as supreme devotion. * for, the thought of God only, to the exclusion of all thoughts, is really to think of Self, for Self andGodareessentiallyone.
Referencecouldbemadetotheearlierverses3&4ofthischapterwhereit has been pointed out that even without desiring it the devotee ultimately merges in and

abides as the Self. Though the paths of devotion and knowledge are different in
practice, in the end self-knowledge alone must result but pursuit of either path.

[*Upadesa Saram V9] Vs 9 When devotion does not flow like a stream of oil it is termed intermittent devotion. But it is certain to be the cause of supreme devotion. Commentary

Even though contemplation of God is not steady, but only off & on, it is still called devotion. Why? This is because it leads to intense devotion, to

uninterrupted meditation on God. Though single minded devotion like that of


`the steady flow of a stream' is superior to broken devotion, yet the latter is bound to lead one to the highest form of devotion. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami 10. One who practices BHAKTI for a desired end finds no fulfillment on attaining it and then again worships God for the sake of eternal happiness. 11. BHAKTI, even when accompanied by desire, does not cease with the achievement of the desire. Faith in the Supreme person develops and goes on increasing. 12. Growing thus, BHAKTI in course of time becomes perfect. By means of this perfect and supreme BHAKTI, even as by Jnana, one crosses the ocean of Becoming.
This ends Ch. xvi AR Natarajan Translation Vs 10 The devotion of one who practices it for the fulfillment of a desire does not end on its attainment. He continues to be devoted to God for attaining eternal happiness. Commentary 99

One who has tasted the bliss of companionship of God will seek only more of it. Initially the dominant cause for the devotion itself is the satisfaction of desires for things of the world. Gradually love of God, for the highest, for bliss without end, takes its place. Those whose hearts are turned Godward, as the magnetic needle to the north, can never lose heir bearing as they sail the stormy ocean of desire. *

Vs 11 Devotion, even when it co-exists with desire, will not cease on satisfaction of it. Faith in the Supreme begins and develops. Commentary This verse is to be read along with the preceding one. One more reason is given to explain continuance of devotion, even though motivated to start with. One would expect logically that it would end when the motive ceases. But in practice it is not so. Why? For, imperceptibly, along the way, faith in the Supreme is built up and success only

strengthens the belief. Vs 12 The devotion growing thus becomes complete in course of time. By such complete and supreme devotion one crosses the cycle of births and deaths, in a like manner as one would by knowledge.
Commentary

Ramana begins with the form of bhakti and comes down step by step to

motivated devotion and accepts even that as a means for reaching the goal of liberation. The stress is on the gathering of the mind in a single thought

stream; then the inward journey becomes possible and the Supreme would do the rest by pulling one into the Self. It produces a reciprocal flow of power, the grace of the Self which wakens the hold of the `I'-thought and destroys the vasanas which perpetuate and reinforce its existence*.
[*Be As You Are by David Godman p82]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


1. On the 25 Aug. 1917 Vaidarbha, best among the learned, bowed humbly before the Sage and questioned him again. Vaidarbha: 2. Does Jnana come to us gradually, little by little, day by day ? Or does it, like

the Sun, blaze forth all at once in all its fullness?


AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1 On 25th, Vaidarbha, the best among the learned, bowing humbly, questioned the sage again:

-------End of Chapter 16... On Bhakti ----*** Chapter 17... On Attainment of Jnana ***
Vs 2 100 Does knowledge dawn gradually, little by little, each day? Or does it shine forth at one time in all its fullness, like the Sun? Commentary This conversation was on 25th Aug. 1917. Earlier, Vaidarbha had sought several clarifications relating to the state of a person liberated while alive. *He is now presenting his doubts on the implications of attaining knowledge. For Ramana, knowledge was instantaneous. His confrontation with death, a total,

gripping fear of it, freed him from all fears once and for all. Thereafter he was rooted in the consciousness that he was not the perishable body but the

deathless spirit. His awareness of this fact was unwavering. Generally

however, knowledge of one's identity with Self is not steady but intermittent. So, ignorance and knowledge would be alternating. Such a state is not one of knowledge but only of practice. Ramana's reply is in the next verse.
[*Ramana Gita Ch14. ] [Note: Sanskrit version of Ch17 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


1. On the 25 Aug. 1917 Vaidarbha, best among the learned, bowed humbly before the Sage and questioned him again. Vaidarbha: 2. Does Jnana come to us gradually, little by little, day by day ? Or does it, like the Sun, blaze forth all at once in all its fullness? Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Bhagavan: 3.. JNANA does not come gradually, little by little, day by day. It blazes forth

all at once in all its fullness, when the practice has matured to perfection. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami

Bhagavan: 3. JNANA does not come gradually, little by little, day by day. It blazes forth all at once in all its fullness, when the practice has matured to

perfection.

Vaidarbha: 4.

mind goes and comes, in and out. Is the in-going of the mind called Jnana?
Bhagavan, during practice the

Bhagavan: 5. Oh learned one, if the mind having once gone in comes out again , it is only practice. For Jnana is the experience which never slips away. AR Natarajan Translation 101 Bhagavan: Vs 3 Knowledge does not come gradually, little by little, day by day. It shines

forth instantaneously with ripeness of practice.


Commentary The practice referred to here is vigilant and persistent self-enquiry into the source

of individuality. To begin with, even though the joy of abiding at its source would be experienced by the mind, it would soon become externalised by force of habit. Ramana gives the example of a cow used
to grazing on another's pastures. Even though luscious grass and fine fodder are given to it by the owner it would not stay in its shed but would slip away at the earliest opportunity. Gradually, as its old habits weakened and the pleasure of eating tasty food at home

was enjoyed more and more, it would stray away less frequently. In he end even if

bliss of existence has to be experienced for longer intervals by steady self-enquiry. Then, in time, due
let loose it would not move out. * Similarly, the

to the perfection of this practice, the mind would remain merged in its source and knowledge would blaze forth.
[*Conscious Immortality Paul Brunton P40] Vs 4 Bhagavan, during practice the `I'-thought is turned within sometimes and is externalised at other times. Is the in- turning of the `I'-thought knowledge? Commentary

During the practice of self-enquiry the mind is in-turned by the enquiry about its source and sometimes does not stray. The questioner wishes to know if this merging of the mind in the Self, albeit temporarily, is knowledge. For, then too the mind subsides in its source.
Vs 5 Bhagavan: Learned one, if the mind having gone in comes out again it is only practice. For, knowledge is abiding experience. Commentary Ramana has clearly stated earlier that experiencing the natural state during spiritual

practice is only `Upasana', practice, and that it is only when that state becomes steady that it can be termed `Jnana'. * [*Ramana Gita Ch 1 v 13] Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
Vaidarbha: 6. Oh best of Sages, great scholars have mentioned in the scriptures several

stages of Jnana. How are they to be reconciled?

Bhagavan: 7. Oh wise one, all the stages of Jnana mentioned in the scriptures appear , even like distinctions in Mukti, are only to the minds of others. For those who know, Jnana is

but one.
AR Natarajan Translation 102 Vs 6 Best of sages, those learned in scriptures declare that there are several stages in knowledge. How are they to be reconciled? Commentary Ramana is emphatic that both in liberation and knowledge there are no stages. This seems to be at variance with the scriptural declaration that there are several stages. Hence the doubt. Vs 7 Bhagavan: All the stages in knowledge mentioned in the scriptures, just as distinctions in liberation, appear only in the minds of others. For the wise, knowledge is one. Commentary There are two standpoints, one for the onlookers and the other for the individual concerned. For instance, some learned persons declare that even for the wise,

`prarabdha', that portion of karma which has begun to operate, would continue, whereas for the individual concerned, there can be no karma. For, the sense of doership is dead and events are viewed with equipoise.
Similarly, the onlooker sees some wise men continuing to be in the body after liberation, others discarding it, and yet some others sometimes having bodies and sometimes not. From this, he comes to the conclusion that liberation is of three kinds. * Another clarification divides them into four types. For the liberated one, the `body am I' idea is not

there and therefore whether the body exists or does not, or exists sometimes only, makes no difference.
Similarly, for the `others', some wise men are apparently engaged in action, some are totally withdrawn, or active on some occasions and withdrawn on other occasions. Some wise men sport powers, others are silent storehouses of power. These apparent differences give the impression that in knowledge there are differences. This is not so. When knowledge

of one's own natural state is firm, whatever one does or does not do, Self attention never waves.
[*Sat Darshanam v40]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


Bhagavan: 8. Observing the movements in the Jnani's body, senses [and mind] which occur according to prarabdha, others imagine the stages. In Reality there are no gradations in Jnana. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 8 Bhagavan: Observing the movements of the body and senses caused by karma others

imagine differences in stages. In essence there are no gradations.


Commentary

With the ending of the sense of doership, triple karma ends. Yet, the body's movements, which are the product of karma which has started yielding fruit, continue for the wise as well. From this, arguments about stages in knowledge and the theory that there cannot be fullness of knowledge as long as the

103

body lasts are built up. But if one goes behind these differences one would find that essentially all knowers are in the same state, in the state of `sahaja' or one's natural state. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
Vaidarbha: 9. Once Self-Knowledge, the destroyer of all ignorance, has been gained, will it disappear on account of ignorance sprouting again through attachment ? Bhagavan: 10. Oh light of the Bharadwaja line, once Self-Knowledge , the opposite of ignorance, has been attained, it can never be overcome. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 9 Bhagavan continues: Once knowledge which destroys ignorance is attained, will it end by the resprouting of ignorance through attachment? Vs 10

Light of Bharadvaja line, once knowledge which is the opposite of ignorance is attained, it is never lost.
Commentary As explained earlier, knowledge has been defined as firm Self abidance as distinct from unsteady wisdom which has been classified as practice only. Also, steady

wisdom flows from the destruction of mind, of latent tendencies. Since mental attachments are the cause of externalization of the mind the question of
mind lapsing into ignorance cannot arise.
The story of Bhikku Chitta would be worth recalling in this context. This Chitta was the son of an elephant-trainer. He joined the sangha in the hope of enjoying tasty food but discarded the robes when he found out it was not so. The holy sangha, however, left its mark and he returned again, only to leave soon. In like fashion he deserted the sangha a third, fourth, fifth time and also the sixth time. On that occasion the head of the sangha hinted that he would leave again, citing some similies; a cow securely tied up in the byre seems peacable enough, but turned loose it quickly tramples down the green crops likewise, while the king and army with drums and chariots are camping in the woods nobody can hear the crickets chirping, but after the troops have moved on the crickets can be easily heard again although one might have been quite sure there were none. This story illustrates how

slipping away from knowledge is inevitable so long as the mind is not fully merged in the source. When he joined again the seventh time he matured in wisdom and became an `arahat'. *

best repayment to the Guru would be not to slip away from steady abidance in the Self.
Ramana would refer to Kaivalya Navaneetham and point out that the However, once abidance in the natural state becomes effortless and

spontaneous there could be no further question of ignorance overcoming one. All doubts and karma end once fullness of knowledge dawns. Thereafter ego-

linked karma and attachments cannot arise.

[*Mountain Path 1973 p41] 104 --------------------------------------------------- Ramana Gita Chapter 17 `On Attainment Of

Wisdom' Concluded.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami Ganapati Muni composes a long Poem in praise of Bhagavan to end the Ramana Gita.
Like the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramana Gita has 18 Chapters. 1. BHAGAVAN RAMANA, Born in the great line of Parasara , The son of the immaculate Sundara Pandita, With lovely eyes wide As the lotus petal Bringing renown To the earthly gods. -oOoVersification: Of Vedic line, carrying beacon light of Parasara, Sage of Rishi Seers, and son of Sundara Pandita , His eyes wide as the lotus petal, Sri Bhagavan Ramana Brings fame and renown to earthly Brahmin Muktas AR Natarajan Translation Vs 1 Born in the great line of Parasara, as the son of the learned, pure, Sundara, (Ramana) has lovely eyes, wide as lotus petals. (He) brings fame to earthly gods. Commentary In this chapter comprising of 26 verses Ganapati Muni has composed 24 ecstatic verses in praise of his Guru, the universal teacher Ramana. The penultimate verse is a question y Amritanatha about the glory of realized persons and the last verse is Ramana's reply. In this verse (v1), the Muni refers to Ramana's lineage. His gothra was Parasara, coming down from the great Vedic Rishi Parasara. The Vedic mantras have been made well known by the sages Viswamitra, Vasishta, Vamadeva, Bharadwaja, Atri, Brigu, Gautama, Kasyapa, Angisara and Parasara. * Parasara rishi is the author of a smriti text and father of Veda Vyasa who codified the Vedas. It seems in the fitness of things that the Maharshi who

was born with an intuitive awareness of the glory of Arunachala, should be born in this lineage. Ramana's father Sundaram Iyer, was generous to a fault, and was held in esteem by the community for his sterling -------End of Chapter 17... On Attainment of Jnana ----*** Chapter 18... On The Glory of the Siddhas ***
105

character. Ramana could be said to have brought fame to his lineage by being a knower of Brahman, by his unswerving Self-abidance.
[*reflections of Vedic Rishis Viswanatha Swami The Mountain Path Jan. 1975] -------------------------------- [Note: Sanskrit version of Ch18 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


Ganapati Muni composes a long Poem [25 verses] in praise of Bhagavan to end the Ramana Gita. Like the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramana Gita has 18 Chapters. 2. Dweller in Asrama On Arunachala steadfast and stainless Parahamsa assuming activity from compassion while ever established in the imperishable Atman. 3. His words dispel all doubt. His glance like an Ankusa Brings under control the mad elephant of the deluded mind. He is ever active For the happiness of others And utterly indifferent To his body's needs. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 2 He is the steadfast, immaculate `Paramahamsa' dwelling in an Asrama on Arunachala.

Though abiding always in the Self, he assumes activity out of love. Commentary When the verses of this chapter were composed, Ramana was residing at Skandasramam on the eastern slopes of Arunachala Hill. `Hamsa' is a mythical bird. A wise person is termed `Paramahamsa' for, like the Hamsa which can separate the milk from water

and drink it, he can discriminate between the `Real' and `Unreal', and abide in

the Real alone.

Being established in the natural state, it was unnecessary for Ramana to be active at all. * But Ramana was accessible all the time, clarifying the genuine doubts of
seekers and guiding them in their inward journey. Why? The reason could only be his

universal love.
[*Upadesa Saram v15] 106 Vs 3 His words dispel the innumerable doubts of those who have taken refuge in him. His

look is like a goad which brings under control the mad elephant, the deluded mind. He is forever active for the welfare of others, but utterly indifferent to

his body's needs.

Commentary `Ankusa' is a sharp instrument used by `Mahut' for controlling the elephant. Ramana's penetrating look destroys the sensory frenzy of the devotee's mind. One must surrender,

be ready to receive the benefit of the gracious glance. Hence the reference to those `who have taken refuge in him'. `The expression `others' is from the standpoint

all are the Self. There were no `others'. Ramana's utter indifference to his body is evidenced by his insistence on sharing and sharing alike. Though his body had been ravaged by his total neglect of it in the first few years
of onlookers, for Ramana after his arrival at Arunachala, he would not permit any preferential treatment.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


Ganapati Muni composes a long Poem on praise of Bhagavan to end the Ramana Gita. Like the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramana Gita has 18 Chapters. 4. His body glows like a ripe mango. Absolute master of the fickle senses, he is wedded to the immortal Valli who is pure awareness.

In a few words he conveys the substance of all scriptures. 5. With his pure effulgent rays he clears, like the Sun in due season the dullness of his devotees. He is an inexhaustible mine of auspicious qualities.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 4 His body glows like a ripe mango. Master of the fickle senses; he is wedded to immortal Valli, who is Consciousness in all fullness. In a few words he conveys the substance of scriptures. Commentary

Mastery over senses is usually referred to in the context of mind control. In


Maharshi's case, mind was destroyed after his confrontation with death. There being

no

outward movement of the mind, the power of the senses to distract and externalise became extinct.
The reference to `Valli' has a double meaning. The Muni had a divine vision as a result of which he saw Ramana as Subrahmanya in human form. Traditionally, one of the consorts of Subrahmanya is Valli. The other meaning is that given in the verse itself, namely, that Ramana and Consciousness are non-separate. 107 Vs 5 With his pure and effulgent rays he clears like the sun, at the appropriate time, the ignorance of his devotees. He is the repository of limitless auspicious qualities. Commentary The expression `at appropriate time' is worth noting. Ramana would not force the pace

or accelerate the inwardness of the devotees. His constant grace would ripen them in time, the time factor being dependent on whether the material is gunpowder or wet charcoal. The analogy of the sun is given because as the sun makes the lotus blossom by its pure rays so too does Ramana make the heartlotus of the devotees blossom. All auspicious virtues reside in Ramana automatically as he is always reveling in the Self which is eternal and pure. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
Ganapati Muni composes a long Poem (25 verses) in praise of Bhagavan to end the Ramana Gita. Like the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramana Gita has 18 Chapters. 6. In speech he is extremely soft, in look, cool and compassionate, his face is like a full blown lotus, his mind is a void like the moon in daylight, he shines in the heart as the

Sun in the sky. 7. Pitiless to his body, Strict in the observance of discipline wholly averse to the delights of the senses, he is a Sage without anger and desire, beside himself with the joy of pure Awareness.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 6 In speech he is extremely soft, in look cool and compassionate his face is like a full blown lotus; his mind is shorn of lustre like the moon in daylight; he shines in the

Heart like the Sun in the sky.


Commentary

Free from any kind of partiality, devoid of anger, full of love, Ramana's speech was soft and unhurried. His face was reflective of the Brahmic state in which he was abiding. Hence its compelling beauty. Just as the moon's lustre is lost in the brightness of the daylight sun, Ramana's mind, merged in the Self, has no
108

independent brightness. Here one has to remember that the mind only reflects the light of the Self. When there is awareness of the resplendent source, then the mind's reflected glory is merged in it. Ramana's Self-abidance being spontaneous he shines in the Heart like the Sun in the sky. Vs 7 He is unconcerned about his body, strict in the observance of discipline, averse to sensory delights; he is a sage without anger or desire and drunk with the joy of

consciousness. Commentary

One pampers the body because one identifies oneself with it. Since Ramana was free of attachment to the body, he was utterly indifferent to its needs. Those familiar with the life of Ramana are aware that even as a young lad of sixteen he had stayed in `Patalalinga', an underground temple without food, oblivious to his body for days on

end. Ramana's actions were perfect springing from the natural discipline of

one living in harmony with nature. The natural state is one in which bliss brims over and Ramana was always in it.
Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
Ganapati Muni composes a long Poem (25 verses) in praise of Bhagavan to end the Ramana Gita. Like the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramana Gita has 18 Chapters. 8. Free from infatuation, greed, distracting thought and envy, he is ever blissful.

He is ever active helping others to cross the sea of becoming, regardless of reward.
9. When Ganapati saying 'mother is mine' sat on the lap of parvati, kumara retorted 'never mind, Father is mine' and got onto Siva's lap and was kissed by him on the head. Of this Kumara Who pierced with his lance the Krauncha Hill, Ramana is a glorious manifestation. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 8

He is free from the delusion of the senses, greed, conceptualization, envy, and is ever blissful. He is always active in helping others cross the ocean of karma without expecting any benefit in exchange.
109 Commentary

The only activity in which Ramana is engaged in always is helping persons to escape the cycle of births and deaths. Does the sun expect anything in return for its life giving light to the world? Anyway what could be given as reward for this ceaseless activity? Even so the Maharshi retained the body, after the experience which made him immortal, in order to teach the way, to share his experience The effulgence emanating from the Maharshi had a transforming

of discovering innate happiness, by searching for the true import of `I'.

influence.Borrowing Ganapati Muni's poetic expression, Ramana is the great cook `who
cuts off the ego of human beings steeped in ignorance, seasons them and makes them over to Siva as food. '*
[*Chatvarimsat Ganapati Muni v32] Vs 9 When Ganapati sat on the lap of Parvati saying `Mother is mine', Subrahmanya got on to Siva's lap claiming, `Never mind, father is mine' and was kissed by him on the head. Of this Subrahmanya, who pierced the `Krauncha Hill', Ramana is a glorious manifestation. Commentary Ganapati Muni is referring to an ancient story in the Puranas. Ganapati was regarded as a favorite of his mother Parvati and Subrahmanya that of Siva. The Muni restates here his vision set out in chapter eleven of Ramana Gita, that Ramana is only the human embodiment

of Subrahmanya.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami 10. He is the mystic import of the mantra 'Om vachadbhuve namah'. * *'Salutation to the Fire of Brahman whence emerges the Word'
11. An ascetic without danda* yet is he is Dandapani. He is Taraka* For crossing the sea of suffering, yet is he the foe of Taraka*. He has renounced Bhava* Yet is a constant worshipper of Bhava. He is Hamsa* Yet without attachment to manasa* * Danda - An ascetic's staff Dandapani-Staffholder-an aspect of Kumara Taraka- Ferryman Taraka-also an Asura killed by Kumara Bhava- Becoming, samsara. Bhava also -Siva. Hamsa -Swan. A Sage is termed Parahamsa manasa-mind: also a Himalayan lake favorite home of swans. AR Natarajan Translation 110 Vs 10 He is the mystic import of the mantra `Om Vachadbhuve namah', `salutation to the fire of Brahman whence emerges the word'. Vs 11 He is a yogi without staff, yet he is the staff holder. He is the helmsman for

crossing the sea of suffering yet he is the enemy of `Taraka'. He has renounced the world yet he is the constant worshipper of Siva. He is hamsa yet without attachment to the mind.
Commentary `Danda', is a staff. Traditionally sanyasis, who have taken to the ochre robe, have a staff. Ramana has renounced home but he does not have a staff. Though he appears without staff in his human form, he is really a staff holder, since he is the incarnation of Subrahmanya the commander-in-chief of celestial forces. `Taraka' again is used in a double sense.

Ramana ferries one across the ocean of transmigration and in that sense he is taraka. In the opposite sense he is the enemy of the demon Taraka whom Subrahmanya conquered in battle. `Manasa' is also used in the double sense of mind and the lake `Manasa Sarovar', the abode of the mythical bird hamsa. Ramana is not attached to the mind, though as the supreme hamsa his abode is Manasa. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
12. More imperturbable than Meru, Hill of Gold, more unfathomable than the ocean, more patient than the immovable Earth. The Mother of all. ,

A paragon of Self -control, Far removed from even the whisper of excitement.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 12 In steadfastness he is comparable to the hill `Meru'. He is more unfathomable than the ocean, more patient than mother earth; exemplar of self-control, far removed from lack of peace. Commentary In the Puranas the hill `Meru' is always referred to for its majesty, just as one would refer to the Himalayas in the present day. It is said that even Gods and Goddesses,

the sun and moon circumambulate this Hill. So too, earnest seekers would gather

round Ramana. The question of mental agitation could not arise for Ramana as he was always in the blissful natural state. Why courage? Because, he is fearless, having conquered the ego. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
13.

THE DHYANA SLOKA


Like the cool rays of the Moon, he showers such Grace; I meditate on his all compassionate face. 111 The friend of the Sacred Lily, sapphire blue, In luster like the Sun who befriends the Lotus too. Like his father Dakshinamurti in this state Of Brahmic splendor, on him I contemplate. He sat still under the beautiful banyan tree

In powerful silence, setting his devotees free. Oh such a marvel is this my younger
brother! To compare with him, there shall never be another. Versification [AJ] ..................................................................................................................................................................... The famous Dhyana Sloka, by Ganapati Muni, said to invoke Bhagavan's Presence he is like the moon, the friend of the blue lily. In the same way, in lustre he is like the sun, the lord of the lotus; by his abidance in Brahman (state of pure Being) he reminds

one of his Father (6) under the banyan tree; firm like a rock is this my younger brother. (Him, the moveless one we lovingly remember. ) THE DHYANA SLOKA: "The Tantra Shastra has devised a method of invocation, more powerful than an ordinary human memory or the most moving pictorial record. The gods and goddesses are posited in the Supernal Ether, and they take names and forms to operate in this world constituted of name and form. Each deity... responds just like a person when called by name. Each deity has its own nada, lines of vibration in the high supernals. The Rishi, the seer when he meditates on the deity, comes into contact with those particular lines of vibration, and is able to formulate in human language, the name, the form and characteristics Such a formulation is what is usually known as dhyana sloka, an articulated piece in the form of verse for meditation on the deity. The Dhyana Sloka is the voice of the seer, who has recorded in words that line the living experience.
When uttered under proper conditions it

becomes a vibrant vehicle through which the Presence of the deity is sensed immediately.
"For invoking the presence of the Maharshi we have fortunately a Dhyana Sloka bequeathed to us by the great Ganapati Muni. This verse with slight amendment was quoted as "Sri Ramana Dhyanan" by Sri Kapali

Sastriar in his Sanskrit commentary. To quote from his Dedication of Ramana Gita
Prakasha: 'When I came to this verse, the Maharshi (who had been silent so far) made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes he stated, quoting approvingly the opinion of another 'that the verse is quite fit to be the Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita. '...

There are two elements in the verse which I may note in passing: one is the blooming of

the eyes. The other is the Silence by which Shiva as Dakshinamurti teaches his disciples.
'(Sankaranarayanan "Bhagavan and Nayana" : Kapali Shastry "The Maharshi") From Kapali's Diary OCTOBER 13 Sri Maharshi knew that I was to leave that day, as I had the previous evening informed him about my program and I purposely retained the last chapter for this morning. Then I started reading (8am) and finished it by 9 o'clock. When I came to the verse nilaravinda the Maharshi made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes, he stated, naming a gentleman "He said that this verse is quite fit to be the

Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita. "


It is very significant that Sri Maharshi who had been silent so far, quoted here approvingly the opinion of another that this should be considered a verse appropriate to describe the Maharshi himself. There are two elements in In showering grace 112 the verse which I may note in passing: one is the blooming of the eyes. The other is the

Silence by which Shiva as Dakshinamurti teaches his disciples. "Spreading grace like the friend of the blue lunar lily; Bright like the solar lord of the lotus; by his pure abidance in Brahman he evokes his Father under the banyan tree; firm like a rock is this my younger brother. "
Now one remarkable fact is when I started reading, it should have taken easily fifteen hours to finish the portion, at a modest rate. I do not know how it was done in six hours. The tone was loud; the throat was not affected and the pauses for rest were the minimum. All this one can easily see, if he has eyes - is due to the fact that the Maharshi understood that I was to finish and go. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 13 In showering grace he is like the moon, the friend of the blue lily, in lustre he is the sun which befriends the lotus, in his Brahmic state he reminds one of his father, Dakshinamurti, seated under the banyan tree. I contemplate on such a one, my firm younger brother. Commentary This verse is regarded as a `dhyana sloka' or an invocatory verse for evoking

Ramana's presence. The reference to Dakshinamurti is to the first spiritual teacher of the world who taught in silence or mauna. The story goes that Siva took the form of a
young ascetic and sat under the banyan tree to dispel the doubts of some earnest seekers of truth. The teacher was a youth, the students were old, but their doubts were

answered in his potent silence. Ramana too often taught in silence and many an unsaid doubt of his seekers was answered through his language of silence.
Ramana, therefore, reminds one of Siva as Dakshinamurti. The adjective `firm' refers to the state of Ramana's mind, calm and waveless like the ocean in mid-

afternoon. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


14. Even now in the thousand petalled lotus of his head there shines Devasena * lovely in looks and mind, in the form of auspicious thoughts; and yet he is free from the faintest scent of desire.

Though thus he is a householder, he is the King of ascetics. *senior consort of Kumara AR Natarajan Translation Vs 14 113 Even now, Devasana, lovely in looks and mind, shines in the thousand-petaled lotus of his head, in the form of auspicious thoughts; and yet he is free from desire. Though he is

thus a householder he is the king of ascetics.


Commentary The Muni's vision of Ramana was as the divine Subrahmanya who had two consorts `Valli' and `Devasana', Valli is referred to in verse four of this chapter as Consciousness, and Devasana is referred to in this verse as the pure mind. He is the highest Yogi because of his steady Brahmic state.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


15. A giver of boons to devotees; The guru even of the great Ganapati, master of mantras; like the celestial tree, he assuages the anguish of those who seek the shadow of his feet. 16. He is a reincarnation of Kumarila[ Bhatta], praised by assemblies of scholars, the author of 'Tantra Varttika', elixir of the Vedas, brilliant with various ingenious ideas; in this birth, however he elucidates the teachings of Vedanta alone. 17. He is the master who composed the Five Gems on Arunachala, the quintessence of

Vedantic utterances. brief like sutras, but all comprehensive and filled with hidden meaning.
AR Natarajan Translation Vs 15 Born giver of devotees, guru even to the master of mantras the great Ganapati, like

the celestial tree he removes the sorrow of all those who seek his feet.
Vs 16 He is the re-incarnation of Kumarila Bhatta, the sustainer of Vedas, author of `Tantra Vartika'; praised by scholars, brilliant with various ingenious ideas. In this birth however, he exposes the teachings of only Vedanta. Vs 17 He is the preceptor who composed `Arunachala Pancharatnam' the essence of

Vedanta, brief like aphorisms, but all comprehensive with hidden meaning.
Commentary The beauty of the `Arunachala Pancharatna' is that each of the fourfold paths to

Self-knowledge Karma, Bhakti, Yoga, and Jnana are set out in a self contained way, one verse covering a path. It could 114 be said that these verses were Ramana's vision of the paths put down in words, and not mere compositions. The next verse deals with the beauty of these five gems. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
18. Though not at all trained in the language of the Gods*, and unacquainted with Poetry, he is yet the author of works

wherein crowds of brilliant ideas trail behind the inspired expression.


*Sanskrit 19. Again, this boundless Genius

is another advent of the Master Poets, the twice born Tamil child who drinking the breast milk of the mother of the Universe sang in dancing tunes the praises of Siva. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 18 Though untrained in Sanskrit and without familiarity with poetry, he is the author of works wherein crowds of brilliant ideas trail behind inspired expressions. Commentary When words come forth from sages they are the product of their

direct vision of

truth. Each word is therefore pregnant with meaning.

Poetically speaking ideas would be rushing in a queue behind those inspired words. These `Five Gems' were later translated by the Maharshi himself into Tamil. (Reference is made to `Arunachala Pancharatna' of v17) Vs 19 This unique person is another advent of the master-poet, the twice-born Tamil child, who was suckled by the divine mother, and who sung in lilting tunes the praise of Siva. Commentary Here he Muni regards Ramana as `Jnana-Sambanda' one of the three outstanding

Tamil Saivite saints. The story goes that at the tender age of three `Sambanda' was
suckled by the divine mother Parvati and outpourings in praise of Siva began straightaway. Even though he left the body at the age of sixteen Sambanda's mark on Saivite devotional poetry is indelible.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


115 20. This is the third appearance here on Earth of the God* who pierced of yore the Krauncha Hill. And now he has come to quell the darkness of mere logic by providing a living

example of Abidance in Brahman-Pure Being.


*Kumara 21. He is a poet of renown in Tamil, the language adored by Agastya and other Sages. The Eternal Light Supreme he beheld with his own inner light, unaided by a Guru. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 20 This is the third appearance of the God who once pierced the Krauncha Hill. His advent now is to dispel the darkness of mere logic by being a living example of abidance in

Brahman.
Vs 21 He is a renowned poet in Tamil, a language worshipped by Agatsya and other sages. Without a guru, by his own sharp intellect, he became intuitively aware of the eternal

supreme light.
Commentary The Maharshi had already composed by 1917 the five hymns to Arunachala, `The marital Garland of Letters', `The Decad', `Eight verses', `The Nine Gems' and `Five gems', in exquisite Tamil poetry. He had no guru in physical form. At the time of the death experience which liberated him he had no knowledge of the scriptures and had not even

heard of the words `Atman', `Brahman' and the like. He was in this sense a selftaught knower of Brahman. Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami
22. In a boy, a dull cowherd, a monkey or dog, a knave, a scholar or a devotee, everywhere

he beholds the same Being and without the least partiality. 23. Full of

power, yet full of peace; full of devotion, yet without sense of difference; free from likes, yet loving all the world; God manifest, yet in conduct humble.
AR Natarajan Translation 116 Vs 22 He looks upon all with the same

even-mindedness, be it a boy, a dull

cowherd, monkey, dog, a rogue, scholar or a devotee. Commentary While replying to a question from Ganapati Muni, he had clarified that the hallmark of the wise is their equality. Ramana's life itself was evidence of this. His liberating touch was available to both his mother and the ashram cow, Lakshmi. The question of

differentiation could not at all arise as there were no `others'. The reference
here to cowherd is to all who are steeped in ignorance. Hence the adjective dull. Monkey is referred to for one is prone to lose one's patience with its ceaseless mischief. Ramana

could understand the language of monkeys and dispense justice in a way they could comprehend.
Vs 23 Full of power, yet full of peace; full of devotion yet free from a sense of difference; free from attachments yet loving all humanity; God manifest, yet in conduct humble. Commentary The co-existence of the opposites is seen in Ramana. The powerful are never at peace with themselves nor would they let others be in peace. Abiding in the Self, Ramana was the

repository of all power but his power spread the fragrance of a silent mind all round. Ordinarily devotion implies a difference between the worshipper and the worshipped. But Ramana's devotion was the supreme one of the repose in the

Self, free of thought, where all differences are lost in the oneness of existence. Attachments are the product of the ego. Ramana was egoless. Does it
mean that his love was any the less than one in ordinary human relationship? No. It was the

limitless universal love springing from the Heart.


24. Writing down the message "this goes to the

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami

presence of the Father. let no

search be made for me", he left home and arrived at the foot of Arunachala. Trans. Prof. Swaminathan & Visvanatha Swami 24. Writing down the message "this goes to the presence of the Father. Let no search be made for me", he left home and arrived at the foot of Arunachala. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 24 Leaving a message, `This goes to the presence of the Father, let no search be made for me', he left home and reached Arunachala. Commentary From the age of innocence Ramana was intuitively aware of the glory of Arunachala

Siva. , but he did not know that it was in the form of a hill in Tiruvannamalai. This knowledge

came to him through a relative a few months before he left home. Then came his deathexperience and the consciousness that he was the `deathless 117 spirit' which made continued stay at home meaningless. While leaving he left a letter in Tamil, the English version of which reads as follows: "I have set out in quest of my Father, in accordance with his command. It is on a virtuous enterprise that this has embarked. Therefore, none need grieve over this act and let no money be spent in search of this"*. The letter was not signed. Here `command' refers to the choiceless inner compulsion. [*Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge by Arthur Osborne pg 26]

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami


25. Of Bhagavan Ramana, thus happily endowed with a wealth of auspicious qualities, Amritanatha Yatindra humbly enquired concerning the boundless glory of Siddhas. 26. To him, Sri Bhagavan, dweller on the Holy Hill, replied "The glory of Siddhas is

beyond imagination. They are equal to Siva. indeed they are the very form of Siva. They have the power To grant every prayer. " This Ends the Ramana Gita
Composed by Vasishta Ganapati Muni. IN YOUNG boy, dull cowherd, monkey or dog, in rogue or scholar, each as Self , being, of that equality , as sadhu, or hog, All the same at Heart in love, is his seeing.

From preference free, yet loving the world,


God's splendor, as a lotus flower unfurled. From home he wrote, "I go to my Father's Presence. Let no search be made"; and lad traveled thence to Arunachalas feet. To this Mahatma one humbly asked "of power of Siddha?" To him he answered: "Beyond image or fears they are wise. In form of Siva are these

Seers, and their's that power to grant all prayer. " So ends the Muni's Song with
praises fair. AR Natarajan Translation Vs 25 Of Bhagavan thus happily endowed with a wealth of auspicious qualities, Amritanatha, the sanyasi, humbly enquired about the limitless glory of realized persons. 118 Vs 26 Bhagavan who is always rooted in the Self replied thus: The glory of realized

persons is beyond imagination. They are like Siva. They are the very forms of Siva. They have the power to grant boons.
Commentary

True power is not the power to dazzle the mind by performing `miracles' but is to abide in the Self, firmly. Those who so abide are endowed with all
auspicious qualities, and hence they are like Siva, the embodiment of auspiciousness. They radiate celestial beauty. They are therefore verily the forms of Siva. They have the power to grant prayers. How can they when they have no sankalpas, or thought, or desire to help? The reason is that their very presence, sannidhi, generates automatic divine action. Karma is warded off and boons granted invariably but involuntarily.

There are two types of powers; those which involve the exercise of mental

powers, the others which arenaturaltotapas,penance,whichcometoapersonwhoisSelf-aware.


Theformerisadistraction and a person possessing it might still be ignorant. The latter is

god-given and is exercised by them not by an act of volition but purely as

channels of the great force which possesses them. While considering the glory of the Siddhas one has to remember that their essential characteristic is not the power they sport but their equality, in which there is unwavering perception of unity. *
[*Sat Darshana Bhasya Pg xxiii] Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya Chapter 18. 10. He is the mystic import of the mantra

'Om vachadbhuve namah'. *

*'Salutation to the Fire of Brahman whence emerges the Word' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'In this world, there is no cognition which does not follow language. All knowledge appears as if permeated by words. ' (Bhartrhari) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 18, verse 10 of sri Ramana Gita notes below - based on Ganapati Muni's 'gurumantrabhAshyam', also known as 'anubandham 2' (Sri Ramana Gita, Tiruvannamalai; 6th Edition, 1977; p. 116) In this verse, Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, as the Seer, reveals the bIjAksharas (seed

syllables and/or letters) which make up Sri Ramana Maharshi's special mantra. This mantra reveals various correspondences and is said to be endowed with Sakti (power). *** END OF Chapter 18... On The Glory of the Siddhas ***
bIja vedAdi

beginning (and end) of the Vedas 'om'


pAka damana (indra) uttara mightier than Indra, the subduer of the demon called PAka (symbolic of the overcoming

of ignorance). Sri Maharshi lies beyond even Lord Indra's bIja is 'la'. When we go beyond this we find... bIja - 'va'
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the Lord of the senses.


kacchapeSa - kurmeSa

Lord of tortoises - supporter of the Earth and all its jIvas - Rudra 'ca'
dharAdhara the Hill, Mount Arunachala - The Hill of Dawn. Supporter of the Universe. Epithet of Siva and symbolic of transcendence. (note: dharAdhara is also an epithet of Vishnu as preserver) 'd ' sushupti

known as sleep - Here it represents Sakti 'bha' (note: the vowel 'a' is omitted. ) amareSvara Lord of Gods (Rudra) 'u ' amRta - toyabIja

water, 'v ' Siva Sakti 'e '

syllable

of

offering signifying dative case (along with next letter)

sUkshmAmRtA

praNatyA (pra-Nati)

obeisance/surrender of body and mind with humility 'namaH' 'om vacadbhuve namaH' om va ca d bhu v e namaH Altogether this reveals the Guru mantra - - 'Obeisance to that 'place' of Being from whence the Word arises (and sets)' Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is described as the secret import of this mantra, so it is understood by the Wise.
'om namo bhagavate sri ramanaya'

'In this world, there is no cognition which does not follow language. All

knowledge appears as if permeated by words. ' '... that which purifies the

word is the attainment of the Supreme Self. He, who knows the truth of its
origin, attains the immortal Brahman. '
(from the Vakyapadiya of Bhartrhari - Kanda 1) From 'Letters from Sri Ramanashramam': 19th July 1947 (135) HEARING, MEDITATION AND THE LIKE Yesterday, two pandits came from Kumbakonam. This morning at 9 o'clock, they approached Bhagavan and said, 'Swami, we take leave of you. We pray that you may be pleased to bless us that our mind may merge or dissolve itself in shanthi. ' Bhagavan nodded his head as usual. After they had left, he said, looking at Ramachandra Iyer,

'Shanthi is the original state. If what comes from outside is rejected what remains is peace. What then is there to dissolve or merge? Only that which comes from outside has to
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be thrown out. If people whose minds are mature are simply told that the swarupa itself is shanti, they get jnana. It is only for immature minds that
sravana and manana are prescribed but for mature minds there is no need of them. If people at a distance enquire how to go to
Ramana Maharshi, we have to tell them to get into such and such a train or take such and such a path, but if they come to Tiruvannamalai, reach Ramanasram am and step into the hall, it is enough if they are told, here is that person. There is no need to move any further.

' 'Sravana and manana mean only those described in Vedanta, don't they?' said some one. 'Yes,' Bhagavan replied, 'But one thing. Not only are there outward sravana and manana but there are also inward sravana and manana. They must occur to a person as a result of the maturity of his mind. Those that are liable to do that

aantara sravana (hearing

inwardly) do not have any doubts. '

'Aantara sravana means the knowledge of that Atma which is in the cave of the heart always illuminated with the feeling 'aham, aham' ('I, I'), and to get that feeling to be in one's heart is manana and to remain in one's self is
Whenever any one asked what those aantara sravanas are, he used to say,

nididhyasana. '
In this connection, it is worth while remembering the sloka written by Bhagavan bearing on this subject. In that sloka mention is made not only to

Atma sphurana but also how to

secure it. Securing means only remaining in one's own self. hRdayakuharamadhye kevalaM brahmamAtram | hyahamahamiti sAkshAdAtmarUpeNa bhAti | hRdi viSa manasA svam cinvatA majjatA vA | pavanacalana rodhAdAtmanishTho bhava tvam ||

'Brahman is glowing lustrously in the middle of the cave of the Heart in the shape of the Self, always proclaiming 'I am, I am'. Become an Atmanishta, a Self-realized person, either by making the mind absorbed in the search of the Self or by making the mind drown itself through control of
the breath. '
(from the edition printed by Sri Ramanasramam in 1995) Hridayam "THAT FROM which all thoughts of embodied being sally forth, point inward to

the Heart. To describe, may merely image mental part, so realize the minds Source is 'I'. Seeing that, from which thought springs, Thou Art!" "If in the stem my Heart is the single shoot, how to connect by yoga to the root?" "The Heart of all, the whole receives. Start not from the pump: but hridayam as hrit, indrawing and exhaling universe, by Ayam lit. Some Sonnets on Ch 5.
121 -- our Self is unity, we've understood. Let Heart's ease -- subtly right of centers best --, sushumna's stream to sahasrara flood, and now your flower in lotus heart to rest. The Goal of All in the Heart

AWARENESS FLOWS from Heart to body whole, then impressions world wide arise. Beholding these apart from sky, the soul enmeshed in samsara's snare, becomes unwise.
In the flame of flames, by candle of pure light, the circling moth's consumed, and swiftly dies.

Things limned by power of mind and sight alike seem different to thought-bound eyes.

Samadhi, firm, one-pointed, seeing in all sahaja in nirvikalpa finds their absence. This whole wide world on body-sense does fall like rainbow prism and indeed in Heart is presence. The universe entire, and multi-formed, is mind whose origin is Heart, here now to find.
The Light of the Mind THE ORB of space, ere we merge in Heart, describes in night a circle, round our sun. The mind by sahasrara lit, like moon, is one reflecting a greater light, of Self but part. Heart gives light to maya, magician's art. A mortal man absents the Heart, sees

mind,
moonlit, cruising in dark night, purblind.

From observation, may our meditation start. Seeking not Self, immortal source of light, but surfaces which silvered gleam, from Self apart, The ignorant soul, deluded, mists his sight. The one who Knows reveals Real light in mind, as moon at noon in clear blue sky to find: so truly centering Science of the Heart. The Supreme is the Heart TO THE WISE, the universal face isn't mind. To be true, all meaning else than Heart is none.
122 He is no thing but holy Heart at birth.

No notion differing seer from seen on earth can integrate man's conceit is
unrefined.

In Heart abiding, seer and seen are one.


When stream of mind is stopped by swoon, or excess elation, grief, or terror, 'twill run swift into source to sleep, unbeknown. Poor ignoramus, toiling 'neath the Sun -- into the Lion awareness dropped his thought -- the

Sun within the vestal flame of Self is ever ablaze. His sleep is nought, but Science of Heart, will enter holy name. EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF KAPALI SHASTRIA PART 1 ========================================================= I thought it would interest members to read extracts from 'K' 's diary when he presented Ramana with his Commentary on his Gita. It is quite long so I will post in Parts on a daily basis. Alan SRI KAPALI SHASTRIAR wrote his Sanskrit commentary on the Ramana Gita in 1941, and paid a visit to Sri Maharshi to dedicate the work to him. And on his return, in response to a pressing request for a full account of the trip, he gave a rapid narration which was recorded. When the typescript was ready and shown to him, Sri Shastria prefaced it with a note: "The following was dictated in response to Madhav's request that I must narrate to him as closely as possible all about my trip to Tiruvanamalai Naturally, this personal and intimate account was not meant for publication, and as such was not revised by him. However, some extracts from it are included in this

section as they would be of special interest to the reader. Kapali Shastria had intended to render his Commentary on the Ramana Gita in English, but this never took place in his lifetime. In 1998, an English translation was at last prepared, and is now available, published by Ramanasramam * IT WAS on the morning of 10 October 1941 that I started for Tiruvannamalai, taking the 7. 40 am train. Fortunately I got a compartment all to myself, and after arranging my things I took the manuscript in order to check up and correct the possible slips therein for when I was writing out the commentary I did not look back at what I wrote... The train reached T. Malai in time, perhaps a few minutes before time. I took a Jutka2 and it was 12. 45 pm when I reached the Ashram. When the carriage turned to enter the Ashram, I saw an arch in bold letters: SRI RAMANASHRAMAM - it was
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not there ten years ago when I last went there... I could not recognize the surroundings, that it was the Ashram... R. took me to a building which I later learnt to be what they call the Office of the Sarvadhikari. When I turned to my left, the old lady Echhamma was sitting there with her usual rosary. Being very old she invited me with nods. I expected change in her, and for her age she did not look older. *** I stood at the threshold of the Hall, one foot outside. Somehow my legs would not move forward. The head hung down. Feelings overpowered me, perhaps pent up for ages they now found their vent. I muttered something, with effort raised my head , moved forwards and saw the figure of Sri Maharshi reclining on the sofa as usual. Our eyes met. He nodded and said "Hm. Hm. ", as if to say "Why so much, why so much!" I prostrated myself, and as I was doing so, he said to an attendant close by, "This is Kapali Sh... ". When I heard my name being uttered by Maharshi, my mind jumped back to the old moments and there were corresponding emotional experiences. I spoke not a word and stood up. He asked me if I had taken food. "Yes," I replied, "I will take a little rice with buttermilk. " "The train came just now?" he asked. "Yes. " "Come so soon?" "I got the Jut immediately. " "You were expected. Then, just take food - you can have whatever you like. " There was a feeling of satisfaction and peace. I came out to Echhamma who was waiting there I was not in a condition to speak. *** It was now 3. 05pm when I went before Sri Maharshi. I handed the manuscript and prostrated myself before him, then approached him close, explaining to him how unlike in Sat-Darshana-Bhasya 3 I had closed the concluding portions with a conspectus of the work and an epilogue, in all twenty couplets. I further stated that in one of the couplets I had stated that my commentary is the luster of the pearls which are the composition of Ganapati strung together on a thread which is

the import of Sri Maharshi's teachings. He graciously smiled looking into that particular verse he read it aloud appreciatively while I remained quiet standing quite close by, as I had something else to tell him. I told him that I had written in the next verse that the work was offered on 10 October 1941, and as such it had to be offered then but I had still to go through the book to find out if there were slips, as I had no time to look back as I went on writing the 243 pages continuously for twenty days and more, in addition to my routine work. "That can be done. Would you like to take it now?" he asked. "No, not now when it is not being read it can remain with me. "
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Then he asked me about the colophon I told him I had left space to write a few words there. "Yes, I shall write," he said, "you can call it Bhasya. " "Anyway, as the Maharshi pleases," I replied. But in the Introduction I had written the title as Ramana Gita Prakasa Pithika. 4 He immediately saw that and said "Then, as you have already named it, you can call it so. " Then he turned to the end of the book and wrote after Kapalinah krtih, prkasakhya vyakhya, and filled up the word samapta. Then the Maharshi audibly read out the twenty couplets and significantly accented the last line: matrbhutamahesaya Ramanaya namo namah. It looked from the manner of his reading as if he had read it before. Just at the time when we were talking about the closing verses, a gentleman was standing outside whom the Maharshi could see through the side window. Addressing him, he said "Come in, here is come" (showing the book in his hand). In a minute I saw him entering the hall, coming closer to me. Pointing to him the Maharshi asked me "Do you recognize who it is?" I looked at him scrutinisingly. "Ah, is it J... ?" I exclaimed, for with difficulty I recognized him to be the same boy who used to come twenty eight years ago to the Virupaksha Cave when we were meeting at the feet of Sri Maharshi. Afterwards he went out, studied Vyakarana and specialized in Vedanta later he became Pundit in the Shankara Mutt in Kumbhakonam. Later, once I saw him sitting mute in a corner of the hall at the Maharshi's, but that was only for a few minutes in a crowded gathering ten years ago. We had no opportunity even then to converse. It seems he had to leave the Mutt due to some misunderstanding and a few months back he came to Tiruvannamalai and is making a temporary stay. Sri Maharshi's question to me was significant the significance was lost upon me at the time. Later I came to know it when people told me about the extraordinary crisis which would have easily led to a fatal end. "How is it he looks so weak?" I asked. "He is very healthy and strong now," Maharshi replied, "if you had seen him a fortnight ago... Oh! Everyone thought he would not live. There was only bone and skin. Now, somehow he

is there. " One word about this. Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer and Sri A. R. Duraiswami gave me some details about the crisis. There was a general talk and everyone was saying that it was an extraordinary thing that J. was alive today. A few months back he was seriously laid up in bed with complicated illness including temperature. Later, it was found to be cancer in the abdomen and as is well known, medical science has not definitely succeeded in finding a cure for cancer, and he was given up for lost. He was taken to the hospital from his lodgings, doctors were changed, and one of the doctors, a local man who seems to be a devotee of the Maharshi, is reported to have said that it is not a question of days but of hours being counted, and humanly speaking there was no hope but of course if he was to come back to life at all from his death-bed, then it could be only by the Maharshi's help. Sri Maharshi kept quiet, but asked them, significantly, to do something. Immediately, the doctor got unusual courage, did something which might mean anything, and which proved that the advice of the Maharshi was not in vain and
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meant much more than what was said. Naturally, the boldest among the unbelievers pauses, bewildered. My book was still in Sri Maharshi's hand she was glancing through the pages and as already said, read aloud the twenty verses concluding the book. Then he kept it on the shelf. J. who was sitting there wanted to see it. The Maharshi hinted that it was not ready to be seen in fact he said to J. : "He has yet to go through them once. " J. kept quiet for a minute, again he asked, "I shall just see only the Pithika. "(Introduction). Sri Maharshi found him obviously to be a little insensible he looked at me, I was waiting to hear what he, Maharshi, would say, for that was an interesting situation but J. came to the rescue of the Maharshi by almost removing the manuscript from the shelf, repeating what he said a minute earlier. Sri Maharshi had to gracefully say "Yes". Then J. took it and began to read. *** J. went on reading, then and there expressing his opinion or raising some objections, pausing and looking at me questioningly... On one or two occasions I met the objections as they apparently merited an answer. Later I directed him to go on whenever he stopped, and I found his questions meaningless... While starting, I had a presentiment that some obstruction might present itself, and I was determined not to give way to impatience, and it is this attitude that helped and reminded me also of the significance of the flower Divine Solicitude which the Mother (Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry) blessed me with when I took leave of her. *** It was not J. 's fault if he could not follow the sense of certain passages. It is due

to the unthinking habit of many of these people in cramming the standard works of Shastras. I had stated that the Sciences, in the world, were imperfect, continuously changing, developing, while the Science of the Atman is asserted by its sponsors to be not so. This idea was quite foreign to his culture. I would not say all Pundits are like that. My own Guru, Vasishta Ganapati Muni may be considered an honorable exception. But Sri Maharshi appreciatively nodded when the passage was read by J. himself. And the great Tamil scholar and poet Muruganar sitting by me (who by the way is not a Sanskrit Pundit) could not only follow but explain to J. what was meant. This was because the esteemed friend had a cultured mind. *** After the Veda Parayana, conducted by Sri Raju Sastri in the evenings, was over, he - Raju Sastri - came to me. Both of us were taken by the Sarvadhikari to his office. Ordering the door to be bolted he looked around cautiously to see if there was anyone who was not in his confidence. I believe there was none else excepting one or two other than we four, including T. K. S. Having assured himself that we were safe, he requested Raju Sastri to take out the thing. I was wondering what he was going to do. From the mandahasa(medium sized cupboard in which household idols
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are kept for worship), Raju Sastri took out a plate and handed it to him, and he in turn placed it in my hand. It was a few inches square, but its weight betrayed to me the metal even before I saw it scrutinizing indeed, it was solid gold. The diagram was Sri Chakram. I saw the whole thing, it was neatly done. It cost a thousand rupees. Then there was another, a smaller plate that too was taken out. The third one contained letters inscribed in the diagram, it was Subrahmanya Yantra. (Sri-Chakram is a power-laden spiritual symbol having profound inner meaning. It represents the stages of evolution of the universe from the central Divine Reality. It also reveals the phases through which man can free himself from his restrictive physical conditioning and expand to the higher stages of consciousness and freedom. The mathematical qualities of the symbol have become an enigma to the scientists and there are continuing research and study of this mystic design we inherit from the remote past. The book explores into the various spiritual and scientific aspects of Sri- Chakram, which has a special significance in the worship of Divine Mother. ) He spoke to me how he was able to get it all done, why so much care for safety had to be taken etc. We all came out and he took us to another hut where I was shown Meru in sila (solid rock). I do not remember to have seen such a big sized Meru in rock though I have myself worshipped one made of gold(small size. ) *** OCTOBER 11: J. was reading the Fifth Chapter by now. This is a chapter in which Maharshi gives a discourse on the subject of hrdaya of

his own accord - not in answer to any question from anyone - and this is a very important chapter, as the distinctive features of Sri Maharshi's realizations are expressed in unequivocal terms. When a particular passage came, Maharshi asked me: "But is it called hrdayakasa 1 or merely hrdaya (referring to anahata 2 )?" I replied, "I have written hrdayakasa for anahata also. My impression is that the anahata is also called hrdayakasa in some of the Tantric works. " Maharshi paused and looked at me, meaning "Are you quite sure?" "Anyhow," I said "I shall note and find out if necessary I shall quote the text. " "Yes, that would be better. " After a minute the full significance of Maharshi's questioning became evident to me and then I said "I think it is better, when there is so much doubt, to remove the akasa and simply call it hrdayam. " "Yes," he said "that is right. " Immediately I took the manuscript from J. and removed the word akasa leaving it as hrdayam. Just here, there had to be a halt in the reading of the manuscript, for the Maharshi began to speak about the 'Heart', and there was general discussion in which he was the main speaker he quoted many of the ancient texts from Tamil and Sanskrit to show that the hrdaya which he speaks of is the seat of the Self. Located on the right side of the chest is the hrdayam of the Upanishads and it is recognized to be such by Appar and other Tamil saints, whereas the hrdayam in the middle of the chest anahatam is called hrdayam by Tantrics and some of the yoginis. But it is not hrdayakasa, it is only hrdayam, the Maharshi continued.
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He took out a manuscript of Rajayogasara of Nayana 3 and read a few lines in Sanskrit stating that the pascanmarga hrdaya is on the back-side while the puromarga hrdaya is in the front. Again he took a book in which he had written in his own hand some sentences in English culled from an American journal. That was the JOURNAL OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE started in 1872 in Philadelphia. It seems in 1931 there appeared in November or so (I do not remember the exact month) an article in it describing the Heart, the true Heart, to be on the right side, and it was later confirmed in another article which appeared in 1934 in the same Journal. The sentences read by Sri Maharshi clearly conveyed the idea that the Heart described was the deepestandtheinnermostpsychophysicalandspiritualCenterofman. TheMaharshisaid: "I made enquiries about it to get the whole article and that particular number of the journal, and I think somebody also wrote to that address which I have noted here (pointing to the note book in his hand), but nothing has been heard. Someone from Lahore said that he would try to get that number so that one could see the whole article and the means by which the experiment was carried out leading to the

definite conclusion that the center of the Self or Heart is located on the right side of the chest. " In this connection I reminded Sri Maharshi of what some people once talked about this in light vein ridiculing the idea of hrdayagranthih. 4 Indeed they, L and N, almost in the hearing of the Maharshi once asked me in 1931 "What, your chest is not burst as yet?" The Maharshi replied, now in a jovial tone reminiscent of olden days "They

can afford to talk but if one is hit (or caught in the net) then he can know. "
A. R. D. came and asked me to give him details of what went on in the hall when my manuscript was being read. I spoke to him. He asked me to tell him more about Sri Maharshi's remarks whatever I had to say I did. When he asked me to give my impression, I frankly told him that the Maharshi was really gracious as usual, but behind it a certain aloofness was visible throughout. "I do not know how long things have been going on this way," I added. "It has been so for the past one year and a half. " "What do you think it is due to?" "Somehow there is withdrawal into himself, he is more and more indrawn. He does not turn to the side of the temple or look into other constructions. Formerly it was not so. " "Yes, I too observed it he is in the hall practically always. " "Did he make any personal enquiries when he first saw you?" "Of course he did," I said "and very graciously asked me to take my food first and that is all. And afterwards when I was speaking to him about the work, he very kindly heard me and made his very gracious remarks especially when I referred to my handwriting in Nagari scripthe said "Yes, you are not as much accustomed to write Nagari if it were Telegu it would be different. Even now it is quite all right, clear and legible, quite good. As for slips, it is always the case. We go on thinking that we have written letters and words which are quite often left out. "
128 A. R. D. said, "When the manuscript was being read, did he make any remark?" "Quite

many. In fact he kept a copy of the text while closely giving his ears to the commentary being read, and whenever there was variance in reading he drew our attention to it and wonderingly expressed 'How is it that such readings have crept in!' In fact I had two different editions when I wrote the commentary. Sri Maharshi had two newer one in Telegu and the other in Nagari - in addition to which he had by his side the original manuscript written by Nayana in 1917. " "This is quite interesting and pleasing to me," said A. R. D. "But it is no wonder that he is so kind to you in fact none of us has moved as you have done with him. " "It is not exactly that many may have done. What you say is perfectly true so far as I am concerned. I did move very closely with him and I have always considered

myself to have received his special blessings. But what to do? I was destined for another way. "1 "That is why I ask you if there was any talk between Sri Maharshi and yourself reviving old memories. " "No," I said "Even when there was occasion for it, he kept simply quiet. It was from that I felt that there was a certain aloofness. But I do not say that by his treatment of me he made me feel his aloofness. "2 *** OCTOBER 12: There was nothing important to note till I entered the hall... All who could follow Sanskrit were present. When all of them had come, the Maharshi looked into my face as he knew already that I was to start and proceed with the reading. J. was previously informed about the propriety of leaving the author to read before the Maharshi, for which purpose he had specially come. I had to take this course that day. I had given the word to the Mother that I would try to finish on Sunday itself. Now I questioned myself, have I tried? Friday passed, so did Saturday and seven hours of Sunday have already passed at best I could read today for five to six hours without disturbing the Ashram routine and regulations in the hall. In the previous three sittings J. was able to finish less than one-third of the whole. How to finish or even try to finish the remaining thirteen chapters? Moreover, there were portions where Sri Maharshi, I thought, might say something. I myself might have something to say. However, this train of thought passed by me and I did not think of it again. There was an unusual certainty that everything would go all right... I explained in Tamil what I had written about the value of contacts with great men... I tried to give the gist then and there... At one stage N, and old acquaintance, finding that to appeal to me might not be fruitful implored the Maharshi that I might be asked to expound it in Tamil also as so many were waiting in earnest. But Maharshi smiled and said "Now! It will be already a great thing if he finishes even the Sanskrit reading. " Facing me, he added, "How is it possible!" Then I said, turning to the Maharshi, at the same time addressing N, that I would try to give a rsum in the evening. Then they were satisfied. ***
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I was in the twelfth chapter and had read the first ten verses with the commentary. It was my chapter. 1 When I was reading this, my body would not like to be seated from the spine upwards there was an unusual force waking as it were. The whole clavicular region was being taken up there was no feeling of the existence of the head. I was reading, still it was not I. The voice was going higher and higher, the range becoming wider and wider. When I came to the tenth verse somehow I stopped it was just time too. I got up first, recited the first verse of my anjali to Sri

Maharshi: I. "On the slopes of Aruna Hill, robed but by spaces around, Sanctifying once more the environs sacred, Reigns a Splendor, in human form, Dispelling darkness, Ramana called. " Then I went on, every succeeding verse being recited with increasing force. Slowly I moved, reciting, facing the Maharshi and close to him. It was an unusual vastness in front of me the body was light, airy as it were. I was not in meditation. I was doing things perfectly in normal consciousness, as it were but this sight around me, this work within and without me was clearly not mind. There was no head whatever. II. Among men and others moving equal, This splendor compact, to sages priceless, Luminous, expelling evil in those that seek, Mercy bodied sublime, him they call Maharshi. III. By his flaming effulgence, the plenitude of tapas puissant, Making the world a morsel, he laughs; Yet he shines forth, the Lord Maharshi, Our teacher's teacher May he destroy our sins! IV. Him the Lord some call the Primal Being, Others see Him as Being Supreme, Yet others proclaim Him the Being Centered in the orb of worlds and spheres. V. Him who shines forth in all the Three, The creature ego-soiled perceives not; But ever unsevered from Him, the Infinite, Lives aglow the Maharshi, model unto men. VI. Tender is he with gentle smiles, Mighty is he with blazing eyes that none can meet, Vast with a heart which delighteth in all, In movement deep from Silence sprung.
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VII. Is he another Shankar, Prince of Preceptors, Is he Kumara, Shankar's offspring? Is he the self-same boy, Kundina-born, Or else, Lord Shambhu with Shakti indrawn? VIII. Thus beams thy life with many a side And leaves the learned guessing, O Silent one, But ever in our hearts thou joyest to dwell With certitude, O Ramana, Teacher of teachers!" When I finished, I concluded it with the recital of the last two couplets of my epilogue to the Anjali. Sri Maharshi looked a little moved that is my impression. The rest I did not note. He nodded approvingly when the last couplets came out of me, as I was doing the salutation: "This offering of reverent praise, Is made by bhakta Kapali, of Bharadvaja line, Disciple of Kavyakantha Sage, And servant of him who served at Ramana's lotus feet, By Kapali of resplendent speech, Who savored in full the nectar In the lotus feet of Sri Ramana. " *** At night I had a long talk with A. R. D. His health, by the way, looked far better

than what it was when I last saw him at Pondicherry. Sri Maharshi himself was not looking as old as one would expect in fact there was very little change in his body - I saw him after an interval of ten years - if at all, there was some improvement in his health. OCTOBER 13 Sri Maharshi knew that I was to leave that day, as I had the previous evening informed him about my program and I purposely retained the last chapter for this morning. Then I started reading (8am) and finished it by 9 o'clock. When I came to the verse nilaravinda the Maharshi made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes, he stated, naming a gentleman "He said that this verse is quite fit to be the Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita. " It is very significant that Sri Maharshi who had been silent so far, quoted here approvingly the opinion of another that this should be considered a verse appropriate to describe the Maharshi himself. There are two elements in the verse which I may note in passing: one is the blooming of the eyes. The other is the Silence by which Shiva as Dakshinamurti teaches his disciples. "Spreading grace like the friend of the blue lunar lily; Bright like the solar lord of the lotus; by his pure abidance in Brahman he evokes his Father under the banyan tree;
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firm like a rock is this my younger brother. " *** Now one remarkable fact is when I started reading, it should have taken easily fifteen hours to finish the portion, at a modest rate. I do not know how it was done in six hours. The tone was loud the throat was not affected and the pauses for rest were the minimum. All this - one can easily see, if he has eyes - is due to three factors: (1) the Maharshi understood that I was to finish and go(2) I had the will and (3) the Mother was present - as she later confirmed. In the final part of Kapali Shastri's Diary he told how the Dhyana Sloka came about at Ramana's suggestion in the Ramana Gita. A further note is appended for members. Alan The famous Dhyana Sloka, by Ganapati Muni, said to invoke Bhagavan's Presence
(*)

In showering grace he is like the moon, the friend of the blue lily. In the same way, in luster he is like the sun, the lord of the lotus by his abidance in Brahman he reminds one of his Father** under the banyan tree firm like a rock is this my younger brother. Him, the moveless one we lovingly remember. **Lord Shiva as Dakshinamurti. The Muni saw himself as Ganapati and Ramana as Skanda therefore as brothers. When they first met they became firm friends, like actual brothers, roaming the hill together and going swimming. The Muni had a man to man relationship with Ramana on the human level, but of course he also regarded him as his Sad-Guru on another level. Bhagavan nicknamed him Nayana which is a term of endearment and means 'father' in Telagu. Of course it was the Muni who named the young Brahmanaswamy as Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

* THE DHYANA SLOKA: "The Tantra Shastra has devised a method of invocation, more powerful than an ordinary human memory or the most moving pictorial record. The gods and goddesses are posited in the Supernal Ether, and they take names and forms to operate in this world constituted of name and form. Each deity... responds just like a person when called by name. Each deity has its own nada, lines of vibration in the high supernals. The Rishi, the seer when he meditates on the deity, comes into contact with those particular lines of vibration, and is able to formulate in human language, the name, the form and characteristics. Such a formulation is what is usually known as Dhyana Sloka, an articulated piece in the form of verse for meditation on the deity. The Dhyana Sloka is the voice of the seer, who has recorded in words that line the living experience. When uttered under proper conditions it becomes a vibrant vehicle through which the Presence of the Deity is sensed immediately.
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"For invoking the presence of the Maharshi we have fortunately a Dhyana Sloka bequeathed to us by the great Ganapati Muni. This verse with slight amendment was quoted as "Sri Ramana Dhyanan" by Sri Kapali Sastriar in his Sanskrit commentary. To quote from his Dedication of Ramana Gita Prakasha: 'When I came to this verse, the Maharshi (who had been silent so far) made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes he stated, quoting approvingly the opinion of another 'that the verse is quite fit to be the Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita. '... There are two elements in the verse which I may note in passing: one is the blooming of the eyes [like sun and moon]. The other is the Silence by which Shiva as Dakshinamurti teaches his disciples. '(Sankaranarayanan "Bhagavan and Nayana" : Kapali Shastry "The Maharshi") This incident in the life of Ganapati Muni author of the Ramana Gita may interest
members. It is from his biography. Regards, Alan

Again and again the Muni sought the presence of his master, the Maharshi, came to Arunachala and stayed. In Arunachala the Muni had his tremendous Yogic experiences.
One day, when all were assembled on the flank of the Hill for prayer and waiting to take the lead from the Muni, there emerged suddenly from somewhere a bright star which

went towards Ramana, touched his forehead and receded. This happened six times. The disciples were astonished, and Nayana (the Muni) realized it was the manifestation of Skanda (the six headed Subramanya from the Pleiades constellation or Karttikeya) in Ramana. He at once praised him in eight extempore slokas. (These eight
slokas form part of the forty verses in praise of Ramana -- see the First Invocation in this volume -- which are recited every morning at Ramanasramam. ) Ramana listened to them in his spontaneous divine mood.

Ramana usually remained silent, speaking only when absolutely necessary. He, the incarnation of Karttikeya was born, according to Nayana, to direct and guide all mainly by his silence. After the recitation was over, Nayana -- who burned to accomplish the
redemption of his motherland by the Mantras which gave power and protection to the ancient sages -- asked Ramana whether Self-enquiry itself was enough to

empower the welfare of humanity, or whether any other Sadhana was necessary for this purpose. Ramana replied: Rely wholly on God who controls the world and does what is auspicious. Settle still in your heart, with all cares entrusted to God. He who can shape the future can also conduct the present affairs. The Lord conducts the past, present and future and prepares the ground for the auspicious events. Do not have any doubt about it. He acts according to the needs of the times. So be firmly poised in the Self. It will do you good. Leave everything to God. The Muni, like other great devotees of the Maharshi, surrendering wholly to this ultimate guidance, became himself an instrument of the Divine activity among the needs of the times subsequently. Ramana recommended aspirants to return to their roots -- to what came naturally to their own Dharma -- with the depth enquiry Who yet sees? to sustain it. Incident in the life of Ganapati Muni
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Translated from the book "Sri Ramana Virunthu - Part 1" compiled by Siva. Deenanathan published by Sri Ramanasramam pages 110 to 111
Ramana Gita One day Bhagavan said: " Probably it was the year 1913; Nayana (Ganapati Muni) came and had many of his questions answered. In this way he enquired on many topics and got them by heart. After that Nayana went to many places to give discourses. While delivering the discourses in Sanskrit, he recited many Shlokas with ease. He would then say "This shloka is from chapter number (some number) of Ramana Gita and this is the shloka number (some number)". The beauty is that Nayana said in this way, many months before he actually began to compose Ramana Gita....... But nobody had the courage to question Nayana, "Where is this Ramana Gita that you are talking about?" Nayana was a scholar and an equally smart person. In this way he continued composing many shlokas without much effort and finally he completed writing Ramana Gita. " Devotee: Bhagavan! If at all someone had asked Nayana "where is this Ramana gita" what would have happened? Bhagavan: (with laughter): Who has the courage to question

Nayana? That was the strength of Nayana.


Bhagavan continued: " Do you know what Nayana was saying after completing Ramana Gita? He would recite some shlokas; He would say these are in Ramana Gita; But they were the ones NOT in Ramana Gita. If someone pointed out "Nayana, This shloka is not in Ramana Gita", Nayana would immediately respond, "This shloka is from Maha Ramana Gita". Nayana had planned to write such a book too. But did not write. He was also saying he would

use all his talents to write a commentary for Arunachala Pancharatna. They never got written. Nayana passed away before he could write these. " Note: Pardon me for the quality of translation! Please feel free to post from the original English source if you have come across earlier. Om Namo Bhagavathe Sri Ramanaya! ramasamy ====================================================== Dear Sri Janaardana Kalianandaswami , To illustrate your point about the very close relationship between Ramana and Nayana `I append Ganapati Muni's Hymn to the Guru. Regards in His Grace, Alan

Hymn to the Guru or Gurugita of Vasishta Ganapati Muni 1. THE UNMANIFEST from which all this manifestation takes birth, which sustains it, into which it resolves itself - That the Eternal is:
134 2. In which support, in which matchless Strength, this cosmos (this Brahma's Egg) with its myriads of globes firmly abides: 3. Which is the Splendor concrete, the source of all lights, of the sun, of the planets; which, yea, is the power that is there for the power of Brahma and the rest of the gods: 4. By whose Light, the desireless knowing the truth are delighted; by whose

magic, the little minds have a dual vision cast on the All (the One Sum Total,
Samaste): 5. On which by meditation men have become immersed in the Delight of Atman; Where to stay is liberation, to Which even an inclination has the same purport: 6. That Brahman, called the Primal Sound, Pranava - unwearied let it reign supreme bearing the Ramana-name, so pleasing to me, for my meditation: 7. It holds fast to the root, but its abode is in the Heart's lotus; yet it flows for

the lotus of the head, and from behind for the energy of the senses: 8. With the outward eye it makes for the body's illusion, with the eye inward for experience of the Self's oneness: 9. Seeing the multitude of objects, or retired from it, it stands(as ever) for Mukti, release, by the inner movement, by the realization of oneness: 10. This Light of Atman, the Pure, bearing the Ramana-name for me - may it ever throb in my heart's lotus:
11. (The Light) from the lamp named Ramana, penetrating the walls of Ganapati's speech, nurtures the wondrous elegance of (Ramana's)Gita: 12. That, which by its rays dispels the darknesses of the ignorant - let that truth

dawn upon you in concentration and meditation of Tara, the Original Sound:
13. By going up, by going down, by the movements in the adhars1 and in the head, it fixes movements - and what more, itself pervades moving everywhere: 14. It is devoid of support; it resembles the Sky, Full, Silent, let that Brahman in

Guru's form swell itself in me: 15. Of whose truth on hearing, knowledge indirect comes, but whose contact in particular causes that direct knowledge.

16. That Brahman, named Ramana, whose thought (leads to)liberation, permanent encompassing, let That deposit me in the Delight. 17. In accordance with his view, lovingly, Vasishta, urged by the Delight of the primal sound of Silence, Tara, gave out this Hymn to the Guru, deep and lucid. 135 ====================================================== For those interested in further study of this Scripture I append a brief Bibliography. Sri Ramana Gita by Ganapati Muni a Bibliography The first English translation of Sri Ramana Gita was done by Sri Munagala Venkataramiah (Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi, author of Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi)and published in 1935 with a Preface by Grant Duff. A second edition revised with the assistance of Mr. David McIver came out in 1946. A fresh translation by Professor G. V. Subbaramayya, along with the Sanskrit text, was published in 1959. Another rendering by Sri Krishna Bhikshu, also with the Sanskrit text, came out in 1966. In preparing the latest translation, Sri Visvanatha Swami and Professor K. Swaminathan have utilized all the previous translations as well as the Sanskrit commentary of Sri T. V. Kapali Shastri (1946) and have endeavored to bring the English rendering into the closest possible conformity with the Sanskrit original. Publ. Ramanasramam Sri Ramana Gita A new English translation by A. R. Natarajan, published by Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning, Bangalore. With excellent Introduction and Commentary. Selection from Ramana Gitaby A. R. NatarajanPublished by Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning, Bangalore A clear contemporary prose translation of the most important sections with well researched commentary. Bhagavan and Nayanaby S. ShankaranarayananPublished by Ramanasramam A moving account of the intimate friendship of the Maharshi and the Muni, containing first-hand accounts of their relationship. Nayanaby G. Krishna Published by Kavyakantha Vasishta Ganapati Muni Trust in Madras. A deeply perceptive and readable life-portrait of the Muni, which gives special emphasis to the Munis work in rediscovering the original meaning of the RIG VEDA, later developed by Sri Aurobindo in The Secret of the Veda and K. Shastriar, M. Pandit and D. Frawley. Maharshi by Sri Kapali Sastriar Published by SABAD (Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry) Contains, as well as diary excerpts, one of which is quoted in this study, part of an unrevised English introduction to his Ramana Gita commentary: "Ramana gita-Prakasha". Commentary on the Ramana Gita: "Ramanagita Prakasha" by Sri Kapali Sastriar Published in Sanskrit, SABAD. Published in English, Ramanasramam Glory of Vasishta Ganapati -- A Biography by Sri Kapali Sastriar, recently translated from the Sanskrit by Dr. S. R. Leela. Published by Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore Contains the Munis own versified autobiography in the First Section, as well as the wise rendering of the Munis experiences and teaching, by his foremost disciple Kapali Sastriar author of the Sat Darshan Bhashya.. Eka Sloka of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Commentary by C. Sudarsanam, Introduction by A. R. Natarajan. publ. Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning, Bangalore. A valuable discussion of history, meaning and significance of this great verse in the Ramana Gita (Chapter II, verse 2) written by Bhagavan himself in Sanskrit. Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Brawley, published by Passage Press, Salt

Lake City, Utah Dedicated to Ganapati Muni to lead to a greater examination of his teachings and ideas. Draws from many untranslated Sanskrit texts of the Muni supplied by Sri K. Natesan - (who knew and was a disciple of both Bhagavan and the Muni) - and now lives at the age of 90 at Ramanasramam. 136 The Message of the Ramana Gita, a Paper by V. S. Ramanan ,President of Sri Ramanasramam, October 1998. The easiest way to progress on the path blazes out by the Maharshi's teachings is to

open oneself to his influence, learn to invoke his presence and surrender oneself completely to him. For invoking his presence , we fortunately have a prayer to INVOKE his presence. This
has been taken from the book BHAGAVAN AND NAYANA by Shri Sankaranarayanan The INVOKE prayer is called Dhyana prayer in Sanskrit. '

" In showering grace, he is like the moon, the friend of blue water-lily. In the same way, in luster he is like the sun, the kinsman of the lotus. In his Brahmic state, he reminds us of his Father abiding under the Banyan tree. Him, the moveless one we lovingly remember"
Meaning Even to the blue flower, not pure white, the moon is a friend. Likewise, the

Maharshis grace is available even for those hearts are not quite pure. His eyes shine like full-blown lotuses. With grace they emit rays cool as the moon's. When

dispelling the darkness of the heart they shine like the resplendent sun. He is always in Brahmic state. Silence is his eloquence. Son of God, he reminds one of his father
Dakshinamurthi seated under the Banyan tree, expounding in silence, the principle of the Supreme Brahman to four aged disciples. He is described as

achala unmoving,

symbolized by mountain Arunachala. Again the moon is the symbol of Bliss, the sustaining sap in all things, ananda. The sun represents the blazing energy, tapas, the knowledge as Consciousness, chit. The Brahmic state denotes the Pure Existence, sat.
Thus Maharishi is the Divine personality in threefold poise of sat chit ananda, come down on earth, as the son of God, to save mankind. This INVOKE PRAYER was bequeathed to us by the great Vasistha Ganapathi Muni. The Maharshi himself quoted with approval the view of someone that this sloka deserves to

be the dhyana sloka of the whole Ramana Gita. To quote Sri Kapali Sastriar from his Dedication of
Ramana Gita Prakasha, " When I came to the verse nilaravinda the Maharshi made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes, he stated, naming a gentleman,' he said that the verse is quite fit to be the Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita'. ' Ravi Sankar Lusaka, Zambia An article that appeared in " The Hindu" (newspaper) dated 16 April 2004.

THE Devotees knew that Ramana Maharishi was aware of even their unspoken thoughts. OMNISCI And he would respond to them in a manner that was truly amazing. M. R. ENT VENKATARAMAN narrates an experience he had in his childhood. RAMANA
A LITTLE over 100 years ago, on a Saturday morning, a 16-year-old schoolboy in Madurai realized the total futility of equipping himself to earn his livelihood. An irrepressible urge

compelled him to forthwith seek sanctuary in Arunachalam, marked in the school atlas as Tiruvannamalai. Renouncing all his worldly ties and without a twinge of regret for the snapped past or a thought of concern for the basic needs of the morrow, the lad set forth towards his goal. Arriving at the destination, he elected to stay 137 there for the rest of his life; he

gave peace and solace to tormented souls from

all over the world. That boy was Venkataraman who came to be revered as Bhagavan Sri
Ramana or Maharishi Ramana in later years. To the common folk of Tiruvannamalai and its environs, he was simply "Brahmana Swami" who was accessible to all of them and whose one look lightened the burden in their

minds.
Ihadthegreatfortunetohavedaily`darshan'oftheBhagavanduringthelastfewyearsofHismortal life..... My father, late Dr. M. R. Krishnamurthy, had on an impulse, relinquished his

medical practice to be of service to him.


My mother (late) Subbulakshmi Ammal was equally devoted to the Bhagavan. She used to prepare snacks and take them to Ramanashram as offering to the sage and for distribution among the devotees present in the meditation hall. After school hours, I used to visit the ashram in the company of my parents. During the last few months of Bhagavan's life when he was seriously ill, my father stayed on for night duty and I was his silent companion. It was the actual experience of many devotees that Bhagavan was aware of even

their unspoken thoughts and he would respond to them in a manner that was truly amazing. This was because a life-link comes to be established between disciple and Guru, like the one between parents and children, and among brothers and sisters which
Bhagavan himself had hinted at. This characteristic of Bhagavan was brought home to me in a telling incident that shall remain etched in my memory and the purpose of this article is only to share that experience with others. In Tiruvannamalai town, our residence was on Avarangattu Street and four doors away lived an old lady whom we called `Mudaliar Patti. ' (Not to be confused with Alangartanni Ammal of Karaikal who was also known by the same name). I was studying in standard nine (it was called Form Four in those days). One evening, when I returned from school I heard this `Patti' telling my mother, "Do you know that Brahmana Swami did most of his alms-

taking on this street of ours during his early days on the hill? He was given to silence in those days. He would stand in front of our house and clap his hands in order to draw our attention. We used to keep a stock of sour porridge (`pulithakuzhu') always in our house. I would take a bowlful of this and pour it into the cupped hands of the swami. He would drink the porridge with relish and walk away without even wiping his hands!" I did not believe this story and told my mother that `Mudaliar Patti' was spinning a yarn. "Bhagavan would never have taken food from her hands. " The next thing I knew was a stinging slap on my back. It was my mother who was livid with anger. "How dare you sit in judgment over any action reported of a realized soul like Bhagavan? Are we not ordinary mortals who should know our place? Let this

be the first and last time of sacrilege on your part!" I was chastened by the ferocious intensity of mother's bhakti.
The next day was a holiday and I accompanied my mother to the ashram as she took a vessel of `omappodi' (shev) for distribution there. Sachidanandam, who we knew well, was on duty there in the meditation hall. As Bhagavan sampled this snack brought by mother, he spoke to her, "Subbulakshmi, only today did Sachidanandam tell me that you used to give bhiksha to him in the early days and that he would receive the mixed rice in his towel. Noticing the sambar dripping through, it seems you bought for him a copper thooku with lead coating inside. Well, he had at least a

towel to start with but I had no such luxury in my begging days. "
138 Bhagavan went on to reminisce, "You know Mudaliar Patti, who is a neighbor of yours now.

I would stand in front of her house and clap my hands, whereupon she would bring a bowl of sour porridge. She would pour it gently into my cupped hands. After consuming it I would walk away without even wiping my hands. " This revelation was too much for me, standing at my mother's side. I started sobbing aloud. Turning to me, Bhagavan asked my mother in a compassionate tone. "What happened? Why is the boy weeping all of a sudden?"
My mother replied grimly, "Only last evening Mudaliar Patti was relating to me the same incident about sour porridge. This fellow doubted the veracity of the account. Now

that Bhagavan himself has confirmed it in detail, he is feeling the burden of his guilt, let him weep by way of `prayaschitham' (atoning penance). At the end of the sobbing, I felt relieved and my mind became extremely light.
Fifty years have gone by, but even now, as I recollect and relive the experience, I am overcome with the same sensation of supreme peace. That is a blessing which goes to prove that Bhagavan Ramana is still a living presence to all those who have the devotion

and diligence to come into his energy field.


******************************************************************** om namo bhagavate sri ramanaya! The famous Dhyana Sloka, by Ganapati Muni, said to

invoke Bhagavan's Presence In showering grace he is like the moon, the friend of the blue lily. In the same way, in luster he is like the sun, the lord of the lotus; by his abidance in Brahman (state of pure Being) he reminds one of his Father under the banyan tree; firm like a rock is this my younger brother. (Him, the moveless one we lovingly remember. )
THE DHYANA SLOKA: "The Tantra Shastra has devised a method of invocation, more powerful than an ordinary human memory or the most moving pictorial record. The gods and goddesses are posited in the Supernal Ether, and they take names and forms to operate in this world constituted of name and form. Each deity responds just like a person when

called by name. Each deity has its own nada, lines of vibration in the high supernals. The Rishi, the seer when he meditates on the deity, comes into contact with those particular lines of vibration, and is able to formulate in human language, the name, the form and characteristics, Such a formulation is

what is usually known as dhyana sloka, an articulated piece in the form of verse for meditation on the deity. The Dhyana Sloka is the voice of the seer, who has recorded in words that line the living experience. When uttered under proper conditions it becomes a vibrant vehicle through which the Presence of the deity is sensed immediately.
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This verse with slight amendment was quoted as "Sri Ramana Dhyanan" by Sri Kapali Sastriar in his Sanskrit commentary. To quote from his Dedication of Ramana Gita Prakasha: 'When I
came to this verse, the Maharshi (who had been silent so far) made a remark. Speaking for five to ten minutes he stated, quoting approvingly the opinion of another 'that the verse is quite fit to be the Dhyana Sloka of the whole Gita.

'... There are two elements in the verse which I may note in passing: one is the blooming of the eyes. The other is the Silence by which Shiva as
Dakshinamurti teaches his disciples.
'(Sankaranarayanan "Bhagavan and Nayana" : Kapali Shastry "The Maharshi")

Sri Ramana Maharshi's insistence that awareness of the "I" thought was a prerequisite for Self- realization led him to the conclusion that all spiritual practices which did not incorporate this feature were indirect and inefficient: Sri Ramana Maharshi said "This path (attention to the ' I ' ) is the direct path; all others are indirect ways. The first leads to the Self, the others elsewhere. And even if the others do arrive at the Self it is only because they lead at the end to the first path which ultimately carries them to the goal. So, in the end, the aspirants must adopt the first path. Why not do so now? Why waste time?" [Note: By David Godman: That is to say, other techniques may sometimes bring one to an inner state of stillness in which self-attention or self-awareness inadvertently takes place, but it is a very roundabout way of reaching the Self. Sri Ramana maintained that other techniques could only take one to the place where self-enquiry starts and so he never endorsed them unless he felt that particular questioners were unable or unwilling to adopt self-enquiry. ] Sri Ramana Maharshi said: "The goal is the same for the one who meditates [on an object] and the one who practices self-enquiry. One attains stillness through meditation, the other through knowledge. One strives to attain something; the other seeks the one who strives to attain. The former takes a longer time, but in the end attains the Self. " [Note: Although Sri Ramana vigorously defended his views on self-enquiry he never insisted that anyone change their beliefs or practices and, if he was unable to convince his followers to take up self-enquiry, he would happily give advice on other methods. ] Question by a disciple: "There is more pleasure in dhyana (concentration) than in sensual enjoyments. Yet the mind runs after the sensual enjoyments and does not

seek the former. why is it so?" Sri Ramana Maharshi: "Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. Our essential nature is happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine that the body or the mind is the Self. It is that wrong identity that gives rise to misery. What is to be done? This mental tendency is very
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ancient and has continued for innumerable past births. Hence it has grown strong. That must go before the essential nature, happiness, asserts itself. "
Aparoksh Anubhuti Aksha in Sanskrit is eye

Pratyaksha-Prati+Akshaiswhatisheldagainsteye. Thishastobeunderstoodaswhatisperceivedby karmendriyas. See, hear, smell, taste and touch are all pratyashanubhuti. Paroksha - Para+Aksha is what is not held against eye or karmendriyas, but can be implied by proper reasoning. Here manas and buddhi are involved. E. g. Smoke seen at a
distance is reasoned by saying 'there is a fire in that far off place. ' Though no fire is seen or heat felt. Here karmendriyas are playing secondary role where as jnanendriyas are playing primary role. Knowledge about reality is indirect at this juncture.

Aparoksha - not held against eye or karmendriyas or jnanendriyas. Here jnanendriyas


play secondary role only to the extent of setting off self enquiry and after a while they are subdued to allow feeling to take over

andmovebeyondthelimitationsofsenseperceptionstoBE'I'. Thisissaidtobedirectexperience.
Hence the term Aparoksh Anubhuti. 141