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Kaivalya Navaneeta

The Cream of Emancipation

An Ancient Tamil Classic
By Tandavaraya Swami
Translated into English by Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi
Compiler of 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi'
!!" Edition

#$blisher's %ote
&e have great pleas$re in offering to the devotees of Sri Bhagavan and the st$dent of
'edanta in general( a val$able little classic) This was one of the works very fre*$ently
referred to by the Maharshi)
+n the absence of any mention in earlier literat$re on 'edanta in Tamil we can ass$me that
',aivalya %avaneeta' was probably written at least five h$ndred years ago) +t was
translated into -erman and English by .r) Charles -ra$l( .. of the /eip0ig /$theran
Mission and we have in the Ramanasramam /ibrary a book containing these -erman and
English translations and p$blished in 122( both in /eip0ig and /ondon)
&e have not come across any other English translation so far)
&e are confident that this great little book will prove to be of immense help to all
The #$blisher

The ,aivalya %avaneeta is a widely known Advaita classic in Tamil) %avaneeta means
b$tter) ,aivalya or Revala is the state in which the so$l e4ists( isolated from all
connection with the body etc) 5rom the vast ocean of milk 6the 7panishads etc)8 the great
teachers have drawn the milk of wisdom and filled it in pots 6ancient te4ts8) Tandavaraya
Swami( the a$thor of ,aivalya %avaneeta says that he has e4tracted the b$tter from the
milk) Those who have obtained this 6being fed on the b$tter of divine wisdom 9 Brahma
:nana 9 and being eternally satisfied8 will not roam abo$t feeding on d$st 6non9real
ob;ects of sense8)
The two sections of this work are called 'The e4position of the Tr$th' 6Tattva
'ilakkappadalam8 and '.o$bts cleared Away'6Sandeham telitarppadalam8) They e4plain
the basic philosophical principles and clear do$bts which are likely to arise in
$nderstanding these principles)
') A) .evasenapathi
Kaivalya Navaneeta
) #rostrations to the <oly 5eet of the 7ni*$e /ord who like ether remains as sole
witness in the hearts of all beings( whether they are swayed by desire for wealth( lands(
and women( or are free from s$ch desire( and who shines as the towering peak over the
seven s$ccessive spirit$al heights( which are in themselves e4alted over all other planes
6of mind8( or in %annilam( the holiest of the seven holy places=
2) + adore the feet of the <oly Master who shines forth forever as the wide E4panse which
has no beginning or end or interval( and + proceed to tell yo$ the tr$e nat$re of the
Absol$te Being( to e4plain bondage and liberation so that even those who are too d$ll to
learn the script$res( may $nderstand)
>) After adoring my Master( 'enkatesa M$k$nda( who is himself ever9free( and who
made me his own( + write this ,aivalya %avaneeta divided into two parts( the first of
which contains a clear e4position of the Tr$th( and the second clears away all do$bts
arising from the former)

The First Section
The Exposition Of The Truth
1) The Sages say that there are fo$r prere*$isites for realisation of the Tr$th?
) 'iveka? discrimination between the temporary 6therefore $nreal phenomena8 and the
permanent 6therefore the Reality( i)e)( the no$menal8@
A) indifference to the en;oyment of pleas$res here or hereafter@
") the gro$p of si4 *$alities and
B) the longing for /iberation)

! and C) The si4 *$alities are sama( dama( $parati( titiksha( samadhana and sraddha) Df
these( sama is control of mind@ dama is control of the senses@ $parati is cessation of
activities 6relating to caste( creed( family etc)8@ titiksha is control of passions( and
incl$des end$rance@ samadhana is( according to the sages( the settling down of the mind
to reflect the Tr$th( as revealed 6by the script$res and the sages8@ sraddha denotes faith in
the master and the script$res@ s$ch are the meanings of the si4 terms of this category)
B) After eagerly sal$ting his Master( he stood $p and sobbed o$t his heart( saying ED
/ord= + have s$ffered long the tort$re or worldly life( which is after all so false= -racio$s
Master( save me by tearing off the cords which bind me to the five sheaths( so that my
heart may be at peace=''
! and AC) E/ook here( my son= <e who has forgotten his tr$e nat$re is alternately born
and dies( t$rning ro$nd and ro$nd in the $nceasing wheel of time( like a feather ca$ght $p
in a whirlwind( $ntil he realised the tr$e nat$re of the Self) +f he comes to see the
individ$al self and its s$bstrat$m( the Dverself( then be becomes the s$bstrat$m( i)e)(
Brahman( and escapes rebirths) Sho$ld yo$ know yo$rself no harm will befall yo$) As
yo$ asked + have told yo$ this)''
2) The *$estion then arises? &hereon does the s$perimposition rest when the s$bstrat$m
is completely hiddenF And how can there be any s$perimposition if the s$bstrat$m is not
hiddenF E6The answer is?8 The s$bstrat$m is twofold( general and partic$lar( of which the
general s$bstrat$m remains contin$o$s and $nbroken) Transient s$perimposition is
2A) +n the world( the common s$bstrat$m 'This is' can never be veiled@ b$t only the
partic$lar identity 9 'This is a rope)' Similarly with the ;iva( ignorance does not veil the
s$bstrat$m 9 '+ AM'@ b$t it veils the specific knowledge 9 '+ am Brahman')''
>A) By the /ord $nder the sacred banyan tree= + speak the tr$th@ Go$ are the $nchanging
&itness of the gross( s$btle and 6cas$al8 ignorance( the waking dream and sleep states(
and the passage of time 9 past( present and f$t$re( which endlessly rise and fall( like
waves in the ocean of bliss)
1C) +n the e4ample@ 'This is that .evadatta(' the man who was seen in another place and
on another occasion( and also known as .evadatta( is this man who is seen in this place
and on this occasion) Altho$gh the time and place are different( a little consideration
reveals the man to be the same)
1) Similarly( in the words 'That' and 'tho$'( their literal meanings e4cl$ded( the
Conscio$sness9#rinciple is taken as Brahman and the &itness( whose $nbroken identity
is established by 'art'( so that Brahman is the Self( and the Self is Brahman)
C>) :$st as the ether tho$gh all9pervading seems to be newly opened in a well which is
newly d$g( so Brahman tho$gh ever9present yet appears as if realised afresh by en*$iry
into the self as ta$ght by a master or the script$res) Therefore( D son( be at peace that we
are always the same limitless Being=
C1) The whole $niverse is as $nreal as water in a mirage( silver in mother9of9pearl( the
city of -andharvas in the air( the dreamland of dream( the bl$e of the sky( the serpent in
the rope( the off9spring of a barren woman( the horn of a hare( or the thief in the thick
post) D Son= #$re Conscio$sness is alone real) .o not therefore forget the Self at any

Section Two
Doubts Cleared Away
) E:$st as men dig a hole( gently plant a long post in it( fill in earth and ram it in( to fi4 it
firmly so too( + take to clearing away do$bts that yo$r mind which has realised the Self as
being the S$preme Conscio$sness may remain $nshaken)''
BB) .isciple? ED Siva in the form of my Master) +f these powers and .eliverance are
together the fr$its of tapas( then all the sages sho$ld possess both( as the ancient sages
did) &e have known that the ancient sages had these siddhis and were also liberated at the
same time) &hy do not all ;nanis possess s$ch powers as wellF''
B2) Master? EDf the two types of tapas( namely( tapas( for the f$lfillment of one's desires(
and dispassionate tapas( the former bestows the powers desired( and the latter wisdom)
Each can yield its allotted fr$its only) That is the law) The ancient sages had evidently
performed both kinds of tapas)

BH) ESinless son( :anaka( Mahabali( Bhagirata and others got deliverance only)
.id they display any siddhisF 6%o8) Some of the sages so$ght siddhis only@ others so$ght
both siddhis and emancipation) These siddhis are simply for display and nothing more)
They do not make for liberation)''
C>) .isciple? ED Master= + do not see the propriety of the statement that all beings are
permeated by the single non9d$al Self which is all9embracing as Being9Conscio$sness9
Bliss) The e4istence of the ;ivas is clear beca$se they all say '+'@ Conscio$sness also is
clear beca$se of knowledge which is obvio$s@ why does not9Bliss show forth in a similar
C1) Master? ESon( altho$gh there are shapes( fragrance and softness together present in
the same flower( each of them is cognised by a separate sense only) Dtherwise they are
not perceived@ s$ch is the law of nat$re) Similarly tho$gh the beatific *$alities( Being(
Conscio$sness and Bliss together form the Self( yet the modes vary constantly and give
rise to the difference which appear as the world)
C!) My son= the three *$alities 9 Satva( Ra;as and Tamas 9 give rise to the three modes 9
repose( agitation and ignorance respectively) Being( Conscio$sness and Bliss which are
themselves glorio$s( always remain a homogeneo$s &hole yet appear different)
C) Bare e4istence alone is noticed in plants( minerals and the earth which look
insentient and are ignorant)
There can be no happiness in the state of dist$rbance ca$sed by passions( s$ch as l$st(
which act like poison) B$t Being and Conscio$sness are evident in it)
Being( Conscio$sness and Bliss together become manifest in the state of #eace which is
characterised by a stern detachment 6from e4ternalities8)
Therefore Bliss becomes clear in a peacef$l mind rid of ignorance and agitation)''
H1) .isciple? E<ow sho$ld + remain( so that + may e4perience what yo$ have described
as BlissF''
Master? E+f yo$ get rid of the mode of mind which give rise to the states of waking( dream
and sleep( yo$ will remain as yo$r tr$e being and also e4perience Bliss)
H!) +f yo$ ask how to control the activities of the mind( rising $p from its latencies? R$le
over the intellect and sense as yo$r slaves) They will become e4tinct)
>C) Also by gentle control of the breath which blows like bellows( the activities of the
mind cease) +f yo$ are not inclined to practice this yoga( they will cease if yo$ root o$t
the massive ignorance of the cas$al body) Then too the mind stops its activities)''
>) .isciple? EBy what means can + root o$t ignorance( the cas$al bodyF''
Master? EThe sr$tis can never mislead one) <ow can there be ignorance if yo$ firmly fi4
their teaching in yo$r mind@ ' + am the all9perfect being in whom the worlds appearF''
>A) .isciple? E<ow can + remain so when + engage in worldly transactions( with
wandering mindF''
Master? EThere is nothing apart from Me) &hatever is seen( is of Me) + am + who is
conscio$sness which sees all this as fictitions as my dream)
>") +f yo$ always remain aware that '+' am perfect Conscio$sness( what does it matter
how m$ch yo$ think( or what yo$ doF All this is $nreal like dream visions after waking) +
am all9Bliss=''
>1 and >!) S$ch is 'idyananda) Those who st$dy this work with devotion will realise
the high state of Repose and be liberated here and now) +n order that all may $nderstand
clearly 'idyananda( the tr$e spirit of the <oly books( in %annilam Master %arayana
appeared in my samadhi and commanded me to make this ,aivalya %avaneeta perfect in
every detail( and free from defect)
1B) #raise( praise to the a$thor of my salvation= <e placed on his head the 5oot of
%arayana( the +nfinite /ord( who made him his slave( and who( by means of the process
of negation had destroyed what thro$gh imposition had arisen as a mere fictitio$s
appearance( and p$t me in s$ch a condition that +( with eyes of -race( can remain for ever
the Spectator)
Sri Ramanarpanamast$