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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
moksha liberation. The last one is said to be the supreme purpose of life, 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,
and the thing that a person desires most is himself, which is the Self within him. Moksha liberation
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 Self-enquiry, 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
Self-realization 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, Self-knowledge 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.

INVOCATION
1. The entire Universe is but a tiny ripple in that infinite Ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda.

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
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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 Brahman alone is `Real' the

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fullness of Consciousness. The body and the world are `jada' or insentient and therefore 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 lead to the firm conviction of the truth of the proposition, and would
result in Self-knowledge. When the phenomena are negated as Unreal what remains is Real. It
may be noted that this practice is different from discrimination between `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 Self-knowledge 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, single-mindedness. *
(* 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 spiritual practice. The emphasis clearly shifts to practice and experience. When
such abidance becomes steady it is termed Knowledge (jnana). The 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)

Introduction
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

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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 and flows out, the path being the voice of
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

*** 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.

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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. When the Natural State becomes fixed by a silence devoid of 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:
The expression `sthitaprajna' means `one who is rooted in Self-knowledge'. The wisdom of such
a person is steady and firm. For such a person there are no ‘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
be any external insignia of the great state. How then is one to find out whether one is a `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 cognizant-Self, though
the desire fructifies, it will not lead to any exuberant joy.

---------------This completes Chapter 1------------------

13
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.

--------END of Chapter 1... `The Importance of Self-abidance'--------

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'.

*** Chapter 2... `THE THREE PATHS***

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

14
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 life-breath.

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

16
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 & self-luminous. 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, since it shines always
without a let. Whereas, the `I' thought or ego we take to be self, is only a phenomenon of the
waking state. 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 mind-control 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 direct experience of truth for oneself.

THE THREE WAYS


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.

---------------This ends Chapter 2. --------------

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.
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
identified with the body, every thing , be it God or the Self has to be related to it. This position
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 by self-enquiry and this has to be pursued further by continuing the enquiry 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 self-enquiry, which could be termed as `The Path'.
[*Eka Sloka by Sudarsanam-P11]

----------------End of Chapter 2.. `The Three Paths'


[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

20
*** 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. The practice which makes this possible is set out in Vs 5 & 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 this effort alone brings about the exalted
inner vision.

Commentary:
Latent tendencies and the false notion that happiness lies only in sense objects, keep the mind
externalized. However, happiness is our inherent nature, to be tapped by turning the mind
inward. Raman says that through enquiry related to the individual or self, such in-turning would take
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 self–enquiry 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 self-enquiry 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.

----------[End of Chapter 3]

( Note: Sanskrit version of Ch. 3 in Ramana's hand writing can be seen in `Photo' file in Ramana Gita
album. )

*** Chapter 4 …. 'Nature of Knowledge'…***


(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 non-
separate. These are scriptural assertions of the Truth.

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.
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 non-separate.
…Ramana has said.. `.. comprehension through thought is not to be taken to mean "that the pure mind
Self makes itself felt in the pure mind
measures the immeasurable Self. It means that the
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 life-force 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
That from which all thoughts of embodied beings spring is the Heart . Descriptions of the Heart
are only mental concepts.

Vs 3
In brief, 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
Ramana is pointing out the source of all thoughts- the Heart.
importance for the practice of tracking back thoughts to their origin. No thoughts can exist
without `me', the individual, the `I'-thought….. only 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
Heart as `I' was felt directly…………. How can a physical location be yypara nadi'.

AR Natarajan Translation:
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'.

Vs 7
From `Sahasrara' consciousness spreads all over the body, and then the experience of the world
arises. Viewing themselves as different from that consciousness human beings get caught in the cycle of births
and deaths.

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'.

body is an epitome of the entire universe and the Heart is the epitome of the entire
11. The
body. Therefore the Heart is the epitome of the entire universe.

12.The universe is none other than the mind, and the mind none other than
the heart.

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). "For, here you have 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
realize that there is nothing belonging to you, the ego. Everything is done by
something with which you get into conscious union".
In `Nirvikalpa Samadhi' the mind is silent, but there is no objective awareness. "For in this state it
(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,the world is but the mind*. The mind has no independent or separate status, its
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 illustrations of the seed of a fig
tree. The source 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 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
where it had shot up. We found it was only a
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". **
[** 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. Source of the Light is one's own Real Self, and perceiving the
Not perceiving that 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 reveal the truth, that the origin of the mind's light is the Heart, just
as the moon's light is derived from the sun.

Vs 17
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 aforcible 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:
In the Ramana way, alert, attentive enquiry about the nature of the mind leads to conscious
immortality. Though the merger of the mind in the Heart takes place involuntarily in the situations set out in
the preceding verse, it serves no purpose, because when the thought processes revive, externalization of
the mind would continue unabated. In contrast a conscious merger of the mind in the Heart

31
during vigilant self-enquiry leads to a continuous erosion of the latent tendencies until the
knowledge dawns by total destruction of tendencies.

---------End of Chapter 5…' The Science of the Heart ---------

[NOTE: Sanskrit version of Ch1,2,3,4,5 in Ramana's own hand writing can be seen in `Photo' file-`Ramana Gita'
Album]

*** Chapter 6…'Mind Control‘ ***


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 isfickle 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.

one deep exhalation , one


Later in the Chapter Ramana has simplified the Practice of Pranayama to:-
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.

32
Commentary:
…note that verses in this chapter are spontaneous statements made by the Maharshi and not replies to questions.

restlessness of the mind. Any action done with the sense of


One has to look for the cause 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
ultimate solution is only through finding ones own true
be eradicated or reduced. The
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, that is Jnanis ,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.

11. 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.

12. constant association with Great Enlightened Saints*,also the mind merges in its own
By
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
oneself with a particular name or form. It is this which externalizes the mind.
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. Then the syllables, the mind, and the
breath become one.

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
in their presence also tranquil. "If the association of the wise is obtained, to what purpose are
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]

--------- End of Chapter 6…'Mind Control ---------

*** Chapter 7…’ SELF ENQUIRY-COMPETENCE AND COMPONENTS

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 ?

The 'I Thought' is said to be the totality of all thoughts. The Source of that
Bhagavan said:
'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.
[*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. '#
first essential for the search is the
[*Ibid Ch 5, v 3. **Upadesa Saram v 19. #sat darshanam v 26] 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, 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 has to be enquired into. Paradoxical as it may seem,
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.

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,
If one holds
the reality which is mixed up with the erroneous idea of identification as `this'.
on to the `I' to the exclusion of everything else then it would lead one back
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.

5. The '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.

the end of all miseries and difficulties, This is the last


6. The result that flows from Self Enquiry ,is
word on 'rewards' (Phala). There is no greater reward than this.

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, its escape routes the dissipating thoughts, are cut off. Then it must necessarily
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'
the fullness of oneself. When the
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
Theresult of self-enquiry is the cure for all sorrows. It is the highest of all results. There is
nothing greater than this.

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
the body. The primal ignorance being the cause for all sorrows, there is no greater action or result.

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 ?

One whose mind is pure through Upasana [spiritual practice]or other means, or by
Bhagavan replied:
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 against their lures….
they help no one to know the Self. Ramana advises Humphreys that "clairvoyance clairaudience are not worth
having when far greater illumination and peace is possible without them than with them. "*
[*Glimpses - Humphreys – P26]
39
Ramana also points out that such powers are no better than dreams. They come and go. They involve
exercise of the mind and are within its framework.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.

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:
starts on the Self Enquiry, with shrinking attachments, all these
14. if the competent one
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 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 themarks 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 spirit dry, who are earnest to find out the truth, all
those brave enough to be prepared to lose life in order to find it, are fit for self-enquiry.

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
to further involvement in sense attractions. The value of virtuous actions lies in their purificatory
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
fear
such injunctions. The wise know of no fear be it of the spiritual authority or any other. So
cannot motivate them. Nor can the satisfaction of desires be the cause of that activity.
`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
who has dissolved the ego and is always abiding in the Self?'. If there is no reason for such persons to
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:

Meritorious actions of one, who has destroyed the sense of difference between the Self and the
18.
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.
The first goes the long way but at the end attains the Self.

23. The mind of one meditating on one object only takes one form only. [one pointedness]

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
Other paths strive to attain something, self-enquiry seeks the one who makes the effort. The first
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:
mind which has been gathered together through
In Upadesa Saram Ramana points out that the
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 [Self-Abidance] but he
would [eventually] Abide in the Self.

The other , the Enquirer, knowingly Abides in the Self.

25. object of Meditation, be it a Deity or Mantra or any other High Object, on which one
The
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. `The enquirer consciously loses
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. What then is the difference? Even during practice, in the
direct path, self-enquiry, there would be the experiencing of the bliss of the Self. In the paths

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:
Thesubject-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
The goal of the meditative path and self-enquiry is one. The former reaches stillness through contemplation
and the latter through knowledge.

[NOTE: Sanskrit version in Ramana's own handwriting can be seen in `Photo' file in `RamanaGita' folder. ]

-------End of Chapter 7…’ SELF ENQUIRY-COMPETENCE AND COMPONENTS -----

*** Chapter 8…’ ON ASHRAMAS‘ ***

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

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 Self-knowledge. ( 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.

10. 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.

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 abiding at its source, the Self. For
this, no stage of life is a hindrance.
47
[*Maharshi's Gospel –Ps 5-7]

Vs 9
The learned prescribe a life in the forest as a third stage for performance of austerities. At this stage one
may be with or without ones wife.

Commentary
Under modern conditions, leading a 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
ripe for incessant pursuit of enquiry. For
earlier stages. But this does not hold true for those who are
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.

-------End of Chapter 8… -----

*** Chapter 9…’ ON CUTTING THE KNOT - GRANTHI BHEDA ‘ ***

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.

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 link between the Self and the body. Awareness of the body arises because of
this link.

Commentary
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. The mechanics of the flow of consciousness from the
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.

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
no cognition of
can be said to be true of other situations like swoon, excessive fear and so on. When there is
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 body too is within the Self instead of
thinking the Self is within the body, for it is the source from which all consciousness is derived.

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

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

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

16. When Atma alone shines, within and without, and everywhere, as body etc. shine to the
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 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.

Vs 16
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, can succeed in this. Thereafter all duality ceases.

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 Heart-based. Action would be perfect.
[*Ibid v16,**Ibid v18]

Krishna Bhikshu Translation:

17. There are two knots. one, the bond of the Nadis and two, 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
each sense organ is connected to the Heart through its own
In verses 9 & 10 it was seen that
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
Thebody 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
even in this verse to the means by which the goal is reached, namely, self-enquiry. This emphasizes
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.

Vs 21
karma of such a one is destroyed due to the absence of the sense of doership.
It is said that the
No doubts arise since the Self only exists for him.

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 . This state is one of supreme power and
peace.

Commentary
The mind of such a one is naturally silent since all tendencies which externalize the 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]

-------End of Chapter 9…’ ON CUTTING THE KNOT - GRANTHI BHEDA-----

*** Chapter 10…’ ON SOCIETY ‘ ***

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.

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 Equality is the Supreme Goal to be attained by Human Society as a
whole.

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]

-------End of Chapter 10…’ON SOCIETY‘ -----

*** Chapter 11…’ ON COMPATIBILITY OF JNANA AND SIDDHIS ‘ ***

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:

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.

18. well established in sahaja sthiti* performs by his very nature inviolable
"One who is
tapas day by day.

sahaja sthiti. "


There is no sloth in
*one established in the innate Self and abiding therein.

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. * sense objects are discarded one
Ramana has also stated that when
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
termed effortless. Why? Because the
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 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

19Inviolable 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 reason of their
not slipping from the natural state, such ones are always ripe and 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 karma- sanchitha, 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 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 ever still as 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.
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(*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
Thepowers 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
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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

-------End of Chapter 11… ‘ON COMPATIBILITY OF JNANA AND SIDDHIS‘ -----

*** Chapter 12…’ ON SAKTI ‘ ***

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.

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

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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 separates. This
divisive outlook is in direct contrast to the unitary perception of the wise. The difference
therefore, lies in the angles of vision.*
[*Sat-Darshanam v18]

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. The ground, on which it is
dependent is firm.
Commentary
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
the multitude were independent of the `Self' – they would have independent reality, a
.... If
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 aspects- activity and ground.

Commentary
Movement cannot be perceived without a stationary base. How is the opposite also true? How is it possible to
self-enquiry the mind is pushed
apprehend the ground through movement, through power? When through
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. The ground is only the
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 both movement and ground alone knows.

Commentary
The Self itself is the subject, `the eye complete and limitless'*.
It is self-luminous 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.

30. Thus, 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.

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 scriptures through
guru's guidance. When one abides in the natural state the experience is direct `aparoksha'.

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. By understanding through activity the
source of activity, one gets firmly established in the Self.

Commentary
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, self-enquiry 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
are limitless. The individual's creation
and the limitations of inadequate power are superimposed on it.

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 differences which exist between God & individual would come to an end. 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]

-------End of Chapter 12… ‘ON SAKTI ‘ -----

*** Chapter 13…’ On The Equality of Women for Sannyasa ‘ ***


[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.

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 one's paramount duty, namely, discovering
one's true nature. Life has a dual purpose, the exhaustion 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
`Jivan Mukti' is the cutting of
out in the next fifteen verses that all aspects have been fully covered.
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
which they provide is indirect and descriptive and is not a substitute for direct experience. Again, any
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
proper enquiry the
with form, without form, and so on. These are mere ideas centered on the ego. When on
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 theiressence 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 life-
forces 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 Jivanmukta may in time attain intangibility,
while the form remains.

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 Sad-Guru 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

-------End of Chapter 14…’ JIVAN-MUKTI ‘ -----

*** Chapter 15…’ OM, SRAVANA, MANANA, NIDIDHYASANA ‘ ***

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.

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 one’s 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 Self-abidance.

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. If however, one has
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 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
firm abidance in the Self becomes natural, it is freedom, the supreme state, and is
Kaundinya, if
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.

[Note: Sanskrit version of Ch15 in Sri Ramana's handwriting is


in `Photo' file, `RamanaGita' album]

-------End of Chapter 15…’ OM, SRAVANA, MANANA, NIDIDHYASANA ‘-----

*** Chapter 16…’ On Bhakti ‘ ***

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.
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. '

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 identity with God; for them `I am That' contemplation, the meditation on unity, is the way.
Votaries of the path of devotion begin by 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 single thought of the Supreme prevails, it
leads one back to the source. This is because God and the Self are not different in essence.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri Visvanatha Swami

5. & 6.
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. "*

Butso 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 name and form are superimposed on the deity, one transcends these very names and
forms through them.

Commentary

97
TheSupreme 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
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

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]

-------End of Chapter 16…’ On Bhakti ‘-----

*** Chapter 17…’ On Attainment of Jnana ‘ ***

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:

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. Bhagavan, during practice the mind goes and comes, in and out. Is the in-going of the mind
called Jnana?

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 let loose it would not move out. * Similarly, the bliss of existence has to be experienced for
longer intervals by steady self-enquiry. Then, in time, due 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
wisdom flows from the destruction of mind, of
has been classified as practice only. Also, steady
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'. *

Ramana would refer to Kaivalya Navaneetham and point out that the best repayment to the Guru would
be not to slip away from steady abidance in the Self. 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.

-------End of Chapter 17…’ On Attainment of Jnana ‘-----

*** Chapter 18…’ On The Glory of the Siddhas ‘ ***

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.

-oOo-

Versification:
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

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 of onlookers, for Ramana 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 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 heart-
lotus 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
of discovering innate happiness, by searching for the true import of `I'. The effulgence
emanating from the Maharshi had a transforming 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 In showering grace
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
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 self-taught 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 ofpower, 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.

Translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan and Sri 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.

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 death-experience 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
are natural to tapas, penance, which come to a person who is Self-aware. The former is a distraction
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]

*** END OF Chapter 18…’ On The Glory of the Siddhas ‘ ***

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).

bIja
vedAdi beginning (and end) of the Vedas 'om'
pAka damana (indra) uttara mightier than Indra, the subduer Lord Indra's bIja is 'la'. When we
of the demon called PAka (symbolic go beyond this we find... bIja - 'va'
of the overcoming of ignorance).
Sri Maharshi lies beyond even

119
the Lord of the senses.
kacchapeSa - kurmeSa Lord of tortoises - supporter of 'ca'
the Earth and all its jIvas - Rudra
dharAdhara the Hill, Mount Arunachala - The 'd'
Hill of Dawn. Supporter of the
Universe. Epithet of Siva and
symbolic of transcendence. (note:
dharAdhara is also an epithet of
Vishnu as preserver)
sushupti known as sleep - Here it represents 'bha' (note: the vowel 'a' is omitted.
Sakti )
amareSvara Lord of Gods (Rudra) 'u'
amRta - toyabIja water, syllable of offering 'v'
signifying dative case (along with
next letter)
sUkshmAmRtA Siva Sakti 'e'
praNatyA (pra-Nati) obeisance/surrender of body and 'namaH'
mind with humility
'om vacadbhuve namaH' Altogether this reveals the Guru
om va ca d bhu v e namaH 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
120
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


Whenever any one asked what those aantara sravanas are, he used to say,
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 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)

Some Sonnets on Ch 5.

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 mind’s 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,
in-drawing and exhaling universe, by Ayam lit.

121
-- our Self is unity, we've understood.
Let Heart's ease -- subtly right of center’s 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.

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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
123
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. "

124
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

125
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

126
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.
127
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
deepest and the innermost psycho-physical and spiritual Center of man. The Maharshi said:

"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 résumé in the evening. Then they were satisfied.

***
129
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.

130
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;

131
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.

132
"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")

Incident in the life of Ganapati Muni


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.

133
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 Muni’s 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 Muni’s own
versified autobiography in the First Section, as well as the wise rendering of the Muni’s 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 Maharshi’s 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.

I had the great fortune to have daily `darshan' of the Bhagavan during the last few years of His mortal 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.

139
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 pre-requisite 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+Aksha is what is held against eye. This has to be understood as what is perceived by
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
and move beyond the limitations of sense perceptions to BE 'I'. This is said to be direct experience.
Hence the term Aparoksh Anubhuti.

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