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Messages - Subramanian.R

Anma Vidya or Atma Vidya or Self Knowledge of Bhagavan Sri
Ramana Maharshi, is again a composition in the fashion of
'carnatic music' song and is not in the form of classical Tamil verse.

Once a devotee wrote on a slip of paper that Self-Knowledge is
the easiest thing, since one already is the Self.  He handed it to
Bhagavan, asking Him to write a poem on the subject.  This is
the poem written.  The original English translation is by Arthur Osborne and later improved by Prof. K. Swaminathan.


Lo, very easy is Self-Knowledge,
Lo, very easy indeed!


Even for the most infirm
So real is the Self
That compared with it the amlak*
In one's hand appears a mere illusion.


1. True, strong, fresh for ever stands
The Self. From this in truth spring forth
The phantom body and phantom world
When this delusion is destroyed
And not a speck remains,
The Sun of Self shines bright and real
In the vast heart-expanse.
Darkenss dies; afflictions end;
And bliss wells up.

2. The thought 'I am he body' is the thread
On which are strung together various thoughts
Questing within enquiring 'Who am I?'
And 'Whence this thought?' all other thoughts
Vanish. And as I, as I within the Heart-cave
Such Self-awareness is the only Heaven
This stillness, this abode of bliss.

Arunachala Siva.     

I shall briefly give the translation of Ekanma Panchakam, as
made out by Aruthur Osborne.*

Verse 1:-  When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
                   That the body is oneself and goes
                   Through innumerable births,
                    And in the end remembers and becomes
                    The Self, know this is only like
                    Awaking from a dream wherein
                    One has wandered over all the world.

Verse 2:-   One ever is the Self. To ak oneself
                    "Who and whereabouts am I?"
                     Is like the drunken man's enquiring
                     "Who am I?" and "Where am I?"

Verse 3:-    The body is within the Self. And yet
                     One thinks that one is inside the inert body,
                     Like some spectator who supposes
                     That the screen on which the picture is thrown
                     Is within the picture!

Verse 4:-    Does an ornament of gold exist
                      Apart from the gold?  Can the body exist
                      The ignorant one thinks " I am the body"
                      The enlightened knows " I am the Self".

Verse 5:-     The Self alone, the Sole Reality
                       Exists for ever.
                       Revealed of yore the First of Teachers**
                       Revealed it through unbroken silence
                       Say who can reveal it in spoken words?

Sri Muruganar's benedictory verse:-***
                       " Guru Ramana, Who is nothing but the Self,
                        Told in this five verse composition,
                        The truth of the Self, and advised the devotees,
                        And destroyed their ' I am the body' belief."

*  The translation later improved by Professor K. Swminathan.
** Sri Dakshinaoorthy, who taught in silence, his disciples,
     Sanaka and other three.   
** A blank verse translation by me

Arunachala Siva.

Ekanma Panchakam or Five Verses on the Only Self, is a composition,
of Bhagavan in five verses.  The background story is quite interesting.
Bhagavan is an expert in Tamil 'venba' metre and once He asked
Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni, to try this metre in Sanskrit.  Kavyakanta
tried it in Sanskrit and left it saying that it is more difficult than
'Arya chandas' of Sanskrit.  Then the Muni tried it in Telugu and
he also left that.

Later in the present Ashram, Suri Nagamma, a Telugu devotee (who
is the author of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam) requested Bhagavan
to try Telugu verses in 'venba'.  He replied, 'Who don't you try?
Your mother tongue is Telugu.'  Suri Nagamma said 'No.No. How can I, when Kavyakanta himself could not succeed.' and she kept quiet.  After
about 3 days, Bhagavan wrote 3 verses in Telugu 'venba' metre on
the Self!  Again, on the next day, He wrote 2 more verses in Telugu
'venba' metre !   He said that this can be called Atma Panchakam or
Anma Panchakam (in Tamil) or Five verses on the Self, but since
Sankara has already got a composition titled Atma Panchakam, we
can call it Ekatma Panchakam or Five Verse on the Only Self.
Bhagavan Himself, then, made this Telugu composition into Tamil and
Malayalam.  About this composition, a touch of melancholy is that this
is the last original composition of Bhagavan, which was written on
16/17th February 1947.

Poet Muruganar has written a benedictory verse for this composition
in Tamil  Even this benedictory verse has been translated by Bhagavan
in Telugu and Malayalam. 
Arunachala Siva.

Dear non duel, I shall explain to the extent I know.  Practising
self enquiry with the idea that the Heart is on the right side, as
mentioned in Ulladu Narpadu - Anubandam, will help you to merge
in the Self.  Bhagavan has said - 'Hrudaya Guhara madhye kevalam
Brahmam matram, that is, the in the centre of the Heart Cave, there is
only Brahman.  This is what I am practising.  But David says, as you
have said, the Heart Centre is the place where the 'I' finally withdraws
and curles up within, and it is only for destruction of the 'I' thought but
self-enquiry should not be practised keeping the Heart Centre, as the
focal point, since Brahman is all pervasive.  I beg to differ from David
Godman.  You can practise in a way that suits you best.

As regards, 'Pranayama',  ' Breath control' , there are several conventional practises.  Books say that the inhalation/retention/exhalation, that is,
kevala, kumbaha, and rechaka, should be in proportion of 1:2:1 or
2:3:1 etc., etc.,  But Bhagavan has clearly said that all these number games are only for people who  take up yoga-marga, bretah-control methods, and then go to various centres on the spinal cord etc.,  He said
for self-enquiry, which is jnana-marga, one should only 'watch' the
breath, with thoughtless self-enquiry.  The breath will become, in due course, steady and regular and this will help further for the practise to proceed.

Arunachala Siva.


Dear Paul, practising self-enquiry, through Who am I? will confer
dispassion (vairagya) and also merging in the Self.

Arunachala Siva.

General Discussion / Re: LAW OF LIFE
« on: July 29, 2008, 11:58:21 AM »
My dear Sankar, Your understanding is correct.  Bhagavan says
in Who am I? : "if one knows that whatever he gives to others,
he is giving to himslef, no one will stop from giving."  Contemplate
on these words carefully.  If one gives love to others, he is giving
love to himself.  If one gives hatred to others, he is giving hatred
to himself.  If one gives pleasure to others, he is giving pleasure to
himself.  If one gives pain to others, he is giving pain to himself.
If one gives good to others, he is giving good to himself.  If one
gives bad to others, he is giving bad to himself."  If one knows
this, he will give to others only what is suitable for him to get back.

This was told by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, to Sivaprakasam Pillai,
at the age of 21!  This is the only teaching of Bhagavan, from where,
he never went back in his 54 years of life in Tiruvannamalai.

Arunachala Siva. 

Verses 18 to 27.  These 10 verses of Ulladu Narpadu - Anubandam,
constitute a chapter called, Upaasanaa Prakaranam, meaning the
ideas for meditation.

Verse 18 and 19, are translations from Sanskrit composition called
Ashtanga  Hrudayam.   These speak about the Heart on the right side,
Bhagavan's one of the central teachings.  David Godman says that
the Heart is everywhere and right side of the chest need not be a
focal point.  That is a different issue about which a raging controversy
is going on his blog.  The English translation of Aruthur Osborne is:-

"Between the two paps, below the chest, above the stomach, there
are six organs of various colours.  Of these, one, looking like a lily bud,
is the Heart at two digits' distance to the right of the centre."

"Its mouth is closed. Within the cavity is seated a heavy darkness,
filled with all desires, all the great nerves are centred there; the
home it is of breath, mind and light of knowledge."

Verse 20, is a translation of two verses,  from Prabhulinga Leela, a Kannada work, by Allamma Prabhu.  Allamma Prabhu is one of four saints of Veera Saiva movement, about whom I have written in Speaking of Siva.
The verses begin, 'Guhe yelle kelatmananda....'   and  'adhu nimitatala
akila jeevare hrudaya vallabhane.....'  It appears under Goraknatha
Samavadha, chapter 19, verses 45 & 46).  One Thuraimangalam
Sivaprakasa Swamigal, has translated Prabhulinga Leela in Tamil

Arunachala Siva.

Dear non duel,  Very interesting observation.  Bhagavan is always
but very subtle.  This subtlety gives rise to many many interpretations.
Similarly, He has also told different things to suit the differing viewpoints
of the questioner/devotee.  This again causes many many interpretations.

David Godman has written many things that would dislodge the
conventional views on Bhagavan.  For example, David has said
that 'I-I' is a state just before merging in the Self.  But Who am I?
clearly says, 'I-I' is the Self.  The first thought that rises in the
morning, as you wake up from sleep, which lasts for an infinitesimal
time of less than one second, is again "I" which is just arising from
the Self.  Then only the "I" our first personal pronoun arises.  I am
for one, who believes that what  Bhagavan has said in Who am I?
is correct.  Again, it is left to the individual view point / experience.

David, has given rise to many such controversies!  He has said that
the Heart-Centre that is said by Bhagavan to be on the right side
of the chest, is not correct and that the Self is there everywhere
inside the body.  People have to take it or leave it, as their own
view point/experience demands.         

Bhagavan has said to mentally repeat, either Siva-Siva or Rama-Rama
or I am Brahman or simply 'I-I' or simply tell one's own name like
Subramanian - Subramanian or non-duel - non duel.  Each one is
correct, according to the questioner's viewpoint, and every one
of these will lead to Self-realization.

Arunachala Siva. 

Dear Sankar, Practise surrender and that will do.  I am repeating,
surrender is not easy as we think.  Regarding books, do not worry
about any book.  If you could get hold of English version of Who am
I?, read it everyday, till you understand every word of it.  This is
a small book, running to 8 pages and it will take half an hour.  If
you practise every word of it, that is more than adquate.

Arunachala Siva.

Sivananda Lahari of Sankara is a composition of 100 verses on Siva.
This poem is full of bhakti-bhava.  While Soundaya Lahari abounds
in mantra-sastra, and explains the purport of Sri Vidya through
Pancha-dasakshari - 15 letters - of Sri Lalita Tripura Sundari, and
Viveka Choodamani, explains the Jnana-marga. 

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi chose 10 slokas from Sivananda Lahari
and prescribed them for daily chanting for devotees.

The 10 slokas prescribed by Bhagavan are:-

1. Angolam ... 2. Bhaktir Mahesapada....   3. Jananamrudhi Udanam...
4. Katova.... 5. Vakshasthatana sangaya....   6.  Naradhvam Devdhvam....  7. Guhaayaam Keheva... 8. Kabire kasrare..... 9. Vatuturvaa kehee vaa...
10. Aadhya avidya.....

1. Angolam... Sloka 61.  Bhakti is thoughtless devotion and merger
into Siva, as the Azhingil tree attracts its seeds, magnet, the needle,
wife, her husband and tree, the creeper.

2. Bhaktir Mahesapada... Sloka 76. Bhakti which goes towards  Siva's holy feet, will confer a full and wholesome life to the devotee, as clouds give
rains aplenty to the river and makes it swell with water.

3.  Jananamrudhi udanam... Sloka 83.  Lesser who themselves take
birth and die confer little or no bliss.  One who prays to Siva, the
concorporate of Amba, becomes the receipient of limitless bliss.
4. Katova.... Sloka 6  Endeless disputes and arguments over religion
will not remove the great danger of death.  Leave them, avoid throat
sore, pray to Sambhu with a clear heart and get the limitless bliss.

5.  Vakshasthatana sangaya... Sloka 65.  Yama, the God of Death will
not come near the devotee,  as he is afraid of a kick on his chest*
and devas also prostrate him.  The Goddess of Liberation is always
with him.  To one who contemplates on your holy feet, what is
beyond reach?

* Yama got a kick from Siva, when he tried to catch Markandeya,
when the latter was worshiping Siva, holding Sivalinga with his hands.

6.  Naradhvam devadhvam.... Sloka 10.  Whether one is born as
man or as an angel or as a creeper in the hill or as a tree in the
forest or as a ferocious animal, or as a mosquito, or as a cow or as
a worm or as a bird, what does it matter to him?  If his heart could
dwell on your lotus feet and enjoy the limitless bliss, how he is born
does not matter at all.

7. Guhaayaam Keheva..... Sloka 12.  It does not matter when
one lives in a cave or in a home or in open space, or in forest, or in
a jungle or on a hilltop or in water or in fire, it makes no difference
or does it give any better benefit.  If one could constantly contemplate on your Holy Feet, he is the Greatest Yogi and he will get the eternal bliss.

8. Kabire kasare.... Sloka 9.  Inside the deep river or whirlpool or
in uninhabited dangerous jungle, or in broad valleys of a mountain,
a man searches for a flower to adorn you.  What is the use?  If one
could submit his lotus heart to your lotus feet, O Umakantha! that is
the best happiness, these people do not know, what a pity!

9. Vaturva kehivaa....  Sloka 11.   Let one be a celibate, or a householder, or a tapasvi or a muni or a simple man, it does not matter. One can
own you only if one could submit his lotus heart to you and you manage his entire burden in his life.

10. Adhya avidhya..... Sloka 91.  Chandrasekhara ! The ignorance
which filled my heart has totally been destroyed.  The Knowledge of
the Heart filled me.   I ever pray to your most beneficial lotus feet which
is the seat of liberation, ever and for ever.

Arunachala Siva.               

General topics / Uddava Gita
« on: July 27, 2008, 02:25:03 PM »
Uddava Gita is the parting instructions of Sri Krishna, to Uddava,
before he left the earth.  It appears as Chapters 6 to 29 of XI
Skanda of Srimad Bhagavatam.  It is here the famous Avadhuta's
story comes.  The twenty four chapters sums up the essence of
various paths like Karma, Bhakti, Yoga and Jnana.  A sample,

" He the Supreme Lord of the high and low, remains as a mass
of transcendent Knowledge and Bliss, known as the Absolute,
and without attributes."  (Sloka 18 of Chapter IV)

"  There, O Uddava! dwelling on your own Self,  till the attainment
of realization, be endowed with knowledge and bliss and worship
Me with devotion." (Sloka 17 of Chapter IX)

" That which, when one object is transformed into another, abides
at its beginning, middle and end, and remains when those objects
return to their cause, is verily the Real." (Sloka 17 of Chapter XIX)

" It is the body which, directed by something, works and is
modified till death, but the man of realization, with his desire
quenched by experiencing the bliss of the Atman, even though
he is in the body, is not affected by work." (Sloka 30 of Chapter XXIII)

" Ideas of rivalry, jealousy, pity and egoism quickly depart from a
man who thinks of Me abiding in all men." (Sloka 15 of Chapter XXIV)

Arunachala Siva.


The last portion of Ramana Anubhuti, Guru Anugraha Ezhupadu,
70 verses on Guru's Grace, sums up the incomparable benefits
of Guru's Grace in 70 verses.  A sample,

" The Grace of the Lord sustains within itself those worthy
ones who seek salvation through it, their understanding made
stronger by true devotion.  And it was through that Grace that
He angrily destroyed the insidious effect of my actions and
became my true Master."

" It is the glorious inner light which illumines those who
are adept in the excellent practice of meditating daily upon the holy
syllables of "Sivaya Namaha".  It is the Heart of this poor devotee's
heart, the secret truth, a vastness without end and revealed throgh
holy silence.  It is the Grace of our Lord."

" Although it cannot be described even by the Vedas themselves,
it unites the hearts of devotees with the never failing source of
Sivahood.  It is the grace of our Lord who granted me the bliss
of pure peace in the inner sanctum of a heart freed from the
desire and aversion."

" It brings a final end that unsure ego self which belongs to a
false state of consciousness, full of anger and confusion.
Possessing my very soul illuminating it with the inward realization
of my true nature as "I-I", so that the pain of desire is no more,
it is the Grace of our Lord."

Arunachala Siva.

The next portion of Ramana Anubhuti, is Guru Pada Pugzhchi
Ezhupadu - Seventy verses in praise of Guru's Holy Feet.
A sample,

" Extinguishing the anger inherited from previous births,
which flares up like a portent of evil, they unite us with
the bliss of their pure and noble essence.  United with
me through the grace of his deep and abiding love, the
one refuge of this horrible devotee's life and soul, they
are the Holy Feet of our Lord."

" Like the silvery moon, infusing their minds with the
cool light of discrimination, they end the suffering of
true devotees even as they approach."

" Calming the fears if true devotees who flock to
them, clarifying their understanding, annulling the
bitter effects of their sinful deeds and purifying them
through the true realization which by their grace
they unfailingly bestow, they are the Holy feet of our

"  They pardon all the misdeeds of his true devotees,
conferring upon them all the blessings of his compassionate
nature.  Never branding them as evil  driving them away but
taking pity on them and infusing their inner being, they are
the Holy feet of our Lord."

Arunachala Siva.

The next portion of Ramana Anubhuti speaks about the
Guru Pada Ninaivu or Guru Pada Smaranam, the Remembrance
of the Holy Feet.  A sample,

" To the feet of my Guru, who banished my fear, uniting
me to Himself in that victorious state, which is illuminated
by Selfhood's Light."

" To those glorious feet of my Guru, thorugh which He
destroyed my false indentification with a personal "I"
and merging the three persons* into one, made me
know my true identity in Him." 

* means arrogance, karma and maya (delusion).

" "To His Holy feet, where divine silence arose like
the moon, spreading its cool radiance within my Heart,
so that I was no longer tormented by the burning heat
of my mind's confusion."

"To those Holy feet where the clear light of the Self
shines out as "I-I",  incomparably vaster and brighter
than any other light."

Arunachala Siva.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Ramana Anubhuti - (3)
« on: July 27, 2008, 12:38:05 PM »
The second portion of Ramana Anubhuti, speaks about Guru
Anugraha Anandam, the inexpressible joy of Guru's Grace.
A sample,

"Could it be a simple matter for a pauper such as I to describe
the vast splendour of the glorious experience of Lord Siva, when
in the presence of the Lord, the mind is abolished in the state
of total surrender?  Can the words even of a poet give expression
to it?"

"He is the wisest of the sages.  He is the Primal Being who
imparts clear understanding so that the sense of doership is
removed from our actins.  He is the unique Master, who through
His gracious bearing foorded me his blissful compassion so that
I suffered no more."

" Final liberation in Lord Siva is gained through the
perfection of knowledge, when it is suffused by the light
of His hold, did the Lord speak as He brought my own consciousness
to that same state of perfection at the feet of Brahman."

" As soon as I sought asylum in the protecting embrace of the
Self, whose glorious form shines with the noble radiance of the
Supreme, the sorrowful delusion of birth and death receded from
me, and I tasted the intoxicating liquor of the experience of Sivahood."

Arunachala Siva.