Author Topic: Legend Behind Bhagavan Ramana's Upadesa Saram  (Read 1909 times)


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Legend Behind Bhagavan Ramana's Upadesa Saram
« on: June 22, 2010, 10:00:24 AM »
There is a legend that a group of rishis once lived in the Daruka forest together, practising rites by which they acquired supernatural powers. By the same means they hoped to attain final liberation. In this, however, they were mistaken, for action can only result in action, not in the cessation of action; rites can produce powers but not the peace of liberation which is beyond rites and powers and all forms of action. Siva determined to convince them of their error and therefore appeared before them as a wandering sadhu.

Together with him came Vishnu in the form of a beautiful lady. All the rishis were smitten with love for this lady and thereby their equilibrium was disturbed and their rites and powers were adversely affected. Moreover their wives, who were also living with them in the forest, all fell in love with the strange sadhu.

Incensed at this, they conjured up an elephant and a tiger by magic rites and sent them against him. Siva, however,slew them easily and took the elephant’s skin for a robe and the tiger’s for a wrap. The rishis then realized that they were up against one more powerful than themselves and they bowed down to him and asked him for instruction.

He then explained to them that it is not by action but by renunciation of action that one attains liberation.

The poet Muruganar wanted to write a hundred verses on this theme but he could not readily proceed beyond seventy verses. It then occurred to him that Bhagavan was the proper person to write the verses relating to Siva’s instructions. He therefore begged Bhagavan to compose them and Bhagavan accordingly composed thirty Tamil verses.

He himself later rendered them into Sanskrit. These thirty verses were subsequently translated by Bhagavan into Telugu under the name of Anubhuti Saram first, and Upadesa Saram afterwards.Bhagavan likewise rendered them into Malayalam. The Sanskrit version, Upadesa Saram, was chanted before him daily together with the Vedas and continues to be chanted before his shrine; that is to say, it is treated as a scripture. He refers to the various paths to liberation, grading them in order of efficiency and excellence, and showing that the best is Self-enquiry.

Source : Collected Works Of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi


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Re: Legend Behind Bhagavan Ramana's Upadesa Saram
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 10:15:52 AM »

dear prasanth,

Yes, the anecdote is correct.  The back ground story of Daruka forest
rishis appear in Chidambara Mahatmayam of Umapati Sivam.  But the original source is Skandam.  When some rishis came and asked another great rishi Dadichi, the latter said about this story.

Once David Godman asked me to find out this original source.
I searched for a couple of days in Siva Puranam and Skandam.
It so happened that the particular volume of Skandam in which
the said story appears was missing.  Then I went into the Tamil
Kandha Puranam of Sri Kripananda Variar and found it out.  I then
e mailed it to David Godman.  He was very happy.  He gave me
later two other works.  But I could not succeed.  One is about
Guhai Namasivaya's poems.  Apart from the available poems of
Guhai Namasivaya, there is one by name Sonagiri Malai Venba of
100 verses.  There are totally 36000+ verses of Guhai Namasivaya.
But only 642 are mentioned by a verse. This verse,  has been mentioned by Bhagavan Ramana.  But only 542 are now available and these have been mentioned by Sri Ramanasramam in their publication Guhai Namasivaya Venba Tirattu.  The Sonagiri Maalai
is not traceable.  I am still not able to succeed in this attempt though I had checked up with some friends.  If any Tamil friend in the Forum could help me/David, it shall be wonderful.  The Thanjavur Sarasvati Mahal, a huge repository of ancient books and palmyra leaves may contain these, but I am not sure.

The another work is again an ancient one of Umapati Sivam.

Arunachala Siva.