Author Topic: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma  (Read 3719 times)


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Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:18:29 PM »
The Supreme Science as of the Self as Taught by Sri Ramana

In the late 1920s Lakshman Sarma had the rare privilege of having private lessons from Bhagavan. Their subject was the philosophy and practical teachings expounded by Bhagavan in Ulladu Narpadu. Lakshman Sarma subsequently summarised the essence of these lessons in two works: his Tamil commentary on Ulladu Narpadu and Revelation, his expanded Sanskrit rendering of the original Ulladu Narpadu verses. In the 1930s Bhagavan remarked that Lakshman Sarma's commentary on Ulladu Narpadu was the best available on that work. In the late 1930s Lakshman Sarma put many of these ideas and explanations into Maha Yoga, his English presentation of Bhagavan's teachings.

In the 1950s Lakshman Sarma made a further attempt to explain and summarise Bhagavan's teachings. He composed a Sanskrit work of over 700 verses, entitling it Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad.

Benedictory Verse

We bow our heads to holy Ramana, the ocean of grace, the infinite, incommensurable, unborn primal divinity, Guru of all Gurus, shining in the Hearts of all creatures as ‘I’.

In this verse the essence of the teaching is indicated. Devotion and self-surrender to the one real being, the real Self of all creatures, is shown to be the means of attaining the goal of life, which may be here stated as re-integration with that Being, separateness from it being the original sin and the cause of all evil.

Herein is also expressed the saving truth, the unity of the three apparently distinct entities, God, the Guru and the real Self, which was neatly expressed in an ancient work, the Manasollasa, a commentary by Sri Sureshwaracharya on the Sri Dakshinamurti Stotra by Bhagavan Sri Sankaracharya:

1 Homage to Sri Dakshinamurti, manifest in three forms as God, the Guru and the real Self, whose form is infinite as the sky.

Dakshinamurti was the name of God when He appeared as the primal Guru and taught the sacred mystery of the supreme state by silence to the four sages, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara. Bhagavan our Master has said that these three are the three stages of divine grace: first God, then the Guru, and last the real Self. This will be explained later.

The subject of this revelation is next stated.

2 In this work is expounded the teaching about the natural state of the real Self, known as right awareness, which was taught in the Mandukya and other Upanishads, and which has [now] been taught by that same [divine Guru], along with the means thereto, as experienced by himself.

Both the ancient Upanishads and these new Upanishads have been given out by the same teacher. For all sages and Gurus are one, being identical with the Supreme Being, the Self of all.

It is to be noted that the state of deliverance, the goal of all aspirants, is styled the ‘natural state’, because even now we are all in that state, our sense of being in other states being an illusion.

Bhagavan, our Master, took on a human form and even went through sadhana [means of reaching the goal] so that he could teach us by his own experience.

How one becomes a disciple is next briefly described.

3 Becoming keenly aware that worldly life is full of misery, because it is infested with desire and fear, one should approach a Guru, a sage who is free from those bad forces, and after doing reverence to his holy feet should question him about how to become free.

Worldly life is full of misery because of one’s subjection to desires and fears that never cease but only change their forms. Only one whose attachments have been weakened by the realisation that true and lasting happiness is not to be had in this worldly life is ripe for discipleship. Such a one should seek out a competent Guru, who is free from the bondage he wants to escape from, and who is a sage who always abides in the aforesaid natural state. Reverence to the Guru is imperative, because the ego, which is the seed of all evil, has to be eliminated in due course, not pampered.

4 The sage will give out in reply the supreme secret, confirmed by the [uniform] experience of all sages: ‘If you know yourself, there is no suffering for you. If you suffer [it only means that] you do not know yourself.’

5 ‘Since you have no suffering in deep sleep, this suffering is only falsely ascribed to your Self. Realise the truth of yourself by the resolve to know it, and thereafter remain in your own true nature, which is bliss.’

The real Self transcends the mind and is therefore unaffected by pleasure and pain. These are in and of the mind alone. The proof of this is that these are experienced only when the mind is functioning – as in waking and dream – and not when the mind is still, as in deep sleep. To be free from suffering the only means, therefore, is to become aware of one’s real Self by the quest taught by Bhagavan, our Guru. The Self does not need to be made happy. It is itself happiness. This very teaching appears in brief in the Tamil Book, Kaivalya Navaneetam, and Bhagavan gave it out as the essence of his own teaching.

Is that all? What about the contents of the Upanishads and the rest of the sacred lore?

6 This teaching of the Guru is the very essence of all the Upanishads. All the texts of the latter are just commentaries on this teaching.

The teaching is given in a slightly more detailed form in the verses that follow.

7 In the Heart there dwells the reality that is pure consciousness, the real Self. To be in the Heart, with the mind quiescent, is knowledge [awareness] of it, and also the state of deliverance.

The state of deliverance is just the mind-free state in which the real Self, the dweller in the Heart, is realised as such.

The real Self is not the dutiful little apparent self, called the ‘soul’. What then is it? The answer follows.

8 That pure consciousness, which is the real Self shining in the Heart, ever the same [without change], and the basic substratum – named Brahman – of the whole universe, are both one and the same.

That is the meaning intended to be conveyed by the sacred texts of the Upanishads, which say that the Supreme Being itself entered the body as the soul, while also giving a popular account of what is known as ‘creation’. Really there was no creation, except that which will be presently explained.

9 The world appearance is ignorantly superimposed by the mind upon that substratum, which is the truth of the Self. It [the world appearance] conceals that reality and shines [as if it is] real so long as the ignorance persists.

Ignorance and mind are inseparable; where there is mind, there alone is ignorance; where there is no mind, there is no ignorance, since in the mind-free state the real Self is not concealed. This explains why the real Self is not known to men in general.

An analogy is next given to help to understand the above statement.

10 Just as, in a dim light, the snake concealing the real rope is taken as real in its own sight, so the world, concealing the Self, appears as real in its own sight. This is the state of ignorance.

The notion of the Self that develops because of this basic ignorance is described next.

11 Because of ignorance, the Self is believed to be limited to the body. [In that state] it enjoys and suffers, is bound by bonds of desire to the world, [and appears to be] ignorant and distinct from the Supreme Being. Really the Self is identical with it, not other.

This mistaken view of one’s own Self is the starting point of all the evil, known as samsara, which means the necessity of being born and dying in an endless cycle. But all this is unreal, as explained in the very first verse of Ekatma Panchakam (The Five Verses on the One Self), where it is said that mistaking the body for the Self, the cycle of births and deaths, Self-realisation and becoming the Self, are all a dream, like a world tour in a dream.

12 Hence this world-wandering of the Self is just a myth. But this can be verified only in the mind-free state. ‘Apart from the mind there is no ignorance; the mind itself is ignorance, which is bondage to life in the world.’

The latter half of the verse is a quotation from Viveka Chudamani of Sri Sankaracharya.

The analogy of the rope-snake is here repeated, to explain this wrong notion of the Self.

13 As one seeing the false snake fails to see the real rope, so, seeing the world – in which are included the personal God and the individual soul – he does not see the real Self as it really is, that is, as the supreme reality [Brahman].

How long will this effect of ignorance continue?

14 The Self will remain concealed [in this way] as long as the world is taken to be real. It will cease to be so taken when the mind is once and for all extinguished; hence one must strive towards extinguishing the mind.

The world-appearance being the obstacle to right awareness of the Self, and the mind being the cause of the world-appearance, the cure of this evil is the attainment of the mind-free state, which is done by the quest, which will now be briefly described.

15-16 The mind projects on the Self the illusory world appearance. He who, seeing the Self, becomes firmly established in the true state as that Self, thus uncovering that Self and dissolving the mind, which comprises ignorance and the whole world, will enjoy his own true state, which is without samsara, which is not covered by the vehicles, which is identical with Brahman, and which exists alone, without a second.

The full significance of these revelations will be understood in due course, in the course of this book.

An alternative to the quest is the path of devotion to God, culminating in self-surrender, which also leads ultimately to the same goal. This is indicated in the next two verses.

17 Or if, from fear of the flood of births and deaths, one takes refuge in God, then ignorance will cease by His grace alone, and then one will become established in the true state of the Self.

This self-surrender is the final stage of the practice of devotion, which is dealt with in the next verse.

18 The wise call by the name ‘self-surrender’ the offering of oneself to God through devotion. Hence, the seeker of deliverance must practise devotion to God, which is described as ninefold, consisting of listening and the rest.

The ninefold list comes from a list in the Bhagavatam: ‘Listening to tales of God’s glory, telling and remembering them, cleaving to His feet, worship, obeisance, acts of service, cherishing Him as a friend, and offering oneself to Him.

A few of the different names of the supreme state are given next:



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Re: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 02:25:49 PM »

Among the first 11 verses, I consider the Verses 5 and 7 as the
most important ones.  The Real Self transcends the mind and is therefore unaffected by pleasure and pain.  This proves that only
when the mind which is functioning - as in waking and dream -
and not when the mind is still, as in deep sleep.  To be free from
suffering, the only means, therefore, is to become aware of one's
Real Self by the quest taught by Bhagaan Ramana.  This idea is
also appearing in Kaivalya Navaneetham.  The states of waking, dream and deep sleep are discussed by Gaudapada in his Karika.
There also, he says that in deep sleep where the mind is dysfunctional, there is no pain or pleasure.  Even a very sick person, when he gets sleep, he forgets about his sickness and
pain.  This is the essence of Verse 5.

Verse 7 speaks about the hrudaya vidya.  In the state, which  is just the mind free, where in the Real Self, the dweller in the Heat, is realized as such.  To be in the Heart, with the mind quiscent, is the Awareness and also the state of deliverance.

Ignorance and the mind are inseparable.  Where there is mind, there alone is ignorance.  Because of its ignorance, upon that
Substratum - which is the Truth of the Self, - conceals the Reality and shines on the borrowed light of Reality.

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 02:33:48 PM »
Dear Mr.Prasanth,
                       I am extremely thankful to you for presenting Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad by Sri.lakshmana sarma.So far I knew  only two books by Sri lakshmana sarma, ie tamil commentary on Ulladhu Narpadhu and Mahayoga and out of the two,the  tamil commentry on Ulladhu narpadhu is the best commentary  I have ever come across and I go through it very often.. Now ,after going through Sri Ramana paravidyopanishad  from your post, i  was tempted to  go through immediately,the full text from Mr.David Godman's blog.i once again thank u very much for downloading the above.


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Re: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 05:11:07 PM »
i have always felt very comfortable reading the works of Sri Lakshmana Sharma as they gave me immense clarity. They are 'thorough'
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta


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Re: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 12:33:38 PM »

Muruganar says this in Padamalai Verses:

Verse 1389:  The Siva bhakti that accumulates in the Heart, through observances of Siva dharma will protect the soul like armour.

Verse 2176:  The one-short-of-ten types of devotion are graduated
steps for the experience of non dual reality. 

The one-short-of-ten phrase used by Muruganar is to denote nava vida bhakti mentioned by Sarma, in Verse 18 of his work.

Srimad Narayaneeyam says:  Sravanam, mananam, pada sevanam, puja, namaskaram/vandhanam, srama dhanam, and atma nivedanam.

Verse 1614:  If the obstacle of dehatma buddhi, ceases completely eka-bhakti will come into existence in your Heart as your own nature.

Verse 1516:  Only the experience of the Self, uninturrupted by any forgetfulness, is true devotion.  This, indeed, is behaving in a chaste way in one's relationship with the Lord of the Jiva, the Self.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Part1 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 10:51:18 AM »

Dear prasanth,

Regarding the Nava-vida bhakti on nine fold paths to God,  the list
was not properly given by me in my previous post. Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23 says the list:

Sravanam, keerthanam, vishno smaranam, pada sevanam, archanam, vandhanam, dhasyam, sakyam atma nivdenam.

Srimad Narayaneeyam 15.5. also says the same.  It was, here,
the advice of Kapila to his wife Devahuti.

Bhagavan Ramana also says in Who am I?., for a question by
Mr. M.S. Pillai:  'Who is the most sublime bhakta?"

One who surrenders his own self to God and remains as Atma-nishtaparana, is the highest bhakta.

Arunachala Siva.