Author Topic: Part 6 - Important Couplets From Vedanta Panchadasi By Sri Vidyaranya Swami  (Read 3071 times)


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Translated by Swami Swahananda Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

48. Or, if he has no worldly desires, he is born in a family of Yogis who have pure
intellect due to their practice of enquiry into the nature of Brahman, for such a birth is hard to obtain.

81. A student, diligent in reciting the Vedas, reads or recites them even in his dreams through the force of habit. Similarly, one who practises meditation, continues it even in his dreams.

84. A woman devoted to a paramour, though engaged in household duties, will all
the time be dwelling in mind on the pleasures with him.

85. While enjoying in mind the pleasure of the company of her lover, her household
duties though not much disturbed, are managed indifferently.

86. The woman with attachment to a paramour cannot fully do the work as a woman attached to her domestic duties does, with enthusiasm.

91. If he controls and concentrates his mind, he is a meditator and not a knower of
truth. To know a pot the mind need not be controlled.

95. Once the nature of the Self has been conclusively determined, the knower can
speak of it, think of it or meditate on it at will.

96. (Doubt): The knower too, like a meditator, forgets worldly affairs in his
contemplation. (Reply): Let him forget. This forgetfulness is due to his meditation
and not because of his knowledge of the Self.

97. Meditation is left to his will, for his release has been achieved through
knowledge. From knowledge alone comes release. This the scriptures announce with

98. (Doubt): If a knower does not meditate, he would be drawn to external affairs.
(Reply): Let him happily engage himself in them. What is the objection for a knower
to be so engaged ?

99. (Doubt): This sort of reasoning is wrong, for there the scriptures will be violated.

(Reply): If so, what is right reasoning please ? (Doubt): Right reasoning is to follow the injunctions and prohibitions of the scriptures. (Reply): But they do not apply to the enlightened.

100. All these injunctions and prohibitions are meant for those who believe
themselves to belong to a certain caste or station and stage of life.

102. The clear-sighted knower from whose heart all attachment has vanished is a
liberated soul whether he performs or not concentration or action.

103. He whose mind is free from all desires or former impressions has nothing to
gain from either action or inaction, meditation (Samadhi) or repetitions of holy

104. The Self is associationless and everything other than the Self is a display of the magic of Maya. When a mind has such a firm conviction, wherefrom will any desire
or impression come in it ?

130. Those who give up meditation on the attributeless Brahman and undertake
pilgrimages, recitations of the holy formulas and other methods, may be compared
to ‘those who drop the sweets and lick the hand’.


9. That consciousness which reveals at one and the same time the agent, the action
and the external objects is called ‘witness’ in the Vedanta.

10. The witness, like the lamp in a dancing hall, reveals all these as ‘I see’, ‘I hear’,‘I smell’, ‘I taste’, ‘I touch’ as pieces of knowledge.

11. The light in the dancing hall uniformly reveals the patron, the audience and the
dancer. Even when they are absent, the light continues to shine.

12. The witness-consciousness lights up the ego, the intellect and the sense-objects.
Even when ego etc., are absent, it remains self-luminous as ever.

13. The unchangeable witness is ever present as self-luminous consciousness; the intellect functions under its light and dances in a variety of ways.

14. In this illustration the patron(sponsrer) is the ego, the various sense-objects are the audience, the intellect is the dancer, the musicians playing on their instruments are the sense-organs and the light illumining them all is the witness-consciousness.

15. As the light reveals all the objects remaining in its own place, so the witnessconsciousness,itself ever motionless, illumines the objects within and without (including the operations of the mind).


21. As the happiness derived from sense-objects is covered by thousands of afflictions, it is misery only. There is therefore no happiness in the limited.

37. Our happiness and misery, however, are not to be known by inference; both
their presence and absence are directly experienced.

39. If sleep does not produce an experience of bliss why do people make so much efforts to procure soft beds etc., ?

42. But the happiness experienced in deep sleep is not obtained from any object. A man may go to sleep expecting to be happy, but before long he experiences a happiness of a higher order.

45. To remove that weariness the Jiva rushes towards his real Self and becoming
united with it experiences the bliss of Brahman in sleep.



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Verse 84 of Dhyana Deepam:

A woman devoted to a paramour, though engaged in household
duties, will all the time be revelling in mind on the pleasures with him.

Bhagavan Ramana has said that the practice of self inquiry can be
continued even while working in the office.  The work will be done
all the more efficiently while doing self inquiry and the latter is not an impediment to the work.  After some initial practice for specific hours, for the whole day and night, one can do self inquiry, whether working or eating or sleeping.  If intense feeling of one, would make the practiser forget the loads of work or even miseries. 

Bhagavan Ramana used to tell the story of Indra and Ahalya from
Yoga Vasishta.  Ahalya was the wife of Indradyumna and she fell
in love with one Indra.  During the concurrent punishments for both,
by the king, both Indra and Ahalya forgot their miseries by looking at each other, with ardent love.  Both remained unmindful of all the pains that their bodies had to undergo.

Arunachala Siva. 


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Verse 103 of Dhyana Deepam:

He whose mind is free from all desires or former impressions, has
nothing to gain from either action or inaction, meditation [Samadhi]
or repetition of holy formulas [mantras].

Bhagavan Ramana after embracing Arunachaleswara on the morning
of 1st Sept. 1896, came to the outer hall of temple and finally to the Hill and remained simply silent.  Excepting walking on the Hill and eating whatever attained from bhiksha or from Pazhaniswami, He
did nothing, no action, for several years.  People started coming only when He was in Virupaksha Cave.  In Gurumurtam and Mango Tree
Cave, He had practically no action of any kind.  The divine intervention so desired that He should start speaking to the devotees and true seekers.  Then only came Stuti Panchakam and a few conversations.  Then Muruganar requested Him to write some poems. From Skandasramam and the foot hill days [the present
Asramam], actions of all kinds started.  Cutting vegetables, cooking, assisting mother in daily chores, speaking more to devotees, reading stories from Periya Puranam - actions commenced in a big way.
In both the states, He was ever desireless and reveling in the Self.
In His 54 years, He visited Arunachaleswara Temple only 3 or 4 times.

Arunachala Siva. 


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Verse 130 - Dhyana Deepam -

Those who give up meditation on the attributeless Brahman and
undertakes pilgrimages, recitations of the holy formulas and other
methods, may be compared to those who drop the sweets and lick the

This is a powerful sloka with a powerful simile.  Nirguna Upasana
is not for all.  It is for chosen few.  Many devotees of Bhagavan
Ramana including us, cannot leave Saguna upasana and visits to
pilgrim centres.  Bhagavan Ramana realized Brahman without even
knowing the name Brahman and afterwards, He was ever in the
Self, nirguna brahman.  Even Arunachala, He called It as Atma.
But He never discouraged devotees in saguna upasana, though
He did not approve visiting so many temples and holy places.
A few foreign devotees, like Osborne wanted to visit places and He said yes because such people would like to see India's various
holy centres.  Devotees like Muruganar, Kunju Swami and others never visited other places.  Kunju Swami was sent on some work to Kerala and other Maths once or twice. When Kunju Swami wanted to go to Tirupati, He cleverly spoiled the trip by taking him to the Hill and delaying his departure till the train left the station.

Bhagavan Ramana was tasting the sweet of the Self and most of us are licking the fingers, since Nirguna Upasana is such a tough job.

Almost the entire Devi Kalottaram speaks only about this.  Verses
8 and 9 particularly describe the futility of pilgrimages and charities.

The means by which this mind, which is restless and moves about quicker than the wind, can be brought under control, is indeed the
means to attain liberation.  It indeed is what is good for those who seek the permanent Reality.  It Itself is Pure Consciousness and the state of firmness. Moreover, It alone is the righteous duty to be followed by the discerning aspirants.  It alone is the pilgrimage to holy waters; it alone is charity; it alone is austerities.  Know that there is no doubt about this.

[Tr. T.K. Jayaraman]

One Siddhar sang:  If dipping oneself in the holy waters, is the
way to liberation, then the kamandalu [water pot] carried by the sannyasi would attain liberation.       

Arunachala Siva.


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Chapter X - Nataka Deepam

Dear prasanth,

Here, the Verses 9, 10 and 11 form a group with a simile.  The
Consciousness is the Witness.  It is also an agent, in the sense,
it makes the jiva act through its help.  The Consciousness is like
a lamp in the dancing hall, which is ever burning, whether there
are dance, audience, patron or not.  Sri Sankara gives the example
of a mirror in Sri Dakshinamurty Stotram.  The Consciousness reflects
Itself as the world and beings, through Chidabhasa.  Bhagavan
Ramana has given the example of cinema screen.  The screen is
ever present, the audience and the film show may or may not
be there.  The projector's light through which the films are seen
is the chidabhasa.  But we think that the film is real and we forget
the screen which is the substratum. 

Bhagavan Ramana also says in Ekatma Panchakam, Verse 3:

The body is within the Self; and yet
One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes,
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.

[Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan]

The Witness-Consciousness lights up the ego, the intellect
and the sense objects.  Even when ego is absent, it remains
self luminous as ever.  This is experienced everyday in our
deep sleep, where the mind is in suspended animation and
vasanas are dormant.

Regarding the characteristics of Consciousness, Muruganar
says in Guru Vachaka Kovai, Verse 266:

Following the destruction of the "I am the body" idea, whatever
body it may be, the radiance of Pure Being exists for ever, free
from limitation, without any bondage, shining as Pure Expanse.
Dwelling in the hearts of all individuated jivas as attribute-free
consciousness, as wholly as the Self, and as non-distinct from
them, this radiance of Pure Being abides as the all encompassing
supreme power [akila para sakti].   [Tr.David Godman]   


Arunachala Siva.


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Verses 39, 42 and 45:

These verses speak about a trice of anandam, that is available
for everyone in deep sleep - sushupti.

Bhagavan Ramana used the example of sushupti in many places
in His conversations.  Talks contain more than 80 references to
sushupti by Bhagavan Ramana.

Sri Bhagavan says that though sushupti gives a trice of anandam,
with all mental modes totally at rest, it is not equivalent to
realization, in the sense, that there are still embedded vasanas
in the form of ignorance. Self realization comes about only in
vasana kshayam.

Talks No.286 is quite interesting.

Devotee:  Why can we not remain in sushupti as long as we like
and may also voluntarily in it just as we are in the waking state?

Bhagavan:  Sushupti continues in this state also.  We are ever
in sushupti.  That should be consciously gone into and realized in this very state.  There is no real going into or coming from it.
Becoming aware of that is Samadhi.  An ignorant man cannot remain long in sushupti because he is forced by nature to emerge from it.
His ego is not dead and it will rise up again.  But the wise man attempts to crush it in its source.  It rises up again and again for
him too impelled by nature, i.e. prarabdha.  That is, both in Jnani
and ajnani ego is sprouting forth, but with this difference, namely the ajnani's ego when it rises up is quite ignorant of its source,
or he is not aware of his sushupti in the dream and waking states.  Whereas a Jnani when his ego rises up enjoys transcendental experience with this ego keeping his lakshya [aim] always on its Source.  This ego is not dangerous.  It is like the skeleton of a burnt rope.  In this form, it is ineffective.  By constantly keeping our aim on our Source, our ego is dissolved in its source, like the doll of a salt in the ocean.

Arunachala Siva.