Author Topic: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi  (Read 2395 times)


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Re: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 04:33:53 PM »
Prelude To Verse 3:

Lets summarize the essence of first two verses of upadesha saram. These verses talk about "karma" and how "karma and the results that accrue because of them" cannot lead us to fulfillment. not only do these not lead us to fulfillment, they also leave us more wanting and empty within. This is the main point. We would waste away our whole life in seeking fulfillment through the world outside. The outside world is like a mirage that cannot lead us to satisfaction. Even as a glass of water in a mirror cannot fulfill our thirst, the world outside cannot lead us to happiness. This is the main point of the first two verses.

In Tripura Rahasya, we have a very nice discussion where the student asks "the water in the mirror cannot satisfy our thirst while a glass of water in this world can satisfy our thirst, so this world is real isnt it ?" and this is a very interesting question because many people try to say that the world is real because it has utility value. this is the idea. The teacher's answer for this question is a real master stroke :
"if  the thirst was quenched , why does it come back again"
please see. its only a matter of time here. when i drink the water, the thirst is not really extinguished, it is only suspended for a brief moment of time. Even when i see a mirage water, a temporary sense of relief is seen , but that vanishes too soon, while the "so called real water" would apparently quench thirst for a little longer. the difference in time is the only difference here. the thirst returns, it is not "really" quenched. Even  the length of time difference we experience is only because we give it a sense of reality, because we believe this is real. As long as i believed that the mirage water was real, i was satisfied. when i go there to take a dip in it or to drink it, this belief in reality is destroyed and so my dissatisfaction returns to me. This length of time is also only because of my belief in its reality and nothing more.

Yoga Vasishta says :


Yoga Vasishta:
jaagratsvapnadashaabhedo na sthiraasthirate vinaa|
samaH sadaiva sarvatra samasto.anubhavo.anayoH || (303)
जाग्रत्स्वप्नदशाभेदो न स्थिरास्थिरते विना।
समः सदैव सर्वत्र समस्तोऽनुभवोऽनयोः॥
There is no difference between waking and dreaming states except for stability and instability. The combined (whole) experience of these two is the same always and everywhere.

svapne nimagnadhiirjantuH pashyati sthirataa.N yathaa |
sargasvapne magnabuddhiH pashyati sthirataa.N tathaa|| (285)
स्वप्ने निमग्नधीर्जन्तुः पश्यति स्थिरताँ यथा।
सर्गस्वप्ने मग्नबुद्धिः पश्यति स्थिरताँ तथा॥
As a person whose mind is merged in the dream sees the stability of the dream, so also the one whose mind is merged in the dream like universes sees it to be stable.

The stability we see of this world is only because of our mind constantly mediating and believing in it. This being so, what is the point in setting right this world and trying to arrive at some kind of supreme state through it ? [this is not to say that one should not correct a situation in life -- one just should not hope to discover fulfillment through it. the mirage is fine as long as we just enjoy the scenery but when we think we can quench thirst with it thats when problems start ].  Please see this. We need this wisdom. And for this, we have to work with our own minds. Renunciation does not take place by saying "we should leave everything". That remains information, without getting transformed into wisdom. We will shortly try to see how we can transform this information into wisdom but before that lets take a look at some beautiful verses of Yoga Vasishta:

किमुपादेयमस्तीह यत्नात् सँसाधयामि किम्।
किँ मे क्रियापरतया किँ मे निष्क्रिययापि वा॥

---> Yoga Vasishta , Janaka's Reflection

What is there fit to be acquired here ? What shall I accomplish through efforts ?Of what use to me is devotion to [or occupation with] efforts ? Or else of what avail to me is withdrawal from action ?

This is the understanding we should come to. And how do we do this ? we delve deep within and ask ourselves. do we want certain objects, certain situations ? Do we try to avoid some other situations ? In our seat of mediation, we need to simply trigger a thought and see how the mind is behaving ... suppose we simply imagine "what if i get a lot of success" and see what all things the mind is saying. We need to make it a practice to recognize our vasanas and then trigger a thought so that the dormant vasanas pop up and when they pop up, we need to re-educate the mind to see things in the right perspective. witness those thoughts and use this wisdom to see how the mind is functioning in incorrect patterns. Note that the mind functions as it does because we have been all these years telling it wrong things... we have been telling it money gives happiness, relationships give happiness etc ... now mind being a simple instrument is simply repeating this. now this new knowledge or understanding we have gained is not strong enough as we have just said it and it is only at the peripheral level... so we need to use this understanding, and see the fallacy in the ways of our own mind and as we do this, the mind slowly reduces to a naught. This is meditation. This is renunciation, and this is sadhana...

In Buddhist meditation practices they intentionally meditate on this body as filthy or made of bones and other disagreeable material. Or perhaps as a skeleton. Even Shankara advices this in bhaja govindam. This is the way to practically take this knowledge and use it to eliminate the wrong ideas and notions we might have. simply changing train of thoughts will not help, it is too limited in its capacity. we need to sit down with our own mind and with this wisdom see things clearly as they are. 

In the next verse of upadesha saram Bhagavan brings in  God, but there is something interesting here ... if we see the above verse of janaka, he even says "what is the use of devotion for me"? the point is devotion has two types of meanings : para and apara, in apara or lower forms of devotion, people use devotion as a means to acquire some results or may be to concentrate mind. they are all good and have their place. we will see Bhagavan himself pointing us to it. but in para form of devotion, its only abidance. The above method of seeing the futility of this world is not different from clinging to Truth .. because giving that [what is unreal] up is really abiding as self. We cannot give up the unreal through great willpower. its given up through wisdom ... when we sit with our own minds and observe its functioning as fallacious from the perspective of this wisdom, the mind auto-corrects itself. if we do not apply this knowledge to remove ignorance ... wrong thinking in our own mind ... that wisdom remains information and does not really help us remain satisfied all the time.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 04:41:31 PM by srkudai »


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Re: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 05:05:56 PM »

iishvaraarpita.N necChayaa kR^itam |
cittashoodhaka.N muktisaadhakam||

ईश्वरार्पितँ नेच्छया कृतम्।
चित्तशोधकँ मुक्तिसाधकम्॥

(karma ) - actions
ishvara-arpitam : offered to the Lord.
na ichaya krtam : done without desires.
citta shodakam - purifies the mind
mukti sadhakam - aid in liberation.

"Actions done with the attitude that they are offerings to the Lord, without desires , purify the mind and are a means to liberation."

Having understood that the world is an ever changing, dream like entity, what should we work for ?
It is like a student preparing for an exam, and then he is told that he exam results do not really matter at all.
now what shall he write the exam for ?

To purify the mind.

What is this purifying the mind ? an impurity is what gives us the feeling of incompleteness. We feel incomplete, insufficient in various ways and whatever makes us feel insufficient or incomplete is an impurity. It is important to understand that the aim of spirituality [all these teachings sadhana etc] is not to invoke a sense of incompleteness or bound individual. If a particular encounter with a mahatma makes one feel incomplete and empty within, that is either not a proper encounter or that is not a mahatma at all. We should not be like those frogs that pull each other down. We need to tell ourselves and everyone else : We are of nature Pure Bliss, how can we be suffering / bound. and this is really the starting point of Spirituality, where we are not ready to accept bondage but are investigating into it to see that it is a myth !

True purification of mind is to recognize that the states of mind are not going to affect us ! And this has to take place at the level of the mind alone, because the Self does not need sadhana, neither does the body. so lets be clear that only mind needs this understanding and the understanding should lead us to be untouched by the states of mind.

This particular verse of Bhagavan brings in Ishvarah , And the two most significant words here are "non-desiring" and "ishvara-arpana or offering to ishvara".

Ishvara is another name for Being or Presence or Silence [they all mean the same]. If we observe mindfully, all this is Presence. The plants, the birds, stones, mountains, rivers ... they are all merely Presence. Being. And suppose we clap our hands. It arises from that "Being" and resolves in that "Being". A bird flying in the sky, it as if arises from that Being and resolves in that. It is like a prayer. A prayer arises from Being and leaves us with being. When we chant OM , at the end of it we are resolved in Self - Silence.  That is why its a prayer. it Leaves us in silence ... infact we are ever in that Presence alone , and yet , at times we might require the aid of a sound to resolve in Silence, because we are lost in the mental chatter. Thus, When Ribhu Gita says "Svayam eva Svayam Pashye", See yourself by yourself ... someone may say look within, someone else may say look outside ... but the point of the matter is ... its not where one looks , but what one looks that matters. As Presence its both inside and outside. infact there is no inside or outside if we speak from the standpoint of presence and so , its not where one looks that matters but whether we are one with the Presence or not that matters.

So when the verse says "let your actions be offerings to that Presence, without any desire", when its without desire, every action is an offering to the presence. there is no desires, then those actions are really not actions anymore ... every movement is an expression of inner fulfillment and hence pointer to the Self. This is simply just being.

But if we cannot do it, it would become a practice to again and again direct our attention away from the result to the Presence ... this is Karma yoga. We do this again and again until one resolves completely and it becomes natural. And we do this with wisdom or understanding that there is no point in trying to achieve a lot of success here , this is after all dream like. We cannot do this through will power. We need wisdom that the world is dream like and we use that to again and again knock off the result driven mindset and start reveling in the Presence through each action. This karma yoga with wisdom leads to just being eventually.

The actions are also aids this way to resolve in the presence. Because in and through all actions , we see action-less-ness. This is the beauty.
Please see how we have already touched upon Self Inquiry in this verse. Self and Ishvara are just two names for the same thing. When one says offer your actions to Self ... what does that mean ? One cannot do anything for God. One does something and via it if one were to recognize one's own Fulfilled Nature, that is an offering for God. When the limited "I" is resolved, what ever action aids one do it, that very action becomes an offering to God. And thus, through an action when one resolves the limited "I" that is discovery of God !

Why can one not simply sit ? Why should one perform an action at all ?
This can be an interesting question to ponder. the best answer is try not doing anything. If the mind settles down , naturally reveling in the Presence, then there is no need to perform an action. Then there is not even a need to do self inquiry.

But what if one simply falls asleep ? :) Please see. that means tamasic qualities are very strong. one is getting bound by them,
so one needs to do something. get up and act ... but as one acts , one acts in the Presence ... God ... Self ... use the action as an aid to get out of the tamasic tendency and then knocking off the desire through wisdom that this is all a dream, perform the work in the present moment ... reveling as the Presence/Being. Do we see the point ?

what if one gets agitated and cannot keep his or her feet from moving at all ? Move them ... move them leaving the idea that i am moving , and see through those very movements the motionless presence !

Do we see the advice ? Its such a strong and clear advice  - so direct and clear. And its very interesting that this very advice is already touching upon self inquiry.

Not only is Self Inquiry taught in various vedantic texts [Ribhu gita: svayam eva svayam pashyet. lot of other references, even vijnana bhairava tantra talks about it ...] and not an invention of Bhagavan Ramana ... Self Inquiry is the natural culmination of all sadhanas. We will see this more and more as we proceed with the text.



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Re: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 05:14:57 PM »
Here it is very important to understand that there is no other God than the Presence/Being or I AM.
There is a beautiful story I would like to share about the fulfillment experienced by a person who is constantly reveling in that Presence [in other words who does not separate himself from that presence and look at himself as a person].

This is a story I heard from swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji:

Once Siva and Parvati were on their world tour and they see Santakumara seated in a small hut. Parvati immediately notices the splendor and the grace with which he was conducting. She asks Siva and in reply Siva tells her that he is a Great Jnani. Mother immediately says that we will go and give him some boon.
Siva tells her "See, he is a Jnani. He does not care whether you go to him or not. He is totally unattached and treats everything as unreal. Its a waste of time".

Still she goes to him and says "My son! I am really impressed by your Jnana. Siva himself calls you a Jnani. Please seek some boon". Santakumara says "Mother, I have nothing to ask. Thank you for the offer".

But Parvati does not agree. In order to please her, he says "Mother, please grant that this needle , when I stich my shirt, should pass from one side to the other". She was a little perplexed and says "Thats not a wish. Ask something else".

He looks up and says "Mother please bless that the sun should set in another 6 hours". Mother gets angry "You seem to be really proud!"
Santakumara says "Mother, its not pride, its actually lack of ego. I am just not able to think of anything else. I need nothing".

She says "Ok, since you do not seek a boon, ill give you a curse... You seem very proud , may you become a camel"
And so he becomes a camel.

A couple of years later, Siva and Parvati were passing by the same route when she sees the camel roaming about in the same premises. She goes to Santakumara and says "Child, I think you have had enough of this camel life, I'll now convert you back to your human form"

Santa kumara says "Mother, Thank you for the offer, but this upadhi [form] seems to be very comfortable. Earlier, I had to cook food, now I can eat any leaves here and there. Earleir I had to wear some dress, now I am fine without it. This is very comfortable, please allow me to continue thus"

The lesson to take is that the fulfillment of a egoless person , a person who lives reveling in Being [another way of saying Just Be], is indescribable really. Its as if one is living in deep sleep and yet wide awake ! Actions take place through me, and there is no one here "doing it". And this is not a "State to be achieved" ... it is something to be lived. if one lives it continuously one is a Ramana. if one has to revert to it again and again reminding oneself of the wisdom , its karma yoga. Karma yoga purifies the mind and aids one live it continuously and when one lives it continuously what more is there to achieve ?



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Re: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2018, 03:16:31 AM »

Verse 4

kaya-van-manah karyam-uttamam
pujanam japa-scintanam kramat

This is certain:
Worship, praise and meditation,
Being work of body, speech and mind,
Are steps for orderly ascent.


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Re: Upadesha Saram of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2018, 05:58:53 PM »
Prelude to Verse 4:

The world is unreal and uncertain - its a dream. But what matters is not this logical conclusion but is it a dream for me or not. because the logical conclusion means nothing really. every drunkard is convinced that drinking is bad. he has all the logic and yet cannot stop drinking. so its not about a logical position one takes at all.

Traditionally Sruti-Yukti-Anubhava is said to be the means to liberation. Sruti constitutes hearing the scriptures from a guru. Yukti is often translated as reasoning... recently however i heard Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji explain it slightly differently ... he said Yukti derives from the same Yuj root from which Yoga derives. Meaning Yukti is really to be one with the vision of the scriptures. To start looking at the world through the vision provided by the scripture. Who does not know, logically, that everything is dying ?  and yet if we start looking at the world a continuously dying, we come to experience a totally new world. This is yukti. i start to look at my own mind through the vision provided by the scriptures and anubhava is to consequently remain. Anu: following. Bhav to be. Having looked at the world from this position, be the Truth. That is the way i tend to look at this.

verse1 and verse 2 are merely telling us that the world is only a myth. verse 3 has started to tell us how we can make this understanding real for ourselves. how we may live it in the day to day life so that we see the world as a myth. To see god is to look at the world as a dream. the two are the same. so the verse 3 says leave the world and start seeing God. The world is real is called materialism as long as i think that the world is real, i am not seeign god. the moment i see the world as unreal, that unreality of the world is the God , because the God is the presence which enables the unreality to be seen. when i see the snake as an imagination, there and then is the rope upon which the snake is seen. the very place where the snake is seen, there itself is the rope.

but we tend to reimagine the snake and fear again ... and so again and again one needs to correct the errors in perceptions until one is no more prone to that error. this is what is meant by the 3rd verse where Bhagvan says offer to god, meaning start seeing god through every action. offering to god means what? to dissolve it in god! so start seeing god.

now in the 4rth verse Bhagavan is going to tell the various means to include this into our day to day life. how do i start looking at the world as unreal and god alone as real in my day to day life ? This is what is being explained in the next verse...