Author Topic: Part 1 - Updesa Saram Or (Upadesa Undiyar) Of Sri Ramana Maharshi  (Read 1785 times)


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I request my readers to listen to Sri Sundara Chaitanya Gari pravachanam in telugu.

There are totally 14 volumes and each volume contains 7 videos.

With English Translation and Notes BY  B. V. NARASIMHASWAMI (Author of “SELF REALISATION”)

Payiram – Prefatory Verse

Know that Upadesa Undiyar is a light of knowledge [jnana] which our Father Ramana composed and bestowed upon Muruganar, who entreated, ‘[Graciously] reveal the secret of spiritual practice [sadhana] so that [the people of] the world may attain liberation and be saved by giving up the delusion of action [karma]’.

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami garu says karma gives results but not absolute happiness.So we need to iradicate ignorance in us which is nothing but moksha/liberation.When we get jnana self-realisation then our so called ignorance will be lost.

He says for fulfilling karma it is called adesam and for jnana it is called upadesam.Here problem is we are in ignorance in not knowing that happiness is our nature only and we are unable to know it.He says man has no problems and man himself is only problem.

Raja yoga,Yoga,Pranayama are all related to karma only.Moksha is related to jnana only.

During Mahabharat war arjuna's and krishna's age was around 75 yrs.Sravanam is very much important as arjuna was also listening to lord krishna's bhagavad gita and asked any doubts if required.

Sundara Chaitanya Swami in Volume2 From Parts2 - Part6 beautifully describes the life history of Ramana Maharshi which brought almost tears in my eyes.

Upodghatam – Introductory Verses


Those who were performing austerities [tapas] in the Daruka Forest, were heading for their ruin by [following the path of ] Purva-karma.(‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.70)

Note: Purva-karma here means the path of kamya-karmas (actions performed for the fulfillment of temporal desires), which is the path prescribed by the Purva Mimamsa, a traditional school of thought which interprets the Vedas in its own way, emphasizing only the Karma Kanda (the portion of the Vedas which teaches the path of ritualistic action).

This school of thought elevates action or karma to a level of such paramount importance that, as expressed in the next verse, it even goes so far as to deny that there is any God except karma, that is, except the actions which are performed by an individual. This doctrine that there is no God except karma is emphatically refuted by Sri Bhagavan in the first verse of Upadesa Undiyar.


Because of their deceptive self conceit they became intoxicated with excessive pride, saying, ‘There is no God except karma. (‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.71)


They saw the fruit of actions done spurning God [the karta or Ordainer], who gives fruit of actions [karma-phala], and [hence] they lost their pride. (‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.99)

Note: As explained by Sri Bhagavan in the first verse of Upadesa Undiyar, an action cannot bear fruit (that is, it cannot give the desired result) unless and until that fruit is ordained by God.


When they wept [prayerfully], ‘Graciously save us,’ Siva bestowed the glance of His Grace [upon them] and graciously gave these instructions [upadesa]. (‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.100)


[By one’s] imbibing and following [this] Upadesa Saram [The Essence of Spiritual Instructions], bliss will rise from within and the miseries within will be destroyed. (‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.101)


May the import [saram] of Upadesa Saram enter our heart; may abundant joy be attained; may suffering cease, may it cease. (‘Tiruvundiyar’ 1.102)

Nul – Text


kartur ajnaya prapyate phalam
karma kim param karma taj-jadam 

Karma must ever yield its proper fruit,
For thus it is ordained by God, Himself,
Supreme Creator. Then is Karma God?
No, for it is itself insentient.

Micheal James Note: Karma giving fruit is by the ordainment of God [the karta or Ordainer]. Can karma be God, since karma is insentient [jada]?

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says There is an order in this world which we see in our daily activities like sun always raising in the east etc. So the karta of the world in god.

karma may get result but our desires will never get result as always our desires are not completed and we keep getting new desires.

He says god is there in dharma.Hence dharma is god.

Example: If we throw a ball in air then by rule of dharma ball has to return to the earth because earth has attraction force.if we want to grow a plant then we need to pour water but not kerosene.

Also karma is dependent on time.

Example: Only in rainy reason plans will grow healthly.

Result is not at all dependent on us and hence that is the reason why we pray to god for maybe male child and for many other desires.

So we cannot decide the results of our karmas.That is the reason why in bhagavad gita it is written that we should do our duty and we should not have any attachment with our results.

Success and failures are not dependent by us.

Incidently, In navagraha temples all grahas will not see each other.


krti-mahodadhau patana-karanam
phalam asasvatam gati-nirodhakam

Of Karma the results must pass away,
Yet it leaves seeds which in their turn will sprout
And throw the actor back into the flood
Of Karma’s ocean. Karma cannot save.

Micheal James Note: The fruit of action having perished [by being experienced in the form of pleasure or pain], will as seeds make one fall into the ocean of action and [hence] will not give liberation.

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says When karma is done result will automatically follow.For some karmas result will not come immediately and for few karmas result will come immediately.

Example: When somebody slaps us result will be immediate but when we plant a new plant seed result of getting fruits from the tree will be a prolonged operation and the karma results are not immediate.

He tells "Brahma Rata" means which we cannot understand.Just like Fruits are perishable so also karma phala(fruit) i.e result is also perishable.

When anyone says "i am not doing any work" he means he is not doing any good meaningful work only and it does not mean that he is not doing any work at all as talking these words to us itself means he is doing some work.

Also it is not possible for any one to be without karma as even breathing itself is also one act of karma.

But still we should karma like japa,mediation as they will help us to reach our goal and eradicate ignorance in us.

Cow does not get any punyam by giving us milk.because once karma is done by giving grass then karma phalam is given by god in the form of milk.

Suppose if cow beats hardly when someone going near her to get milk then does the cow really get papam?

People only advice us asking why did you go near the cow when she has not happy.

For stula(gross) karma we get stula(gross) palitam and for sukshma(subtle) karma we get sukshma(subtle) palitam.

As karma itself is insenient so karma fruits also are insenient which makes us to desire once again.


isvararpitam necchaya krtam
citta-sodhakam mukti-sadhakam 

But acts performed without attachment’s urge
And solely for the service of the Lord
Will cleanse the mind and indicate the way
Which leads at length unto the final goal.

Micheal James Note: Desireless action [nishkamya karma] dedicated to God will purify the mind and it will show the path to liberation.

If liberation is really gained by our karma result then it is only temporary.So mukti or liberation is our nature and there is nothing new to gain by us.

So only we need to eradicate ignorance in us.

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says there is nothing like desireless action at all.

Even ramana maharshi would not have written this "Updadesa Saram" without any desire.

Without desire we cannot do any karma.

Having desires is nothing wrong like it is not wrong for businessman to desire some profit.

But we should follow that happiness or distress are like summer and winter seasons.SO we should learn to tolerate it.

We are all suffering only because of our reaction based on our karma.

Suppose 2 students write exam and both fail exam. Seeing the result one student comitted suicide and 2nd person does not bother much and he thinks it is ok to write exam next time again.

So the way we reaction is very important and is the reason for all our miseres.

Another Example where 2 businessman started business and first businessman aims at 30% perfect and 2nd businessman does not have any target profit percentage.

After both get 25% profit first businessman cries that he is in loss because he expected 30% perfect while for the same profit 2nd businessman is very happy.

So we can undestand that expectations are the reason for misery.

When We take the result of the action as a prasadam of god then our karma themselves becomes naivedyam(prasadam) to god.

WE generally donot care of the taste when someone gives aivedyam(prasadam) of god because we feel sacred.

Taste of prasad can sometimes be good or bad which can be compared to the results of our karma.

Our results of our karma maybe sometimes as expected or sometimes as not expected but we should treat them equally.

We should welcome whatever comes to our life happily.


kaya-vah-manah karyam uttamam
pujanam japas cintanam kramat

Worship, reciting of God’s Holy Name,
And meditation, mainly are performed
By body, voice and mind, and they excel
Each other in the order here set down.

Micheal James Note: This is certain, puja, japa and dhyana are actions of the body, speech and mind [respectively]; rather than [each preceding] one, [the succeeding] one is superior.

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says Even though karma would have done long ago but its effect will be there in us for quite sometime.

When we do charity we get only punyam but not god's grace. We may go to svargam because of punyam gained and return again once the punyam is completed.

Only in dharma god recides.

He accepts ramana maharshi always give apt answers for questions given by devotees.

Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says as suggested by ramana maharshi we should do dhyanam until we remove the thought that "We are doing dhyanam".


jagata isadhi-yukta-sevanam

If we but recognise this Universe
Of eightfold form as form of God, Himself,
And serve in adoration all the world.
This is of God most excellent worship.

Micheal James Note: <span style="font-style:italic;">Worship [any of the eight forms] thinking that all the eight forms are forms of God, is good worship [puja] of God.[/b]

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says

<span style="font-style:italic;">First 5 forms are pancha butalu(fire,earth,air,water,ether).

6th form is swayam-prakasam sun because it shines by itself and not dependent on anyone.

7th forms are moon,stars which are dependent on sun for their light.

8th one is jiva because all the above are evident to us.Because only because of us we are able to know the above 7 forms.[/b]

So he says that worship of any of the 8 forms of god is good worship.


uttama-stavad ucca-mandatah
cittajam japa-dhyanam uttamam

Constant repeating of the Holy Name
Is more than praise, at length the voice will sink
To silent repetition in the Heart,
And in this way is meditation learnt.

Micheal James Note: Rather than praising [God], [japa is good]; [rather than japa done in] a loud voice, [japa faintly whispered within the mouth is good]; and rather than japa within the mouth, that which is done by mind is good; this [mental repetition or manasika japa]is what is called meditation [dhyana].

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says Atisayokti(praises) will be there normally in all hymns and all Strotrams in which we describe god.

Ideally purpose of all the Strotram and other hymns which praise god like Vishnu Sahasranamam,Lakshmi Strotram..etc is to understand his nature,abilities and his greatness and glories.


ajya-dharaya srotasa samam
sarala-cintanam viralatah param

Better than meditation that recurs
In broken fits and starts is that which is
A steady ceaseless flow, like to the course
Of falling oil or a perennial stream.

Micheal James Note: <span style="font-style:italic;">Rather than meditation interrupted [by other thoughts], uninterrupted meditation [upon God], like a river or the falling of ghee, is excellent to do.[/b]

Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami garu says that initially though he felt that our real nature is found between the gap of utterance between 2 mantras but finally we will come to know that our real nature is same even though mantras are recited or not.Let we receite mantra or not we should remain as ever consciousness.mantras are like waves in the ocean which are not different from the ocean.

Few examples in bhagavan's life

1) After Bhagavan's mother Mahanirvana that entire night passed in the singing of devotional songs.

2) "On the evening of 14 April 1950 At about 5 o'clock, Precisely at that moment devotees started chanting 'Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva'. When Sri Ramana heard this his face lit up with radiant joy.

3) Bhagavan as known himself wrote any devotional songs in praise of arunachala siva like Arunachala Aksharamana Malai, Appalam Song ...

4) The daily routine at Skandashram was subject to strict regulation.At four o’clock in the morning Alagammal would rise and sing devotional songs, while the other community members meditated.Then Akshara Mana Malai (The Marital Garland of Letters) was recited.

5) At five in the afternoon in ramana ashramam music begins from the radio in the hall. The songs of Tyagaraja, the poet, singer-bhakta, siddha, can be heard with enjoyment. The Sage is a lover of the fine arts. He is an aesthete who can appreciate the sweetness of music.

6) Devaraja Mudaliar says,When touching songs were recited or read out before him, or when he himself was reading out to us poems or passages from the lives or works of famous saints, he would be moved to tears and would find it impossible to restrain them.

7) Bhagavan's famous devotee murugunar wrote many songs in praise of bhagavan.

Moreover Adi sankara himself has wrote N number of stotras in praise of many gods.

Sri Sundara chaitanya swami says does not agree with mahatma gandhiji's book "My experiments With Truth" as truth should be experienced and there should be no experiments.

He does not agree with J.K as J.K says "There is no need of sastras etc and my experiences are sufficient."

He also criticised J.K as J.K seems to said that in his final life that "no body should eloborate or reconvey my teachings".

Sri Sundara chaitanya swami says he does not understand why he said like that maybe he himself did not understand his teachings.

He says it is nothing wrong to tell that to point and update people that there are some false theories/religions or else people may fall into trap.Hence that is the reason he has pointed out faults in Mahatma Gandhiji, J.K.


bheda-bhavanat so’ham ity asau
bhavana' bhida pavani mata

Worship of God as in no way distinct
From him who worships, or in other words
Thinking that “He is I”, is better far
Than any other kind of worshipping.

Micheal James Note: Rather than anya-bhava, ananya-bhava [done with the conviction] ‘He is I’ is indeed the best among all [the various kinds of meditation].

Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami garu says Jnana will not come even though a jnani like Adi sankara comes and teaches us unless we are a sincere sadhaka.

Example: Bhagavad gita was also told to Dhutarastra by Sanjaya but Dhutarastra failed to get the essence.


bhavana-balad bhaktir uttama 

To rest in the Real Being, that transcends
Our every thought, by reason of the strength
Of our devotion to some thing conceived;
This of supreme devotion is the truth.

Micheal James Note: By the strength of meditation [that is, by the strength of such ananya-bhava or Self-attention], abiding in the state of being, which transcends meditation, alone is the truth of supreme devotion [para-bhakti-tattva].

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami finds fault with Vishitadviata theory where they say we should like ant and eat sugar but not become sugar only.


hrt-sthale manah-svasthata kriya
bhakti-yoga-bodhasca niscitam 

To be absorbed again into one’s Source (Heart)
Is Karma, Bhakti, Yoga, Jnanam, all
These things in truth. Or put in other words
Good works, Devotion, Union, Gnosis, too.

Micheal James Note: Abiding, having subsided in the place of rising [in one’s source, the real Self] – that is karma [desireless action] and bhakti [devotion], that is yoga [union with God] and jnana [true knowledge].

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says Mind staying in heart(self) is only real bhakti,jnana,yoga,karma.

He says Atma is all pervading which means it is there in jadam like mike,ocean.Inshort it is all pervading.But he should recognise atma in our heart.


vayu-rodhanal liyate manah
jala-paksivat rodha-sadhanam 

As by the fowler birds are caught in nets
So by the holding of the breath within
The mind can be restrained. This a device
That will effect absorption of the mind.

Micheal James Note: By restraining the breath within, the mind will also subside, like a bird caught in a net. This [practice of breath-restraint] is a device to restrain [the mind].

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says pranayama is temporary restriction of mind control.Only by jnana can completely control of mind.

citta-vayavas cit-kriyayutah
sakhayor dvayi sakti-mulaka 

For mind and life expressed in thought and act,
That is with thought and action as their function,
Diverge and branch like two boughs of a tree,
But both of them spring from one single stem.

Micheal James Note: Mind and breath are two branches which have knowing and doing [as their respective functions]; [but] their origin is one.

Note: Sri Sundara Chaitanya Swami says

jnana is related to satva guna.
karma/sankalpa is related to rajo guna.
body is related to tamo guna.

When given anestisia our mind will become dull.The link between body and mind is life.

Example: when our leg gets hurt then our mind gets automatically known by life which acts like courier service.
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