Upadesa Saram
Upadesa Saram Verses 11 to 20
Forty Verses on Reality Supplement (Complete)

Upadesa Saram Verses 1 to 10

Upadesa Saram (Essence of Teachings)


Wonderful Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

The Genesis of Upadesa Saram

Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

The Genesis of Upadesa Saram

There is an old legend that a group of Rishis once lived in the forest together, practising Vedic rituals by which they acquired supernatural powers. By the same means they hoped to attain final Liberation. However, in this they were mistaken, for action can only result in action; rituals can produce powers, but not the Peace of Liberation which is beyond rituals and powers and all forms of action. The Rishis then realised that they were up against one more powerful than themselves and they bowed down to him for instruction. He then explained to them that it is not by action but by renunciation of action that one is Liberated.

The poet Muruganar was writing this legend in Tamil verse, but when he came to the instruction given to the Rishis by Shiva he asked Bhagavan, who was Shiva Incarnate, to write it for him. Bhagavan accordingly wrote the instruction in thirty Tamil verses (the 30th verse was composed by Muruganar). Ramana himself later translated these into Sanskrit, and the Sanskrit version was daily chanted before Him together with the Vedas, and continues to be chanted before His shrine; that is to say that 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.

Upadesa Saaram – Ramana

उपदेश सारम – रमणा

कर्तुराज्ञया प्राप्यते फलं |
कर्म किं परं कर्म तज्जडम ||

kartur ājñyayā prāpyate phalaṃ
karma kiṃ paraṃ karma tajjaḍam

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.

कृति महोदधौ पतनकाराणम |
फलमशाश्वतं गतिनिरोधकम ||

kṛti-maho-dadhau patana-kāraṇam
phalama-śaśvataṃ 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.

ईश्वरार्पितं नेच्छया कृतम |
चित्तशोधकम मुक्तिसाधकम ||

īśvarārpitaṃ necchayā kṛtam
citta-śodhakaṃ mukti-sādhakam

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.

कायवाङमनः कार्यमुत्तमम |
पूजनं जपस्चिंतनम क्रमात् ||

kāya-vāṅ-manaḥ kāryam-uttamam
pūjanaṃ japa-ścintanaṃ kramāt

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

जगत इशधीयुक्तसेवनम |
अष्टमूर्तिभ्रिददेवापूजनं ||

jagata īśadhī yukta sevanaṃ
aśṭa-mūrti bhṛd deva-pūjanam

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

उत्तमस्तवादुच्चमंदतः |
चित्तजं जप ध्यानमुत्तमम ||

cittajaṃ japa dhyānam uttamam

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

आज्यधारया स्त्रोतसा समम |
सरलचिन्तनम विरलतः परम ||

ajya-dhāraya srotasā samam
sarala cintanaṃ viralataḥ param

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

भेदभावनात्सोहमित्य्सौ |
भवनाभिदा पावनी मता ||

bheda-bhāvanāt so’hamityasau
bhavana’bhidā pāvanī matā

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.

भवशून्यसद्भावा सुस्तितिः |
भावनाबालात भाक्तिरुत्तमा ||

bhāva śūnyasad bhāva susthitiḥ
bhāvanā-balād bhaktir-uttamā

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

हृस्थले मनः स्वस्थता क्रिया |
भक्तियोगबोधास्चा निस्चितम ||

hṛtsthale manaḥ svasthatā kriyā
bhakti yoga bodhaśca niścitam

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

Upadesa Saram Verses 11 to 20
Forty Verses on Reality Supplement (Complete)
Upadesa Saram Verses 1 to 10

One thought on “Upadesa Saram Verses 1 to 10

  • January 29, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I chanced upon your translation of Upadesa Saram recently and find it very effective in transmitting Bhagavan’s teaching to me in English. Thank you!


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