Upadesa Saaram Verses 11 to 20
Upadesa Saram (Essence of Teachings)
Wonderful Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Sanskrit Verses and English Translation
Sanskrit Verses and English Translation
The Genesis of Upadesa Saaram
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
वायुरोधनाल्लीयते मनः |
vayu-rodhanāl līyate manaḥ
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.
शाखयोर्द्वई शक्तिमूलाका ||
śā khayor-dvayi śakti-mūlakā
For mind and life expressed in thought and act,
That is with thought and action as their function,
Diverge and branch like two branches of a tree,
But both of them spring from one single stem.
लयविनाशने उभायरोदाने |
लयगतम पुनर्भवती नो मृतम ||
laya vinaśane ubhaya-rodhane
laya-gataṃ punar bhavati no mṛtam
Suppression of the mind comes in two ways,
Absorption and extinction; mind absorbed
Will live again, but mind which is destroyed
Will never revive any more, for it is dead.
When, by the means of restraint of the breath,
The mind has been controlled, then make it flow
Along a single current; that achieved
Its form will then entirely disappear.
क्रित्यमस्ति किं स्वस्थितिम ||
kṛtyam asti kiṃ svasthitiṃ yataḥ
For the Great Sage for whom all form of mind
Has disappeared and who is ever one
With the Reality, there is no Karma any more,
For He, indeed, has become the True Self.
दृश्यवारितमं चित्तमात्मनः |
चित्वदर्शनम तत्वदर्शनम ||
citva-darśanaṃ tattva darśanam
When mind has given up the sense-objects
Which are external and has drawn within,
And has perceived its own refulgent form,
Then alone there is True Knowledge.
मानसं तु किं मार्गणे कृते |
नैव मानसं मार्गे आर्जवात ||
mānasaṃ tu kiṃ mārgaṇe kṛte
naiva mānasaṃ mārge ārjavāt
When pondering with constant vigilance
Upon the actual nature of the mind
One finds that there is no such thing as mind;
This, in truth, is the straight path for all.
व्रत्तयस्त्वहं – वृत्तिमाश्रीताः |
वृत्तयो मनो विद्याहम मनः ||
vṛttayo mano viddhayahaṃ manaḥ
The mind is nothing but a lot of thoughts,
Of all these many thoughts it is the thought ’I’
That is the root. So we can see by that
The mind in truth is only the thought ’I’.
अहमयं कृतो भवति चिन्वतः |
अयि पतात्यहं निजविचारनम ||
ahamayaṃ kuto bhavati cinvataḥ
ayi patatyahaṃ nijavicāraṇam
From where, therefore, does this ’I-thought’ have its birth?
With vigilant and ever active mind
Seek this, and crestfallen the ’I’ becomes.
The search, itself, is the quest of Wisdom.
अहमि नाशभाज्यहमहंतया |
स्फुरति ह्रास्त्वयम परमपूर्णसत ||
sphurati hṛt-svayaṃ parama-pūrṇa-sat
This search pursued till ’I’ has disappeared
There now vibrates the ’I-I’ all alone,
The quest is finished, there’s no more to seek.
For this is really the Infinite Self.