50th MahAnirvANa of BhagavAn Sri RamaNa Maharshi

Savithri D savdev at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 14 07:57:15 CDT 2000


Today is the 50th MahAnirvANa day of BhagavAn Sri RamaNa Maharshi.
He was an embodiment of the eternal Truth in a human garb. To those of us
unfortunate folks who could not meet him in this life, a visit to
Tiruvannamalai will confirm his eternal presense.

On this occasion, I like to put forth a couple of stanzas of Upadesha Sara,
one of BhagavAn's compositions.

Actually the story of how this poem came to be written is worth narrating.
The poet-saint Sri Muruganar, wanted to write a 100 verses in praise of Sri
RamaNa, identifying him with Siva.  Towards the end of 70 verses, he wrote
about the story of the sages of the dAruka forest. These sages, though very
earnest and devout, believed that the ritiualistic actions performed by them
were capable of producing the desired result (moksha). Therefore they had no
faith in God.  Siva, out of compassion and in order to teach them a lesson
took the form of a mendicant and came to the dAruka forest.  ViShNu
accompanied him as Mohini.  Siva was extremely handsome and Mohini was too.
The wives of the sages were deeply attracted to the mendicant and the sages
fell in love with Mohini.  In a rage, the sages wanted to destroy the
mendicant as they believed he was the root cause of all mischief.  They
performed certain sacrifices to produce agents to destroy him, but they were
of no match to the supreme powers of Siva.  They realized that the mendicant
was none other than Siva himself, who had come to guide them in their
spiritual path. When he came to this point, Sri Muruganar stopped and
requested BhagavAn to complete the remaining 30 verses where Siva gives
instruction to the sages.

All the four paths are discussed here - Karma, bhakti, yoga and GYAna.  But
Maharshi's GYAna marga is the straigth path of Self-enquiry, an enquiry into
the nature of the mind and the individual.

All the 30 verses are beautiful and full of practical meaning in day-to-day
life, but I will post a few here due to time reasons and also the fact that
I cannot do justice to them due to various shortcomings

4. kAya vA~ngmanaH kAryamuttamam.h
   pUjanaM japashchintanam kramAt.h

Chanting (japa) done with the voice is better than ritualistic worship
performed by the body.  Meditation performed with the mind excels the
chanting still.

8. bheda bhAvanAt soham ityasau
   bhAvanAbhidA pAvanI matA

The meditation 'I am That' is regarded as more purifying than the one based
on dualistic thought.

9. bhAvashUnya sadbhAvasusthitiH
   bhAvanA balAt.h bhaktiruttamA

The state of being poised in one's true nature, devoid of thoughts, is the
highest devotion.  This comes from the strength of meditation.

24. Isha jIvayor veShadhIbhidA
    satsvabhAvato vastu kevalam.h

The difference between God and individual is only in name, form and
intelligence.  They are the same in their essential nature at heart.

27. GYAnavarjitA GYAnahInacit.h
    GYAnamasti kim GYAtumantaram.h

Knowledge(Truth) is Consciousness transcending knowledge and ignorance.
After knowing that is there any difference?

Sri RamaNArpaNamastu.

Upadesha sAra is really the essence of all upanishads - it is short,sweet
and easy to recite.
Please excuse any mistakes. Mistakes are mine, though I referred to a
translation by Sri A.R.Natarajan.


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