[Advaita-l] Ramana Yoga Sutras (1)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat May 15 15:28:07 EDT 2021

{Published in "The Maharshi" Newsletter by The Arunachala Ashrama, New York (USA) and Nova Scotia (Canada)}
Ramana Yoga Sutras
By Sri Krishna Bhikshu
Sri Ramana Maharshi gave these Sutras at the request of some devotees to benefit their sadhana. Sri
Krishna Bhikshu (Voruganti Venkata Krishnaiah) was one of the early and ardent devotees of Bhagavan.
He not only made a deep study of the scriptures, he also practised them. He lived in the Ashram with
Bhagavan for many years and wrote Ramana Leela, the life of Bhagavan in Telugu.
After listening to the talks on “Ramana Yoga Sutras” by Sri Krishna Bhikshu at the Ramana Satsang,
Hyderabad, some of the members desired to have these Sutras published in Telugu. It was done in 1973.
This led to a request for the full text in English, which was published in 1980.
(The ten Sutras of Ramana Bhagavan are provided along with the commentary by Sri Krishna Bhikshu.)
1. The ‘sutra’ is a form of Aryan scientific literature.
It is a statement of the essential point of a doctrine in
the fewest possible number of words enunciated in a
clear, unambiguous and comprehensive way, touching
all the aspects of the point in question. In studying a
sutra, therefore, not even a letter can be omitted.
In ancient times, a disciple would go to the Master
and request him to teach him the Vedanta. The disciple
was required to possess an initial basic ethical training
and it was also required that he should had turned away
from all the affairs of the world. As written in the
Brahmanical texts, he should posses the four requirements
of mind (sadhana chatushtaya), and the treasure
of the six ethical virtues (samadi shatka sampatti).
The Ramana doctrine requires no such initial equipment.
It is intended for all men or women, of whatever race or
clime. Anybody following the Ramana path, in the course of
his sadhana, acquires all this automatically.
We have said, the sutra being so short, not a letter can
be omitted in its interpretation. Why? The guru, after
elucidating a philosophical point, would cast the entire
teaching in the form of a sutra so that the disciple could
remember it easily, and by the law of association, the entire
2. ‘Yoga’ literally means union, that is, of the sadhaka
and the thing he strives for. The exact English equivalent is
‘religion’. In common parlance, yoga signifies the doctrine of
‘Hatha Yoga’, or control of the breath by using force of several
kinds, adopting various asanas, etc. But here the word is
used in a general sense, as a method of sadhana only.
In ancient times, the various ways of enlightenment
were termed ‘vidyas’. In the Vedas, only the term ‘vidya’
is used. Since the time of the Gita, the term yoga came
into vogue. Vidya emphasizes the aspect of knowing the
Ultimate. The word yoga signifies the union of the soul
with the Divine. In the Ramana doctrine, the real emphasis
is on Knowledge and inherence in It, but the commonly
known term ‘yoga’ has been employed throughout this
text. So that Ramana Yoga means the doctrine of Ramana,
or the way to attain the Ultimate.
3. Is it really for all? In a way, yes. It is especially so
for those who are wallowing in the miseries of samsara;
for those who wish to get away from that bondage. Also
for those who have had enough of the world, even of the
riches and the sweet fruits of samsara (the term used in
Sanskrit for this point or view is ‘alam buddhi’ or ‘enough
idea’). The Ramana doctrine is also for those who want
to know the Truth.
(Continued in next post)

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