[Advaita-l] Commentary on Ramana's Forty Verses
agnimile at gmail.com
Thu Jun 17 04:09:00 EDT 2021
Wonderful initiative, thank you. If possible, it would be great if the
original "ulladu narpadu" verses are also included in Tamil along with its
English translation and commentary.
On Sun, 13 Jun 2021, 07:24 Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a commentary on Ramana Maharshi’s
> seminal Forty Verses, verse by verse. This is the first.
> Forty Verses is one of Ramana Maharshi’s most famous works. It is one of
> his own chief and briefest summaries of his teachings, compiled at the
> request of one of his devotees. It explains the philosophy and the essence
> of that true knowledge which is beyond the changing things of the world,
> knowledge of the real Self.
> It goes by other names as well: *Ulladu Narpadu*, *Sad-Vidya*, and *Truth
> Revealed*. The translation of the text is taken from The Collected Works of
> Ramana Maharshi <https://amzn.to/3vkxJ9S>.
> InvocationI. IF REALITY DID NOT EXIST, COULD THERE BE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF
> EXISTENCE? FREE FROM ALL THOUGHTS, REALITY ABIDES IN THE HEART, THE SOURCE
> OF ALL THOUGHTS. IT IS, THEREFORE, CALLED THE HEART. HOW THEN IS ONE TO
> CONTEMPLATE IT? TO BE AS IT IS IN THE HEART, IS ITS CONTEMPLATION.
> *Commentary:* This invocation, which has two parts, starts before the forty
> verses themselves. Reality means that which is unchanging, whereas
> knowledge of existence is always in thought (or feeling, or perception,
> etc., which are all forms of thought). Reality is that which permits
> thought, that which is aware of it. Thought always implies a background
> which is itself not simply a thought. That which is beyond thought is
> beyond change, since changes are themselves in thought — in order to say
> something has changed, you have to think and make a comparison. In other
> words, changes are always cognized. Without concepts, you cannot say that
> something has changed. So the knowledge of existence — which is thought —
> implies something which is beyond change, and which is that which is aware
> of thought. That awareness which is beyond change we call Reality.
> This background to thought — though phrasing it this way is of course
> itself a thought, and that’s inevitable, since any language that talks
> about Reality is going to have to use thought, and so be imprecise and
> imperfect — shines in what Ramana calls the Heart. While Reality is an
> abstract concept, the Heart is simply the ground of our own awareness. It
> is the background of thoughts that each of us can access. It does not refer
> to the physical heart. It refers to the background of thought that we can
> seek by turning our attention towards whoever it is that is witnessing all
> our experiences. That witness is “inside” all the other experience, which
> is on the “outside.” That inmost point is called the Heart. When this
> inmost “point” is reached, it turns out not to be a point at all, and to be
> entirely beyond the distinctions of inside and outside.
> What we call Reality, which is a grand word which seems to be “out there”
> and “universal,” is equally in us. It is not merely in us, actually, but
> rather we are it.
> It is the grand concept of Vedanta and of Ramana that the unchanging
> essence of the “out there” is also none other than the unchanging essence
> that is “in here.” When stripped of the inessential & the changing, which
> stuff is actually just a bunch of thoughts of those things, the out there
> and the in here are not merely similar — they are exactly one and the same.
> This Heart is what is behind thought, and it is that from which all thought
> comes, and to which it all returns. So it is not itself a thought. But only
> thought can be the object of contemplation. So how are we to turn our
> attention towards the Heart? We simply have to just be the Heart. Which of
> course we already are.
> “To be as it is in the Heart” means that we are to be just and only as it
> is in the Heart, meaning to be without thought. It means we have to abandon
> our delusions of being in thought — of having things to do, goals, doings,
> experiences. To turn away from thought, to stop pretending to be anything
> other than the Heart, is the way to contemplate it.
> At any time, see all the forty verses posts that I have published so far
> Akilesh Ayyar
> Spiritual guidance - http://www.siftingtothetruth.com/
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