The Essence of Instruction
1. Due to the effect of past karma (action)
the Rishis performing austerities in the Daruka forest
went astray (seeking special powers).
2. Overcome by their conviction that there is no God except
karma, the Rishis’ egos swelled,
and they turned away from the Lord.
3. Having paid dearly for ignoring the Lord,
who bestows the fruit of karma,
the Rishis’ egos were destroyed.
4. Wisdom having dawned, the Rishis prayed to the Lord to save
them. Lord Siva bestowed His glance of grace and the
subsequent verses are His instructions to the Rishis.
5. Bliss will spring forth
from within those who assimilate
and practise this Upadesa Saram’.
1. Dharu vanattil tavamchei dirundavar
Puruva kanmattal undi-para1
Pokkarai poyinar undi-para.
2. Kanmattai yandrik kadavulilai yenum
Vanmatta rayinar undi-para
Vanjac cherukkinal undi-para.
3. Kanma palantarunk kartar pazhittuc-chei
Kanma palankandar undi-para
Garvam agandranar undi-para.
4. Kattarul endru karaiyak karunaikkan
Cherttarul Seidanan undi-para
Sivanupa desami dundi-para.
5. Utkon dozhuga upadesa sarattai
Utkond dezhunchugam undi-para
Uttun pozhindidum undi-para.
6. Adhere to this Upadesa Saram’.
The result will be unmatched happiness
and all sorrows will be completely removed.
1. Action yields fruit, for so the Lord ordains it.
How can action be the Lord?
It is insentient.
2. The fruit of action passes. But action leaves behind the seed of
further action leading to an endless ocean of action and not at
all to moksha.
3. Disinterested action surrendered to the Lord
purifies the mind
and points the way to moksha.
4. This is certain: worship, praise and meditation,
being the work of body, speech and mind,
are the steps for orderly ascent.
5. Worshipping the eight forms (ether, fire, air, water, earth, sun,
moon, and living beings) as the forms of God Himself, is perfect
worship of the Lord.2
6. Better than singing hymns of praise is repeating the (Lord’s)
name; better than (repetition of the name) out loud is to do so
softly; but best of all is mental repetition or dhyana (meditation.)3
6. Sara upadesa saramut sarave
Serak kalisera undl-para
Tirat tuyar tira undi-para.
1. Kanmam payan-taral kartana danai-yal
Kanman kada-vulo undi-para
Kanman jada-madal undi-para.
2. Vinaiyin vilaivu vili-vuttru vittai
Vinaik-kadal vizht-tidum undi-para
Vidu tara-lilai undi-para.
3. Karut-tanuk kakku-nish kamiya kanman
Karuttait tirut-tiyah dundi-para
Gati-vazhi kanbik-kum undi-para.
4. Dida-midu pujai jepa-mun dhiya-nam
Udal-vak kulat-tozhil undi-para
5. Ennuru yavum irai-yuru vamena
Enni vazhi-padal undi-para
Isanar pusa-nai undi-para.
6. Vazhut-talil vak-kuccha vaik-kut jepat-til
Vizhuppama manadam undi-para
Vilam-bun dhiya-nami dundi-para.
7. Better than sporadic meditation is (meditation) in a steady and
continuous flow, like the course of a perennial stream or
downward flow of oil.
8. Better than viewing Him
as Other (than oneself)
is to hold Him as the I’ within.
9. Abiding in pure being,
transcending thought through intense love,
this alone is the truth of supreme devotion.
10. Absorption in the heart of being, whence we sprang, is what
the paths of karma (action), bhakti (devotion), yoga (union)
and jnana (knowledge) teach.
11. Holding the breath controls the mind,
a bird caught in a net.
Breath regulation helps absorption in the heart.
12. Mind and breath (as thought and action)
fork out like two branches.
But both spring from a single root.
13. Absorption is of two sorts: submergence and destruction.
Mind submerged rises again;
dead, it revives no more.
14. Breath controlled and thought restrained,
the mind turned one-way inward
fades and dies.
7. Vittuk karudali naru-nei vizhc-chipol
Vittida dun-nale undi-para
Visedamam unnave undi-para.
8. Aniya bhavat-tin ava-naha magum
Ana-niya bhavame undi-para
Anait-tinum utta-mam undi-para.
9. Bhava balat-tinar bhavana-tita sat
(Sat)* Bhavat tirut-tale undi-para
Para-bhakti tattuvam undi-para.
10. Uditta idattil odungi yiruttal
Adu kan-mam bhakti-yum undi-para
Adu yoga jnana-mum undi-para.
11. Vali-yul ladakka valai-padu put-pol
Ula-mum odun-gurum undi-para
Odukka upayami dundi-para.
12. Ula-mum uyi-rum unar-vun seya-lum
Ula-van kilai-yiran dundi-para
Ondra-vattrin mulam undi-para.
13. Ila-yamu nasam iran-dam oduk-kam
Ilayit tula-dezhum undi-para
Ezha-duru maynda-del undi-para.
14. Odukka valiyai odun-gum ulattai
Viduk-kave or-vazhi undi-para
Viyum ada-nuru undi-para.
*In verses 9, 20, 25 and 30, words in brackets are chanted only during line
15. Mind extinct,
the mighty seer returns to his own natural being
and has no action to perform.
16. It is true wisdom for the mind
to turn away from outer objects
and behold its own effulgent form.
17. When unceasingly the mind scrutinizes its own form,
(it will see that) there is no such thing as the mind.
This is the direct path open to all.3
18. Thoughts alone make up the mind;
and of all thoughts, the I’ thought is the root.
What is called mind is but the notion I’.
19. When one turns within
and searches whence this I’ thought arises,
the I’ vanishes Eand wisdom’s quest begins.
20. Where this I’ notion fades,
there appears the I-I’ by itself,
the One, the very Self, The Infinite.
21. Of the term I’, the permanent import is That’.
For even in deep sleep where we have no sense of I’,
we do not cease to be.
22. Body, senses, mind, breath, and sleep,
Eall are insentient and unreal
and cannot be I’, who am the Real.
3 Orig. trans. reads: When unceasingly the mind scans its own form, there is
nothing of the kind. For everyone this path direct is open.
15. Mana-vuru maya-mei mannu-ma yogi
Tanak-kor seya-lilai undl-para
Tanniyal sarnda-nan undl-para.
16. Veli-vida yangalai vittu manan-tan
Oli-yuru ordale undl-para
Unmai unarc-chiyam undl-para.
17. Manattin uruvai mara-vadu sava
Mana-mena ondrilai undl-para
Margam nerark-kumi dundi-para.
18. Ennan-gale manam yavinum nan-enum
Enname mula-mam undi-para
Yana mana-menal undi-para.
19. Nanen drezhu-midam edena nadavul
Nan-tralai sain-tidum undi-para
Jnana vichara-mi dundi-para.
20. Nan-ondru stanattu nana-nen dron-dradu
(Adu) Tanagat tond-rume undi-para
Tanadu pund-ramam undi-para.
21. Nan-ennun sorporul amadu nalume
Nanattra tukkat-tum undi-para
Nama-dinmai nikkat-tal undi-para.
22. Udal pori-yullam uyi-rirul ellan
Jadama-sat tana-dal undi-para
Sattana na-nalla undi-para
23. For knowing that which Is,
there is no other knower.
Hence, Being is Awareness and we are all Awareness.
24. In the nature of their being,
creature and creator are in substance one.
They differ only in adjuncts and awareness.
25. To see oneself free of all attributes
is to see the Lord,
for He shines ever as the pure Self.
26. To know the Self is to be the Self, for it is non-dual.
In such knowledge,
one abides as That.
27. True knowledge is that which transcends
both knowledge and ignorance,
for in pure knowledge no object can be known.
28. Having known one’s nature,
one abides as Being with no beginning and no end
in unbroken consciousness and bliss.
29. Abiding in this state of bliss,
which is beyond bondage and release,
is abiding in the service of the Lord.
30. With all ego gone, to live as That alone is excellent tapas
Ethus sings Lord Ramana,
who is the Self.
23. Ulla-dunara unarvu verin maiyin
Ulla dunar-vagum undi-para
Unarve nama-yulam undi-para.
24. Iruk-kum iyar-kaiyal Isa jivar-gal
Oru-porule yavar undi-para
Upadi unarve-ver undi-para.
25. Tannai upadi vittorvadu tan-Isan
(Isan) Tannai unar-vadam undi-para
Tanai olir-vadal undi-para.
26. Tanai irut-tale tannai yari-dalan
Taniran dattra-dal undi-para
Tanmaya nittaiyi dundi-para.
27. Arivari yamai-yum attra arive
Arivagum unmai-yi dundi-para
Arivadar kondrilai undi-para.
28. Tana-diyal yadena tan-teri hirpin
Anadi ananta-sat undi-para
Akanda cita-nandam undi-para.
29. Banda vidattra para-sukam uttra-var
Inda nilai-nittral undi-para
Irai-pani nittra-lam undi-para.
30. Yanat triyal-vadu terin edu-vadu
(Adu) Tanat trava-mendran undi-para
Tanam Ramane-san undi-para.
Concluding Verses of Praise4
1. All the Rishis (of Daruka forest)
paid their respects by touching the holy feet of the Lord
praising His glory.
2. For the mature disciple, this Upadesa Saram’ is the path
expounded by the great guru,
the auspicious Venkata Ramana.
3. Long live, for thousands of years, this work!5
Long live the name of Ramana!
Long live all his devotees on earth!
4. May they live for millions of years,
those who sing this (teaching),
those who hear it and imbibe its meaning!
5. May they live millions of years,
those who study this teaching
and practise it!
1. Irudigal ellam iraiva nadiyai
Varudi vananginar undi-para
Vazhttu muzhanginar undi-para.
2. Uttrark kurudi upadesa undiyar
Chottrak guruparan undi-para
Sumangala Venkatan undi-para.
3. Pallandu pallandu parpannu rayiram
Pallandu pallandum undi-para
Parmisai vazhgave undi-para.
4. Isai edup porum sevi-madup porum
Vasaiyarat tervorum undi-para
Vazhi palavuzhi undi-para.
Karku mavargalun kattru-narn dangu-ttam
Nirku mavar-galum undi-para
Niduzhi vazhiye undi-para.