Sat Darsana was
written in Tamil by Ramana Maharshi, the great saint of Arunachalam, under the
title “Ulladu  Narpadu” meaning the Truth
in forty verses.  It was later rendered
into Sanskrit, verse for verse, by his great disciple and well known scholar,
Vasishtha Muni (whose original name was Ganapati Sastri, known as Kavyakantha
Ganapati Sastri) who has added two more slokas at the end on what the text is
all about. This work expounds the essence of the Truth in an easy way and acts
as a beacon light to the seekers after Self-realisation.
सत्प्रत्ययाः किन्नु
विहाय सन्तं?
हृद्येष चिन्तारहितो
कथं स्मरामस्तममेयमेकं?
तस्य स्मृतिस्तत्र
दृढैव  निष्ठा ॥१॥
Independent of something that exists within you, can
you have notions of Existence?  The Pure
Reality can be located at the seat of consciousness (known as the heart) within
yourself when the mind is free of thoughts. 
How is one to remember that One (Ultimate Reality) which cannot be
measured or cognized by the mind? By its remembrance alone, you will be seated
firmly in the Ultimate reality.
मृत्युंजयं मृत्युभिया श्रिताना-
महंमतिर्मृत्युमुपैति पूर्वम्।
अथ स्वभावादमृतेषु तेषु
कथं पुनर्मृत्युधियोऽवकाशः॥२॥
In those who, due to the fear of death, take refuge in
God,  who is beyond death, the ego
disintegrates, before their physical death takes place.  Therefore, how can the thought of death occur
again in those who are by nature immortal ?
सर्वैर्निदानं जगतोऽहमश्च
वाच्यः प्रभुः कश्चिदपारशक्तिः।
चित्रेऽत्र लोक्यं च विलोकिता च
पटः प्रकाशोऽप्यभवत्स एकः ॥३॥
It has to be accepted by everybody that the cause of
the whole world as well as the notion ‘I’ is the great Sarveshwara , whose
powers are unlimited.  Here, in this
world-picture, the seen, the seer, the background and the process of seeing are
all the manifestation of that One Reality. 
आरभ्यते जीवजगत्परात्म-
तत्त्वाभिधानेन मतं  समस्तम्।
इदं त्रयं तावदहंमति

All the religions of the world have been propounded by
hypothetically accepting three things viz., Jiva, the world and God. These
three exist only as long as the  अहंमति, ‘I’ notion
exists.  That Nishthaa  or method is the best of all in which the
aspirant gets rid of the ego completely.
सत्यं मृषा वा चिदिदं
जडं वा
दुःखं सुखं चेति मुधा
अदृष्टलोका निरहंप्रतीति-
परमाखिलेष्टा ॥५॥
Your arguments as to whether the world is real or
unreal, sentient or insentient, full of misery or full of joy, are useless,
serving no purpose whatsoever. That state where the world is not seen, where
the ego disintegrates completely, and where there are no thoughts or
vibrations, is the most pleasing fully satisfying and supremely blissful.
सरूपबुद्धिर्जगदीश्वरे च
सरूपधीरात्मनि यावदस्ति।
अरूप आत्मा यदि कः प्रपश्येत्
सा दृष्टिरेकाऽनवधिर्हि पूर्णा ॥६॥
Man has the understanding that God and the world are
with name and form, only as long as he considers his Self to be having name and
form.  If the Atman were without name or
form, who is there to perceive and experience the world and think of God?  So the unlimited vision of Truth alone is
full and comprehensive.
यत्पञ्चकोशात्मकमस्ति देहं
तदन्तरा किं भुवनं चकास्ति?।
देहं विना पञ्चविधं तवेतत्  
पश्यन्ति के वा भुवनं? भणन्तु॥७॥
Without the personality consisting of the five
sheaths, does the world reveal by itself? 
If anybody has seen or experienced the world without the Deha or the
five sheathed personality , let him report (to me)
शब्दादिरूपं भुवनं समस्तं
सत्तेन्द्रियाणां मनसो वशे स्या-
न्मनोमयं तद्भुवनं वदामः ॥८॥
The whole world is in the form of the five
sense-perceptions, such as sound, sight, taste, smell and touch.  The existence of the sensations is revealed
by the corresponding thoughts.  The
sense-organs and the sensations are under the control of the mind. Let us say,
therefore, that the world is purely mental, projection of the mind.  
धिया सहोदेति धियाऽस्तमेति
लोकस्ततो धीप्रविभास्य एषः
धी लोकजन्मक्षयधाम पूर्णम्।
सद्वस्तु जन्मक्षयशून्यमेकम् ॥९॥
The world rises and sets along with the Antahkarana
(mind).   Therefore, the world is
only as revealed or expressed by the Antahkarana.  The Antahkarana  or inner equipment is the basis for the
emanation and dissolution of the world. 
The Ultimate Reality,  which is
one and one alone, is all-comprehensive, originless and endless. 
भवन्तु सद्दर्शनसाधनानि
परस्य नामाकृतिभिः सपर्याः।
निष्ठैव सद्दर्शनमित्यवेहि ॥१०॥
Let us accept for the sake of sentiment that the
ritualistic worship that people perform, giving names and forms to the Supreme
Reality are insignificant aids in the process of realising the Atman.  Understand that, that process alone, in which
you attain complete identification with the Ultimate Realit, is the true and
correct approach to Self-realisation.
द्वन्द्वानि सर्वाण्यखिलास्त्रिपुट्यः
किञ्चित्समाश्रित्य विभाति वस्तु।
तन्मार्गणे स्याद्गलितं समस्तं
न पश्यतां सच्चलनं कदापि ॥११॥
All the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, pain
and pleasure, success and failure, and the phenomenon called experience,
consisting of the experiencer, the process of experiencing and the thing
experienced, depend for their expression upon some higher factor or principle.
When you make a search of That (non-moving substratum) all the dualities and
the trinities will disappear.  Those who
have experienced the Pure Being will have no movement or wavering of the mind. 
विद्या कथं भाति न
विद्यां विना किं
द्वयं च कस्येति विचार्य
स्वरूपनिष्ठा परमार्थविद्या
How can Vidya – knowledge – shine or reveal if it were
not for Avidya or ignorance? Again, is ignorance recognisable without the light
of knowledge? Only that knowledge is true which is got by inquiring as to who
is having the two, namely knowledge and ignorance.  The supreme knowledge or awareness is that
which is had by merging oneself in the root of one’s being.
बोद्धारमात्मानमजानतो यो
बोधः स किं स्यात्परमार्थबोधः।
बोधस्य बोध्यस्य च संश्रयं स्वं
विज्ञानतस्तद्वितयं विनश्येत् ॥१३॥
Can the knowledge acquired without knowing the knower,
the Self, ever be true knowledge? On knowing the Atman, which is the support of
the knowing process as well as the known, both of them (knowledge and the
known) disappear or perish.
निद्रा न विद्या ग्रहणं न विद्या
गृह्णाति कश्चिन्न यथार्थबोधे।
निद्रापदार्थग्रहणेतरा स्या-
च्चिदेव विद्या विलसत्यशून्या ॥१४॥
True knowledge is not in sleep, nor is it in the
wakeful or dream state where you have objective perception and
understanding.  The state of
Self-realisation is different from all these three states of consciousness.  It is Pure Consciousness, Pure Knowledge,
Self-luminous and not a void.
सत्यश्चिदात्मा विविधाकृतिश्चित्
सिद्ध्येत्पृथक् सत्यचितो न भिन्ना।
भूषाविकाराः किमु सन्ति सत्यं
विना सुवर्णं पृथगत्र लोके ॥१५॥
The various objects (nama and roopa)
that you see in the world are expressions of the Ultimate Reality, the
Atman, or Pure Consciousness.  They
cannot be apart or disconnected from the Pure Self.  Have the different gold ornaments any reality
apart from the gold that they are made of .
तद्युष्मदोरस्मदि संप्रतिष्ठा
तस्मिन्विनष्टेऽस्मदि मूलबोधात्।
स्थितिर्ज्वलन्ती सहजाऽत्मनः स्यात्॥१६॥
‘You’ and ‘that’ are based on the ‘I’. When you go to
the root of the ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘that’ disappear.  That state, which is bereft of the notions of
‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘that’, is one and one alone. 
That state which is the true and natural state of the Self, is all
revealing and splendorous
भूतं भविष्यच्च भवत्स्वकाले
तद्वर्तमानस्य विहाय तत्त्वम् ।
हास्या न किं स्याद्गतमाविचर्चा
विनैकसंख्यां गणनेव लोके ॥१७॥
The past was and the future will only be the ‘present’
during their currency. Is it not then ridiculous to discuss about the past and
the future without knowing the truth about the present? To do so will be as
ridiculous as learning to count without  the
number ‘one’.
क्व भाति दिक्कालकथा विनास्मान्
दिक्काललीलेह वपुर्वयं चेत्  ।
न क्वापि भामो न कदापि भामो
वयं तु सर्वत्र सदा च भामः ॥१८॥
Are the concepts of time and space revealed without
the Self? If we take ourselves to be the body, we cannot but be the products of
time and space.  But the truth is that we
exist at no particular place and at no particular time.  Yet, we are all-pervading and eternal.
देहात्मभावे ज्ञजडौ समाना-
वेकस्य देहे हृदि दीप्त आत्मा।
आक्रम्य देहं च जगच्च पूर्णः
परस्य मेयं तनुमात्रमात्मा ||19||
In their body-centric attitudes, a jnaani as
well as an ajnaani  are the
same.  A 
jnaani traces out the Aatman (Self) which reveals itself, at the
seat of consciousness within himself; he thus goes beyond his so called body
consciousness, beyond the world, beyond the universe and becomes
all-pervading.  Whereas, the Ajnani, the
ignorant, takes his limited psycho-physical entity to be the Self.”
अज्ञस्य विज्ञस्य च विश्वमस्ति
पूर्वस्य दृश्यं जगदेव सत्यम्।
परस्य दृश्याश्रयभूतमेकं
सत्यं प्रपूर्णं प्रविभासरूपम् ॥२०॥
The world, as world, exists for both an Ajnaani
and a jnaanai. For the former the seen world alone is the Truth.  For the latter, Truth is the One,
all-pervading, nameless, formless Atman, which expresses forth as the seen
world (universe) and which hence is its very foundation.
विधेः प्रयत्नस्य च कोऽपि वाद-
स्तयोर्द्वयोर्मूलमजानतां स्यात्।
विधेः प्रयत्नस्य च मूलवस्तु
सञानतां नैव विधिर्न यत्नः ॥२१॥
Discussions about fate and free will are done only by
those who don’t know the basis of both. 
For those who have realised the Truth, that is the very foundation of
fate and free will , there is neither fate nor free will
अवीक्ष्य तन्मानसिकेक्षणं स्यात्।
न द्रष्टुरन्यः परमो हि तस्य
वीक्षा स्वमूले प्रविलीय निष्ठा ॥२२॥
If one sees God without realising one’s own Aatman,
the Seer, it will be an imagination of the mind.  There is no God apart from the Seer.  To 
have a vision of God is  to be merged
in the root of one’s own Self.
आत्मानमीक्षेत परं प्रपश्ये-
दित्यागमोक्तेः सुलभो न भावः।
नात्मैव दृश्यो यदि का कथेशे
स्वयं तदन्नीभवनं तदीक्षा॥२३॥
The Vedic texts say: ‘Have Aatma Jnaana first
and then see Sarveshwara’.  The subtle
meaning of this statement is not easily understood by many people.  When the Aatman itself cannot be seen,
how can Sarveshwara be seen? Seeing God is to give the mind itself as
food to the Aatman. 

धिये प्रकाशं परमो वितीर्य
स्वयं धियोऽन्तः प्रविभाति गुप्तः ।
धियं परावर्त्य धियोऽन्तरेऽत्र
The Aatman, having given the light of consciousness to
the Antahkarana,  the inner
equipment, remains hidden behind it and shines from there.  That union with Pure Consciousness which the
mind, transcending itself, makes (to merge in the Aatman) is the technique of
realising the Aatman, not any other.
न वक्ति देहोऽहमिति प्रसुप्तौ
न कोऽपि नाभूवमिति प्रवक्ति।
यत्रोदिते सर्वमुदेति तस्य
धियाऽहमः शोधय जन्मदेशम्॥२५॥
Nobody says at the time of sleep:”I am the body, Manas
and the Buddhi”.  And nobody says on
waking up “ I did not exist during sleep”. Search out the ego on whose rising,
all the other factors rise.
देहो न जानाति सतो न जन्म
देहप्रमाणोऽन्य उदेति मध्ये ।
शरीरचेतोभवजीवनामा ॥२६॥
The body (that is born) is not conscious; the Aatman
(that is conscious)  is not born. Between
these two there rises another entity which depends upon or is associated with
the body (Manas and the intellect). It is called by different names, such as
the ego, the knot (of the heart), bondage, the subtle body, the Antahakarana,
the samsara, the Jeeva etc.
रूपोद्भवो रूपततिप्रतिष्ठो
रूपाशनो धूतगृहीतरूपः।
स्वयं विरूपः स्वविचारकाले
धावत्यहंकारपिशाच एषः॥२७॥
The ego is the very origin of all names and
forms.  After giving rise to them it
remains bound by those very names and forms and is sustained by them.  It 
projects out names and forms and again withdraws them into itself.  But when it starts inquiring into the secret
of its own existence, this ghost that is, the ego, disappears.
भावेऽहमः सर्वमिदं विभाति
लयेऽहमो नैव विभाति किञ्चित्।
तस्मादहं रूपमिदं समस्तं
तन्मार्गणं सर्वजयाय मार्गः ॥२८॥
The whole world of names and forms is revealed when
the ego comes into existence and nothing is revealed when the ego goes to
sleep, that is, it becomes quiescent. Therefore, all these that you perceive
and experience as the world is nothing but an expression of the ego.   So, if you want to attain everything, you
must trace out the origin of the ego.
सत्या स्थितिर्नाहमुदेति यत्र
विना न नश्येद्यदि तन्न नश्येत्
स्वात्मैक्यरूपा कथमस्तु निष्ठा ॥२९॥
The true state of your being is that in which the ego
does not sprout up,  The ego will not perish
unless you search out its origin.  If it
does not perish, how can you have that realisation in which you experience the
unity of Existence – the knowledge that everything is the expression of the Aatman.
कूपे यथा गाढजले तथान्त-
र्निमज्ज्य  बुद्ध्या शितया नितान्तम्।
प्राणं च वाचं च नियम्य चिन्वन्
विन्देन्निजाहंकृतिमूलरूपम् ॥३०॥
Just as you would dive into a well with a deep column
of water, so also should you dive deep within yourself using your sharp
intellect.  Searching intensely thus,
breath and speech controlled, know, realise, the real source of the ego.
मौनेन मज्जन्मनसा स्वमूल-
चर्चैव सत्यात्मविचारणं स्यात्।
एषोऽहमेतन्न मम स्वरूप-
मिति प्रमा सत्यविचारणांगम्॥३१॥
The self-enquiry is that where the mind, kept quiet,
sinks within itself and searches out its own origin.  The assertions, reminder, that one makes to
oneself, ‘I am not the body, Manas or intellect.  I am That, the Self.’ are only small aids to
गवेषणात्प्राप्य हृदन्तरं तत्
पतेदहन्ता परिभुग्नशीर्ष्णा।
अथाहमन्यत्स्फुरति प्रकृष्टं
नाहंकृतिस्तत्परमेव पूर्णम् ॥३२॥
When the very core of consciousness is attained by
this inner search for the Self, the ego falls down with its head smashed into
pieces.  Thereafter, another wonderful
“I” reveals itself there, not the ego, but verily the supreme All-pervading
अहंकृतिं यो लसति ग्रसित्वा 
किं तस्य कार्यं परिशिष्टमस्ति।
किञ्चिद्विजानाति स नात्मनोन्य-
त्तस्य स्थितिं भावयितुं क्षमः कः॥३३॥
What work or duty remains for the one who, having
killed the ego, functions on spontaneously in this world? He recognises nothing
apart or separate from the Aatman. Is there anybody who can imagine or
understand his real state?

आह स्फुटं तत्त्वमसीति वेद-
स्तथाप्यसंप्राप्य परात्मनिष्ठाम्।
भूयो विचारो मतिदुर्बलत्वं
तत्सर्वदा स्वात्मतया हि भाति ॥३४॥
It is clearly said in the Vedas, ‘Tat-Twam-Asi’ –
‘That (the Atman) Thou Art’.  In spite of
it, if you do not realise your true nature and instead of practising Aatma
engage in useless discussions as to whether you can attain it or
not,  only shows the imbecility or
weakness of your mind.  Further, even
when you doubt it, the fact remains that the Aatma always shines as your
very Self.     
न वेद्म्यहं मामुत वेद्म्यहं मा-
मिति प्रवादो मनुजस्य हास्यः।
दृग्दृश्यभेदात्किमयं द्विधात्मा
स्वात्मैकतायां हि धियां न भेदाः ॥३५॥
The glib talk of man, “I know myself”, and “I do not
myself”  are both ridiculous.  Is there a double Self, with a difference
between them as the seer and the seen? 
When, indeed, you attain Realisation, there is the Self and Self alone.
हृत्प्राप्य सद्भावनिजस्वरूपे
स्वभावसिद्धेऽनुपलभ्य निष्ठाम् ।
मायाविलासः सदसत्सरूप-
विरूपनानैकमुखप्रवादाः ॥३६॥
Without attaining the state of Pure Consciousness
which is one’s true nature, and which is the basis of the Ultimate Reality,
engaging in mere lip-talk as to whether the Aatman is real or unreal, whether
it is with form or without form and whether it is one or many, is just the play
of Maya.
सिद्धस्य वित्तिः सत एव सिद्धिः
स्वप्नोपमानाः खलु सिद्धयोऽन्याः।
स्वप्नः प्रबुद्धस्य कथं नु सत्यः
सति  स्थितः किं पुनरेति मायाम् ॥३७॥
The only true attainment of a man of realisation is
the awareness of the Infinite Reality. 
All the other powers (siddhis) are unreal like dreams.  Will a person who has woken up from
sleep  take his dreams to be real?  Even so, will a person established in the
Reality ever come again to the life of Maya, the life of the world?
सोऽहं विचारो वपुरात्मभावे
साहाय्यकारी परमार्गणस्य।
स्वात्मैक्यसिद्धौ स पुनर्निरर्थो
यथा नरत्वप्रमितिर्नरस्य॥३८॥
The contemplative meditation, ‘Soham’ bhavana,  is of help to a sadhaka  in his approach to the Aatman, only so long as
he is under the idea that he is the psycho-physical entity consisting of body,
Mind and Intellect.  Once he has realised
his oneness with the all-pervading Reality, it becomes meaningless for him to
engage in ‘Soham’ vichara.  It is as
ridiculous as a man reminding himself constantly, ‘I am a human being’.
द्वैतं विचारे परमार्थबोधे
त्वद्वैतमित्येष न साधुवादः।
गवेषणाद्प्राग्दशमे विनष्टे
पश्चाच्च लब्धे दशमत्वमेकम् ॥३९॥
Some people say that Dwaita (duality) is real
for those who have not yet realised the unity of Existence.  For them, it is argued,  that duality alone is right and valid.  The argument is that only after
Self-realisation does Adwaita becomes true and real.  The example given is of ten people who set
out on a journey.  They had to cross a
river.  After reaching the other bank
they wanted to check that all had correctly arrived at the other bank.  One man counted and found only nine were
there.  Each one, in turn, counted and
found only nine. A passer by enquired what the problem was. He was told that
one man was missing from their group which had ten but now there were only
nine.  The passer-by counted and told
them that ten were already there.  The
fact was, they had all forgotten to count themselves. Ignorance alone was the
cause of ten being misunderstood as nine.
करोमि कर्मेति नरो विजानन्
बाध्यो भवेत् कर्मफलं च भोक्तुम्।
विचारधूता हृदि कर्तृता चेत्
कर्मत्रयं नश्यति सैव मुक्तिः॥४०॥
He who thinks ‘I do this act’ is bound to reap the
fruit of that action. If through Aatma vichara (Self-enquiry) he wipes
out his sense of doership, his triple karma dies and that  alone is true liberation or release.
बद्धत्वभावे सति मोक्षचिन्ता
बन्धस्तु कस्येति विचारणेन।
सिद्धे स्वयं स्वात्मनि नित्यमुक्ते
क्व बन्धचिन्ता क्व च मोक्षचिन्ता ॥४१॥
The thought of liberation can arise only when there is
the feeling of bondage.  By
enquiring,  whose is this bondage, one
realises the ever free self.  Where,
then, can the thought of bondage arise and where the thought of liberation.
रूपिण्यरूपिण्युभयात्मिका च
मुक्तिस्त्रिरूपेति विदो विदन्ति।
इदं त्रयं या विविनक्त्यहंधी-
स्तस्याः प्रणाशः परमार्थमुक्तिः ॥४२॥
Great saints and jnaanis say that Mukti is of three
types, namely, (i) with form, (ii) without form, and (iii) with and without
form.  These three (notions) exist as
long as the ego exists.  The
disintegration of the ego, on which these different notions come as ripples, is
the Supreme Liberation.
सद्दर्शनं द्राविडवाङ्निबद्धं
महर्षिणा श्रीरमणेन शुद्धम्।
मनूद्य वासिष्ठमुनिर्व्यतानीत् ॥४३॥
Sat Darshana, the pure philosophy of the Ultimate
Reality, was composed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tamil.  This magnificent work was rendered into  Sanskrit – the language of the Devas – by sri
Vasishtha Muni, a great disciple of Sri Ramana. (sri Vasishtha Muni, whose
original name was Ganapati Sastri, was a great poet and a highly evolved
spiritual soul)
सत्तत्त्वसारं सरलं दधाना
मुमुक्षुलोकाय मुदं ददाना।
मयूखभित्तिर्मुनिवाग्विभाति ॥४४॥
These words of Ramana Maharshi shine forth as a beam
of light, shedding its light of wisdom all around.  It expounds the essence of the Truth in an
easy way giving delight to the seekers after Self-realisation. This work, which
has come out of the words of sri Ramana, 
is divine, indeed.

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