VISION OF TRUTH
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.
दृढैव निष्ठा ॥१॥
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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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
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
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.
well as an ajnaani are the
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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-
‘That (the Atman) Thou Art’. In spite of
it, if you do not realise your true nature and instead of practising Aatma
Nishtha, 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
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.
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
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?
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.