Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sri Ramana’s mangalam verse to Vivekacudamani

When Sri Ramana translated Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi into Tamil prose, he composed a maṅgalam or ‘auspicious introductory verse’ for it.

Recently a friend asked me to translate this verse, because he was not satisfied with the translation of it on page 212 of The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, which is as follows:

Rejoice eternally! The Heart rejoices at the feet of the Lord, who is the Self, shining within as ‘I-I’ eternally, so that there is no alternation of night and day. This will result in removal of ignorance of the Self.
The original Tamil verse is:
அகமெனு மூல வவித்தை யகன்றிட
வகமக மாக வல்லும் பகலற
வகமொளி ராத்ம தேவன் பதத்தினி
லகமகிழ் வாக வனிசம் ரமிக்கவே.

ahameṉu mūla vaviddai yahaṉḏṟiḍa
vahamaha māha vallum pahalaṟa
vahamoḷi rātma dēvan padattiṉi
lahamahiṙ vāha vaṉiśam ramikkavē
.
In a Tamil verse the words are coalesced according to natural euphonic principles of syllable-conjunction called puṇarcci or sandhi (which for example will cause in certain circumstances a final ‘u’ to be dropped before another vowel, a final ‘m’ to be dropped before another ‘m’, an extra ‘v’ or ‘y’ to be inserted between two vowels, certain initial consonants to be doubled after a final vowel, or certain final consonants to mutate into another related consonant before certain other consonants), and the resulting string of coalesced words is then split according to the poetic metre, which in this case consists of four feet per line.

Therefore when interpreting a verse, the first step is the make a padacchēda (pada-c-chēda or ‘word-separation’), that is, to split it into separate words. For this verse, the padacchēda is as follows:
அகம் எனும் மூல அவித்தை அகன்றிட ‘அகம் அகம்’ ஆக அல்லும் பகல் அற அகம் ஒளிர் ஆத்ம-தேவன் பதத்தினில் அக-மகிழ்வு ஆக அனிசம் ரமிக்கவே.

aham eṉum mūla aviddai ahaṉḏṟiḍa ‘aham aham’ āha allum pahal aṟa aham oḷir ātma-dēvan padattiṉil aha-mahiṙvu āha aṉiśam ramikkavē.
The meaning and grammar of each of these words is as follows:

அகம் (aham) {Sanskrit nominative first person singular pronoun} ‘I’
எனும் (eṉum) {quotative relative participle} which is called
மூல அவித்தை (mūla aviddai) {Sanskrit compound noun, mūla avidyā} root [fundamental] ignorance
அகன்றிட (ahaṉḏṟiḍa) {infinitive used to indicate aim or purpose} to leave, to vanish, so that [it] vanishes
அகம் அகம் (aham aham) ‘I [am] I’
ஆக (āha) {infinitive used adverbially} to become, to be, as
அல்லும் (allum) {அல், al, with the suffix உம், um, meaning ‘and’} night [or darkness] and
பகல் (pahal) day, daytime, daylight
அற (aṟa) {infinitive used adverbially} to cease, to separate, so that [it] ceases, without, devoid of
அகம் (aham) ‘I’, inside, within
ஒளிர் (oḷir) {verbal root used as a relative participle} which [or who] shines
ஆத்ம-தேவன் (ātma-dēvan) {personal form of Sanskrit compound noun, ātma-dēva} God, [who is] self
பதத்தினில் (padattiṉil) {locative form of பதம், padam, the Tamil form of a Sanskrit noun, pada} in [or at] foot, standpoint, state, abode
அக-மகிழ்வு (aha-mahiṙvu) inner joy, happiness of self
ஆக (āha) {infinitive used adverbially} to become, to be, as
அனிசம் (aṉiśam) {Sanskrit adverb, aniśa} uninterruptedly, incessantly, continually, always
ரமிக்கவே (ramikkavē) {infinitive used as a respectful optative, with the intensifying suffix ஏ, ē} only to rejoice, may we rejoice, let us rejoice, let us revel

Thus the meaning of this verse is:
So that the fundamental ignorance (mūla avidya) called ‘I’ [the ego] vanishes, let us rejoice incessantly as the happiness of self at the feet [or in the state] of ātma-dēva [God, who is self], who shines within as ‘I [am] I’ without [any differences such as] night and day [or darkness and light].
This verse is centred around one of Sri Ramana’s favourite words, அகம் (aham), which in Tamil has two distinct but quite similar meanings. As a word borrowed from Sanskrit, it is the nominative first person singular pronoun, ‘I’ (which according to the context can denote either our real self or our false ego), and as a word of pure Tamil origin it means inside, within, heart, mind, home and so on (see the meanings for அகம்5 and அகம்¹ respectively on page 12 of the Tamil Lexicon).

In this verse Sri Ramana clearly implies that in order to eradicate our false ‘I’ or ego, which is our mūla avidya or fundamental ignorance of our real self, we must abide uninterruptedly in self as self, which is the true form of God and infinite happiness.

How are we to abide thus in self as self? Since being self is the same as knowing self, as Sri Ramana teaches us in verse 26 of Upadēśa Undiyār, we can be nothing other than self only by attending to and thereby knowing nothing other than self.

This truth is also clearly indicated by him in verses 8 and 9 of Upadēśa Undiyār. In verse 8 he describes self-attentiveness as ananya-bhāva, ‘otherless meditation’ or ‘meditation on what is not other [than oneself]’, saying that it is the best among all forms of meditation, and in verse 9 he says that by the strength of such self-meditation we will be in sat-bhāva (our ‘true being’ or ‘state of being’), which transcends bhāvana (imagination or meditation as a mental activity), and that being thus is para-bhakti tattva — the true state of supreme devotion.

Therefore to eradicate our fundamental self-ignorance, which causes us to mistake this body-bound mind to be ‘I’, we must abide perpetually as self, our sat-bhāva or ‘true being’, and to abide thus we must vigilantly and persistently practise being keenly self-attentive.

This is why in this verse Sri Ramana focuses our attention on ‘I’ by repeating the word அகம் (aham) five times, as he also does in several other verses, such as verse 3 of Śrī Aruṇācala Pañcaratnam and verses 9 and 40 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham.

28 comments:

Akira said...

This article is very helpful for us Tamil learners. Thank you very much. I learned Tamil, but it is difficult to read this kind of poetic lines.

I hope you publish interliner translation (Tamil original - English) of Bhagavan's work, such as 'naan yar', in the future.

Michael James (www.happinessofbeing.com) said...

Akira, yes, I certainly hope to do so, whenever (and if ever) Sri Bhagavan gives me sufficient time.

With regard to Nāṉ Yār?, my plan is write a translation of it with a detailed explanation both of the meaning and grammar of each word and of the spiritual import of each sentence, giving the text in Tamil script and in transliteration, and giving some detailed appendices at the end explaining about Tamil script, transliteration, grammar and syntax, so that the book will serve the double purpose of helping people to understand the text more deeply and, if they are so interested, to learn the basics of Tamil so that they can study more of Sri Bhagavan’s teachings as expressed by him in his own Tamil writings.

Akira said...

Thank you for your reply,Michael.
I learned Tamil to know Bhagavan's teaching in his original words, not knowing literary Tamil is different from ordinary Tamil. There is no textbook available for learning literary Tamil. So I got stuck. It would be appreciated if you would do the work. Only you can do this kind of difficult works. May Bhagavan bless you.

Michael James (www.happinessofbeing.com) said...

Akira, yes, it is not easy to find good textbooks available for learning literary Tamil. However, there are a few useful books that are available either entirely or partially in Google Books (and/or Google Books UK).

One that I often refer to is A Grammar of the Tamil Language by Rev. Charles Theophilus Ewald Rhenius. Three editions of this book are available in their entirety in Google Books, namely the 1st edition (1836), the 2nd edition (1846) and the 3rd edition (1853), but not as yet the 4th edition (1888), so I generally use the most recent available edition. As you can imagine, it is a bit antiquated, and the author sometimes expresses his missionary prejudices, but it is nevertheless very thorough and useful both as a textbook and as a reference book.

Another book from the same period that is also available in its entirety in Google Books UK is A Tamil Hand-Book or Full Introduction to the Common Dialect of that Language, 2nd edition (1859), by Rev. George Uglow Pope. I have only glanced at this book, and it seemed to me to be not so useful as a a reference book but you may find it useful as a textbook.

Both of these books can either be read online, or at the top of the page of each of them you can find a link to download a PDF copy.

Another useful and more recent book (but still dating back to the early 20th century) is A Progressive Grammar of Common Tamil by A. H. Arden, but in Google Books (and in Google Books UK) it is available only as a limited preview, which means that not all pages will be displayed. However, it is still available in print, so you may find it useful to buy a copy from Amazon or elsewhere (ISBN: 144374592-8 or 978-144374592-5).

Akira said...

Thank you very much for the great links. These books are very usuful, with detailed explanation and plenty of example sentences.

Tamil language is quite similar to Japanese, my mother tongue. Susumu Ohno, a Japanese linguist, says that Tamil lanugage is the mother language of Japanese.
http://arutkural.tripod.com/tolcampus/jap-tamil.htm
(The link might have a pop-up ad.,depending on your browser.)

tch said...

" Rejoice eternally! The Heart rejoices at the feet of the Lord, who is the Self, shining within as ‘I-I’ eternally, so that there is no alternation of night and day. This will result in removal of ignorance of the Self. "

eternally - that which never change

alternation of night and day - clear/distinctive change

rejoices @ feet of lord - undying commitment/love towards the Goal(bhakti)

i'm trying to make the connection between the Buddha's teachings of impermanence(anicca) and attention(samatha)and how it relates to Self realization.

that which changes,according to Buddhism,is not worth clung/hold on to.In the practice of Atma vichara,perhaps one effective way,for ppl who are a bit confused/discourage of proceeding,is to start observing whatever that never lasts.

Thought comes and goes,as does body sensations,emotions etc...
let go of all those things;remember,what 's impermanent cannot be the ultimate truth;Truth is eternal.

Be extra Sensitive - (and this is a very important point - sensitivity),to that which never leaves,that which always always there.Ask yourself,what's always already?Refine your attention(Shamatha)(i.e develop your power of focus)until it is laser-like ,as this is vital to penetrate the delusion of self.

Truth is eternal.

tch said...

oh,just found this article which answers my questions/doubts on impermanence :

consciousness and time -

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.com/2006/12/consciousness-and-time.html

Anonymous said...

If I may ask this unrelated question - did Bhagavan say anything about the importance of the desire for freedom?
If I feel I'm incapable of practicing Bhagavan's teachings in texts such as 'Who am I', would it help if I just replaced it with the visceral desire for freedom as much as possible?

Anonymous said...

Are you using Google transliteration for Tamil in this blog post. I find it highly awkward to express classical tamil using google transliteration. Thanks.

Michael James (www.happinessofbeing.com) said...

Anonymous, no, I do not use Google transliteration, because no automatic transliteration can be satisfactory for Tamil, since the pronunciation of each of the val-l-iṉa (‘hard class’) consonants varies according to context and should therefore be transliterated accordingly.

I therefore use my own transliteration scheme, which is a modified form of the scheme used in the Tamil Lexicon, and which I explain in detail in a new PDF document that I recently added to my website, Transliteration, Transcription and Pronunciation (which I introduce and provide a link to in a new section on the Books page, Transliteration, transcription and pronunciation).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link about transliteration - I shall check it out. But how do you input the tamil characters in your blog ? Thanks.

Michael James (www.happinessofbeing.com) said...

Anonymous, I compose the Tamil characters in a Word document using menu options ‘Insert’ then ‘Symbol...’, and then in the ‘Symbol’ pop-up window I select a suitable Tamil Unicode font and double click on each of the Tamil characters to be inserted.

After composing the Tamil words in this way, I copy and paste them first into Notepad (to remove all hidden formatting information from Word), and then from Notepad I copy and paste them into the form for composing a new blog post.

Anonymous said...

That was me, S.Ramaswamy, asking about transliteration and inputting tamil characters. Sab.Mama mentioned this blog once, hence the visit.I once thought I would enter one GVK verse per day to get familiar with these transliteration editors - but it's very difficult and gave up in a day or two. Must try alternate web based editors or desktop based ones. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I. as consumer, demand a false face

start to feel the beginninglessness of the thread, and
its endlessness as well

This afternoon I walked along a clifftop on the edge of
the sea in the fog and a strong
onshore wind. Gulls soared into sight, almost near enough
to touch then were almost
immediately gone in the fog. I could see the constant
small shape adjustments they
made to their wings in the turbulent air. The fog blew
over the cliff edge in strands
and swirls and chunks. Back from the edge the spruce and
fir trees were fragrant and
dripping and buds of this year's new growth were just
starting to swell on every
branchtip. Everything was permeated by the sound of the
surf and the wind in the
trees. It was all live energy at play.

There is only absorption in All That Is.

The Who is too limiting a container for Love
Poet unknown

Anonymous said...

New posts please...

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile.....A need arises to
"make sense" of things, and the concept comes to
be. Thought itself is a force of nature, and is
unwilled.

Anonymous said...

Thanks friends,
I woke up this instant.
What woke me up was this instant,
because this instant is all that is.
Give me a nanosecond so I can
make a dream about me waking up.
Give me another nanosecond so
I can make an experience out
of this.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Can you share with us some of your latest work? Thank you.

Annapurna said...

Michael, you write that our mula avidya or fundamental ignorance of our real self is to eradicate.
But our body-bound mind does not let us abide perpetually as self, our sat-bhava or 'true being'.
Even to practise vigilantly and persistently being keenly self-attentive is prevented by the "seeming" existence of the ego.

Although I know even now the answer (" Investigate to whom that question arises" or "God in his almightiness and omnipotence can naturally do what he wants") the thirst for knowledge of my ego always insists to ask:
Why did the true self allow the "seeming" separation of ego(s)?
To speek in terms of Christian exegesis :
[(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_man):
Transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience]
Why did God let the serpent tempt into eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge (of good and evil) ?
Why did he not choose an other kind of entertainment than to expell them from the garden of Eden after eating the fruit ?
Although that question maybe cannot answered rationally and although any answer of that question would not in the least improve the catastrophic situation of mankind I put it nevertheless as a fundamently permissible question.
The being responsible for that accident would be able to collect easily the lost sheeps and bring back them home.
But I am aware of our (of the sheeps) poor position.
Just as much it is evident that the creator or ordainer is in a good measure partly to blame in that seeming "Original Sin" causing humans to be subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin.
The fact that we are in reality nothing other than that ordainer
does not change the disastrous position of humanity.
But it is clearly visible to me that it is fairly pointless to look accusingly at God.
So we have no other way out than to submit to him:
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Arunachalaramanaya

Michael James said...

Annapurna, your questions are all based on the assumption that the rising of the ego (the ‘fall of man’ or ‘original sin’) and the resulting creation of everything else has actually occurred, but Bhagavan asks us to investigate this ego to see whether it actually exists, and he says that if we investigate it persistently we will find that there is no such thing, and that what actually exists is only our own essential self. As he said in the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?: ‘யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே’ (yathārtham-āy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē), ‘What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [our own essential self]’.

If we are walking alone at night along a narrow path and see a snake lying on the path ahead of us, it may seem meaningful to us to ask ourself why God allowed a snake to be there at that time when we need to get home quickly. However, if that ‘snake’ were not actually a snake but only a rope that we are mistaking to be a rope, our question would actually be meaningless. Likewise, though it may it may seem meaningful to us now to ask ourself why God created this world or allowed us to rise as an ego, if the ego and world are not what they seem to be but are actually only one infinite, indivisible and immutable reality, whose nature is being (sat), awareness (cit) and bliss (ānanda), as Bhagavan says they are, our question would be meaningless.

Therefore, since it is meaningless to ask ‘why?’ about anything that does not actually exist, the only adequate answer to any questions such as the ones you have asked is: ‘Investigate this ego to see whether it really is what it now seems to be’. This is why Bhagavan’s standard answer to all such questions was: ‘Investigate to whom this question occurs’.

You say, ‘But our body-bound mind does not let us abide perpetually as self, our sat-bhava or ‘true being’. Even to practise vigilantly and persistently being keenly self-attentive is prevented by the “seeming” existence of the ego’. You are not alone in experiencing this, because it is what we will all experience so long as we experience ourself as this ego. Because our ego or mind knows instinctively that self-investigation will destroy it (by revealing it to be ever non-existent), and because it desires nothing more than to survive, it will do all it can to resist investigating itself.

However, perseverance is the only way to succeed. Even if we cannot now ‘abide perpetually as self’ or ‘practise vigilantly and persistently being keenly self-attentive’, we can at least try to be self-attentive intermittently, and if we continue trying as much as we can, we will sooner or later succeed. As Bhagavan used to say, ‘Bhakti [love] is jñāna-mātā [the mother of knowledge]’, and in this context bhakti means svātma-bhakti, the love to experience ourself alone. The more we try to practise self-attentiveness, the more this love will be cultivated and nurtured in our heart, and thus the more willing we will become to let go of our ego and thereby merge in our source, our essential self.

Josef Bruckner said...

Michael,
your today's reply to Annapurna,
second paragraph, lines 4 and 5
shows little typos:
In the sentence beginning "However, if that 'snake' were not actually a snake but only a rope that we are mistaking to be a...." you wanted to write the word 'snake' instead of 'rope'.
In the next line the words "it may" were typed twice.

Michael James said...

Thank you, Josef, for pointing out those typos. As you inferred, the second paragraph of my reply to Annapurna should have been:

If we are walking alone at night along a narrow path and see a snake lying on the path ahead of us, it may seem meaningful to us to ask ourself why God allowed a snake to be there at that time when we need to get home quickly. However, if that ‘snake’ were not actually a snake but only a rope that we are mistaking to be a snake, our question would actually be meaningless. Likewise, though it may seem meaningful to us now to ask ourself why God created this world or allowed us to rise as an ego, if the ego and world are not what they seem to be but are actually only one infinite, indivisible and immutable reality, whose nature is being (sat), awareness (cit) and bliss (ānanda), as Bhagavan says they are, our question would be meaningless.

Annapurna said...

Michael, many thanks for your reply.
You are right; to ask "why" from the position of an (seeming) ajnani is pure nonsensical futility.
But Ramana did not ask us to believe anything what is not our experience.
So long as I experience myself as this ego I am not justified to view the ego and the world from the viewpoint of a jnani.
How may I be allowed to use/exploit the experience of Ramana(a jnani) ?
Therefore the ego puts questions according to its realm of experience.
There is no doubt that Ramana has no questions. At the most I can have confidence to Ramana's teachings that instead of an ego only atma-svarupa [our own essential self] actually exists.
The problem is that my ignorance or lack of knowledge about reality prevents me to distinguish reality from appearance.
Possibly it is the power of maya or our self-negligence(pramada) that makes me being aware of myself as something that I am not.
I do not really enjoy the seeming fact that appearance/impression is easier perceptible and more attractive/familiar than reality. But now I have to share the same fate/lot as my brothers and sisters.
So there is nothing else you can do Michael but to encourage us
to persever in our practice being keenly self-attentive.
I express heartfelt thanks to you for your encouragement.
Hopefully we will get the love to experience ourself alone(svatma-bhakti). The resistance of the ego to practise self-attentiveness is violent and intense.
Yet now it is clear that the ego will bow only after heavy fights.

Michael James said...

Annapurna, rather than saying that ‘the ego will bow only after heavy fights’, it may be more accurate and helpful to say that it will bow only after gentle and patient perseverance. If we try to fight the ego, we are perpetuating the illusion that it exists, and thus we are giving it life and strength, so we will never be able to defeat it. The only way to make it bow is by gently and patiently persevering in our attempts to be self-attentive.

Regarding your remark, ‘So long as I experience myself as this ego I am not justified to view the ego and the world from the viewpoint of a jnani’, from the viewpoint of the jñāni the ego and world do not exist, so as you say we obviously cannot view them from such a viewpoint so long as we experience ourself as an ego who perceives a world. However, when Bhagavan teaches us that they do not exist, and that their seeming existence (in our view) is therefore an illusion, we can at least begin to doubt their reality.

He also gives us good reasons to doubt their reality. If we were really this ego, we should experience ourself as such always, but in sleep we experience ourself without experiencing our ego, so this ego cannot be what we really are. Therefore we have good reason to consider this ego to be an illusion, and since we experience the world only when we experience ourself as this ego, we have equally good reason to consider this world also to be an illusion.

As I explained in some of my recent articles (such as Metaphysical solipsism, idealism and creation theories in the teachings of Sri Ramana, The perceiver and the perceived are both unreal and We can believe vivarta vāda directly but not ajāta vāda), the viewpoint of the jñāni is ajāta (the experience that I alone exist, and that the ego and world have therefore never existed or even seemed to exist), but the view that Bhagavan advised us to adopt so long as we still experience ourself as this ego is vivarta vāda (the view that though the ego and world do not actually exist, they do seem to exist, so they are vivarta — an illusion or false appearance).

Annapurna said...

Thanks Michael for your response and the given three links to your recent articles.
I will go through that articles after writing this comment.

Persevering in the attempt to be self-attentive is surely necessary.
But I did not even start to be self-attentive.
Because of the daily experiences I have no reason to doubt the reality of ego and its perceived world.
However, hearing about Ramana's life made a great impression on me.
The tranquillity and pleasant sense radiated by Sri Ramana gives him a special charisma. So I am ready to study his teachings. The saying that there is actually no ego but only our own essential self is revolutionary.
What in this context means "own" essential self ?
Who is here the owner ?
Due to the lack of own experience I cannot confirm Sri Ramana's assertion that there is not really an ego.
From the viewpoint of my (seeming but lively) ego some thoughts arise:
The fact that our ego knows instinctively that self-investigation will destroy it by revealing it to be ever non-existent maybe caused from the ego's memory about its first rising.
The evident displeasure of the(seeming)ego to merge (again) in its source must have a cause and a "past history".
What can be the reason for the desire of the ego to survive cost what it may ?
It is evident that only keen investigation of the source of the ego can reveal why the former and now seemingly lost stay in eternal awareness could/did not satisfy the ego. Obviously the ego has stored bad or at least unpleasant experiences made in Brahman as its place of origin in its memory.
That we in sleep experience ourself without experiencing our ego in my opinion gives not any proof that the ego is not what we really are. Maybe the ego then is resting in a hidden place (-in the heart-) from where it rises again at waking. Equally the transitory disappearance of the ego-mind gives not a good reason to consider both this ego and the world to be an illusion.
So from my present level I cannot adopt the view that ego and world do not actually exist.
I am able only to accept tentatively the theory that ego and world do only "seem/appear" to exist.

Michael James said...

Annapurna, in the term ‘our own essential self’ the word ‘own’ is equivalent to the Sanskrit prefix sva (as in words such as svarūpa or svātma). It is not intended to imply that our essential self is a possession of ours, but only to emphasise that it is ourself — our very own self. The word ‘self’ does not refer to anything we own or anything other than ourself, but denotes only what we actually are. In other words, we and ourself are not two separate things, but one and the same.

Now we experience ourself as an ego, so as long as we experience ourself thus, we cannot confirm to ourself (as you say) the truth of Sri Ramana’s teaching that the ego does not actually exist. However, though it seems to exist in our view, he teaches us that if we investigate (examine, scrutinise or keenly attend to) it, we will find that it is not what it now seems to be, but is only our single, infinite, indivisible and immutable self, other than which nothing actually exists.

When you write, ‘What can be the reason for the desire of the ego to survive cost what it may?’ you are in effect asking another ‘why?’ question about something that does not actually exist. If we investigate our ego, we will find that it does not actually exist and has never actually existed, so it has never really had any desire to survive. However, because self-love is our real nature, when we mistake ourself to be an ego, we love this ego more than anything else, and hence we want to survive as this ego whatever the cost.

From the fact that the ego loves to survive, we should not infer that it has a bad memory of being brahman, because as ego it has never experienced itself as brahman, and hence it has no memory of being brahman at all.

Though the ego subsides in sleep, it is not afraid of sleep, because in sleep its seed-form is protected by a subtle veil of self-ignorance, and hence when rested it rises again. However, it is afraid of self-investigation, because self-investigation will dissolve that veil of self-ignorance by enabling us to experience ourself as we really are, and thus it will destroy the very darkness in which the illusion of ego seems to rise.

From our present experience, all we can conclude is that the ego and world seem to exist, but this does not mean that they actually exist. Therefore, though they seem to exist, we can reasonably doubt whether or not they actually exist. The illusory snake seems to exist, but that does not mean that it actually exists. If we are brave enough to doubt whether its seeming existence is real, we can look at it carefully, and then we will see that it is only a rope and not the snake that it seemed to be. Likewise, if we are brave enough to doubt whether the seeming existence of our ego is real, we can look at it carefully, and then we will see that it is only our infinite self and not the finite ego that it seemed to be.

Chandrasekhar Viswanath said...

Thanks to your blog could obtain such beautiful translation of Sri Ramana's verses. Thanks

Annapurna said...

Michael,
regrettably I forgot to thank you also for your last detailed reply.