Monday, July 1, 2013

Sri Ramana Maharshi - Five Verses on the Self


These are the last verses composed by Bhagavan. They
were written at the instance of a devotee, Suri Nagamma,
the author of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam. He wrote them
first in Telugu, but to a Tamil metrical form called venba, and
then translated them into Tamil. Since there was already a
composition of Shankaracharya called the Atma Panchakam,
Bhagavan decided to call his composition Ekatma Panchakam.

1.   When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
That the body is oneself and goes
Through innumerable births
And in the end remembers and becomes
The Self, know this is only like
Awaking from a dream wherein
One has wandered over all the world.

2.   One ever is the Self. To ask oneself
`Who and whereabouts am I?'
Is like the drunken man's enquiring
`Who am I?' and `Where am I?'

3.   The body is within the Self. And yet
One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.

4.   Does an ornament of gold exist
Apart from the gold? Can the body exist
Apart from the Self?
The ignorant one thinks `I am the body';
The enlightened knows `I am the Self'.

5.   The Self alone, the Sole Reality,
Exists for ever.
If of yore the First of Teachers
Revealed it through unbroken silence
Say who can reveal it in spoken words?

(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

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