Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sri Ramana Guru Prasadam

Robert Butler, who collaborated with me and Venkatasubramanian on translations of Padamalai and Guru Vachaka Kovai, has spent the last year or so translating two volumes of Muruganar’s devotional poetry. Some readers may remember that Robert translated Muruganar’s Sri Ramana Anubhuti in the 1990s and that the resulting work was brought out under the title Non-Dual Consciousness, The Flood Tide of Bliss. This was an incomplete rendering of part one of Sri Ramana Anubhuti. Robert was not happy with this book because he felt that his translation skills and his ignorance of Muruganar’s style and terminology had led him to make many errors. Now, having immersed himself in Muruganar translations for the last six years, he feels far better equipped to bring out an accurate and elegant version of the original verses. He has revised his translations of many of the verses that appeared in the 1990s edition and added to them all the missing verses that failed to appear in his original translation. He has also added the whole of the text of part two of Sri Ramana Anubhuti, none of whose verses appeared in the earlier work. His translation will be published in a few months’ time under the title Sri Ramana Guru Prasadadam. This is the name of the two combined volumes in the current Tamil edition of the work. Dr T. V. Venkatasubramanian, who edited the Tamil edition that was published by Sri Ramanasramam, has helped Robert to extract accurate meanings from some of the more obscure verses, but the final published version is very much Robert’s own.

I think this is a truly great book of devotional poetry, one that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in Bhagavan and his teachings.

Here is a sample of the verses, taken from a section entitled ‘The gaze of the Lord’. I will add more selections in the days and weeks to come, and I will make an announcement here when the book is available.


I was blighted like a useless corpse, bereft of life and decaying, with no worthwhile goal to aim for, until the gaze of the unique Master granted me his grace and engendered in my heart the realisation of the Self, the intangible beacon of consciousness.


Entirely banishing lust and all the rest, my gracious Lord, guru Ramana, true wisdom’s flame, watches over me. Through his very glance he revealed to me the upsurge of divine love, which is the savour of the experience of loving union with Lord Siva, sweet like the rich juice of a ripe mango.


It was the gaze of the unique Master that revealed the eternally shining existence, the Self-nature within my heart, as my own experience, so that I awoke into an awareness far wider than the normal waking state, that of jnana, in which the delusion caused by the mind’s divided consciousness is destroyed completely.


As the dark prison of mental bondage crumbled and disappeared, I became his servant, finding joyous life in the open sky of his ambrosial grace. The knot which locked my consciousness to the physical body was sundered by the bright sword of my Master’s glance and was no more.


When, with the unerring arrow of his glance of jnana, my guru, the supreme Lord, sundered the knot between my body and my consciousness, and my mind, transformed into the supernal sky of his grace, became clear and radiant, the veiling deception of bitter worldly bondage disappeared and the truth I then saw was my own Self.


Sundering the [fusion of] consciousness and the insentient that is the perplexed wandering mind, the acute grace-bestowing gaze of the great jewel, guru Ramana, was consummated in me as the expanse of grace, rare mauna, such that the sorrow of birth that stems from Self-forgetfulness was entirely abolished.


Subduing me and bringing me under his control, he drew my consciousness to himself with the irresistible magnet of his grace. From the profound depths of his mauna, his gracious glance cleaved the knot of my ego’s ruinous cravings in an instant. How great is the power of his piercing gaze!


Lost in the fruitless round of birth and death, I surrendered before my Master and my heart became clear and serene through his gracious gaze. Then, through the luminous spiritual practice in which I embraced his holy feet as the true path, I merged with the nature of the Real, so that the disastrous error [of forgetting my true nature] was no more.


Through the forgetfulness [pramada] that arose through the error of failing to enquire what was truly real, I revelled in the illusory existence of the physical body. But the Lord, through his glance of grace, united with my consciousness, and brought me into harmony with true existence, the fullness of the open sky [of the Self].


Through the grace-bestowing gaze of the Lord, of which I am totally unworthy, the miraculous and wonderful magic trick of the world’s illusion fell away, and as both bondage and liberation faded like a daydream, I merged into the state of the Self, which is my own radiant nature.


I was a learned fool. My flawed mind knew nothing until I came to dwell with him whose glance filled my heart with the light of awareness. Dwelling in that gracious state of peace whose nature is mauna, so hard to gain and know, I entered into union with the deathless state of the knowledge of reality.


Siva Ramana, whose gracious form is purest gold, came, drawing my wicked self to him and making me his servant. Under his gaze, true awareness has manifested as divine love through the bright and pure reality of his nature, whose form is supreme bliss.


Through his captivating gaze that is filled with the harmonious joy of the unalloyed grace whose nature is impossible to conceive, the Lord bestowed his sweetness upon me like divine nectar, sweet to the taste, such that my heart softened and melted as he ruled me through a consciousness whose nature is love.


His gracious gaze entered my heart, bestowing Siva-consciousness in all its fullness, so that the fear created by all the petty woes of my erring mind disappeared completely. And as the consciousness of the ghost-like ego, which is preoccupied with the multifarious and bewildering world of appearances, vanished, a life of fulfilment began for me at his holy feet.


The Brahmin Lord, bestowing his blissful grace, cast his gaze upon me, so that the falsehood of the bitter worldly bondage that bound my existence ever more tightly was abolished, and as the delusion of my confused thinking completely subsided, my heart shone as the all-pervasive expanse [of the Self].


When guru Ramana, whose nature is profound absorption in the divine, freed me from all uncertainty, [revealing that] perceiving is itself creating, the threefold division of objective knowledge was exposed within my heart as mere trickery, and under Selfhood’s steady gaze my restless mind stood still.


The Master Conjuror, he turned his gaze upon me, angrily destroying all the three cities [of my threefold body]. And suddenly, as liberation’s vast realm opened up before me, earth was transformed in an instant into heaven as he performed his divine illusion before my very eyes.


I was bound for destruction through my disastrous attachment to the world’s illusory reality, until, under my fair Lord’s gracious gaze, my understanding was flooded with the delightful experience of Lord Siva’s bliss, and I entered a new life in the boundless realm of mauna, the supreme reality.


A noble lion, he fixed the victorious gaze of jnana upon the forehead of the rutting elephant of my ego, which was drunk with self-conceit, filling me with the sweet nectar of a fitting union with Lord Siva, so that the inner experience of divine wisdom became my whole existence.


Enmired in my mind’s impurity, bound to the wheel of worldly attachments, I was like a raving madman, bent on self destruction until, through the grace of my Lord’s glance, I experienced in my heart the ever-present truth, the very nature of liberation.


When the Lord’s gracious gaze fell upon me, my heart was filled with the Self’s divine radiance in which all distinctions are obliterated, so that my evil and treacherous ego self faded in the spreading glory of divine realisation’s dawn, and was no more.


I was enfolded by the clear bright light of his gracious gaze, and in that state of peace, calm and clear, where the taint of the ego is no more, and where the mind is free of the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, which are the creations of a deluded mind, here in this very place, my experience ripened into liberation.


ramanamayi said...

So, so beautiful!

Please convey my thanks to Robert Butler for the exquisite job he has done with this translation.

Anonymous said...

The Words are like Awakening Rays