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upadESa undiyAr
by Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Synopsis of the Story of the futility of the vEdic and other actions to grant Self-Knowledge

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Self-Knowing Song

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  upadESa undiyAr

by Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi
with Introductions and Appendix by SrI muruganAr

Translation and Notes
by Shankar

Introductory Song to 'upadESa undiyAr', by SrI muruganAr

Prior History to upadESa undiyAr, by SrI murganAr

UPADESA UNDIYAR BY SRI BAGAVAN:Secret of Work

Explanatory Note on the twofold impact of all works

Secret of Worship

Summary of Work, Devotion and yOgA discussed in verses 1 to 9 of upadESa undiyAr

Summary of verses 1-9 and Translation of Verse 10

Summary of Verses 1-15 Upadhesa Undhiyar

Notes

Notes Verses 21 to 25

Appendix to the Upadhesa Undhiyar, by Sri Muruganar


Introductory Song to 'upadESa undiyAr'
by SrI muruganAr


To the 'muruganAr' who said (to SrI ramaNA), "Please grant, for the world to redeem (itself), the 'secret' of the 'ordered method' for 'seeing' the 'goal', with the delusion of 'work' having ceased", my Father compiled and granted, 'upadESa undiyAr, a 'Lamp of Wisdom'.

Translation of the introductory song to 'upadESa undiyAr' composed by SrI muruganAr.

SrI muruganAr was a great householder disciple of SrI BagavAn. He never swerved from the Teachings of SrI BagavAn. He attained samADi chanting the 'aruNAcala akShara maNa mAlai' composed by SrI BagavAn in adoration of the Holy Hill of SrI aruNAcalA.

SrI muruganAr was a great Tamil Poet. He composed the pristine pure 'non-dual' teachings of SrI BagavAn in the form of '4-line' Tamil Songs. About 1000 of them, have been published under the title 'The Compendium of the Utterances of the Master' or 'guru vAcagak kOvai'.

Saint SrI sADu Aum says that this text of SrI muruganAr, together with 'upadESa undiyAr' and 'ulladu nArpadu' of SrI BagavAn, constitute the 'sacred trinity' in respect of the Teachings of SrI BagavAn.

Saint SrI sADu Aum has written a commentary in Tamil on 'guruvAcagak kovai' of SrI muruganAr. This commentary is the very 'hive of nectar', without the 'stinging bees of verbose accretions'.


Prior History to upadESa undiyAr
by SrI murganAr


1 Those who abided doing penance in 'tAru vanA', on account of (the tendencies derived from) their past deeds, went to 'take shelter' (in work).

2 That there is no God other than work, they became 'hardened in enmity',
(towards God who ordains, which of the past deeds, and in which order, must bear fruit in the current birth), on account of their self-deceiving pride.

3 They saw the power (lessness) of 'works',done decrying the Doer (the Lord), who grants the fruits for works. They had their 'pride' going away (from them).

4 When they melted crying 'Save and Shower Grace', adjoining the 'Eye of Mercy', He (Lord SivA) granted 'Grace'. This is the (Spiritual) Instruction of (Lord) SivA.

5 The essence of (spiritual) instruction (upadESa undiyAr),
if you 'consume', 'possess' and 'live by' it,
(there, in you) will arise 'Bliss'. (And,) The 'sorrow' will cease.

6 Lean upon this essence of (spiritual) instruction.
As you lean 'inwardly' (i.e. brood) upon (it),
(may you) adjoin it (the essence of spiritual instruction,
by your becoming one with it)!
(Then,) May 'bliss' adjoin (you)!
Cease! may sorrow cease! (for you).

(Verse 5 sets out the fruit of abiding by this essence of
spiritual instruction. Verse 6 recounts the same
by way of a 'blessing'.)


UPADESA UNDIYAR BY SRI BAGAVAN

Secret of Work

1 Work yields fruit by the Command of the (One Great) Doer (the Lord). Is work God? (No.) Because, work is (without volition, and is) insentient.

2 The 'consequence' of work, ending in the middle (into sleep), as the seed (of the 'tendency to engage in work furthermore'), will 'make (you) fall' into the ocean of work. (And thus, the 'consequence' of work, with the 'longing' for which you began your work) will not grant (you) liberation.

3 (But,) Work (done) without desire (for the fruit thereof), (and) dedicated to the (One Great) Doer (the Lord), will 'bring the mind-stuff into a state of fitness' (for merger into the Self). (And thus,) Will show the path to liberation.


Explanatory Note on the twofold impact of all works
by Shankar


We do all our works with our conscious surface minds. As we do the work, it ends in the middle of our doing, into a seed. This seed gets formed in our conscious mind. And, it goes down and gets lodged into the basement of our subconscious mind.

We are the Supreme Self, having assumed an individual body. But, the Supreme Self with the entire universe as Its body, is the Personal God, or ISvarA.

This ISvarA determines in which birth this seed has to materialise into our outer circumstances. This materialisation occurs only in a subsequent birth by the Will of ISvarA. In very special cases, laid down in the vEdAs, the same materialises in the current birth itself. This He does in such a way that will enable us to turn inward, enquire into the Self, resolve the seeds into the Light of the Self, and attain Self-Realisation.

1 This seed becomes active 'only when it materialises' into our outer circumstances, in some subsequent birth, 'in the form of the fruit of the action' from which this seed was formed.

2 Until then, the seed keeps 'acting indirectly' on the conscious surface mind, by constantly propelling the same from below, into same or similar type of actions. Thus, in the current birth it is in 'sleep' because it is yet to manifest its fruit in some future birth. Also because, it 'acts unawares' by propelling the conscious surface mind from below it. Thus, our conscious surface mind can be said to be constantly in a state of 'sleep-walking' (somnambulism).

We can resolve the the seed into the Light of the Self in any particular birth by performing Self-Enquiry. Suppose we do not so resolve the seed. Then it will be carried forward to the next birth. It will then exist in that subsequent birth, as part of our subconscious mind.

Suppose we do not so resolve the seed in that subsequent birth also. Suppose further that the seed is not ordained by ISvarA to materialise into the outer circumstances in that birth. Then it will be carried forward to the next birth. It will then exist in that subsequent birth, as part of our subconscious mind.

And so on, until it is either resolved by us, or it materialises by the Will of ISvarA into the fruit of our action.


Secret of Worship

4 It is the 'certitude' that (physical) worship (of a symbol of God), (barely audible) mutter (of God's Name), and meditation (on God's Name), constitute the function(/s) (respectively) of body, speech, and mind. Each (succeeding) one is(!) superior to the (preceding) one.

5 'All Forms of thought (projecting a world existing apart), are(!) the Forms
of the Lord', thinking thus, (and) worshipping (everything appearing in front), is a good worship of the Lord.

6 Superior to praising (aloud, so that others also will hear such praise) is the utterance (of God's Name, in such a low tone that oneself alone hears such utterance). Superior to the repetition (of God's Name, rolling one's tongue invisibly) within the mouth (so that oneself alone hears such repetition), is the mental (repetition of God's Name). This(!) (mental repetition) is the 'slowly ripening meditation'.

7 More than the 'thinking with break', like the (unbroken continuous) 'fall' of river and/or ghee, only the 'meditating without break', is to think in a specially investigative fashion.

8 More than the 'discernment (or the 'careful judgement') ' of the 'separateness' (of the Lord from us), only the 'discernment (or the insight)' of the 'non-separateness' (of the Lord from us), by which He (the Lord) becomes the 'inner' (sanctum sanctorum), is the best amongst all (the discernments or the efforts to see things clearly with the mind).

9 By the strength of 'discernment' (or the insight), to abide in the 'discernment of the existence' (of the Lord 'non-separate' from us), (which is) beyond all 'discernments' (efforts to see things clearly with the mind), is the principle of devotion to the Supreme.


Summary of Work, Devotion and yOgA discussed in verses 1 to 9 of upadESa undiyAr
by Shankar


Verse 6 - SUPERIOR IS THE MENTAL (REPETITION OF GOD'S NAME). (BUT,) THIS(!) (MENTAL REPETITION) IS THE 'DELAYED RIPENING OF MEDITATION'.

Verse 7 - 'MEDITATING WITHOUT BREAK', IS TO THINK IN A 'SPECIALLY INVESTIGATIVE' FASHION.

Verse 8 - ONLY THE 'DISCERNMENT (OR THE INSIGHT)' OF THE 'NON-SEPARATENESS' (OF THE LORD FROM US), BY WHICH HE (THE LORD) BECOMES THE 'INNER' (SANCTUM SANCTORUM), IS THE BEST AMONGST ALL (THE DISCERNMENTS OR THE EFFORTS TO SEE THINGS CLEARLY WITH THE MIND).

Verse 9 - TO ABIDE IN THE 'DISCERNMENT OF THE EXISTENCE' (OF THE LORD 'NON-SEPARATE' FROM US), IS THE PRINCIPLE OF SUPREME DEVOTION.

A. DESIRELESS WORK MUST PRODUCE IN US THE PERMANENT INSIGHT TO PERCEIVE GOD WITHIN:

Work or effort dedicated to God without desire makes the mind fit for merger into the Self (verse 3). Spiritual Effort means the effort to see clearly with the help of the mind, the process of merger into the Self. And, the best spiritual effort is the insight by which we see God as our inner sanctum (verse 8). If we constantly abide with this insight, then we have Supreme Devotion to God (verse 9).

Therefore, we see that by the desireless action our mind is made fit for merger into the Self (verse 3). And, this fitness MUST give us the insight by which we see God as our inner sanctum. And, this insight is the best spiritual effort (verse 8). So desireless action dedicated to God produces in us the best spiritual action of insightfully perceiving God within ourselves. And, we must make this insight permanent. Then, we have Supreme Devotion to God (verse 9).


B. ONE CAN STRAIGHTAWAY START REPEATING THE NAME OF GOD MENTALLY AND THEN MAKE SUCH REPEITION UNBROKEN:

There are three kinds of prayers. The usual type is to pray aloud. Still better is to just mutter within oneself. Still superior is the silent mental repeition. But, even this silent mental repetition is only the delayed ripening of meditation (verse 6).

Because, only the silent mental 'unbroken' repetition can in fact be called a 'meditation', or a 'specially investigative type of thinking' (verse 7).

Also because one can straightaway begin to repeat God's Name silently within the mind. And then, reach upto the stage of unbroken silent mental repetition, which is investigative thinking.

It is not at all necessary to go through the stages of praying aloud, and muttering within oneself. Because, even in these two cases, the mind is the one which is actually engaged in the process. Although with the help of the words uttered loudly through the mouth, and with the help of the words muttered in a low tone with the mild rolling of the tongue within the mouth. Hence, coming to silent mental repetition through loud prayer and low muttering is called the delayed ripening of meditation.


NEXT IS THE 'CULMINATING GLORY' OF THE VERSE 10
OF UPADESA UNDIYAR BY SRI BAGAVAN.

Summary of verses 1-9 and Translation of Verse 10
by Shankar


Verses 1-3 dealt with work. What was the essence? We have to work without the desire for the fruit thereof. God is the One Great Doer. Work gives fruit only by the command of God. Therefore, we must dedicate all our work to God. Then, such desireless work with devotion to God will make the mind fit for merger into the Self.

Here God refers to ISvarA, who is the Self with the entire universe as His Body. (verse 24). He has only body-consciousness. And, no separate world-consciousness. Whereas we are the Self with a small individual body. And, we have this body-consciousness and a separate world-consciousness.

So, this type of action dedicated to ISvarA is itself devotion to God. Thus, this type of action merges our way of action into the way of worship. And, integrates them both into a single unified whole way of life.

But, verses 4-6 dealt with Devotion to God explicitly without reference to our actions. What was the essence? We can directly begin to meditate mentally on God's Name. We must look upon everything appearing in front of us as the Form of the Lord. Why? Because, the entire universe is the body of ISvarA. And, all the forms we see as part of our world, are within the one universe, which is the body of ISvarA.

So, we see that ISvarA is the Lord of all our works. By commanding the fruition of our works. He is also the Lord of all our worship. Because, He is the very object to whom we offer our Love and Devotion.

Verses 7-9 dealt with culmination of work into devotion further. And also, the culmination of work and devotion into knowledge. How?

Self-Enquiry is actually a special type of investigative thinking. If we meditate without break on God's Name, that becomes this investigative or enquiring type of thinking. Thus, from here begins the road to the proper Self-Enquiry. Thus, devotion to God here becomes Self-Enquiry or a mode of knowledge.

Devotion --> Knowledge

Also, we must develop the insight that God is our inner being. And, this insight is the best of all our mental efforts. Here, our mental effort or work lays the first stone for Self-Knowledge. Here, work becomes a mode of knowledge.

Work--> Knowledge

And, to abide permanently in the insight that God is our inner being is the principle of Supreme Devotion to God. Here, our mental effort or work merges into Devotion to God.

Work--> Devotion

Thus, to summarize,

Devotion --> Knowledge

^^^ ^^^
| | | |
Work

Thus, we see that everything finally merges into Knowledge of the Self.


10 To contract and abide in the source of origin (of the ego or the body-consciousness) is (right) action, and (right) devotion. That is (right) merging and (right) knowledge.

11 Like a bird (inadvertently) getting (caught) into the 'net' (cast on the ground), even the mind 'gets merged' (within), by 'compressing' the 'vital air' within. This is a 'means' to 'merge' (the mind within).

12 The mind (the reflection of the Existence) and the life (vital air), (with) the feeling and the action (as their respective functions), yes! (there) exist (these) two branches. (But,) The 'One' is their 'source' (of their origin, the stem or the trunk).

13 Destruction and also lurking, yes! (these) two (constitute the two methods of) subsidence (of the ego). That (ego) which (merely) abides lurking, will rise (again, from its state of lurking). (But,) if the form (of the ego) dies, will not rise (again).

14 If you course along the (Self-) enquiring path, the mind that subsides, when (you) withhold the vital air (or the breath), its form will die.

15 With the form of the mind perishing, the great yogi who firmly abides in the truth, has no work for Himself. He adjoined His Natural State.


Summary of Verses 1-15 Upadhesa Undhiyar
by Shankar

Verses 1-3 dealt with work. That is, Charya pada or Karma Yoga. We have to work without the desire for the fruit thereof. Work gives fruit only by the command of God. Therefore, we must dedicate all our work to God. This merges our way of action into the way of worship.
Karma Yoga ---> Bhakti Yoga

Desireless work dedicated to God makes the mind fit for merger into the Self (verse 3). And, this fitness gives us the insight by which we see God as our inner being. And, this insight is the best spiritual effort (verse 8). Here, work becomes a mode of knowledge.
Karma Yoga --> Knowledge

If we constantly abide with this insight, then we have Supreme Devotion to God (verse 9). Here, our mental work merges into Devotion to God.
Karma Yoga --> Bhakti Yoga

Verses 4-6 dealt with Devotion to God. That is Kriya Pada or Bhakti Yoga. We must look upon everything appearing in front of us as the Forms of God. We can straightaway begin to repeat God's Name silently within the mind. And then, reach upto the stage of unbroken silent mental repetition, which is investigative thinking (verse 7). And, Self-Enquiry is investigative thinking. Investigating into the nature of our Real Self. Thus, this unbroken silent mental repetition of God's Name merges our way of devotion into the way of Knowledge.
Bhakti Yoga --> Knowledge

Verses 11-14 dealt with Raja Yoga. The mind's function is feeling. The life force's function is works. And, these two spring from the one source. Of the Supreme Self. We can withhold the breath or the vital air or the life force within. Then, even the mind will subside within. Then, we must course the mind along the path of Self-Enquiry. Then, its form will perish. And, it will get destroyed within. Within the Supreme Self. Then, it will not rise again (Verses 11-14). With the form of the mind perishing, the great yogi who firmly abides in the truth, has no work for Himself. He adjoined His Natural State. Of the Supreme Self (Verse 15). Thus, here Raja Yoga ends in Self-Knowledge.
Raja Yoga ---> Knowledge

Thus, to summarize,

Bhakti Yoga --> Knowledge

^^^ ^^^ ^^^
| | | | | |

Karma Yoga Raja Yoga

Thus, we see that everything finally merges into Knowledge of the Self.


16 Leaving (aside and behind) the external matters, only the mind's investigating into its Light-Form (causal state), is(!) the true perception.

17 Investigating unforgetfully into the mind's (Light-) Form, there is nothing as the 'mind'. This is the straight path for all.

18 Thoughts are(!) the mind. Of all (thoughts), 'I am (this body)' thought, is(!) the root (thought). 'I am (existing separately as) this (body)' is called as the mind.

19 It you inwardly investigate as to wherefrom this 'I am (this body) (thought)' rises, the head of 'I am (this body) (thought)' lunges forward (into the Self). This is the 'Knowledge-Investigation'.

20 With the one 'I (am the body thought)' reaching the Self, that (other) One (than the ego) emerges(!) (from within and behind) as 'I-I', of its own accord. That Self is(!) the Totality.


Notes:
by Shankar

So far, Sri Bhagawan explained about three paths. Karma, Bhakti and Raja Yogas. All of them pointed to Jnana Yoga. Now, He begins to discuss Jnana Yoga.

The first step for Jnana Yoga is to leave aside the external things. Then, we must investigate into the Light-Form of the mind. Because, the mind is in its subsided state in deep sleep. Or, the causal or unmnaifest state. Its true form in that state is one of Light. In dream state, it is in a subtle manifest state. In waking, it is in gross manifest state. We must investigate into these three states.

This, we must do without ever forgetting. Then, we will find that there is nothing as the mind. Thoughts are the mind. For all thoughts, 'I am this body' thought is the root thought. We must investigate into the source from which this root thought arises. Then, the head of this root thought lunges forward into the Self. This is 'Knowledge-Investigation'. Or, Self-Enquiry. Or, Jnana Yoga. Now, the Self emerges from within and behind. Of its own accord, as the 'I-I'. And, it is the totality.


21 Because of the removal of our non-existent self, (the ego, from its waking state), even(!) in (and during) the 'I-(ego)-less' sleep, even everyday(!), That (the Self), yes!, the thing, which is the meaning of the word called the 'I' (is the One, continuing Its Uninterrupted Existence).

22 Because body, sense, mind, life, and darkness, all (these), are insentient, and (constitute the) Unreal Existence, (these) are not the 'I', which is (the One) Real Existence.

23 To know Existence, there being no other Awareness, Existence is Awareness. We exist as Awareness.

24 By existing Nature, the individual and (the Personal) God, are One substance alone. Only the awareness of the delimiting adjunct is different.

25 To investigate into oneself, giving up the delimiting adjunct, is perceiving (the Personal) God, the Self. Because of (the Personal God) shining as the Self.


Notes Verses 21 to 25
by Shankar

Sri Bhagawan discussed Jnana Yoga. In verses 16-20. Now, He proceeds further. To discuss the investigation into the three states. Of waking, dreaming, and dreamlessly sleeping. In fuller detail. Because, a constant discrimination between these 3 states is an essential foundation. For incessantly and unforgetfully practising Self-Enquiry. And, abiding as the Self.

In waking, the ego exists in its fully expanded manifest state. Holding on to a physical body. And, manifesting a correspondingly physical world. In dream, the ego is in a subtle state. Projecting a subtle body. And, manifesting a correspondingly subtle world. In deep dreamless sleep, the ego is removed. From its expansive manifest state. Into a causal state. Thus, all the states of ego are impermanent. And hence, ego is non-existent
in a real sense. Because, only that which abides permanently can be said to be existent.

In deep dreamless sleep, no limitation of consciousness is felt. By perception of a body as oneself. Hence, the ego is not effective and functional then. Thus, in deep dreamless sleep, we are egoless. But, our true existence continues. Uninterrupted by body-consciousness. This we experience everyday. This existence is the true meaning of the word 'I'.

Body, sense, mind, life, and darkness, are all insentient. That is, these have no awareness of their own. They exist, function and shine in the Light of Awareness of the Self. Thus, these constitute the Unreal Existence. These are not the 'I'. Which is the One Real Existence.

To know Existence, there being no other Awareness, Existence is Awareness. We exist as Awareness. By existing Nature, the individual and the Personal God, are One substance alone. Of the Supreme Self. Only the awareness of the delimiting adjunct is different.

For us, the delimiting adjunct is our limited physical or subtle body. Depending upon whether we are awake or are dreaming. And, the ego rises by holding on to this body. And as a result, we see a physical or subtle world, as existing apart from ourself. Also, as a result of this, we lose the awareness of the Self.

But, for the Personal God, the delimiting adjunct is the entire manifested universe. That is His body. However, He does not see any world existing as apart from Himself. Since the entire universe is His body. And also, He is ever aware of the Self.

We have to investigate into ourself. By giving up the delimiting adjunct. Of our limited body-consciousness. That is our perceiving the Personal God. Who shines for ever as the Supreme Self.

26 To abide as the Self is to know the Self. Because, the Self is (One) without two (the One bereft of all duality). This is the 'Firm End filled with the Nature of the Self'.


27 The Wisdom bereft of knowledge and ignorance alone is Wisdom. This(!) is the truth. There is not one (single thing) to know (as an object of knowledge).

28 If one knows as to what one's nature is, then (oneself is) is the beginningless and endless Existence. (And, oneself is the) Vast Consciousness-Bliss.

29 Attaining to Transcendental Bliss, bereft of bondage and liberation, to abide in this state, is to abide by the Command of (the Personal) God.

30 If one (investigates into, becomes clarified, and) ascertains (for oneself) as to which one inheres without the 'I(-sense, or the ego)', that (investigation) alone is askesis of Force (Concentrated Energy of Spiritual Endeavour).
Thus uttered Ramana, who is the (Supreme) Self.


Appendix to the Upadhesa Undhiyar
by Sri Muruganar


1 The rishis (of the Taruka forest), caressed the Feet of the Lord (Siva), and worshipped (Him) (And,) resounded (the place with His) Praise.

2 Upadhesa Undhiyar (text) is the support, [as the firm Word (of guidance), the holy incantation, the attained occupation, and the profit of the Self (all-in-one)] to those in whom It merges, The uttered teacher-God (two-in-one). (And,) The most auspicious One of the mountain (of Arunachala, Sage Ramana).

3 Many years, many years, many-many-hundred-thousand [(s) of years], Many years, and even many (more) years, May (that sage Ramana) live upon this earth.

4 Those who musically sing (this Upadhesa Undhiyar text), raising their voice, and those who fill their ears (with such musical singing), May they live for many lives (in one life).

5 Those who learn (this Upadhesa Undhiyar text), and those who, having learnt and perceived, themselves firmly abide by and in It, May they live for long many years.

THUS ENDS THE TRANSLATION OF THE TEXT UPADHESA UNDHIYAR BY BHAGAWAN SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI

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