"THE ESSENCE OF RIBHU GITA" here preceded by "A Story of Sage Ribhu & his Disciple Nidagha" (Chapter 26 of the Ribhu Gita) as told by Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)

The Sage Ribhu taught his disciple the supreme Truth of the One Brahman (Pure Consciousness) without a second. However, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path of Self-Knowledge (Jnana Yoga), but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion (Bhakti Yoga). But the Sage loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown, his ritualism. At times the Sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he, did not know that he was being observed by his Master. On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession. Unrecognized by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in the procession.

“Oh! it is the king. He goes in the procession! But where is he?” asked the rustic. “There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha. “You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,” said the rustic, “but which is the king and which is the elephant?” “What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?” “Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,” begged the rustic. “But you said above and below— what do they mean?”

Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet you want to know what is meant by 'above' and 'below'” burst out Nidagha. “If things seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward, and you will know it all too well.” The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said: “Know it now. I am above as the king, you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?” “No, not yet,” was the rustic's gentle reply. “You say you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The 'king', the 'elephant', 'above' and 'below'— so far it is clear. But pray, tell me what you mean by 'I' and 'you'?”

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with. the mighty problem of defining a 'you' apart from an 'I', light dawned on his mind. At once he jumped down and fell at his Master's feet saying: “Who else but my venerable Master, Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! Gracious Master, I crave thy blessings”

Selection and English Translation By Prof. N. R. Krishnamoorthi Aiyer


Sri Ramanasramam is happy to publish this brilliant English abridgement of a monumental work which Bhagavan Ramana refers to often in His Talks. It will be noted that the translator has included in his selection passages made familiar by Sri Bhagavan.

Bhagavan Ramana encouraged the translator to study the Ribhu Gita as his sadhana. Being a devout student of the classic text, and through the grace of His Master, he is fully competent to translate it. We are now fortunate to have this rare and beautiful translation in our midst.

Professor N.R. Krishnamoorthi Aiyer was the Head of the Department of Physics in the American College, Madurai. He was steeped in the objectivity of modern science and has had close contacts with a large section of enlightened American professors. He is thus a physicist with an appreciation for scientific precision and accuracy. Since he is an advanced spiritual adept
as well, he is able to strike a remarkable equilibrium between science and spirituality, not just theoretically, but practically too. Sincere aspirants owe a deep sense of gratitude to him for both the great precision and spiritual insight with which he has been able to capture the essence of the original text.

Managing Editor,
‘The Mountain Path’
August 15, 1984.


The Ribhu Gita forms the sixth section of the Sanskrit work known as Siva Rahasya. It is the teachings of Lord Siva in Mount Kailas to His devotee Ribhu, from whom the Gita derives its name.

The Ribhu Gita was translated into Tamil verse by a Brahmin Vedic scholar of high repute, by name Bikshu Sastrigal who was also an accomplished scholar in Tamil. He translated the work under the name of Ulaganatha Swamigal, and because of his efforts attained renowned fame among the Tamil devotees of Siva.

The Tamil version is a free translation of the original Sanskrit text, consisting of 1,924 verses of such scintillating brilliance that Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi recommended its recital as a strong support for spiritual sadhana. He used to say that the recital itself leads to spontaneous abidance in
the Self.

The book presented herewith consists of 122 verses from the original Tamil work, being a free translation into English prose, conveying the essence of the original, rather than a mere mechanical word for word translation.

Reading of this English text alone will not be complete unless it is supported by vigorous sadhana with the help of a realised teacher, who has obtained firm abidance in Siva-Self by a life of devotion to Lord Siva. This aspect is stressed in some of the verses selected.

It is the earnest hope and prayer of the translator that after reading this English text, devotees all over the world would make the pilgrimage to Tiruvannamalai, and complete their sadhana in the immediate presence of Lord Arunachala Siva and Sat Guru Ramana enshrined in His samadhi in Sri Ramanasramam.

Sri Ramanasramam,
Tiruvannamalai - 606 603.
Dated: 15th August, 1984.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya


Benedictory verses

To Siva

1. Salutations to the Supreme Lord Siva, the pure Awareness in the sky of consciousness in the Heart, by meditation on whom, Ganesa, Guha, Mother-Sakti who is the embodiment of Siva’s Grace, and myriads of Devas, saints and devotees have attained their cherished goals. (Chapter 1, Verse 1).

To Nataraja

2. From the sky of consciousness of the Heart springs forth the dancer Nataraja with his blissful consort Freedom, to the delectation of his devotees who are thus liberated forever. Unto that Ananda Natesa do we render our devout salutations.
(Ch.1, v.2)

To Ardhanareeswara

3. Unto that Form whose left half is the Mother of all manifestation and whose right half is the Father of the same, the jingle of the gems enclosed within the hollow golden anklet of whose foot is the source of all scriptures, and whose three eyes (Fire, Sun and Moon) are the illuminants of the universe, to that Form be our devout salutations. May that divine Form ever be our protection. (Ch.1, v.3)

To Siva, Sakti, Vinayaka and Shanmukha

4. Salutations to Siva, the Lord of the universe of infinite power, to Sat-Chit-Ananda-Sakti, the Mother of the universe, to Vinayaka the dispeller of all impediments to freedom, and to Shanmukha the Sat-Guru, who dispenses to his worthy devotees the divine wisdom of Siva-Self leading to salvation. (Ch.1, v.4)


The following verses constitute the teachings of Siva to Ribhu,
who in turn transmits those teachings to his disciple Nidhaga Rishi.
The treatise goes by the name Ribhu Gita.

5. The universe was neither born, nor maintained, nor dissolved; this is the plain truth. The basic screen of pure Being-Awareness-Stillness devoid of all the moving shadow pictures of name and form of the universe is the sole, eternal Existence. (Ch.2, v.33)

6. Some may argue that this universe of duality (multiple existences) is a factual second reality, clearly seen by the senses operated by the mind. But then, are the senses anything apart from the mind? Can they function without the support of the mind in which they are imbedded? What is this mind except a bundle of thoughts? What are thoughts except evanescent ripples in the still, limitless ocean of pure Being-Awareness-Self, which is the sole Existence without a second? (Ch. 2, v.34)

7. The existence of the illusion of silver in mother of pearl is not a reality apart from the reality of mother of pearl, which is the basic reality. The illusion of the universe is based on the mind, which again is an illusion based on the still Awareness-Being-Self. (Ch.2, v.35)

8. In the unitary, undifferentiated still ocean of Existence-Awareness-Self, body, senses, mind, intellect and jivas (embodied souls) are nothing but evanescent ripples not apart from that sole Self. (Ch.4, v.6)

9. The universe of name and form, the embodied creatures and their creator, mind, desire, Karma (action), misery and everything other than the Self, are merely thought formations projected by the powers of the Self on its screen — Self. (Ch.5,v.25)

10. The state of firm abidance in that thought-free alert Awareness-Self, constitutes integral perfection, yoga, wisdom, Moksha, Sahaja Samadhi, the state of Siva and the state of Atman-Self, which scriptures proclaim by the title of Brahman. (Ch.5, v.26)

11. There never was a mind nor any of its countless forms like world, jivas, etc. There isn’t the least doubt that all these are the form of the eternally undifferentiable Supreme Brahman Self. This is the Truth. The one who hears this great secret diligently and understands completely, abides as Brahman-Self. (Ch.5, v.28)

Greatness of Videha Mukta

12. With all objective knowledge banished, with no trace of thought or nescience, with all the three states of waking, dream and sleep wiped out, with all thought of death and birth abolished, and ever established in the spontaneous blissful state of Brahman-Self, the condition of the Videha Mukta cannot be conceived, and much less expressed in words. (Ch.5, v.39)

13. The continued repetition of ‘I am Self-Brahman’ constitutes the sole mantra-japa leading to Mukti (Liberation). All other mantra-japas connected with diverse gods should be firmly eschewed, as they aim at mundane objectives other than the Self. All other mantra-japas always entangle one inextricably in the bondage of worldly enjoyments. (Ch.6, v.37)

Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self Siva and His worship

14. On the eternal and infinite screen of Sat-Chit-Ananda- Self Siva, by His own power, Sakti is projected as the moving shadow picture of the universe in manifestation and into that again it is absorbed in dissolution.

All luminaries like the sun, moon, fire, stars and lightning derive their luminosity as a gracious gift from the Sakti inherent in that screen of Self-Siva only. Though bright in themselves, they can only obscure and cannot reveal the Siva-Screen which they cover up.

Out of fear of that Siva, their creator, Devas and Asuras (gods and demons) are ever alertly engaged in their ordained duties.

That Siva must be meditated upon and realised to be the Self, by making the restless mind stay still and alert after it has been adequately restrained, and completely prevented from the pursuit of sense objects, namely, the shadow pictures on the screen of the Self. All shadow pictures removed, what remains is pure Awareness, the spotlessly effulgent screen. Thus, Siva reveals Himself spontaneously as the sole eternal Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self, the very essence of the nature of the worshipper. (Ch.7, v.35)

The Jivan Mukta

15. The Jivan Mukta is a person liberated during his lifetime, who continues to have consciousness of the body and the world (as Brahman) along with his firm abidance in his Siva-Self. He ever abides in the blissful peace of Sat-Chit-Ananda. He is poised rock-firm in the conviction that he is not the body, and that his Being is the sole existence, the sole alert-awareness-bliss of Siva-Self Supreme. (Ch.8, v.1)

16. The Jivan Mukta has his consciousness completely dissolved beyond recognition in his Brahman-Self. Eternally alone in his Self, he is ever lost in the enjoyment of the bliss of his Brahman-Self. (Ch.8, v.25).

The Videha Mukta

17. The Videha Mukta* is free from the least trace of thought; he abides all alone in his effulgent pure-Awareness-Self in intense unbroken bliss, totally oblivious of limited forms, in a state of Maha-Mounam (stillness of body, speech and mind). (Ch.9, v.1)

* The term literally means the ‘disembodied-liberated person’. He is the matured adept, who at the moment of death, abides as the pure Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self. Figuratively the term means mature liberated being who, while still alive, abides as the pure Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self without awareness of body and the world around him.

18. He is the pure embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda, all pervasive as ether, infinite as the sky, all alert with Awareness, spontaneously abiding as the perfect Brahman-Self in a state of still, unbroken, peaceful bliss. (Ch.9, v.15)

19. There is not an atom apart from the Self, which is the integral undifferentiated perfection of whole Being. Soul, world and Creator are inseparable from the Self. The reality of these is the reality of the Self only. (Ch.10, v.34)

20. All ignorance and illusion, all objects inert and living, all beings and non-beings, all the five elements, all the diverse worlds, all bodies and the lives that arise in them, not being apart from Brahman-Self, are Brahman-Self only. Existence alone is, for even non-existence acquires meaning only in Existence. Simply put, everything exists always as Brahman-Self only. (Ch.12, v.2)

21. All objective knowledge, all thought forms, all visible objects, all things heard, all questions and answers, all the food consumed and all other illusions, not being apart from the Self, should be regarded as Brahman-Self only. (Ch.13, v.2)

22. Therefore one should practise the habit of regarding everything as Brahman-Self only; until all thought of things other than the Self is lost. This condition once achieved, one should not give room for any thought and should ever abide in Maha-Mounam (peace of total stillness). (Ch.14, v.38)

23. Anything seen as other than Brahman-Self is bound to cause fear and trouble. Therefore, it behoves one to stick to the single attitude that everything sensed is Brahman-Self alone. In due course even this one thought must be given up, in order to abide firmly in the free undisturbed blissful state of the sole Brahman-Self. (Ch.15, v.5)

24. The total discarding of the mind is alone victory, achievement, bliss, yoga, wisdom and liberation. The sacrifice of the mind is, in fact, the totality of all sacred sacrifices. (Ch.15, v.7)

25. The firm denial of the existence of the mind and the firm belief in the existence of Brahman-Self, is the sure way to the conquest of mind, leading to the experience of the sole effulgent Self. (Ch.15, v.11)

26. If one gives the slightest room for the thought that the mind exists, pure Awareness itself will vibrate as the ruffled mind, which is the parent of all trouble and illusions. Therefore, one should ever abide in the conviction that there is no mind, and that the pure Awareness-Self is the sole Existence. This is the easy way to conquer the mind with all its vagaries. (Ch.15, v.12)

27. There is no such thing as the troublesome mind, no world of names and forms, not the least bit of ego. All these are nothing but the perfect Brahman-Self, which I am. In this conviction one should abide firmly, until one achieves the state of sleepless-sleep which is alert-peace-eternal. (Ch.16, v.7)

The True Samadhi

28. To hold on to the conviction born of Self-enquiry that “I am no doubt the Screen — Brahman-Self, and the world picture thereon, though evanescent, is no doubt ‘I am Self’ only”, and to abide still and blissful in that conviction is the acme of all sadhanas, like divine worship, charitable gifts, spiritual
austerities, mantra-japa and samadhi as well. (Ch.16, v.41)

29. The Self alone is the spontaneous self effulgent Awareness; that alone is eternal bliss; that alone is Existence everlasting; that alone is all embracing perfection, the sole God-head without a rival and the sole primordial stuff of the Universe. In the conviction born of this experience, one should ever abide, as the sole I AM, the Supreme Self. (Ch.17, v.29)

Sahaja Samadhi

30. Remaining alertly aware and thought-free, with a still mind devoid of differentiation of Self and non-Self even while being engaged in the activities of worldly life, is called the state of Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi (the natural state of abidance in the Self when all differentiation has ceased). This is called Akhandakara vritti, the ‘I’ of infinite perfection as contrasted with the ‘I am the body’ notion of those who have not realised the Self. (Ch.18, v.40)

Maturing of Sahaja Samadhi

31. Abidance in Sahaja Samadhi is the hallmark of a Jivan Mukta. With progressive development towards this state, an intensity of blissful peace is attained, leading on to the four successive stages of perfection in samadhi. Nothing short of this Sahaja Samadhi will be of any avail in destroying the fearsome cycle of births and deaths. (Ch.18, v.41)

32. That realised person who abides in the Brahman-Self, and has lost all feelings of differentiation of self and non-self, is the Jnani or Mukta Purusha. Such a Jnani is rare to find even by searching among millions of people. If one has the lucky opportunity of getting his darshan (personal view and contact) one attains purification from all his sins, and what is more, such a person’s ego gets liquidated at once. (Ch.19, v.10)

33. Darshan of the matured Jnani constitutes the acme of purification of baths taken in sacred waters, divine worship, mantra-japa, spiritual austerities, charitable acts and devotional worship of Lord Siva Himself. To find and to gain access to the sacred presence of such a Jnani is the luckiest of opportunities that one could ever obtain in this world. (Ch.19, v.11)

34. Worshipful service rendered unto such a Jnani-Sat- Guru quickens one’s spiritual wisdom to attain the bliss of jivan mukti. If continued further, it bestows on the disciple even the status of videha mukti. Therefore, if one is keen on being released from bondage into the freedom of mukti, the one infallible means of achieving that aim is the loving and worshipful service of the Jnani-Sat-Guru. (Ch.19, v.13)

35. Firmly established in the Self, undisturbed by the least ripple of thought, as still as an idol of stone or wood, dissolved completely in Brahman-Self, even as water is in milk, with awareness devoid of all impurities of thought and drowsiness, standing clear as the pure sky, the grandeur of the Jnani’s nishta (firm stance in the Self) defies thought and expression. (Ch.19, v.21)

The sine qua non of Mukti is Siva’s grace

36. That in which the whole universe is born and into which it is absorbed in dissolution, is the Siva-Self. Devoted worship of and meditation on that Siva-Self of pure Consciousness alone will attract Siva’s Grace, which is indispensable for liberation. (Ch.19, v.60)

37. Those engaged in the pursuit of knowledge of the Brahman-Self, happening to get involved in the mundane pleasures of sex, should regard such pleasures as merely faint shadows of the bliss of the Self. They should never even dream of worldly pleasures. (Ch.20, v.45)

38. As the Self is Sat, meditative contact with the Self is the true Sat Sanga (association with sadhus who abide in the Self). As Brahman-Self is the highest, association with the Self is Mahat Sanga (highest association). (Ch.21, v.28)

39. The sadhaka practising meditation on the Self, should always think firmly that all diversities of soul, world and creator are the undifferentiated Brahman-Self only. By practice, his consciousness is freed from thoughts, after which he should give up the above thought also and abide always in the thought-free state of the Self (Ch.21, v.39)

40. Abidance in the state of thought-free alert Awareness, is the state of mukti beyond thought and expression. The emergence of thought is the bondage of untold suffering. Abidance in the Self is the true non-dual samadhi, and that alone leads one to the eternal bliss of mukti. (Ch.21, v.41)

41. The great illusions: maya (associated with God Iswara), avidya (associated with individual souls), mind and jivas (souls), world and its creator, all names and forms, and all mental conceptions are nothing but the Self. One should ever abide in this conviction. (Ch.22, v.23)

42. All worlds and creatures are only thought forms. They are nothing but the mind, which is a bundle of thoughts, which again are nothing more than ripples in the still ocean of Awareness-Self, and certainly nothing apart from that Self. Therefore, one should abide in the firm conviction that all objects
are only I Am Self-Brahman. (Ch.22, v.24)

43. There are no such things as achieved objectives and the efforts leading to them, association with the wise or the ignorant, efforts of learning and knowledge acquired, acts of enquiry and practice, the learner or the learned, and any goals achieved. What exists is only Brahman, the effulgent Awareness-Self. (Ch.23, v.10)

44. One should be firm in the conviction that there are no charitable acts, sacred waters and kshetras (pilgrim centres), no loss or gain and no loser or gainer, no karma, bhakti and wisdom, and no knower or known. All these thought-forms are bound to be dissolved and lost in the Brahman-Self, which is the sole existence. (Ch.23, v.11)

45. The bhavana* ‘I-am-Brahman-Self’ swiftly takes one to mukti. As the continued reading of the texts generating that bhavana, takes the aspirant unerringly to the goal, he should always dwell on the written words dealing with the Brahman- Self. (Ch.24, v.27)

* In verses 45 to 50 the word ‘bhavana’ means (lit. feeling) the faith based
on the word of the teacher and the scriptures and in the unremitting
abidance in the belief thereof.

46. The illusion that one is the body and that the world is
the basic reality has remained soaked over a long, long time,
and cannot be got rid of by the casual reading and mere
understanding of the truth. The basic illusion can be effaced
only by a long and unremitting practice of the bhavana that all
this is ‘I-am-Brahman-Self’. (Ch.24, v.28)

47. Everything is only a concoction of time, space and
energy. All else is the trite talk of people who dislike the effort
of sadhana which takes them to the Self. This talk is based on
their dense ignorance of the Self. Only by persistent practice
and experience of sadhana, can one arrive at the truth that all
concepts of souls, world, and the cause thereof are just evanescent
shadows on the screen of Siva-Self-Brahman. (Ch.24, v.31)

48. There is never such a thing as conception of names
and forms, no such thing as the conceiving mind, no such thing
as a person lost in samsara, and no such things as the world and
its creator. Everything that is seen to exist must be realised to be
no other than the sole, pure Awareness-Being-Brahman-Self.
(Ch.25, v.8)

Everything is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self only

49. Whatever is found to exist is Sat (Existence) only. Whatever
is pleasurable is Ananda (Bliss) only. One should ever abide in the
bedrock bhavana of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Never for once should one
slip, even inadvertently, into the disastrous bhavana that one is the
body and that the world is real. (Ch.25, v.12)

50. One should abide in the rock-firm bhavana that
‘Everything is only Brahman-Self and I am that Brahman-Self’.
By this bhavana all thought movements and nescience will
disappear, resulting in the eternal abidance in the sole Sat-Chit-
Ananda-Self. (Ch.25, v.14)

51.* By abiding in the Self, the wandering mind is reduced
to perfect stillness after being freed from all nescience and
thought currents. It gets lost in the Sat-Chit-Ananda-Self in the
same way that water is lost when mixed with milk. This unitary
state of abidance in the Self is called Atma Nishta by the wise
who have attained perfection. (Ch.26, v.2)

‘Sahaja Nishta’ or The Natural State

52. Having realised that the world picture on the screen-
Self is evanescent and essentially non-existent, one should ever
remain still and blissful in the firm conviction of ever being the
sole Brahman-Self only. This conviction should be maintained
even while functioning as an individual in the world of name
and form. This matured state of abidance in the Self is called
Sahaja Nishta (the Natural State). (Ch.26, v.3)

53. In that blissful Self wherein there is no action of body,
speech and mind, no virtuous or sinful karma (action) and the
fruits thereof, one should remain still, eschewing the least trace
of thought. (Ch.26, v.7)

54. In that Self wherein there is neither conceiver nor
conception of the world of names and forms, one should
remain blissfully still, eschewing the least trace of thought.
(Ch.26, v.8)

55. In that Self wherein desire, anger, covetousness,
confusion, bigotry and envy are all absent; in that Self wherein
there is no thought of bondage or release, one should abide
blissfully still, eschewing the least ripple of thought. (Ch.26, v.13)

56. Firmly abiding in the Self one acquires the totality of
all knowledge and achieves the successful completion of all
endeavours and duties. In that state one should abide blissful
and still, eschewing the least ripple of thought. (Ch.26, v.25)

* Verses 51 to 60 herein deal with practice of ‘Abedha Nishta or
Atma Nishta’ — non-dual state or abidance in the Self.

57. Mind merged completely in the Self, one becomes a
lord without rival-steeped in bliss beyond compare. In that state
one should abide still, free from the least trace of thought.
(Ch.26, v.28)

58. I am that Self which is integral existence awareness-
bliss, the sole impartite Brahman-Self. Firm in the conviction
born of this experience, one should abide still, free from the
least trace of thought. (Ch.26, v.29)

59. In the conviction that ‘I am the Self’ in which no
thought, ego, desire, mind or confusion can exist one should
abide still, free from trace of thought. (Ch.26, v.31)

60. The firm faith of being the Self is sufficient to dispel
all thought and establish one in Brahman-Self. In due course of
this practice, even the thought involved in that faith fades away
leading to the spontaneous effulgence of the Self. If a person
hearkens to this teaching and practises the faith, even if he is a
great sinner, he is washed clean of all his sins and is established
in Brahman-Self. (Ch.26, v.42)

61. There is certainly no such thing as mind with its
constituents of thought and thought forms of objects. In this
conviction one should ever abide still and at peace, in the state
of thought-free alert Awareness-Self which endures after all
sadhanas and its rigours have exhausted themselves in Brahman-
Self. (Ch.27, v.29)

62. Having gained the experience that there is no creator,
no maya, no duality, and no objects at all, and that pure
Awareness-Self alone exists, one should ever remain still and
peaceful in that state of Selfhood. (Ch.27, v.34)

63. If a person gives heed to these teachings he would
certainly gain the grace of Lord Siva and attain the state of
Selfhood even though he is immersed in the dense darkness of
nescience which could not be banished by the glare of a million
suns. (Ch.27, v.43)

64. Why waste words? This is the truth in a nutshell. Only
those who have earned the Grace of our Lord Siva by long
devotional worship will get the rare opportunity of reading this
scriptural text which leads to the bliss of peace everlasting in
Brahman-Self. (Ch.27, v.44)

65. Only that Jnani who teaches ‘Thou art the thought-
free, alertly aware, absolutely still, ever blissful, intensely
peaceful, unqualified Brahman-Self’, is the true Sat Guru, and
others are not. (Ch.28, v.28)

66. Unbroken abidance in the state of alert awareness,
unruffled by thoughts, is Self-realization. That is at once the
spotless jivan mukti and the magnificent videha mukti. This
state is easily attainable only for those who have earned the
divine Grace of Siva by deep devotion to Him, and not for
others. What is stated here is the import in a nutshell of the
message of that charming crest jewel of the Vedas known as
the Upanishads. (Ch.29, v.37)

67. Thos who give heed to this message and abide in
accordance with it will forthwith attain mukti (liberation).
They will not suffer from the least particle of affliction; they
will enjoy a bliss far greater than the bliss attained from this
and all other worlds; they and their environments will be
filled with the plenitude of auspicious events. Totally free
from all trace of fear, they will never again enter the cycle of
births and deaths. They will become the immutable Brahman-
Self. All this we swear is the truth beyond doubt. By our
Lord Siva, again and again we swear that this is the
fundamental truth. (Ch.29, v.40)

68. That state of still, pure, effulgent awareness is moksha,
the state beyond compare. Those who maintain an unbroken
abidance in that supreme state will never more be touched by
suffering or confusion, and will be absolved from all duties.
Such duties if any will somehow be completed without any
volition on their part. They will eternally abide as the sole
supreme Self. (Ch.30, v.31)

69. By the persistent and continued bhavana * of ‘I am
the Brahman-Self’ all thoughts and feelings of differentiation
of Self and non-Self will drop off and permanent abidance in
Brahman-Self will be achieved. This bhavana is possible only
for those with a keen inquiring mind intent on knowing the
Self and not for those who are indifferent about Self-knowledge.
(Ch.32, v.18)

70. Ignorance and indifference in regard to the enquiry
of the truth about one-self is the store house of nescience and
trouble, blocking the view of the Self, and creating in a split
second all sorts of illusions and harassment of mental worry.
Non-enquiry renders bhavana impossible. (Ch.32, v.19)

71. In short, non-enquiry will steep one for ever in the
ocean of samsara (earthly suffering). There is no greater enemy
for one than non-enquiry. Therefore, this habit must be
overcome in order to fix the mind in the bhavana which leads
to abidance in the Self. (Ch.32, v.20)

72. Enquiry should be made this wise: With the kind help
of the Sat Guru one should enquire ‘Who am I? what is this
world? what is the reality behind all these?’ (Ch.32, v.21)

73. Staying in the company of sadhus (those engaged in the
pursuit and enjoyment of the bliss of the Sat-Self) and respectfully
questioning the Sat-Guru-Jnani, one should first make oneself
clear about the objective to be obtained. This is an important
aspect of the enquiry. After thus making sure of the objective,
one must firmly abide in that objective of sole Brahman-Self until
the Self is unmistakably experienced. (Ch.32, v.22)

74. The conscious introspective concentration of Self-
enquiry (‘Who am I’?) kills all thoughts and destroys the dense
darkness of nescience; it effaces all worry; it illuminates the
intellect with the radiance of pure awareness; it wipes out all
conceptual confusions; it fixes one in Siva-Self; it transforms
a host of impending disasters into auspicious events; and
lastly, it destroys the ego-mind utterly with all its afflictions.
(Ch.32, v.24)

* In all the 13 verses of Chapter 32, the term bhavana is to be understood
as faith or firm belief in ‘Aham Brahmam’ (I am the Self).

75. Only by those strong willed persons who make earnest
and persistent Self-enquiry will the turbulent mind be controlled
and fixed still in the practice of firm bhavana. In due course all
thoughts and nescience will disappear, yielding place to the
effulgent Awareness-Self of mukti. (Ch.32, v.26)

76. One should relentlessly pursue Self-enquiry until all
conceptual forms of creature, world and creator merge and
disappear in the pure thought-free, alert Awareness-Self,
enabling one to abide in that bhavana of the experience, ‘I am
the Brahman-Self’. (Ch.32, v.27)

77. It is only the mind which appear as the world and bondage;
there is no world other than the mind. On enquiry this mind turns
out to be nothing more than a group of ripples (thoughts) in the
still ocean of pure Awareness-Siva-Self. I am that Siva-Self only
and there is nothing apart from me, one should ever abide in the
conviction born of this experience. (Ch.32, v.33)

78. There is no world apart from the mind. What appears
as the world is only the mind. If this mind is investigated, it
turns out to be nothing more than a bundle of thoughts based
on the primary thought of ‘I am the body’ called the ego. If this
ego — I is enquired into and its identity searched, it gets
swallowed up without a trace in the pure Awareness-Being-Siva-
Self. One should maintain this firm bhavana ‘I am Self-Siva’
until that state of being the Siva-Self — becomes the spontaneous
experience free from the effort of bhavana. (Ch.32, v.34)

79. In me, the pure Awareness-Self, the universe is
born, maintained and dissolved as the mind. Therefore, there
are no mind and thought forms of objects apart from me
the Self. In this firm experience one should ever abide.
(Ch.32, v.35)

80. One should ever abide as pure Siva-Self by the firm
experience that there are no thought forms of creature, world
and creator apart from the mind which is just an array of ripples
in me the still ocean of pure Awareness-Self and therefore I am
the sole Being Siva-Self only. (Ch.32, v.36)

81. Even as the world, seen in my dream, is not apart
from me but only my creation, even so, the world of the waking
state is only a creation made by me and seen by me in the
medium of my pure Awareness-Self. In this experience one
should firmly abide. (Ch.32, v.37)

82. The rock-firm conviction of ‘I am the Self ‘ is the sure
mark of firm abidance in the Self. Abidance in that conviction
under all conditions is, true divine worship, meditation on God,
incantation of mantras, practice of right conduct in life,
contemplation, integral yoga, wisdom of the Self and moksha
as well. (Ch.33, v.16)

83. Whatever appears as maya, creator, creature, mind,
world, names and forms are the pure Brahman-Self only and
not apart from that Self. (Ch.34, v.15)

84. Steady abidance in the rock-firm conviction born of
the experience of ‘I am the Self’, is the greatest yoga, total
dissolution of the mind, true renunciation, true wisdom, and
jivan mukti as well. (Ch.34, v.46)

85. Whatever names and forms are seen by me in my dream
are not anything apart from me. Even so, this world seen by me
in my waking state is not anything apart from me, the Awareness-
Self that I am. The wise one should give up all differentiation of
Self and non-Self, and abide as pure Self only. (Ch.35, v.23)

86. If this world of the waking state is not evanescent in
its nature, whatever is seen in the waking state must be seen
during sleep also. Since I as pure Self exist alone and always,
there is no room for thought of non-Self-world. I-Self-Brahman
is the sole Existence. (Ch.35, v.24)

87. No world exists during the absence of the mind, and
there is no mind apart from my awareness. So, mind and
world are nothing apart from the Self, and I am ever that sole
Existence-Awareness-Brahman-Self. The wise one should
abolish all thought of differentiation of self and non-Self.
(Ch.35, v.25)

88. I see neither mind nor world during my sleep. In my
dream there is mind with its creation, the dream world. The
dream world is falsified in my waking state. But I-Self exist
always. Arguing thus, one must give up all differentiation of
self and non-Self, and ever abide firmly as the thought-free
alert Awareness-Self-Brahman. (Ch.35, v.26)

89. All diversities of world, mind, maya (confusing power
of Brahman), wakefulness, dream, sleep, talk of you and me are
evanescent, and yet, not apart from the Self. Thus wise one
should give up all thought of Self and non-Self and abide as
Self only. (Ch.35, v.27)

90. In dim light the illusion of a serpent is seen in a rope,
and this serpent is nothing but the rope. Even so all illusion of
non-Self exists in the Self only. Thus wise one should give up all
thought of Self and non-Self and ever abide firmly in the peace
of the Self. (Ch.35, v.28)

91. In the wisdom of integral experience, I am the non-
dual, transcendental, motionless, peaceful, bondage-
freedom-notion-free, sky of pure consciousness only. With
this experience one should reject all differentiation of Self
and non-Self and ever abide firmly in the peace of Brahman-
Self. (Ch.35, v.33)

92. One should give up all hatha yogic practices like
breath control, all religious dogmas and their diverse sadhanas
and be ever satisfied in simple abidance as the Self only.
(Ch.35, v.38)

93. Only those who contemplate on Lord Siva-Self,
the pure supporting screen of all manifestation, gain the
pure experience of sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Apart from
this devotion to Lord Siva (the Pure-Alert-Awareness-
Self) there are no other means leading to liberation.
(Ch.35, v.44)

94. The non-dual sole being existing in deep sleep conjures
up a world in the dream state. Even so, the shadow world
conjured up in the waking state is the work of the power,inherent
in one’s own Brahman-Self. Abiding firmly in the experience
of pure Brahman-Self, one finds that the mind and all its
confabulations are lost for ever. (Ch.36, v.25)

95. One should remain firm in the conviction ‘I am the
Self’ and reject all thoughts like ‘I am this body’ and ‘This
world is real’. If one maintains this habit unremittingly, this
false belief will drop away even as a flower held in the hand slips
away when one falls into deep slumber. (Ch.37, v.33)

96. One is solely responsible for one’s own liberation or
bondage, since the choice of destroying the restless mind or
allowing it to roam at large rests with that one only. Therefore,
one should conquer the restless mind by steady abidance in the
pure thought-free Alert-Awareness-Self only. This steady
abidance is moksha. (Ch.38, v.7)

97. You are the sole supreme Godhead, the Self. There is
nothing apart from you. This, we declare to be the ultimate
truth after a complete analysis of all the scriptures. By the holy
feet of Siva, we swear this to be the truth beyond all doubt. By
the feet of the Sat Guru, we swear again that this is the truth
declared by the Upanishads. (Ch.38, v.9)

98. All charitable gifts, all pilgrimages to sacred places, all
sorts of mantra-japa and worship of diverse gods must be firmly
given up in favour of steady practice of the teachings of this
book only. (Ch.38, v.24)

99. All yogic practices, all philosophic pursuits, all
devotional exercises, and all faiths and beliefs should be
abandoned. One should confine oneself to practice of the
teachings of this book only. (Ch.38, v.25)

100. By the sole practice of the teachings of this book,
all confusion and ignorance will be destroyed. Firm abidance
in the Self will be the positive result. With the fusion of the
wisdom and peaceful bliss in the Self, mukti will be attained.
(Ch.38, v.29)

101. Only when all sins are washed off by the practice of
virtues running through many lives, one gets the rare
opportunity of securing this treatise and practising its tenets.
By the feet of Lord Siva we declare that only those whose cycle
of births and deaths has come to an end with this life will
ever get this treatise in their hands and practise its teachings.
(Ch.38, v.40)

Verses 102. to 121. these 20 contain the declarations of the
disciple Nidaga before his teacher Ribhu, expressing the spiritual
achievements secured by him by the grace of his teacher, and
expressions of his gratitude to his teacher, Ribhu.

102. O My Lord Sat Guru! By thy grace I have, in a split
second, shed all sense of differentiation of Self and non-Self; I
have attained the certainty that all is Brahman and I am that
Brahman-Self; I have become settled in the eternal bliss of
Brahman-Self. (Ch.39, v.7)

103. I am verily the Sat-Chit-Ananda-Brahman-Self. I am
the eternal undisturbed peace devoid of name and form. I am
the flawless integral whole of all existence. Firmly I am settled
in my sole Brahman-Self. (Ch.40, v.10)

104. Oh! I have become Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Mahesa,
Sadasiva, Parameswara and his spouse Parvati, Vinayaka,

Subrahmanya, cohorts of sides hosts (Siva ganas) and devotees
of Lord Siva, all rolled into one! (Ch.41, v.-15)

105. I am myself all the devas (celestials beings) and asuras
(denizens of the nether world), Indra the Chief of the devas, the
Lord of the eight cardinal directions, the community of sages,
the swarm of rakshasas (demons), and in fact, the denizens of
this and all other worlds. (Ch.41, v.16)

106. I have become the five elements, multitudinous worlds
scattered in the skies, all existing things and their histories, all the
Vedas, and all the diversities of name and form. (Ch.41, v.17)

107. At one stroke I have become the bodies, senses, and
souls owning them, the mind, intellect, intuition, ego, the primal
nescience and the restless commotion of spirit, and in short all
that is seen and known. (Ch.41, v.19)

108. That gracious person who gives these teachings is no
doubt the embodiment of Lord Parameswara, His Devi Parvati,
Vinayaka and God Shanmukha all rolled into one. (Ch.4, v.5)

109. Heis again, Nandikeswara, Dattatreya, Dakshinamurti,
and in short, the Supreme Lord Siva Himself (Ch.42, v.6)

110. After being duly initiated into these teachings by
the Sat Guru, the disciple must, as long as life lasts in him,
provide his teacher liberally with money, food, clothing and
shelter and loving devotion. This is the sine qua non for the
disciple’s mukti. (Ch.43, v.11)

111. Further, he should adorn his forehead and body with
vibhuti (sacred ash) in the prescribed manner, as this use of
vibhuti alone will entitle him to Lord Siva’s grace which removes
all impediments to salvation. (Ch.43 v.12)

112. The habitual smearing of the body with vibhuti is
called pasupatha vratham (austerity in devotion to Siva). This
practice quickens the attainment of Self-knowledge. O Lord
Sat Guru! By this practice I earned the merit for arriving at thy
holy feet which have led me to salvation. (Ch.43, v.13)

113. I am ever the eternal, pure, all knowing, free,
unshakeable, non-dual, integral Self. This is the firm
conviction of the experience of the jivan mukta in the Self.
(Ch.43, v.28)

114. That mature Jnani who is lost in the maha mounam
(total stillness) of the pure effulgent Awareness-Brahman-Self,
devoid of the least trace of nescience, totally devoid of all
consciousness of the body and its three states of waking, dream
and sleep, devoid of all distinctions of name and form and
devoid of any thought of bondage or freedom is a videha
mukta. (Ch.43, v.29)

115. Thou hast, O Lord Sat Guru, taken me across the
boundless ocean of samsara in the boat of Self-knowledge. To
me, floundering in the misery of the belief that ‘I am the body’
thou hast taught that ‘I am the Brahman-Self’ and vouchsafed
to me the bliss of all embracing Awareness-Being. To thee, I
render these devout salutations. (Ch.44, v.16)

116. Salutations to thee, my Lord Sat Guru! Thou hast
destroyed my illusion that I am the body and that the world is
apart from me and is real. Thou hast given me the experience
of my own Brahman-Self. Thou hast destroyed my wrong belief
that karma (action) is the road to salvation, and showing that
knowledge alone could make one free. Thou hast given me my
salvation in the Self (Ch.44, v.17)

117. Tothat divine Grace-embodied, to that Omnipresence
beyond compare, to that Siva-Self Sat Guru, I render devout
salutation. (Ch.44, v.18)

118. To that Sat Guru who is the core of my Self, who
destroyed my nescience by the gift of Awareness-Self, to that
embodiment of Self-knowledge, do I offer these salutations.
(Ch.44, v.19)

119. Salutations to the Sat Guru who is the embodiment
of undisturbed peace, without attributes, eternal purity, all
pervasive infinite sky of consciousness and integral perfection
(Ch.44, v.20)

Note: The following verses 120 and 121 contain Ribhu’s
exhortation to Nidaga.

120. In reply to the words of Nidaga, Ribhu replies thus:
O my son! You are now no doubt firmly settled in the bliss of
Brahman-Self, having been freed from all illusion and nescience.
All the same, as abundant precaution, until you attain videha
mukti you must assiduously practise continued abidance in the
Self. (Ch.44, v.22)

121. Aspirants of Self-knowledge will find their success
accelerated by practical bodily worship of Siva. Living in a Siva
kshetra (neighbourhood of Siva Temple) they should offer
worship to Siva Maha Lingam, wearing the sacred vibhuthi and
rudraksha (garland of a specified sort of beads), and repeating
the name of Siva with loving devotion. (Ch.44, v.39)

122. Benedictory Verse offering salutations to Siva-Self.

Salutations to Sat-Chit-Ananda-Siva-Self!

Salutations to that Peace undisturbed, the Self!

Salutations to that integral Perfection, the Self!

Salutations to that Effulgent-Awareness, the Self!

Salutations to that blemish-free Self without attributes!

Salutations to that indivisible Unity, the Self!

Salutations to that pure sky of consciousness, the Self!

Salutations to that supreme integral Existence, the Self!
(Ch.44, v.51)


Selection and English Translation By Prof. N. R. Krishnamoorthi Aiyer, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, Third Revised Edition: 2001 © Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai

Sources: and Photos: and [The first photo is of Bhagavan Sri Ranana Maharshi and the second one is of the holy hill Arunachala. It is only the mind which appear as the world and bondage;
there is no world other than the mind. On enquiry this mind turns
out to be nothing more than a group of ripples (thoughts) in the
still ocean of pure Awareness-Siva-Self. I am that Siva-Self only
and there is nothing apart from me, one should ever abide in the
conviction born of this experience. (Ch.32, v.33)


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