Muruganar, whose story and poetry appear in part two of The Power of the
Presence, recorded many of Bhagavan's teaching instructions in two-line Tamil verses. A large number of these statements were included in a work entitled
Padamalai, (A Garland for Sri Ramana's Feet). Padam, meaning 'the foot', can be taken to be both the unmanifest Self and Bhagavan himself. Though there are over 3,000 verses in this poem, only half of them appear to be direct renderings of Bhagavan's teachings. In many of the others Muruganar is either describing the greatness of
Padam or explaining how, through its grace, he became one with his Guru, Bhagavan. In the original Tamil work there is no particular order to the verses, and no thematic presentation of the teachings.
Muruganar seated near Bhagavan on the northern
veranda of the Mother's Temple
I have made a selection of these verses and I have arranged them by subject, adding notes, explanations and commentary wherever I thought it appropriate. I hope to publish the entire work before the end of the year. Meanwhile, here is a short selection. In the first section Muruganar is expressing his gratitude to
Padam (Bhagavan) for enabling him to realise the Self. In the second Bhagavan is speaking about
Atma-swarupa. 'Atma' means the Self, and 'swarupa' means 'one's real nature'. In the final selection Bhagavan explains how one can meditate on him and experience his grace.
Padam liberated me
Padam, the grace-sovereign, ended my sadhana with the words 'Remain still'.
Padam, the truth, drowned me, a vile one, in the Heart, making bondage, liberation, and so on, mere concepts.
Padam made me realise that the rising births are only dreams that associate [with me] through the bewildering power of the mind.
Rejecting arid renunciation, Padam, through the power of true jnana, made renunciation merge with me as my own nature.
Padam, while making others dance with 'I' and mine, performs within me the dance 'I am the Self'.
Padam redeemed me in my swarupa so that I did not roam around like a herd of deer that wanders in the forest, mistaking a mirage for water.
Padam, absolute oneness, put an end to my forgetfulness of swarupa, making this my final birth.
Clarifying my consciousness and making it still, Padam enabled me to realise the undivided
Padam gave protection to my soul with the armour of consciousness of being, which shines as Siva-sakti.
Padam bestowed on me the true jnana that is the reality which has always been one with me, but which from time immemorial had appeared to be different from me.
In order that I should not pine, thinking of bliss, the golden Padam caused bliss to blaze forth as my own nature.
To call the truth of the Atma-swarupa, which is natural to everyone, a mystery is a great joke.
What is it that can neither be accepted nor rejected by anyone? That one thing is
Isn't it wonderful that the experience of the Atma-swarupa, which is so obvious, becomes illusory?
The Atma-swarupa, the source of all beings, is not different from the indivisible consciousness that does not split itself into 'I' and 'this'.
Association and separation never exist in Atma-swarupa, the mere consciousness that is present everywhere.
The Atma-swarupa that is consciousness is different from all that is known [objectively] by consciousness.
The truth of oneself that abides and shines in the Heart as one's own nature becomes veiled by a mind that is full of delusion.
Only if you enquire and realise the Atma-swarupa within the Heart will the bond, the mind that is the obsession for the false, be destroyed.
It is foolishness to suffer by desiring and struggling to know the Atma-swarupa in the same way that sense objects are known by the
suttarivu [the objectifying consciousness that creates and sees objects].
Through sadhana one can attain things that are other than oneself. But with what
sadhana can the Atma-swarupa be attained, and who is to attain it?
That which deserves to be known and attained is Atma-swarupa, jnana. Apart from this, there is no other fortune that deserves to be attained in this birth.
That which should be known is Atma-swarupa, mere consciousness. That which should be destroyed is attachment to the body.
In the meditation on Atma-swarupa, which is shining motionless, all possible benefits occur.
The Atma-swarupa shines as being-consciousness, which remains neutral. The mind becoming like that
swarupa and uniting with it is yoga [union].
Cherish as Brahma-samadhi the blissful state of Atma-swarupa, the perfect contentment.
Meditating on me
Meditating on me with no sense of difference [between us] is accepting my grace and offering yourself to me. This itself is enough.
If you worship me by meditating well on the excellence of my true nature, the greatness of your own true nature will well up in your Heart.
Knowing that what abides in your Heart is the Self, my true and real nature, you should search for it there. Only this can be regarded as meditating on me with devotion.
Padam [Bhagavan] advises: 'Keeping one's attention on the subtle consciousness that is experienced by the extremely subtle mind is personal service to me.'
The compassionate heart that flows from me to you will never fail except when you cease to have remembrance of 'me', who command and conduct everything.
If you remember me, with no forgetfulness in your heart, you can know and experience my grace, which is my nature.
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