The Shining of my Lord by Muruganar

The Shining of my Lord

Selected Verses from Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham and Other Muruganar Texts

By Muruganar

Translated by T.V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman

Edited by David Godman

Published by David Godman, Colorado, USA

279 pages

ISBN 9780988528543


WHEN MURUGANAR PASSED away in 1973, the task of preserving and organising the approximately 20,000 verses of his that had yet to be published fell to Sadhu Om, his literary executor. Over the next decade he edited this body of work, eventually bringing it out in a series of nine Tamil volumes entitled Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham. This title can be translated as The Experience of Jnana Bestowed by Sri Ramana, or Experiencing the Jnana that is Sri Ramana.

Padamalai, a collection of Bhagavan’s sayings recorded by Muruganar, is the only substantial part of Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham that has so far appeared in English. It was published in 2003 and is available elsewhere on this site.

The Shining of my Lord is an anthology of just over 1,000 Muruganar verses that have primarily been taken from the first eight volumes of Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham. They have been selected, translated and edited by T.V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman. The book also includes a long introductory biography that chronicles Muruganar’s association with Sri Ramana Maharshi and the literary works that were the fruit of that relationship.

Unlike Padamalai, where the emphasis is on recording Bhagavan’s teachings, the theme of this new book is the state of liberation that Sri Ramana bestowed on Muruganar. In verse after verse Muruganar attempts to describe the state of the Self and the grace of his Guru, Sri Ramana, which enabled him to become established in it.


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The following excerpt comes from a chapter of The Shining of my Lord entitled ‘Service and Worship’.
Serving my Lord

861The unique king of grace sits majestically enthroned in my heart, ensuring that I never feel I lack something. The ‘I’, rising in opposition to him, then enquired, ‘What is the personal service I can render to you?’ To which he replied, ‘Subside within the Self, pure consciousness, without manifesting [as that ‘I’].’

862My Lord ordered me, ‘Just be, without doing anything’. Having done this, my sole job became the performance of the grace-eliciting true service in which my consciousness firmly rooted itself and clung to that supreme state in which I could not see an alien god to bow to in obeisance.

The fruits of my service

863My Lord, by establishing me in the heart as someone who was possessed by madness for your true nature, you ensured that no other worldly madness possessed me. Because the treacherous ego-ghost perished, losing its continuing existence, all of my actions became an appropriate service to the divine.

864I do not now render any service to the divine as I used to in the past. Like a jnani, I dress up, eat and move about doing nothing. Only my Lord, the non-dual supreme one, could be aware of what my state might be, possessed as it is of divine pride.

865I live in this world with divine exultation because I became enslaved to my Lord and rendered divine service to his feet. From now on, whichever world I may happen to end up in, I will live in the same way, having as my nature the wealth of bliss that is saturated with the perfect light of consciousness.

How to serve

866My Lord, whom I perceived as the ambrosia filling my eyes, became replete within me as the ambrosia of rare deliciousness that I consumed and delighted in. He, the extremely pure swarupa from whom it is impossible to separate, cannot be attained by even the celestials but only by his true servants.

867When one looks into the matter, all that is needed to perform grace-eliciting service to the Guru-Lord who has brought us under his rule is extremely pure devotion in which the mind one-pointedly rejoices in love for that Lord. Nothing else.

868The sole and entire duty for devotees is to live their lives performing service to the Lord who has accepted, as his grace-endowed responsibility, the burden of bearing the devotees’ welfare. All the other duties only exist for those other people who are not devotees.

869In the ego-mind that says ‘I’ there grows a false darkness, a feeling ‘I am performing actions’ while actions are performed. If it dies, all the actions that one undertakes become tapas. The rule for the discerning path of being is to conduct one’s life as an offering to the divine in one’s heart.

870Siva-yoga is sinking into the heart through the practice of enquiry into the feet that are in the heart. Only those true devotees who worship through a consciousness that has merged with Sivam are the virtuous devotees who render personal service to the Lord. Even the celestials long to serve the feet of such devotees.

871Heart of mine, I will offer you some beneficial advice. If an irrepressible urge in a heart that has sunk fully and firmly in the Lord arises, acting on that urge becomes service to God. However, desist from performing any action as your own since this will only be the mischievous movement of jiva-bodha [individual consciousness].

How can I now perform puja?

872Because [the state of] abiding bereft of the ego shines faultlessly in my heart as the excellent Siva puja, I perform in this vast world the Siva puja of worshipping swarupa by remaining still, in silence.

873Since my mind now remains merged with the light of pure consciousness, my Lord has bestowed on me a life of distinction in which everything I do has become a supreme puja. How can I now perform puja to his red, golden feet, a puja that would earn me the merit of his grace, since I would need to possess a mind to worship in this restricted way.

874As my Lord has accepted all my thoughts, words and deeds as a divine service rendered exclusively to him, I do not perform puja to the beautiful feet which possess the wealth of grace through rituals whose rules have been laid down, and which many other people adhere to.

875Who am I to perform puja to the grace that is consciousness-the-supreme, that which is everything as it shines within me, the worshipper, as my true nature, as I-I, and as love in my heart?

True and false worship

876Until one enquires and knows one’s truth, the world and everything else that veils the supreme swarupa through name and form will appear to be real. One should therefore obtain the Lord’s grace, jnana, by diving into the heart through worship performed with an inwardly focused and subtle consciousness. Only when the Lord’s grace is attained will the danger whose nature is pramada [Self-forgetfulness] come to an end.

877For sadhakas attempting to attain jnana the virtuous practice of abiding in being [sat-achara] is superior to the practice of following religious observances.

878The supreme exists as one’s own nature in the heart. The degraded ego, the deceptive mind that is full of delusion, imagines it [the supreme] to be different from oneself and performs innumerable types of pujas to it. If one ponders over the matter, these pujas are just the play of little children.

879The supreme Sivam shines as the expanse, the flood of grace-silence, the being-consciousness that is free of thinking and forgetting. Jnanis say that worshipping it through the flurry of the jumping ego that has split it into two amounts to disregarding and ridiculing it.

880I have experienced my real nature, the non-dual Self that is the experience of abiding in the Sadasivam which remains merged in my heart as my own nature. Because of this, I do not engage in thoughts associated with performing any upasana [worship]. If I did think in this way, it would amount to suicide by cutting my Self into two.

Editor’s note: Sadasivam (the beingness of Siva-consciousness) is generally synonymous with Sivam (Siva consciousness) but it has the added implication of being a state of Sivam that bestows grace.

881The light of the grace-silence, the feet of the Lord whose form is the powerful pure consciousness, will only desire and reach the pure and upright minds that trust them. It will reject and leave as an unsustainable relationship the falsity-filled minds of the deceitful ones who engage in useless, ostentatious worship.

Avoid the worship of lesser gods

882The many gods arise and subside in you. I once took you to be a few of those gods. The mental suffering arising from this past mistake of mine was due to my error of not knowing my Self, the substratum.

883Imagining multiple different forms in you who are the one true unique God, I fell into a discordant state. Through the connection with the mind that creates the deception of contradictory differences this servant fell into ignorance and committed this error.

884Without getting angry with me, listen attentively. Do not cherish any lesser deities to fulfil your needs. If you worship the swarupa [one’s own true state] that remains as the soul of the soul, it has the power to bestow the excellence of true knowledge.

885Do not get perturbed by thinking, with a lack of certainty, that he [Bhagavan] might be this god, that god, or some other god. He is actually the reality, the light that shines as this god, that god and all other gods.

886One may worship this god, that god, or any other god, regarding it as the supreme. When one enquires into consciousness and knows it, all those shining gods will in truth be the chit-swarupa [consciousness-nature] of the sole one, Siva-Ramana.

How do I worship?

887My Lord bestowed his compassion by tying my mind to his feet, ensuring that the straying mind’s chaotic nature and excitement came to an end. Through the worship done with true devotion, which took the form of the consciousness experienced in nishtha [Self-abidance], which I practised with relish, I attained the state of Brahman.

888Shining as being-consciousness in the heart, the Sadguru enables the arising of the utterly magnificent Self-experience. Since the ‘I’ has now died, I will worship him in his real nature by being aware of him constantly in the state of peace that is the never-failing life.

889Having destroyed the ego-ghost, the limitation, my Sadguru shines and prospers within my intuitive understanding. Perfectly experiencing the mauna-worship that keeps me absorbed in his feet, I am now incapable of performing other forms of worship that involve thought.

890Exalted one! Lord who ruled over this slave! Your nature, wholly non-dual consciousness, glows in the heart as the expanse of unalloyed grace. Since that extremely perfect fullness is shining bereft of the thinker, thinking of your nature is really odd.

891The heart, through the unique non-dual Self-knowledge, shines, freed from the delusion of the false world that is just a mirage. In such a heart there is absolutely no opportunity for a prayer to be offered through a mind impelled by a desire.