Happiness and the Art of Being



When citing the Tamil writings and other recorded teachings of Sri Ramana in this book, I have given my own translations, many of which are based largely upon the explanations and Tamil prose renderings of Sri Sadhu Om.

The following are some details about the works that I have cited:

Philosophical poems of Sri Ramana

Upadēśa Undiyār (உபதேச வுந்தியார்) – a Tamil poem of thirty verses that Sri Ramana composed in 1927 in answer to the request of Sri Muruganar, and that he later composed in Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam under the title Upadēśa Sāram, the ‘Essence of Instruction’.

Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu (உள்ளது நாற்பது) – the ‘Forty [Verses] on That Which Is’, another Tamil poem that Sri Ramana composed in 1928 when Sri Muruganar asked him to teach the nature of the reality and the means to attain it.

Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham (உள்ளது நாற்பது அனுபந்தம்) – the ‘Supplement to Forty [Verses] on That Which Is’, a collection of forty-one Tamil verses that Sri Ramana composed at various times during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Ēkāṉma Pañcakam (ஏகான்ம பஞ்சகம், also known as Ēkātma Pañcakam) – the ‘Five [Verses] on the Oneness of Self’, a poem that Sri Ramana composed in 1947, first in Telugu, then in Tamil, and later in Malayalam.

Āṉma-Viddai (ஆன்ம வித்தை, also known as Ātma-Vidyā Kīrtanam) – the ‘Song on the Science of Self’, a Tamil song that Sri Ramana composed in 1927 in answer to the request of Sri Muruganar.

Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ (உபதேசத் தனிப்பாக்கள்) – the ‘Solitary Verses of Instruction’, a collection of twenty-seven Tamil verses that Sri Ramana composed at various times.

Devotional poems of Sri Ramana

Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai (ஸ்ரீ அருணாசல அக்ஷர மணமாலை) – the ‘Marriage Garland of Letters’ or ‘Garland of Imperishable Union’, a Tamil hymn of 108 verses addressed to God in the form of the holy hill Arunachala, which Sri Ramana composed spontaneously one day in 1914 or 1915.

Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam (ஸ்ரீ அருணாசல அஷ்டகம்) – the ‘Eight [Verses] to Sri Arunachala’, another Tamil hymn that Sri Ramana composed at about the same time.

Prose writings of Sri Ramana

Nāṉ Yār? (நான் யார்?, also known as Nāṉ-Ār?, நானார்?) – ‘Who am I?’, a treatise of twenty paragraphs that Sri Ramana wrote in the late 1920’s, of which all but the first paragraph are an edited version of a collection of answers that he had given to a series of questions asked by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai in the years 1901 to 1902.

Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi Avatārikai (விவேகசூடாமணி அவதாரிகை) – the introduction that Sri Ramana wrote, probably in 1903 or 1904, to his Tamil prose translation of Sri Adi Sankara’s great philosophical poem, Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi.

Ancient text translated by Sri Ramana

Bhagavad Gītā Sāram (பகவத் கீதா சாரம்) – the ‘Essence of the Bhagavad Gītā’, a selection of forty-two verses from the Bhagavad Gītā that Sri Ramana translated as a Tamil poem.

Oral teachings of Sri Ramana recorded by Sri Muruganar

Guru Vācaka Kōvai (குருவாசகக் கோவை) – the ‘Series of Guru’s Sayings’, the most comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana (of which 27 are included in Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ, 12 in Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham, 2 in Ēkātma Pañcakam and 1 in Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu).

The Tamil originals of most of these works are available in several books, often with basic explanations or detailed commentaries, and many translations of them are available in various languages. However, the principal source of all of them, except Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ and Guru Vācaka Kōvai, is Śrī Ramaṇa Nūṯṟiraṭṭu (ஸ்ரீ ரமண நூற்றிரட்டு), the ‘Collected Works of Sri Ramana’, published by Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The principal source of Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ is Śrī Ramaṇōpadēśa Nūṉmālai – Viḷakkavurai (ஸ்ரீ ரமணோபதேச நூன்மாலை விளக்கவுரை), a Tamil commentary by Sri Sadhu Om on all the philosophical poems of Sri Ramana, published by Sri Arunachalaramana Nilayam, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The original Tamil text of Guru Vācaka Kōvai, and a Tamil prose rendering by Sri Sadhu Om, are published as two separate volumes by Sri Ramanasramam. A complete English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and myself, together with comments by both Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu Om, is published separately by Sri Arunachalaramana Nilayam.