Upadesa Saram, Class 11


Greetings All,

Shloka # 24:
The difference between God and individual is only in name, form and intelligence. They are the same in their essential nature as the Heart.

Shloka # 25:
When perception of name and form ceases, there is the vision of the Self. This is also the vision of God, for, God and the Self are the same.

Continuing his teaching Swami Paramarthananda says,  in the previous class and previous shloka, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi described Atma Vichara as means of of falsifying the Ahamkara. This Atma Vichara is to be accomplished with Guru Shastra Upadesha. After this Vichara, a Gyani uses the “I” in that he will be aware of the higher “I” even as he uses the Ahamkara “I”.

After Atma Gyanam he goes to the next stage. There can be a misconception in one’s thinking that there is an Atma in every Jiva. To negate plurality of Atma,  Ramana Maharishi says that Atma in each individual is the same or One Atma appearing in many forms. The same Atma is also described as Jiva Atma and Param Atma. This is the Mahavakya Vichara.

Shlokas # 24 and # 25 respectively deal with Jivatma and Paramtama Aikyam. If they, Jivatma and Paramatma, are appearing as different it is because of Nama and Roopa. Just as in the wave and ocean analogy so also with Vyashti Atma and Param Atma the Atma is same. By removing the Vesha one gets the Sva-Atma Darshanam or Paramatma Swaroopa Gyanam.  The seeker understands God as himself. This is the Aikya Gyanam.

Shloka # 26:

Since there are no two selves, the established poise in the Self is the vision of the Self.

In previous shloka Ramana Maharishi talked about Atma Darshanam as seeing or knowing Atma. This can cause confusion in some. One may think of Atma as an object. As per Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi one cannot objectify the Atma. Thus, he says, there will be no new experience. I will just understand Atma as myself. Abiding in the Atma is, knowing Atma. It is not an object of experience. It is the ever-experienced consciousness. It does not require a special experience. This is called Atma Gyanam.

There is no knower or known of an Atma. If Atma has to be known who will know it?

Swamiji says:


  1.  An-atma cannot know Atma .
  2. One Atma cannot know another Atma , as there is only one Atma.
  3. Atma cannot know itself, as subject cannot objectify itself.
  4. One part of Atma cannot know another part of Atma, as Atma has no parts. Thus, I have a leg that I can touch. Nothing like the leg exists in the Atma.

Therefore, experiencing or knowing Atma through a process is not possible. Therefore, the ever-experienced Consciousness is the Atma. This understanding does not require objectification of Atma. This abidance is called Atma Nishta.

Shloka # 27:
Knowledge is Consciousness transcending knowledge and ignorance. After knowing that is there any difference?

Consciousness alone is Atma Gyanam. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says “Chid Eva Gyanam”. Atma Gyanam is unique. It should be carefully understood.   Swamiji asked: If consciousness is Atma Gyanam, what is the problem? Answering the question he says, this question assumes that since everybody has consciousness then everybody should have Atma Gyanam. Consciousness is Anadi and Ananthaha. This means everybody in the world is a Gyani.

The statement has to be interpreted correctly. Consciousness is Atma Gyanam only when Consciousness is associated with an appropriate thought called Vridhi Aruda Chaitanyam. Thus, Consciousness associated with Pot is called Pot knowledge. Consciousness associated with Aham Brahma Asmi is known as Atma knowledge.

What is the nature of this Consciousness? That original consciousness is beyond both Knowledge and Ignorance. Gyanam generated a Vyavaharika Satyam. Consciousness is beyond it. It is Gyana and Agyana varjithaha. It is beyond knowledge and ignorance, it is actually a witness of both of them.

How is one to know this absolute Consciousness? There is no duality to know the Chaitanyam. Thus:

1)    An-atma or Jadam cannot know Chaitanyam.
2)    One Chaitanyam cannot know another Chaitanyam, as there is only one Chaitanyam.
3)    Chaitanyam cannot know itself, as subject cannot objectify itself.
4)    One part of Chaitanyam cannot know another part of Chaitanyam, as Chaitanyam has no parts.

So, is there a division in consciousness to objectify? There is no such division. Hence one can only say “ I am Chaitanyam and be quiet.”

You are able to say, “ I am” because of Consciousness. With this Atma Brahma Aikyam is over.

Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi talked about Karma, Upasana, Bhakti ( Samadhi), Ashtanga Yoga with focus on Pranayama, and Gyana Yoga. All Sadhanas prescribed in Vedas were condensed in this text.

This Atma Vichara is the final Sadhana. Now Bhagawan Ramana MahaRishi talks about the Phalam.

Everybody has to go through all Upasanas and Sadhanas. There is no time limit to their practice. In shlokas # 28 and # 29 respectively Gyana Phalam or Moksha is now described.

Shloka 28:
A conscious bliss ensues when one abides as the Self, by enquiring, “ what is the true import of “I”?” This bliss is spontaneous, indestructible and limitless.

When one enquires into Atma Swaroopam or “who am I”, through Guru Upadesha, Atma Darshanam occurs. Swamiji emphasized the need for Guru Upadesha for this Gyanam. When Atma Gyanam occurs there is Ananda, fulfillment or peace. It is not a temporary Sukham but an infinite Ananda also called Aapoorna Ananda. This sukham is identified with Chaitanyam or Atma.

Shlokas # 29 & 30:
In previous shloka or # 28, the second line is actually one word. Relative Sukham is opposite of Dukham. It can change, as it comes and goes. Gyana-janya Sukham is not a displaceable Sukham. A Gyani also has Prarbhda Karmas that will bring good or bad experiences to him. Even a Sanyasi experiences Prarbhda Karma in an Ashram.

The Sukham experienced by a gyani will not change.  Atmananda will continue even as the Gyani’s Prarabdha Karma’s play out. This Sukham is absolute. It is beyond Bandha and Mosha that are relative terms. When bondage is understood it is known as Mithya. If a tiger comes in dream and then goes away too, it is all happening in the dream. The tiger belongs to the dream. In waking there is no arrival or departure. In the absolute there is no Bandha or Moksha. Both are Vyavaharika Satyam. Atmanada is the Paramarthika Satyam.

Atmananda is a sense of fullness that persists at all times. It is also called Poornatvam. The Jiva obtains this un-displaceable Atmanada.

When does he get this ananda or moksha?  In most systems, one obtains it only after death. In Vedanta it is promised in this very life as a Jivanmukta. You will still have your wife or husband, children etc. but the Gyani will have no complaints. If you want this Gyananda you have to qualify for it. You should deserve it. Such a person is called Daivika or one with spiritual values. Gita Chapter # 16 describes these values or traits. One has to cultivate these values. You then become a Sadhana Chatushtaya Adhikari or as Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi calls it Daivika.

How do I get this Daivika? Performing all Karmas, Upasanas and Sadhanas followed by Guru’s teachings will result in Gyananada.

Shloka # 30:
The speaking of truth of “I” is the greatest austerity. This is the teaching of Ramana

It is the greatest accomplishment in life. This Atma Gyanam or Jivatma Paramatma Aikyam is Mahat Tapaha. It is the greatest Sidhi in life. Gita Chapter # 4 describes it as well.
This knowledge is an illuminator of one’s real nature. It banishes Ahamkara. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi brings out this Vedic wisdom. It contains Veda Upadesha Sara.

“In words of Ramana” can have two meanings:

1)    Words of Ramana
2)    That which pleases all people. A teaching to revel in.

With this Upadesha Sara is over. It is important, because, here Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi makes it clear that “Who am I “ must be preceded by Upsanas. Upadesha begins with all Sadhanas including Karma yoga, to lead to one becoming Daivika and then one knows one’s Self.  It is a Vedic teaching. It is also Ramana’s teaching. It is the best of teaching of Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi.

My Note on Paramarthika, Vyavaharika and Pratibhasika Satyam: The above bhashyam brings to the fore that three types of ‘reality’ are admitted in the Shruti. Commonly these are known as: 1.PAramArthika Satyam which is Brahman alone, 2. VyAvahArika satyam, which constitutes the common world experience of samsara and 3. PrAtibhAsika satyam which is a seeming reality, actually within the samsaaric experience. This seeming reality of say, the mirage-water or rope-snake, is corrected in the Vyavahara itself and does not require Brahma jnanam for this. The Vyvahaarika satyam, of course, gets corrected upon the rise of Brahma jnAnam.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy