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Guru Vachaka Kovai

Guru Vachaka Kovai

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Published by: Self Inquiry of Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi on Jul 17, 2012
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(Paramartha Tiran)

1227.There is no becoming [creation], and there is also no
destruction, the opposite [of creation]; there are no
people in bondage, and there are also no people at all
sadhana; there are no people who seek the
highest [i.e. liberation], and there are also no people
who have attained liberation. Know that this alone is
the supreme truth [

Sadhu Om: This verse is adapted from the Sanksrit sloka, “Na
nirodha na cha utpattih na baddhah na cha sadhakah, Na

mumukshuh na vai muktah iti esha paramarthata,” which Sri
Bhagavan often used to cite, and which is included in the
Amritabindu Upanishad [Verse 10], in the Atma Upanishad [verse

30], in the Mandukya Karikas [2.32] and in the Vivekachudamani

[verse 574]. After seeing this four-line verse composed by Sri
Muruganar, Sri Bhagavan expressed the same idea in the following
two-line verse.

B28. There is no becoming [creation], destruction, bond-
age, desire to sever [bondage], effort [made for liber-
ation] for those who have attained [liberation]. Know
that this is the supreme truth [

Sadhu Om: Creation, destruction, bondage, the desire to sever
bondage, the one who seeks liberation and the one who has
attained liberation, all exist only in the outlook of the mind. Hence
they all have the same degree of reality [sama-satya] as the mind
which knows them. But as Sri Bhagavan reveals in verse 17 of
Upadesa Undiyar, when the form of the mind is vigilantly scruti-
nized it will be found that there is no such thing as mind at all.
Therefore, when the mind is thus found to be non-existent, the
whole false appearance of creation, destruction, bondage, libera-
tion and so on, will also be found to be completely non-existent.
Hence, the absolute truth experienced by a Jnani, who has known
Self and who has thereby realized the non-existence of the mind, is


Sri Muruganar

only ajata – the truth that there was never was, is or will be any
creation, birth or becoming at all.

The five divine functions [panchakrityas], namely creation,
sustenance, destruction, veiling and Grace, are all things which are
concerned only with the world, soul and God, which [as revealed in
verse 1215] are mere playthings of maya. Therefore, whatever
appears as real within the range of these five functions, cannot be
the absolute truth. Since bondage, liberation, sadhaka, sadhana,
attainment and so on, pertain only to the world, soul and God, they
are all unreal. That is to say, since the world, soul and God are the
playthings of maya, all knowledges pertaining to them are unreal.
[See Ulladu Narpadu verse 13, “Knowledge of multiplicity is igno-
rance, which is unreal”.] When it is so, only that knowledge which
shines transcending maya, and which is a knowledge not of
manyness but only of oneness, can be the supreme and absolute
truth [paramartha]. The exact nature of that supreme truth can be
known only by Jnanis, who firmly abide as that single, all-tran-
scending reality. Their experience alone can be taken to be the
absolute truth.

We should here recall that in verse 100 of this work it is
stated that though Sri Bhagavan taught various different doctrines
to suit the maturity of each one who came to Him, He revealed that
His own experience was only ajata. In order to show that His own
experience was also the experience of the ancient Rishis who gave
the Upanishads, Sri Bhagavan often used to cite the sloka of which
the present verse is a translation.

The literal meaning of the word ‘maya’ is ‘ma-ya’ [that which
is not], because when Self-knowledge dawns the activity [vritti] of
maya, namely its aforesaid play, will be found to be completely
non-existent. Just as the non-existent snake merges into and
becomes one with the ever-existing rope as soon as that rope is
seen as it is, so the non-existent maya will merge into and become
one with the ever-existing and Self-shining Self as soon as that
Self is known as it is. Therefore, though maya is not other than
Brahman or Self, and though it is said to be beginningless like

Brahman, it does have an end, since it is found to be non-existent
in the clear light of Self-knowledge. Hence, we [Self], who remain
shining even in the state in which maya is thus found to be



non-existent, alone are the supreme and absolute truth [param-

Thus, as the final conclusion of this work, Guru Vachaka
Kovai, which is also known as ‘The Light of Supreme Truth’
[paramartha dipam], Sri Bhagavan reveals that Self – which always
shines without beginning or end and without any change as the
single, non-dual existence-consciousness-bliss [sat-chit-ananda] in
the form ‘I am’ – alone is the supreme truth [paramartha], and that
everything else is a mere play of maya and is therefore completely
unreal and non-existent.

However, this absolute truth cannot be understood by peo-
ple who are under the sway of maya and are therefore deluded by
the defect of ego. Hence, disregarding this supreme truth, they
imagine many different goals such as immortalizing the body,
heavenizing the earth, going to celestial worlds, attaining powers
[siddhis] and so on, and believing such goals to be the supreme
truth [paramartha], in the name of yoga or religion they chart out
different paths to attain those different goals, they write voluminous
books about their own goals and methods, and they become
entangled in elaborate arguments about them. However, all such
efforts are futile, since they are possible only within the range of
the unreal play of maya. Refer here to verse 34 of Ulladu Narpadu,
where Sri Bhagavan says that to argue about the nature of the
reality, instead of merging within and knowing it as it is, is only
ignorance born of maya.

1228.Since it is possible only in [the dim light of] unreality
[or ignorance] to make that which exists [appear to
be] non-existent and to make that which does not
exist [appear to be] that which exists, but impossible
[to do so] in the clear [light of] truth, in the certainty
which is the truth everything is consciousness [

Michael James: A rope can appear to be a snake only in a dim
light, and not in complete darkness or in clear light. Likewise, the
ever-existing Self or Brahman can appear to be the non-existent
names and forms [the world, soul and God] only in the dim light of
ignorance [the mind-light], and not in the complete darkness of
sleep or in the clear light of Self-knowledge. Therefore, since that
which exists [Self or Brahman] cannot appear to be that which
does not exist [the many names and forms] in the clear light of


Sri Muruganar

truth, in that clear light it will be realized that whatever appeared to
be existent in the state of ignorance is truly nothing but conscious-
ness, which alone is that which truly exists. That is, just as the rope
alone ever exists both when it appears to be the non-existent
snake and when it is seen as it is, so consciousness alone ever
exists both when it appears to be the non-existent names and
forms and when it shines as it is.

1229.Know that all that is told about the soul and God –
[such as] that which is the soul that has the bondage
of attachment will become God when bondage is
removed, just as paddy becomes rice when the husk
is removed – is [merely] an imagination of the defec-
tive mind [superimposed] on Self, the form of that

Michael James: Though scriptures at first say, “Just as paddy
becomes rice when its husk is removed, so the soul [or jivatma] will
become God [paramatma] when its bondage of attachment is
removed,” the supreme truth [paramartha] is that there is no soul,
God, bondage or liberation at all, and that these are all mere men-
tal imaginations superimposed on Self, which is the sole ever-exist-
ing reality.

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