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Rama Gita

Found in Chapter V of the Uttara Khanda of Ramayana and in Brahmanda Purana 1. Then that best of Raghus who was the embodiment of all worldly bliss, having established the very sacred fame of the Ramayana, followed the path trodden by the royal sages of old. 2. Questioned by the son of Sumitra, Rama recited to him the ancient stories relating to dharma, of how Raja Nriga was, through heedlessness, transformed into a creature of the lower order by the curse of brahmanas. 3. Once, the son of Sumitra whose mind had been purified by devotion, approached, with reverence, Lord Rama sitting in solitude, with Rama (Lakshmi) pressing His lotus feet, and, prostrating himself, said: 4. You are Pure Knowledge; You are the Self of all embodied beings; You are the Lord in truth; and You are without form. O You of great wisdom! You are known to those who have knowledge for their vision, and whose minds are ever attached to Your lotus feet, like a black bee to the lotus flower. 5. O Lord! I take refuge at Your lotus feet which secure emancipation from the course of worldly life, and are cherished by yogis. Do You teach me that knowledge whereby I may speedily and, with ease, cross this impassible ocean of (nescience)? 6. On hearing the prayer of the son of Sumitra, Rama, the ornament of kings and destroyer of the sorrow of his devotees, with a joyful heart, communicated to him that knowledge which is declared by the Vedas, for the purpose of removing the whole of nescience. Rama said: 7. Having, in the beginning accomplished all the duties which are enjoined for one’s own caste and order, and having thereby purified one’s mind, and acquired the necessary qualifications for knowledge, let one approach a wise preceptor for the purpose of acquiring Brahma-vidya (Knowledge of the Self). 8. All work results in incarnation. For one, who is attached to it, come dharma and its contrary, leading to happiness and misery. Thence, arises the body, and from it again work. In this way, like a wheel, the course of worldly life revolves without an end. 9. The root cause of it is ignorance (ajnana). For the purpose of warding off this course of worldly life, removal of ignorance or nescience is the only means.

illuminated by work duly performed. 11. In the same manner does Vidya. The advocate of Vedic rites rejoins: Even though (knowledge) is true in its results. leading to the round of birth and re-birth without end. On account of its being opposed to knowledge.Knowledge alone is capable of destroying this nescience. Let the sage. replies the sage: Vidya is certain in its results. and devote himself to knowledge and meditation on the truths of the Vedanta. and independent. there is any sense of ‘I’ in the body and the like. time. therefore. maintain this combination of knowledge and action as conducive to emancipation. This is an untruth because it involves a patent contradiction. avoid action. As long as. Work flourishes through the notion of ‘I’ in the body. place. and it becomes ultimately the helpmate of Vidya (Knowledge). Some. When that knowledge which destroys the notion of separation of the Supreme Self from the embodied self arises in the purified internal organ. Destruction of nescience or of attachment follows performance of action. and is not it’s contrary. The final condition of the manas (mind) which follows the realization of the truths of the Vedanta. etc for its accomplishment. let him renounce all action. But. under the influence of Maya. Vidya destroys all actors. not this. knowledge arises from the sublation of the notion of ‘I’ in the body and the like. The Veda has declared cessation from action to be sinful. 17. place and the rest. always engage in action. then Maya . On the contrary. leading to pure knowledge. renounce all work. For one who has a body. it leads to further action with its commitment to perishable and transient results. 14. 13. yet Vedic sacrifice also requires other helping agents like time. lead to emancipation in a special manner. It does not stand in need of any helping agent even in thought. therefore. who are disputants in logic. so long is there the binding force of injunctions of the Veda regarding action. Let the man of wisdom. Let the aspirant after emancipation. is called Vidya by the wise. On the contrary. Action cannot destroy it as it is born of nescience. Work arises from its adjuncts in the shape of actors. 12. 15. therefore. Having withdrawn his senses from all objects let the sage be ever engaged in realization of his own self (atman). Having sublated the whole of it through the saying of not this. instruments and the like. One who objects to this approach says: Action is also enjoined by the Vedas as conducive to the highest end of man like knowledge. there can be no combination of knowledge and work. On the contrary. 18. and knowing the Supreme-Self. performance of action is enjoined. 10. 16. instruments.

and of the Supreme Self as the notpresent self with the notion of the (unseen) attached. In the beginning. 22. The fruits of the two are distinct. Sacrificial action is accomplished through various instruments like actor. how shall it (nescience) ever again arise? 20. know the unity of the supreme with the embodied self through the great saying Thou art That. The Sruti of the Taitiriya-Upanisad has reverently declared this renunciation of all action. and not action. how shall it be capable of showing its activity. leading to further incarnation? When it has been destroyed by realized knowledge which is pure and without duality. as it is for those whose minds are attached to the fruit of action.together with its off-shoots. one is to realize the significance of the saying Tat Twam Asi. 21. ‘This alone is moksha’ is also the declaration of the Sruti of the Vajasaneyi-Upanisad. how can then there be any notion of ‘I am the doer’? Therefore. and retaining the intelligent nature of the two and their final significance as illustrated in the indirect application (lakshana) described below. Let one. and also the meaning of each of the three words tat twam and asi which it consists of. It is only the intellect of one who superimposes the Self upon the Not-self that cherishes the notion of sin in the non. independent of everything else. by the wise. forthwith disappears. which give rise to birth. and be happy and unmoved like the Meru Mountain. Having sublated the adjuncts of the embodied self as the internal-everpresent self with the notion of ‘I’ attached. is the means of emancipation. . 23. ‘you have shown the equality of sacrificial action with knowledge. The intellect of the sage has no such notion. rebirth and action (karma). who is endowed with faith. the word twam the embodied self and the word asi (is) connects the two. let one abide in the unity of one’s own self. 25. 19. but without giving any illustration thereof. once destroyed. When nescience (avidya). action which is enjoined as obligatory should be renounced. instruments and the like. Having once been destroyed by knowledge. 26. through a purified mind and the grace of his preceptor. 24. (That art Thou) free from all doubt and uncertainly. The Vedantin questions. The word tat signifies the Supreme Self with Its attributes of omniscience and the like. knowledge (vidya) requires nothing for its fructification.performance of action. cannot spring forth anew. It alone is sufficient for the purpose of securing emancipation. but knowledge is not accomplished by these but by other means’. knowledge alone. Therefore. Therefore.

The wise know the subtle body as consisting of the mind. 31. and having. just as in the saying ‘he is the same person whom I saw’. On the contrary. both kinds of lakshana enter. not this. He appears to be differentiated as the Supreme Self and the embodied self. The gross adjunct of the atman is the body composed of the five elements of the earth. When the great saying ‘This Purusa Is Unattached’ is fully reflected upon. Like a piece of crystal appearing to be red on account of its proximity to a red flower. the five of action. The beginning-less incomprehensible Maya is the chief body of the Lord. namely.27. It is the place of enjoyment of the fruit of action as well as of happiness. which is unity and bliss itself. rajas and tamas. the intelligent principle (cit) and the atman. gradually realize one’s self through sublation of all adjuncts. having a beginning and an end. air and space. This body is also other than the self. and born of Maya. 34. and cannot be of the nature of the Supreme Self. and to be other than the gross body. in the same manner as both kinds of lakshana enter in the unity of the two. So long as the intellect (buddhi). the intellect. 33. so long does the samsara flourish. waking. the five organs of perception. for one category does not abide when the other is present. 29. It is the vehicle of enjoyment of the enjoyer. The jahat lakshana is not possible here on account of the unity of the two ‘selfs’. are such on account of its combination with the attributes of sattva. fire. having for its root the attributes of darkness and activity (rajas and tamas). and the vital airs born of the five elements in their original state of purity. in their combination with each other. Through superimposition. by a mind residing in pure sattva (goodness). . They are not the true states of the Supreme Self. the Tat and the Twam as free from all faults. tasted the nectar of the intelligent atman. water. It (the Purusa) is known to be unattached. when he is associated with a gross body. 28. partakes of the nature of ignorance. renounce the world. also seen here as three. the organs of senses. unborn. and without a second. The ajahat lakshana is also not possible on account of contradiction. having sublated the whole of the phenomenal world through not this. 30. misery and the like. the vital airs. Therefore they are all unreal. 32. Let one. therefore. Let one.fold. The states of the intellect (buddhi). and functions as ‘I’ in this conglomeration of the body. dream and deep sleep states of consciousness. like one leaving a fruit after having sucked off the juice. this self (embodied) appears to be of the form of the five sheaths because of proximity to them.

attachment and happiness and the like. in the same way. In the atman (self) which is the cause of all. which is the one supreme Brahman. 41. 37. the superimposition of the notion of ‘I’ is the first superimposition. in the shape of desire and the like. through illusion. nor is it subject to increase or decrease. highly effulgent am I. in the company of the preceptor and the declaration of the Veda. the chit is called the embodied self (Jiva). let the sage see the Supreme Self as free from all adjuncts and renounce all that is non-intelligent and the cause of this worldly life. 39. which is without contradictions. which is free from imperfection. like the contact of fire with iron which makes the iron reflect and radiate heat. which is all intelligence. I am bliss itself. The self never dies nor is born. Just as the rope is not the snake. how can the samsara. The cause of this connection is the combined reflection of the embodied self and the sense organs in the buddhi.35. On the arising of knowledge. ‘I am of the nature of light. this world disappears instantly. which is free from all modifications to the basic principle. yet it is mistaken for it. born. its witness. The functions of the intellect. very pure am I. all pervading and without a second. all bliss. etc. it cannot live (stay) in the same place. miserable. I am without a second. In buddhi (conditioned intelligence) created through beginning-less reflection of nescience. though it is not. although different from one thing. 38. being its contrary. 40. I am unborn. I am full. of the nature of bliss itself. and which is above Maya. are the causes of the world process in its epitome. Having. 42. appear to exist in it. It is never new (or old). self-illumined. when all these functions of the waking consciousness cease. which is full of sorrow. free from all defect. The atman (chit) and the buddhi (intellect) appear each to partake of the attributes of the other through mutual connection. . the embodiment of absolute knowledge. dying. is yet imposed upon another. beyond all additions to its greatness. the Supreme Self is cognized by us as of the nature of Bliss itself. or for it? It appears to exist from nescience and superimposition of the attributes of the Not-self upon the Self. The wise call it superimposed which. In truth. 43. The intelligent nature of the self appears in the buddhi and the non-intelligent nature of the buddhi in the self. and I am no doer of action. that is happy. for in the condition of deep sleep. Unconditioned by buddhi. When such is the nature of the self. realized the nature of supreme knowledge. the atman is separate from the being. the jiva is Tat (the Brahman). the world that is superimposed upon the Supreme Self is taken to be the Supreme Self. 36.

free from modification am I. for the Prajna is the cause of the other two. of incomprehensible power am I. avarice. the letter U expresses the Taijas. let the seeker contemplate this entire universe. the root cause thereof. ever realize as ‘I am the Supreme Self. and the universe is the thing expressed. the last letter of the Pranava. Aum is the expression. rising above all means of knowledge except realization of self through introspection. All this universe is in truth the Supreme Self. Having in this way reached the state of realization of the Supreme Self. 52. Ever free am I. and having forgotten all. with intellect directed to no other object. He who has done so abides in his own self which is full and bliss itself. ever . For him. This meditation is also possible in the condition of nescience. Sitting in a lonely place. the cause of all causes. let one think only of the Self (Atman). with all senses withdrawn from their objects. Let him. and abiding in one’s own self. and who has subdued (as it were. 45. the Brahman alone is within and without.44. as nothing but Aum. with a mind brought under control. Then let him merge the Taijas into Prajna represented by M. Before the attainment of samadhi (transcendence of the three states of human consciousness). 49. the Intelligence Absolute. with the internal organ purified. ever free of all adjuncts. The letter A in AUM expresses the Viswa. in their own selves by the wise devoted to the study of the Veda’. having one’s eye directed towards jnana (supreme knowledge) and wisdom alone. delusion. together with nescience. always contemplating upon one’s own atman. leading to it. I am He who is ever realized. anger. having found his happiness in his own self. 47. 53. who has conquered all enemies in the shape of desire. by his devotion) the Lord of six attributes Himself. in a short time. one acquires purity of thought whereby. 48. All the Vedas know Him as AUM. Viswa and Taijas. 46. my knowledge transcends the senses. Let the sage therefore merge it in the Self. one renounces all actions which cause rebirth. who has completely withdrawn all his senses from their objects. like a sick person overcoming disease by taking the elixir of life. To the yogi. mobile and immobile. unlimited. who has practised samadhi in this manner. unfathomable am I. and the letter M expresses the Prajna. In this manner. into which it often abides. Let him then merge Prajna in the Supreme Chitghana. and ever pure’. then. 50 – 51. not on the arising of true knowledge. fear and lassitude. (to such yogi) I become visible. Let the sage merge the Viswa represented by A in the Taijas represented by U. the sage sits.

58. in the bliss of his own atman. has. all the three worlds. Having withdrawn your mind from it. he is absorbed into Me. On the dissolution of the body. who reads them with devotion and faith in his guru (preceptor). This essence of all the Vedas. middle and end. gets emancipation. let the sage devote himself to the contemplation of Me who is the Self of all beings. and full of bliss! 61. My brother! This entire seen universe is nothing but Maya (nescience). 60. The sage. and purified it through contemplation upon Me alone. will you be happy. is freed from his load of impurities that very moment. on the disappearance of ignorance. he becomes one with my own Self. Thus meditating upon his own self. it will disappear from view. through the declaration of the Vedas and the process of reasoning. when poured into the ocean. becoming the ocean. He. like the water of the ocean. 56. This wisdom which is the one essence of all the Vedas has been thus sung by Me. the milk poured into milk. 55. 62. let the sage abide free from all bonds. becoming ether. my dear. becoming air. the world as a thing to be got rid of. been declared by me to you after great consideration. and has great devotion to Me. On the realization of the unity of his own self with the Self of all. till the exhaustion of the karma which gave him this present incarnation. the air passed into air. this great mystery. thinking of Me sometimes as above all attributes. unfathomable as the ocean without a wave to ruffle its surface. by the dust of his feet.abiding in his own effulgent nature. becoming milk. who through a purified mind. and attains to my own Form if he believes in My saying. If it does so. the ether transferred into ether. let one be ever devoted to My worship. and having renounced all that appertains to the karma-kanda (the component of rites) of the Sastras. whose glory all the Upanisads (Vedanta) declare. So long as one does not see all as one’s own self. the sage realizes. becomes my own Self and sanctifies. 57. like the sun which purifies the world by its light. meditates on Me. Ever do I abide in the heart of one who is endowed with deep faith. and false. even though living in the world for the exhaustion of his karma. He. . day and night. free from all limitation. Knowing the course of worldly life to be the cause of fear and sorrow in the beginning. like the appearance of two moons in the sky or the turning of the quarters through defect of sight. 54. the cause thereof. as possessing no attributes or as possessed of attributes such as omniscience. 59. who meditates upon it. In this manner. free from all sorrow.