Supplement to Reality In Forty Verses

By Ramana Maharshi, excerpts from The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, edited by Arthur Osborne. There is an excellent website for Ramana Ashram that includes many photos and all of Sri Ramana’s works. Visit them online at

1. That in which this entire universe is established to which it pertains, out of which it arises, for which it exists, by which it comes into being, and which it really is that is the Self- existent Reality, the Truth. Let us worship That in the heart.
1. By association with the Sages attachment (to material things) is removed. When this is removed the attachment of the mind also vanishes. Those who have got rid of their attachment of mind become one with That which is motionless. They become Liberated even while alive. Seek their company.
2. That Supreme State which is to be attained here through association with Sages and steady inward-turning cannot be obtained through a (merely) learned teacher or by (under standing) the meaning of sacred texts, or by merit or by any other means.
3. If one associates with Sages where is the need for all these methods of discipline? When a pleasant breeze from the south is blowing of what use, tell me, is a fan?
4. Heat is allayed by the cool (light of the) moon, poverty (is removed) by the wish-fulfilling tree and sin by (bathing in) the Ganges. But all three are removed by the peerless benign look of the peerless Sages.
5. Neither sacred bathing places consisting of water nor the images of Gods made of stone and clay can equal those great ones. They take countless days to purity one, but know that the Sages do so by a mere look.
6. ‘Who is God?’ ‘He who knows the mind’. ‘My mind is known by me who am spirit.’ ‘Therefore you are God; also because scripture declares “God is one”?
7. ‘What provides you with light?’ ‘By day the sun; by night a lamp.’ ‘What is the light which sees these lights?’ ‘The eye.’ ‘What is the light that illumines the eye?’ ‘The intellect.’ ‘What is it which knows the intellect?’ ‘It is the “I”.’ ‘Therefore you are the light of lights.’ When the teacher said this (the disciple said), ‘Truly I am That.’
8. In the interior of the heart-cavern the one Brahman shines alone as ‘I-I’, as the Self (Atman). Resort to the heart by diving deep within, through Self-enquiry or by subduing the mind along with the breath. You will thus become established in the heart.
9. Know that awareness of, and remaining as, the Pure, immutable Self in the lotus of the heart bestows Liberation by destroying the ego.
10. The body is inert like a pot. Since it has no ‘I-consciousness’ and since, in its absence in deep sleep, we still exist, it cannot be the ‘I’. Who is it then that produces the feeling of ‘I-ness’? Where is he? In the heart-cavern of those who thus (enquire and) realize, the omnipresent Arunachala Siva shines of his own accord as ‘That-am-I’, consciousness.
11. He alone is born who, after enquiring ‘Where was I born?’ is born in his source, which is Brahman. Know that he is ever-born and daily renewed. He is the supreme Sage.
12. Give up the idea that this loathsome body is the Self. Realize the eternally blissful Self. To seek to know the Self while cherishing the ephemeral body is like mistaking a crocodile for a log and trying to cross the river on it.
13. Gifts, penance (tapas), sacrifice, upright conduct (dharma), self-control (yoga), devotion (bhakti), heaven (the expanse of consciousness), substance (existence), peace, truth, grace, silence, the Supreme State, deathless death, knowledge, renunciation, Liberation, bliss—know that all these are only severance of the I-am-the-body consciousness.
14. To enquire who it is who has karma, vibhakti (lack of devotion), viyoga (separation) and ajnana (ignorance) is true path of karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga. Remaining as the Self which has none of these things, and without an ego to make the enquiry, is indeed the true state.
15. The attitude of those madmen who, without realizing the Power which animates them, expect to attain all super natural powers reminds one of the story of the lame man who said, ‘If I am supported on my feet what can the enemy do?’
16. Peace of mind is permanent in Liberation so how can those whose minds are attached to supernatural powers, which cannot be gained without activity of the mind, achieve the bliss of Liberation in which there is a cessation of the activity of the mind?
17. The Lord bears the burden of the world. The pseudo- Self which thinks it bears it is like the grinning sculptured figure (at the top of a temple tower) which seems to support it. Whose fault is it if one who travels in a cart carries his luggage on his head to his own discomfort instead of putting it in the cart which carries it anyway?
18. Between the two breasts, below the chest and above the abdomen, there are six centres of different colours. One of those resembles the bud of a water lily inside and is situated two digits to the right. This is the (spiritual) heart.
19. It is inverted and within it is a tiny orifice in which dwells dense darkness (ignorance) along with desires, etc. All the great psychic nerves (nadis) depend upon it. It is the abode of the vital forces (pranas), the mind and the light (of consciousness).
20. The Lord who dwells and shines in the lotus of the heart is worshipped as Guhesa (Lord of the Cave). When, by continued effort, the conviction ‘I am that Guhesa’ becomes as firm as the sense of ‘I’ in your body and you become the Lord, nescience of the form ‘I am the perishable body, will disappear like darkness at sunrise.