Supplement to Reality In Forty Verses

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Supplement to the Forty Verses, part 2
An excerpt from the Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi 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

21. “Please explain to me what is that great mirror in which the whole world is reflected. What is the heart of all individuals in the world?”, Rama once asked Sage Vasishta, The latter replied, “When one thinks about it, it appears that the heart of all individuals in the world is twofold.
22. “Listen to the characteristics of these two, of which one is to be accepted and the other rejected. The organ which is called the heart which is situated in a particular place in the chest of the physical body is to be rejected. The heart which is of the form of consciousness is what is to be accepted. It is both within and without yet it has no inside or outside.
23. “This is the important (spiritual) heart. All this is situated within it. It is the mirror of all things and the abode of all wealth. Therefore, it is said that consciousness alone is the heart of all beings. It is not a small part of the perishable body which is insentient like a stone.
24. “Therefore, the practice of merging the ego in that pure heart of the nature of consciousness leads to stilling the vital air (vayu) and the latent impressions of the mind (vasanas).
25. “Through constant, uninterupted meditation in the heart: ‘That consciousness which is devoid of all adjuncts, that Siva, I am’ removes all attachments from the mind.
26. “Having understood the various states and always holding firmly at heart to the supreme state which is above them and free from delusion play your part in the world (as on a stage). O hero! Having realized in the Heart that which underlies all appearances, never forget it. Then play your (allotted) part in the world, O hero, acting as though attached to it.
27. “With simulated zeal and joy, excitement and hatred, initiative and effort play your part in the world i attachment, O hero. Having obtained release from all kinds of bondage having gained equanimity in all situations and performing outward actions according to your part, O hero, play your part as you like in the world.”
28. Proclaim that he who is established in Truth through knowledge of the Self and has destroyed the latent impressions of the (five) sense organs through that knowledge, is the fire of knowledge, the possessor of the thunderbolt of knowledge, the destroyer of time, the hero who has overcome death.
29. Know that illumination, intelligence and strength develop spontaneously in those who have realized Truth, just as with coming of spring beauty and other qualities embellish the earth.
30. The mind whose impressions (vasanas) have been destroyed is not engaged in activity even when it performs actions; it is like those who listen to a story absent-mindedly. The mind which is crowded with them is engaged in activity even when it does not perform actions; it is like one who, while lying still (in sleep), climbs a hill and falls into a pit in his dream.
31. To one who is sleeping in a cart the movement of the cart, its stopping and its being left alone are the same. (Similarly) to the true Sage who is asleep inside the gross body, activity, contemplation and sleep are (the same).
32. Beyond the reach of those who experience the waking, dream and sleep states there is a state of waking-sleep known as turiya (literally ‘the fourth’, meaning transcendental experience). As that state alone is real and as the other three which appear are unreal, know that turiya is itself (turiyatita (beyond turiya).
33. If one says that the Sage is free from the accumulated karma from past actions (sanchita) and the karma now being made (agami) but is subject to the karma that is to be worked out in this life (prarabdha) that is only to satisfy others who ask about it, Know that just as none of a man’s wives can remain unwidowed on his death so when the doer is gone none of the three forms of karma can survive.
34. Wives, children and others form the family of the unlearned, but know that in the minds of the learned there are not one but many families consisting of books, and these form obstacles to their spiritual progress.
35. What is the use of learning for those who do not seek the source of their birth and attempt to erase the writ of Fate? They are like a gramophone. Tell me, Lord of Sonagiri (Arunachala), what else are they?
36. Those who are not learned are saved from the misfortune of those who have learning but no humility. They are saved from the clutches of the monster of pride, as well as from the disease of wandering thoughts and words, and from running about seeking wealth and fame. Know it is not from one evil alone that they are saved.
37. Though he may reject all the worlds and have all the scriptures at his finger tips, it is hard for one who is enthralled by the vile courtesan flattery to free himself from bondage.
38. Who is there besides the Self? What does it matter whether one is praised or blamed? Without differentiating between oneself and others and without swerving from ne’s
39. Retain at heart always the sense of non-duality, but never express it in action. My son, the sense of non-duality may apply to the three worlds, but it is not to be used towards the Guru.
40. I will proclaim truly the essence of the conclusion arrived at by all the Vedantic texts. It is that if the ego dies and the ‘I’ becomes That (Brahman), that ‘I’ which is of the form of consciousness alone remains.