As that which is excellent for the Realization of Brahman,
Existing without another,
Granting to all the nectar of immortality,
Silencing all doubts forever,
As That which alone exists, Siva,
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
The Truth is silent. He is silent. He is the Silence. A name was given to him: Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, and the eternal Silence, itself, poured forth in luminous verses, expressing the sublime, supreme Truth. This is Saddarsanam, The Revelation of Truth. In Tamil, it is known as Ulladu Narpadu, The Forty on What Is.
Saddarsanam consists of verses selected from among over eighty verses. This larger body of verses consists of both verses composed by the Maharshi and verses derived from other texts that were translated into Tamil from their Sanskrit originals. The verses selected for the text of Ulladu Narpadu (Saddarsanam) were composed by the Maharshi. Those verses not selected for Ulladu Narpadu (The Forty on What Is) were compiled into the Anubandham, or Supplement. Though the Supplement, too, contains verses of great profundity, this present book concerns itself only with the Saddarsanam verses, which consist of the two invocatory verses, the forty verses, and the two concluding verses by Ganapati Muni that serve the function of a colophon.
The original verses were composed in Tamil by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, arranged by Sri Muruganar, and entitled Ulladu Narpadu (The Forty on What Is). The Tamil verses were translated into Sanskrit by Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni (Vasishta Ganapati Muni), who had also selected which verses were to appear as the invocation, and entitled Saddarsanam. The Muni's Sanskrit version is used in this present volume. It is translated in a very literal manner, to the extent that even the order of the Sanskrit words is followed fairly closely in the English wherever possible, even if the English then reads a bit awkwardly. Whenever practical, the point where each English line breaks follows the pattern displayed in the Sanskrit text. In numerous instances, alternative translations of words, phrases, and lines are presented. The aim is to provide the literal meaning free of interpretation and, also, to present the numerous nuances of meaning that can be derived from the text without deviating from a literal translation. With this supplied, the meditating reader can easily, inwardly understand the significance of each verse and, if he chooses, mentally render the verse into a more smoothly flowing set of English words, for a consequence of this style of translation is the loss of the poetic quality of the original text. Reference to the portion of this book entitled “An Inquiry into the Revelation of Truth and Oneself” may be found to be helpful to the understanding of the applicability of this translation for Self-inquiry and Self-Realization and for an explanation of the meaning of those phrases of the translation that may elude complete comprehension at first glance. Words and phrases placed in parenthesis indicate alternative translations of the term or phrase immediately preceding them. Words placed in brackets are those inserted to make the English translation intelligible and are not actually in the Sanskrit text, though they may be implied. The intended result of presenting the translation in this manner is to provide the meditating reader with the full scope of meanings consonant with an experiential understanding of this nondual Knowledge.
Among the English translations of the text are the two by A. R. Natarajan, as found within his books Sat-Darshana and Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, the two that are found in earlier and later editions of The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, one of which is the translation by Professor K. Swaminathan, the one entitled Truth Revealed (Sad-Vidya), which is translated from the Tamil original, the one by “K," which is contained in his Sat-Darshana Bhashya, the one of Dr. T. M. P. Mahadevan from the Tamil text found in Ramana Maharshi and His Philosophy of Existence, the translation by K. Lakshmana Sarma (“Who”) that accompanies his own Sanskrit rendition from the Tamil, as contained in his Sri Ramanahrdayam, Revelation, the one by Swami Tejomayananda as contained in Saddarsanam of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, the translation by S. S. Cohen, which is said to be an edition derived from six other translations, and the translation by S. Ram Mohan, which is being serially published in the “Mountain Path.” Several of these are published by Sri Ramanasramam, some by the Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, and some are by other publishers and by other spiritual institutions dedicated to Vedanta. The translation contained herein is intended to augment and not to substitute for these existing translations.
॥ प्रार्थना ॥ ॥ prārthanā ॥
सत्प्रत्ययाः किं नु विहाय सन्तं हृद्येष चिन्ता रहितो हृदाख्यः। कथं स्मरामस्तममेयमेकं तस्य स्मृतिस्तत्र दृढैव निष्ठा ॥ १ ॥