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The Song of Ribhu

 

The Song of Ribhu

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Translated from the original Tamil by Dr. H. Ramamoorthy and Nome

 

The Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) has published the first complete translation into English of the Tamil book The Song of Ribhu. This classic work of Advaita Vedanta (nonduality) has ancient origins, probably dating from the period of the Upanisads. Sri Ramana Marharshi regularly recommended it to spiritual seekers.

 

The Song of Ribhu is instruction by the sage Ribhu to his disciple Nidagha to assist him in realizing the ultimate Truth. For any spiritual seeker interested in Self-knowledge, it provides a detailed and lyrical description of  Self-Realization, Enlightenment, or the Realization of the Absolute.

 

This translation, in eight-line verse that simulates the Tamil original verses, is the result of several years work by Dr. H. Ramamoorthy, the Indian religious scholar and Nome, a teacher of the Society of Abidance in Truth. They have collaborated in translating several ancient works of Advaita, including previously unavailable works of Sankara and the English translation of the Sanskrit Ribhu Gita, published by SAT in 1995.

 

The Song of Ribhu and the Ribhu Gita are two distinct works. Although this Tamil Song of Ribhu and the Sanskrit Ribhu Gita are based in the same ancient teachings they are quite different in form. The verses, for  example, cannot be directly aligned. The Sanskrit resembles a more spontaneous outpouring of expression of nondual Realization, while the Tamil text not only contains much different content but a more systematic arrangement of the expression of nondual Realization. The serious seeker is therefore well advised to seek benefit from both.

 

The Tamil work is also warmly recommended by H.H. Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swamigal Sankaracharya (Kanchipuram), and Srila Sri Tavatirthu Nachiappa Gnanadesiki Swami (Kovilur Math). This new publication is the translation of this unique text that is so highly recommended by sages and holy persons of India.

 

Selected Verses from Chapter 26: Undifferentiated Abidance in the Nondual Nature

6

That in which there is nothing bad or good,

In which there is neither sorrow nor pleasure,

In which there is neither silence nor speech,

In which there are no pairs of opposites,

In which there is no distinction of "I" or "body,"

(Alternative translation: in which there is no notion "the body is myself,")

And in which there is not the least thing to perceive--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

7

That in which there is no activity of body,

In which there is no activity of speech,

In which there is no activity of the mind,

In which there is no activity of any other kind,

In which there is nothing sinful or meritorious,

And in which there is no trace of desire or its consequences--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

8

That in which there is never any imagination,

In which there is no one who imagines,

In which the universe has not arisen,

In which the universe does not exist,

In which the universe does not get dissolved,

And in which nothing exists at any time--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

9

That in which there is no appearance of maya (illusion),

In which there are no effects of maya (delusion),

In which there is neither knowledge nor ignorance,

In which there is neither Lord (Isvara) nor individual (jiva),

In which thre is neither reality nor unreality,

And in which there is not the least appearance of the world--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

10

That in which there are no manifold gods,

In which there is no worship of or service to these,

In which there is no differentiation as the triad of forms (Brahma, Vishnu, Siva),

In which there is no meditation on the triad of forms,

In which there is no form of the Supreme Siva,

And in which there is no meditation on the Supreme Siva--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

11

That in which there is no action suggesting differentiation,

In which there is neither devotion nor knowledge,

In which there is no result to be obtained,

Bereft of which there is no supreme abode (or supreme state),

In which there is nothing of means [for attainment],

In which there is nothing to be attained--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

12

That in which there is nothing of body or senses or life,

In which there is nothing of mind or intellect or thought,

In which there is no experiencer of these,

In which there is no macrocosm or microcosm,

And in which there is not a trace of samsara (cycle of birth and death)--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

13

That in which there is no desire and no anger,

In which there is no covetousness and deluded infatuation,

In which there is no arrogance and envious malice,

In which there are no other impurities of the mind,

And in which there is no delusive notion of bondage,

And in which there is no delusive notion of liberation--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

14

That in which there is neither beginning nor end,

In which there is no bottom or middle or top,

In which there is neither shrine nor deity,

In which there is neither charity nor righteous conduct,

In which there is neither time nor space,

And in which there is no object to be perceived--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

15

That in which the fourfold means for realization of Brahman (sadhana chatushtaya) do not exist,

In which there is neither sadguru (true guru) nor diligent disciple,

In which there is no immutable knowledge,

In which there is no illustrious jnani (knower, sage),

In which there is neither of the two kinds of liberation (jivan-mukti, liberation while alive and vedehamukti, disembodied liberation),

And in which there is nothing at any time--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

16

That in which there are no scriptures like the Veda-s and such,

In which there is no inquiring indivudual,

In which there is no confusion and clarification,

In which there is no position to be established,

In which there is no position to be rejected,

In which there is nothing at all except oneself--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.

17

That in which there is no disputation,

In which there are no victories or defeats,

In which there is no text or its meaning,

In which there are no words with which to give expression,

In which there is no differentiation of individual (jiva) and the Supreme,

And in which there are no conditionings--

Ever abide in Bliss, without a trace of a concept (sankalpa),

In That itself as That itself.