31.1 ULLADU NARPADU (FORTY VERSES ON REALITY) ;p.1
The next sentence in the Mangalam – 1 Verse is:
uLLa-poruL uLLal-aRa uLLatte uLLadAl
uLLamenum uLLa-poruL uLLal evan?
Translation (by Lakshmana Sharma) quoted by Peter in his post:
Since that (Reality) dwells, thought- free, in the Heart, how can It - Itself named the Heart - be meditated on? And who is there, distinct from It, to meditate on It, the Self whose nature is Reality Consciousness?
[Note by VK: Bhagavan Ramana’s masterly handling of classical poetic Tamil can be appreciated even by non-Tamil people, when I tell you that he uses the words
uLLam = mind;
uLLadu = that which exists; (uL = interior, content);
uLLal = thinking, thought, meditation (comes from the verb form)
uLLam = heart (Bhagavan Ramana’s usage, when the context permits),
in all possible combinations so that the verse manifests as a lilting poetry!]
Now we go to the commentary by WHO (Lakshmana Sharma):
Here the Tamil word ‘evan’ must be taken in two meanings, namely, ‘who?’ and ‘how?’, according to Bhagavan’s own words. [That is why, in Lakshmana Sharma’s translation above, there are two sentences in English for this one sentence of Tamil].
In sum, this sentence says: The svarUpa of brahman is without mind [Note: thought-free = uLLal-aRa] and full of peace; it is in the heart (uLLam). This Reality (the existing thing = *uLLa-poruL*) will show up only in the heart, that is devoid of the mind (uLLal-aRa = mind-without). When the mind is active and poised outside It will not show up ‘as is’ (=*uLLapaDi*). What does it mean to say it will not show up as is. It means it will show up as jIva-Ishvara-jagat. By this very reason brahman cannot be thought of (=*uLLal*) by the mind.
Why cannot brahman be thought of by the mind? There are several reasons for this. One of them will be understood when we come to the verse *madikkoLi tandu*. But here there are two reasons given. 1. Mind by nature imagines differences in brahman of pure non-duality, and treats them as real; 2. There is no intelligence, sentience (*cit*) other than brahman to meditate on it or think of it.
We shall consider the first reason. First mind imagines a duality of inside and outside (the mind) and thinks that there are universes, other jIvas, God – all of these are outside. This is mind’s nature. We have already seen that all this imagined world etc. have an adhishhTAna (substratum) reality of brahman and they are all Aropitam (superposed) on that brahman. By the logic that the superposed thing hides the show-up of the existence of the substratum, the superposed universe hides the existence of the substratum of brahman. So long as mind is focussed outside (=*bahir-mukham*) brahman, instead of showing up as is, shows up as jIva-Ishvara-jagat. Once the mind is focussed inside (*antar-mukham*) it joins up with its original location, the heart, and there mind loses its ‘mind’-nature and ‘vanishes’. So the three kinds of shows, namely jIva, Ishvara and jagat also do not show up and brahman shows up as the AtmA, without any obstacle. Of course mind does not see it, nor does it know!
Here we have talked as if there is something called heart or *uLLam* which is the ‘location’ for brahman but in reality it is not different from brahman; so neither it is the location nor does brahman is ‘located’ in a place. The seeker who is after Self-Realisation needs to change from his look-outside to a look-inside and for this purpose the heart was spoken of as a sAdhana (means) and there is nothing more meant. The heart (spiritual interior) itself is brahman. Look at the 2nd line in the above text: *uLLamenum uLLa poruL*:
uLLam = heart,
*enum* = named
*uLLa poruL* = that which exists.
This means: brahman itself is what is called the heart, because uLLa-poruL us brahman only.
Since brahman is in this (inner) heart, it shows up as is when the mind has vanished. When the mind is otherwise engaged outside, It will not show up. We already observed that that is when all the imaginations about the three things happen and they hide brahman. Thus it is clear that those whose minds are turned outside will not realise brahman.
Now we shall go to the second reason: namely, to think of brahman, there is no other sentient entity (cetana). The jIva that thinks of itself as knowing another entity is a false jIva. When the mind is turned outside, such a false jIva appears to be real. When mind turns inside, that is, merges in the uLLam (heart) , that false jIva vanishes. The false jIva is only an imagination; so there is no one to meditate on brahman. The conclusion is: brahman is not amenable to the mind’s thinking.
Then how do we ever ‘think’ of or meditate on, the brahman which is the Atman? This question is answered by the fourth line of Mangalam-1 verse.
uLLatte uLLapaDi uLLade uLLal uNar.
Each verse in uLLadu naarpadu is a four-line verse. The above text-line is the fourth line of the Mangalam-1 verse. It means, as per Lakshmana Sharma’s translation posted by Peter,
“Know that to meditate on It is just to be at one with It within the Heart."
*uNar* = know(that)
*uLLal* = meditation
*uLLade* =(is) just only being, abiding in, (Tamil: *iruttal*)
*uLLatte* = in the heart
*uLLapaDi* = as (It) is.
Now we shall go to the commentary on this line by Lakshmana Sharma.
This line describes Atma-jnAna-anubhavam (Self-Realisation-Experience). Mind to be seated in the heart, and abiding in brahman that is nothing but that heart, and to lose its mind-status, so that brahman, unmoving and peaceful, is ‘seen/known’ as Atman: this is known as Dhyanam.
But mark it. Though we have said this is dhyAnam it is not the meditation by the mind. Meditation caused by the mind has three facets in it, namely, the meditator, the meditated object and the meditation. But this dhyAnam above is devoid of these three components. Since other than this everything else is not considered to be dhyAnam, this is said to be dhyAnam in the text. Bhagavan Ramana says this is pUjA, this is bhakti, this is darshan, this is Knowledge. All benefits supposed to be accrued by these are only accrued by this; not otherwise. What is called mukti or mokshha is this. This is also known as the Fourth (turIya) state. To get to this state the sAdhanA is described later in the verse beginning with ‘ezhumbum-aganthai’.
This completes Laksmana Sharma’s Tamil Commentary on Mangalam-1 Verse.
Incidentally the Mangalam-1 Verse has been translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan as follows:
“Unless Reality exists, can thought of it arise? Since, devoid of thought, Reality exists within as Heart, how to know the Reality we term the Heart? To know That is merely to be That in the Heart.
The first sentence may also be rendered thus: Can there be Knowledge of Reality other than existing as Reality?”