Five Verses on the Self

Five Verses on the Self

T hese are the last verses composed by Bhagavan. They were written at the instance of a devotee, Suri Nagamma, the author of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam. He wrote them first in Telugu, but to a Tamil metrical form called venba, and then translated them into Tamil. Since there was already a composition of Shankaracharya called the Atma Panchakam, Bhagavan decided to call his composition Ekatma Panchakam.

1. When, forgetting the Self, one thinks

That the body is oneself and goes

Through innumerable births

And in the end remembers and becomes

The Self, know this is only like

Awaking from a dream wherein

One has wandered over all the world.

2. One ever is the Self. To ask oneself

`Who and whereabouts am I?'

Is like the drunken man's enquiring

`Who am I?' and `Where am I?'

3. The body is within the Self. And yet

One thinks one is inside the inert body,

Like some spectator who supposes

That the screen on which the picture is thrown

Is within the picture.

4. Does an ornament of gold exist

Apart from the gold? Can the body exist

Apart from the Self?

The ignorant one thinks `I am the body';

The enlightened knows `I am the Self'.

5. The Self alone, the Sole Reality,

Exists for ever.

If of yore the First of Teachers

Revealed it through unbroken silence

Say who can reveal it in spoken words?

(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Referred Resources: Who am I?

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