Reality in Forty Verses
Once Bhagavan composed twenty Tamil stanzas containing his important teachings. They were not written in any particular order to form a poem. Sri Muruganar therefore suggested that Bhagavan should write twenty stanzas more to make it the conventional forty. Accordingly, Bhagavan composed twenty more stanzas. Out of these forty, Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni selected two as the invocatory stanzas. Then Bhagavan wrote two more to complete the forty. Some of the stanzas were translations from Sanskrit, but as devotees wanted all the forty verses to be original they were eliminated and new stanzas composed in their place. The verses were all arranged in a continuous order to form a poem. Later, a supplement consisting of a second forty verses was added. So indifferent to authorship was Bhagavan that he did not write all those supplementary verses himself. When he came upon a suitable one he used it -- mostly translations from Sanskrit -- and when not, he made one. The verses eliminated from the original forty verses were included in the supplement.1
1The supplement verses he composed are italicized. Those verses which he
took from other texts are the Invocation, verses 1-7, 9, the final sentence of verse 12, 18-30, 34, 37 and 39-40. The original sources of these verses have been quoted at the end of each verse. In a few cases, the exact origins have not been confirmed.
1. 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.2
2. When those who are in dread of death seek refuge at the feet of the deathless, birthless Lord Supreme, their ego and attachments die; and they, now deathless, think no more of death.
Referred Resources: Who am I?