T. K. Sundaresa Iyer's Preface(Translated from the Tamil Original)
This is Tiruvannamalai, the sacred place where Arunachala, the self-created Linga of Fire, shines. Arunachala, the centre of the earth, attracts seekers who are rich in tapas [?] and confers liberation on those who simply think of it. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi who is of the form of Dakshinamurti and always abides in the Self, graces this place in order to enable countless souls to attain liberation from samsara and reach the bliss of final beatitude. He confers Grace from his state of supreme silence. His extraordinary compassion flows like a flood. This Ramana Nool Thirattu (The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi) is a golden work, it is nectar, it is his prasad to us.
It is due to our good merit and luck that compositions of various types -- prose, poetry, dialogue and song -- are available in this work. The learned and not so learned alike, can, according to their levels of understanding, read it and be profited.
Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam (Five Hymns to Arunachala) , the first part of this work, was composed in the early days when Sri Bhagavan had just begun to speak, breaking mouna [?]. It is the flood of the Self itself. Devotees should be delighted to go through the explanations on bhakti [?] and jnana provided by Ramana Murti himself. He is the Supreme Being, and it comes from his Heart. This revelation by him confirms his own verse in Akshara Mana Malai, "That each one is Reality Itself, Thou wilt of Thy Nature show, O Arunachala!"
Regarding Upadesa Noon Malai, the second work of this compilation:
Upadesa Undiyar (The Essence of Instruction) was written in response to the request of a devotee, Sri Muruganar. He had started composing Tiruvundiyar but wanted Bhagavan to guide him. Sri Bhagavan wrote the rest of the verses himself and thus completed this great work.
Ulladu Narpadu (Forty Verses) and its supplement were written in response to the requests of the devotees from time to time. Ekatma Panchakam (Five Verses on the Self) was first composed in Telugu and subsequently translated by Sri Bhagavan himself into Tamil. Appala Pattu (The Song of the Poppadum), especially composed by Sri Bhagavan when his mother Alagammal desired him to help in the preparation of appalam is a wonderful piece. When Muruganar composed the pallavi and anupallavi (the first and second parts) of the song Anma Viddai (Self Knowledge) and could not proceed with the rest, he sought the help of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan complied with his request and completed the charanams (the third part). The whole song is now very well known. This Upadesa Noon Malai (Original Works) becomes sweeter and sweeter as you taste (read) it. The more one reads, the more and more one gets enlightened. Devotees will learn this through experience.
After this feast of Knowledge we have the divine words of Siva and Krishna translated by Sri Bhagavan himself. Thus we have Devi Kalottaram - Jnana Achara Vichara Patalam (taught by Siva to Parvati), Sarvajnanottara - Atma Sakshatkara Prakaranam (taught by Siva to Kumara) and Bhagavad Gita Saram (the essence of the Gita taught by Lord Krishna). Translations from the original Sanskrit of Sri Shankaracharya, of the Dakshinamurti Stotra (Hymn to Dakshinamurti), Atma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self), as well as Guru Stuti and Hastamalaka Stotra (composed by his disciples) form the third part.
The fourth part consists of translations in prose of Shankara's Viveka Chudamani and Drig Drisya Vivekam.
At the end comes Arul Mozhi Thokuppu (Words of Grace) consisting of three works -- Nan Yar (Who am I??), Vichara Sangraham and Upadesa Manjari (Spiritual Instruction). Nan Yar consists of instructions received from Sri Bhagavan by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai and compiled by him. Although short, this work captivates the Heart in a wonderful manner. Vichara Sangraham (Self Enquiry): These instructions were given by Sri Bhagavan in writing, in response to the queries of Gambhiram Seshayya. Sri Bhagavan was not in the habit of speaking at that time. The speciality of this work is that Sri Bhagavan has given instructions on paths like karma [?], bhakti [?], etc. This was unusual since he mainly taught the method of Self-enquiry. The contingent reason for giving instruction on other paths was that the questioner himself was following these. Upadesa Manjari is a compilation of Sri Bhagavan's sayings by Sadhu Natanananda.
It is certain that by the power of the nectarine words of Bhagavan Sri Maharshi contained in this work, faith in the Lord will increase and struggling souls will be able to free themselves from all kinds of misery and attain the supreme bliss of final beatitude.
Om Tat Sat
Referred Resources: Ulladu Narpadu Dakshinamurti Stotra Atma Bodha Hastamalaka Stotra The Essence of Instruction Five Hymns to Arunachala Five Verses on the Self Spiritual Instruction Self-enquiry Guru Stuti Who am I?