In the final verse in this section Thayumanavar describes the moment of Self- realisation and some of the experiences that stem from it. Arthur Osborne wrote that this was a verse that Bhagavan particularly liked (Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge, p. 61, B. I. publications, 1979) but there are no recorded instances of Bhagavan quoting this verse in his replies to devotees.
When overpowered by the vast expanse
that has neither beginning, middle nor end,
the truth of non-dual bliss will arise in the mind.
Our entire clan will be redeemed.
Nothing will be lacking.
All our undertakings will prosper.
There will be sporting in the company
of those wise ones who,
like sunrise at the break of day,
have known the dawn of grace,
where there is neither abundance nor lack.
Our nature will become such,
that like babies, madmen or ghouls,
we should not rejoice,
though offered heaven and earth in their entirety. (‘Ninaivonru’, verse 7)
The mocking comments of the mind
… [Khanna] handed Bhagavan a piece of paper on which he had written something.
After reading it Bhagavan said, ‘It is a complaint. He says, “I have been coming to you and this time I have remained nearly a month at your feet and I find no improvement at all in my condition. My vasanas are as strong as ever. When I go back, my friends will laugh at me and ask what good my stay here has done.”‘
Then, turning to Khanna, Bhagavan said, ‘Why distress your mind by thinking that jnana has not come or that the vasanas have not disappeared? Don’t give room for thoughts. In the last stanza of ‘Sukavari’ in Thayumanavar the saint says much the same as is written on this paper.’
And Bhagavan made me read the stanza and translate it into English for the benefit of those who did not know Tamil. It goes: ‘The mind mocks me, and though I tell you ten thousand times, you are indifferent, so how am I to attain peace and bliss?’ (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 26th June, 1946)
In the same work it is stated that Bhagavan also explained this verse to Dr Srinivasa Rao on 22nd November 1945, but the explanation itself was not recorded.
The translation recorded by Devaraja Mudaliar in Day by Day with Bhagavan comes from the second part of the verse. G. V. Subbaramayya has noted (Sri Ramana Reminiscences, 1967 ed., p. 49)that Bhagavan explained the first half of the verse in the late 1930s, although neither the circumstances nor the explanation itself is given.
This particular verse seems to have been one that particularly interested Bhagavan for Devaraja Mudaliar has reported: ‘On one occasion stanzas 8 to 11 of ‘Mandalattin’ and twelve of ‘Sukavari’ [the verse just referred to] were elaborately explained by Bhagavan and were translated into English by me for the benefit of those who did not know Tamil. These stanzas used to be frequently referred to by Bhagavan.’ (My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, Devaraja Mudaliar, pp. 54-5, 1992 ed.)
In the first half of the ‘Sukavari’ verse the mind of Thayumanavar is complaining to its jiva, its spirit or soul, about the division that has sprung up between them.
‘Like yourself [the jiva] who are spirit, have not I, the mind,
and my friend, the prana, always dwelt within the body?
Long ago someone or other separated us,
designating us as “insentient” and yourself as “sentient”.
From the day you heard that, right up to the present day,
you have unjustly erected a barrier between us and suppressed us,
exercising your oppressive rule. What a great task you have accomplished,
right before our eyes!’
When my foolish mind thus grossly abuses me,
my heart is scorched and blackened,
like beeswax exposed to a leaping flame!
Can this be right and proper?
Though I have called upon You [God] ten thousand times,
you have not taken pity on me, and bestowed your grace.
Henceforth, how may happiness ever come to me? Speak!
pure and devoid of all attributes!
Supernal Light! Ocean of bliss! (‘Sukavari’, verse 12, followed by three lines of the refrain.)
On the occasion that Devaraja Mudaliar read out and translated the ‘Sukavari’ verse for Khanna’s benefit, there was a further dialogue on this subject, after which Bhagavan quoted three more Thayumanavar verses, the same ones that Mudaliar said Bhagavan had once given a lengthy explanation on:
Then I [Devaraja Mudaliar] said to Khanna: ‘You are not the only one who complains to Bhagavan like this. I have more than once complained in the same way, and I still do, for I find no improvement in myself.’
Khanna replied: ‘It is not only that I find no improvement but I think I have grown worse. The vasanas are stronger now. I can’t understand it.’
Bhagavan again quoted the last three stanzas of ‘Mandalattin’ of Thayumanavar, where the mind is coaxed as the most generous and disinterested of givers, to go back to its birthplace or source and thus give the devotee peace and bliss, and he asked me to read out a translation that I had once made. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 26th June, 1946)
The translation that Mudaliar made no longer exists. What follows is a translation by the authors of this article.
Mind, you who evolve from maya
as jewels are wrought from gold!
If you are freed from your defects
so that blissful samadhi is attained
by meditating on [reality] within oneself
as oneself, by melting within,
and by making [you] fall away,
I shall attain redemption.
No one is as kind to me as you are — no one.
When I ponder on this, you [the mind]
are equal to the grace of God.
Amongst those who have taken on bodies
to experience the [the world],
be they Brahma, or any of the gods,
it is true, is it not,
that for any of them to reject you [the mind],
and exist without you,
is impossible, quite impossible.
Without you, can anything be,
in this world or the next?
To vainly label you ‘unreal’ is unjust.
So I shall praise you as ‘real’ also.
In order that my wretched state may be ended,
you must return to the glorious land of your birth.
You who have been my companion
for many a day, were you to lie dead
through the enquiry [vichara]
that has separated you from me,
I should revere that ground with perfect devotion.
Through the mauna Guru who has ruled me
I will be free from ‘I’ and ‘mine’,
becoming one with his grace.
The eight siddhis, liberation itself,
which is a vision delightful to behold,
shall be mine upon the earth.
Through you my anxieties shall be ended.
All my interminable wrangling
with birth will end in this very birth.
For me, the state of jivanmukti,
which is difficult for anyone to experience,
Oh, Sir [mind]! Will even a cloud
or a grove of karpaka trees
suffice as a comparison to you?
Can your greatness be described
in the seven worlds, beginning with earth? (‘Mandalattin’, verses 8-11)
The last four verses of ‘Mandalattin’ are given here since Mudaliar has already mentioned earlier in the article that Bhagavan once gave an extensive explanation of all four of them. See My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, Devaraja Mudaliar, pp. 54-5, 1992 edition.