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Padamalai contains well over a thousand teaching statements made by Sri Ramana Maharshi, none of which has appeared in English before. They were recorded in two-line Tamil verses by Muruganar, one of Sri Ramana’s foremost devotees. It was at Muruganar’s behest that Sri Ramana composed both Ulladu Narpadu and Upadesa Undiyar, two of his principal philosophical works. Muruganar himself composed Guru Vachaka Kovai, an extensive and authoritative compilation of Sri Ramana’s sayings that was personally checked and revised by Sri Ramana himself.
The original Tamil poem from which these statements have been taken had no structure at all. It was simply 3,059 random verses. Some of them praised Sri Ramana, some of them expressed Muruganar’s gratitude to Sri Ramana for granting him liberation, but the majority contained renderings of his teachings.
The editors and translators have arranged these verses thematically, organising them into topics such as ‘Self-enquiry’, ‘The Guru and the Jnani’, ‘The Self’, and so on. To supplement the text and to provide a commentary on it the editors have added many other quotations by Bhagavan.