Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tripura Rahasya

Tripura Rahasya

Tripura Rahasya was considered by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi as one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita i i philosophy. He often quoted from it and regretted that it was not available in English. As a consequence Sri Munagala Venkataramaiah (aka Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi) took up the work of translation in 1936 as another labour of love, adding just one more English translation to his already extensive store.

This work deals with the nature of Consicousness and the Ultimate Reality and the liberation of the individual by realizing it. The advaita (non-dual) philosophy of the sakta tantras is lucidly explained in this work through many fabulous and interesting stories interspersed with a logical exposition of Transcendental Consciousness which is the Ultimate Reality.

An extract is presented at the end of the article. Here is a review of the book:

This book is so profound and so moving that it almost has a sense of being alive. It resonates so deeply within, that it feels like an ancient friend guiding you. It is that profound. In the introduction, it is confidently stated that by merely reading this book even just once, enlightenment/self-realization is guaranteed (although not necessarily right away). ...

This is truly one of the greatest and most marvelous spiritual books around. It is a classic in India, and was regarded by Ramana Maharshi as being a primary spiritual textbook. The book is wonderful in that it is both theoretical (philosophy) and practical. It is well structured and strictly logical in its form, and therefore well suited to the modern rational mind.

The book starts off with the basics (who am I, what is the nature of the world, etc.) and systematically builds to a deeper and more clear understanding of reality, magnificently elucidating the highest and purest knowledge of non-duality i (advaita, oneness). It is not an easy book though, and every page needs to be pondered over and meditated upon; and then...applied.

The book Asserts that one's true nature is pure intelligence, which is unlimited, undivided, self-luminous and blissful. This definition of the Self corresponds with the definition given by the philosophy of Vedanta; which is: existence, intelligence and bliss (Sat, Chit, Ananda).

The following quote from the introduction characterizes the non-dual message of the book: "There cannot be manifestation beyond the Supreme Intelligence; therefore Cosmos and the Self are only the same, but different modes of reality. Realisation of the Truth is thus quite simple, requiring only constant remembrance on these lines.... that Reality is not incompatible with the world and its phenomena, and that the apparent ignorance of this Truth is itself the outcome of Reality so that there is nothing but Reality."

Tripura Rahasya (Book Extract)

Translated by Swami Sri Ramanananda Saraswathi

Note: Source Ramana Maharshi Site © Sri Ramanashramam. This copy is of the excerpt present online on the website.  



To Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi (A Prayer)

Introductory Note


  1. Not specified
  2. Obligatory Sense towards Action Condemned and Investigation Recommended.
  3. The Antecedent Cause for Learning the Gospel. Association with the Wise must precede "Vichara"
  4. Disgust for Worldly Enjoyments is Inculcated so that Dispassion might be Developed.
  5. On Bondage and Release
  6. On the Merits of Faith for gaining the Goal and on the harmfulness of Dry Polemics
  7. That the Goal is gained only after Ascertaining God i by Faith, Effort and Approved Logic, and Devotion to him.
  8. Key to the Parable of Chapter V
  9. How Hemachuda Realised the Self after Analysing His own Mind and Plunging within.
  10. On Further Institutions by His Beloved, He got Samadhi in spite of His External Activities and Remained in the State of Emancipation even while
  11. That the Cosmos is not other than Intelligence.
  12. The Appearance of the Reality of the Universe depends on the Strength of Will of Creation.
  13. How Wakefulness and Dream are similar in Nature and Objects are only Mental Images.
  14. How the Universe is Mere Imagination; How to gain that Strong Will which
    can create it; and the Highest Truth
  15. On what need be known and need not be known and on the Nature of the Self.
  16. On Consciousness; Control of Mind and Sleep.
  17. On the Uselessness of Fleeting Samadhis and the Way to Wisdom.
  18. Not specified.
  19. Not specified.
  20. Vidya Gita.
  21. On the accomplishment of Wisdom, its Nature and Scriptural Lore.
  22. The Conclusion


  1. To Chapter V
  2. Siddha Gita from Yoga Vasishtha
  3. Index

Chapter 3

7. "Listen, Rama! I shall now tell you the fundamental cause of salvation. Association with the wise is the root cause for obliterating all misery.

Chapter 7

6. "Man is quickly benefited if he turns away from dry, ruinous logic and engages in purposeful discussion."

7. "Appropriate effort must follow right discussion; for a man profits according to the zeal accompanying his efforts."

20-22. "Whatever has the impress of misery on it cannot be good. Such are wealth, children, wife, kingdom, treasury, army, fame, learning, intellect,
body, beauty and prosperity. For they are all of them transient and already
in the jaws of death, otherwise called time."

51-59. "Among the methods of approach to God, there are (1) worship to overcome troubles, (2) worship to gain wealth, etc., and (3) loving dedication
of oneself. The last one is the best and surest in its results."

67. "Therefore, eschew high vanity and take refuge in Him. He will spontaneously take you to the Highest State."

68. "This is the first rung in the ladder to the pedestal of Bliss. Nothing else is worthwhile."

Chapter 9

8. "The Self does not admit of specification, and therefore no teacher can teach it. However, realise the Self within you, for it abides in unblemished

9. "It pervades all, beginning from the personal God to the amoeba; but it is not cognisable by the mind or senses; being itself unillumined by external
agencies, it illumines all, everywhere and always. It surpasses demonstration
and discussion."

13. "As long as you are contaminated with notions of me or mine (e.g. my home, my body, my mind, my intellect), the Self will not be found, for it
lies beyond cognition and cannot be realised as `my Self'."

14. "Retire into solitude, analyse and see what those things are which are cognised as mine; discard them all and transcending them, look for the
Real Self."

16. "Analyse everything in this way and discard it. What remains over, transcending all, beyond conception, appropriation, or relinquishment - know
That to be the Self. That knowledge is final emancipation."

70. "If a product, it cannot be the Self. For, how can the Self be got anew? So then, the Self is never gained. Gain is of something which is not
already possessed. Is there any moment when the Self is not the Self? Neither
is control of mind used to gain it." I shall give you some examples:

72. "Just as things unseen in darkness are found on its removal by means of a lamp, and are therefore said to be recovered from oblivion"

75. "So also the control of your mind is not the cause of your Self-realisation; though the Self is always there, it is not recognised by you even with a controlled
mind because you are not conversant with it."

81. "Though he be a pandit well grounded in the theory and the discussion of the philosophy of the Self, he cannot realise the Self because it is not
realisable but already realised. Realisation is not attained by going far,
but only by staying still, not by thought (intellection) but by cessation of

83-85. "Effort towards Realisation is like the attempt to stamp with one's foot on the shadow cast by one's head. Effort will always make it recede."

"Just as an infant tries to take hold of his own reflection being unaware of the mirror, so also common people are taken in by their mental reflections
on the mirror of the pure, luminous Self and are not aware of the mirror, because
they have no acquaintance with the Self."

"Although people understand space, they are not aware of it because they are taken up by the objects in space."

Chapter 11

"Find wherever you turn the one undivided, eternal blissful Self; also watch the whole universe reflected as it arises and subsides in the Self. See
the Self both within and without you; yet do not confound the seeing Self within
as the Seer of the Universal Self without, for both are the same. Inhere in
the peace of your true internal Self, devoid of all phenomena."

85. "That which shines as `Is' is Her Majesty the Absolute Consciousness."

"Thus the universe is only the Self - the One and one only."

Thus ends the Chapter XI on the Ascertainment of Truth in Tripura Rahasya.

Chapter 14

51. "The universe is, always and all-through, a phenomenon in the Self. The question then arises how consciousness, being void, is dense at the same

56. "O King! Examine again your day-dreams and mental imagery. Though they are perfect in detail, yet they are no less mental."

Chapter 16

21. "Abstract Intelligence can thus be made manifest by eliminating from it all that can be known. It cannot be known as such and such, for it is the
supporter of one and all."

22. "This, being the Self of the seeker, is not cognisable. Investigate your true Self in the aforesaid manner. Note: There is no other agent to know
the Self nor light by which to know it.

25. "Whereas Her Majesty the Absolute Intelligence is ever resplendent as 'I', therefore She is all and ever-knowing. You are She, in the abstract."

26."Realise it yourself by turning your sight inward. You are only pure abstract Consciousness. Realise it this instant, for procrastination is not
worthy of a good disciple. He should realise the Self at the moment of instruction."

27. "Your eyes are not meant by the aforesaid word sight. The mental eye is meant, for it is the eye of the eye, as is clear in dreams."

47. "Realisation of Self requires absolute purity only and no concentration of mind. For this reason, the Self is said to be unknowable (meaning not objectively

48. "Therefore it was also said that the sole necessity for Self-Realisation is purity of mind. The only impurity of the mind is thought. To make it thought-free
is to keep it pure."

Chapter 18

72-79. "Absolute Consciousness and space resemble each other in being perfect, infinite, subtle, pure, unbounded, formless, immanent in all, yet
undefiled within and without but space differs from the other, in being insentient."

"In fact, the conscious Self is space. This being so, they are not different from one other. Space is Self; and Self is space. It is the ignorant who see
the Self as space alone owing to their delusion, just as the owls find darkness
in dazzling sunlight. The wise however find in space the Self, the Abstract

124. "The strongest fetter is the certainty that one is bound. It is as false as the fearful hallucinations of a frightened child."

127-130. "To imagine that the Self is shackled by mental projections is to imagine that the fire reflected in a mirror can burn it. There is absolutely
no bondage beyond the foolish certainty that you are bound and the difference
of entity created by mind. Until these two blemishes are washed away by the
holy waters of investigation into the Self, neither I, nor Brahma the Creator,
nor Vishnu, nor Siva, nor even Sri Tripura the Goddess of Wisdom, can help
that person to be emancipated. Therefore, Rama, surmount these two hurdles
and remain eternally happy."

131. "The mind will shine as the Self if the mind be denuded of those thoughts now crowding it, and then all sense of duality will cease to exist."

132. "Mind is nothing but sectional knowledge as his and that. Eliminate such, and then pure knowledge will alone remain. This is the Self."

Chapter 20

100-102. "He who unreservedly surrenders himself to Me with devotioni, is endowed with all the requisites necessary for Self-Realisation. He who worships
Me, easily overcomes all obstacles to Self-Realisation. On the other hand,
he, who being stuck up, does not take refuge in Me - the pure intelligence
manipulating the person - is repeatedly upset by difficulties so that his success
is very doubtful."

128-133. "He who is from his own experience capable of appreciating the states of other Jnanis including the best among them, is certainly a perfect
sage. He who is not influenced by happiness or misery, by pleasure or pain,
by desires, doubts or fear, is a perfect sage. He who realises pleasure, pain,
and every other phenomenon to be in and of the Self, is a perfect sage. He
who feels himself pervading all - be they ignorant or emancipated - is a perfect
sage. He who knowing the trammels of bondage, does not seek release from them
and remains in peace, is a perfect sage."

"The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us."


Ancient Texts Often Referred to by Bhagavan
Bhagavan Ramana personal

Ramanashramam photographs

Ashtavaakra Gita

ananda – Thu, 30/03/2006 – 8:49am