These are the last verses composed by Bhagavan. They were written at the instance of a devotee, Suri Nagamma, the author of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam. He wrote them first in Telugu, but to a Tamil metrical form called venba, and then translated them into Tamil. Since there was already a composition of Shankaracharya called the Atma Panchakam, Bhagavan decided to call his composition Ekatma Panchakam.
1. When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
That the body is oneself and goes
Through innumerable births
And in the end remembers and becomes
The Self, know this is only like
Awaking from a dream wherein
One has wandered over all the world.
1. Tannai maṛandu tanuvē tānā-eṇṇi
Eṇṇil piṛavi eḍut tiṛudi – tannai
Uṇarndu tānā-dal ulagasañ charak
Kanavin vizhit-talē kāṇga – anavara-dam
2. One ever is the Self. To ask oneself
“Who and whereabouts am I?”
Is like the drunken man’s enquiring
“Who am I?” and “Where am I?”
2. Tānirun-dun tānā-gat tannaittā nānevan
Yān-irukkum stānam edu-venakkēt – pānukku
Yānevan evviḍam yānuḷan enḍṛa-madu
Pāna-nai yīḍu pagar-satcid – ānandat
3. The body is within the Self. And yet
One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.
3. Tannuḷ tanu-virukkat tānach jaḍa-vuḍalan
Tannuḷ irup-padāt tānunnum – anna-van
Chitti-rattin uḷḷuḷada chitti-rattuk kādāra
Vastira menḍṛeṇ-ṇuvān pōlvān – vastu-vām
4. Does an ornament of gold exist
Apart from the gold? Can the body exist
Apart from the Self?
The ignorant one thinks ‘I am the body’;
The enlightened knows ‘I am the Self’.
4. Ponnukku vēṛagap bhūsha-ṇam uḷḷadō
Tannai viḍut tanu-vēdu – tannai
Tanu-venbān ajñāni tānā-gak koḷvān
Tanai-yaṛinda jñāni darippāi – tana-doḷiyāl
5. The Self alone, the Sole Reality,
Exists for ever.
If of yore the First of Teachers
Revealed it through unbroken silence
Say who can reveal it in spoken words?
5. Eppō-dum uḷḷadav ēkānma vasttuvē
Appō-dav vasttuvai yādi-Guru – ceppādu
Ceppit teri-yumā ceidanarē levar
Ceppit teri-vippar ceppu-gena – ippōdav
Guru Ramana, who revels in the form of (pure) jnana,
composed these five verses on the Self.
Declared in them is the nature of Reality,
which destroys the illusion that the body is the Self.
Ekanma vuṇmai yinait-tenat tēṭṛiyan-bar
Dēhānma bāvañ cidai-vittān – ēkānma
Jñāna sorūpa-mā naṇṇuṅ Guru-Ramaṇan
(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)
Quote from Bhagavan
Ye who wish to celebrate the birthday, seek ye first whence was your birth. That indeed is one’s birthday on which one is born as the birthless and deathless Eternal Being.