Sivaprakasam Pillai

The Essence of Sri Ramana’s Sayings

By Sivaprakasam Pillai

Sivaprakasam Pillai is the fortunate devotee, who put the important question ‘Who am I?’ to Bhagavan and preserved His answers. This treasure-trove of Wisdom now guides innumerable seekers all over the world.

He dedicated the rest of his life for contemplation on His teachings. Now and then he used to write a few verses. Sivaprakasam Pillai passed away in January 1948. After that, when Sri Manickam Pillai, his nephew, came to the Ashram, Bhagavan enquired about Sivaprakasam Pillai’s last days. He asked whether ‘Pillaiyavargal’ (this is how Bhagavan referred to Sivaprakasam Pillai) had left any poems behind. The nephew hesitatingly replied: “Bhagavan! He did leave some manuscripts with me, but with the instructions that I should burn them after his death and not show them to others.” “Oh, is it so! Doesn’t matter. You can show them to me!” From the bunch Bhagavan picked up one sheet and said: “This one is enough” and returned the rest.

On the sacred day of Sri Pillaiavargal’s remembrance, we present the English translation of his poem selected by Bhagavan


Translation by Devotees

This is the essence; This is the essence!
This indeed is the essence of Ramana’s words!
Tell me who is the real You! Seek the real You!
You are not surely the putrid flesh.
The body is born, the body dies.
The body knows not itself in deep sleep.
You are Knowledge. Knowledge is You.
Knowledge-Eternal is never born nor dies.
In sleep is Awareness of Self, not of body
You alone witness absence of body-consciousness
Do not all know that body takes birth
Is there anybody who is aware of birth of Consciousness?
You are not the body as declared above.
Destroy the false notion that you are the body
Seek ceaselessly your real nature
Think no other thought.
If the root thought ‘I am the body’
Subside; then all other thoughts subside.
‘Who is aware of the body’ -This quest
Alone will eliminate ‘I am the body’ notion.
The deluded one who thinks ‘I am the body’
Will crave for food, clothes and desires thereon
He who is free from the delusion ‘I am the body’-
His mind will not crave for food, clothes and desires extensive
Even as the end draws nigh, get not perturbed
Be tranquil; it is all God’s work
Ponder not the body is one, two or three(gross, subtle or causal)
Vain is such pursuit.
If you observe attentively
There is no scope for body-consciousness at all
Reject all appearance that seems apart [from You] Reject it as ‘Not I’
All other dogmas and tenets are garbage-like collections
Remove them all away.
Repeatedly questing ‘Who am I’
The I-thought alone stays
The rest will be ashes.
When I-thought gets burnt away
Know that ‘That is the Real You’; bereft of thought
That which neither rises nor sets is the Real You shinning effulgent
As the Self shines like the resplendent Sun
Be that, never falling back
This is the essence, this is the essence,
This indeed is the essence of Ramana’s Teaching.