Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Garland of Ramana's Sayings

In the late 1920s Muruganar, an accomplished Tamil poet who had lived with Bhagavan for several years, began to collect the verbal teachings of his Guru, Ramana Maharshi. He recorded them in four-line Tamil verses. No questions were recorded, just the answers and statements on a wide variety of spiritual topics. By the late 1930s, Muruganar had completed over 800 of these verses, virtually all of which recorded a direct teaching statement that Bhagavan had uttered. In 1939 a decision was made to publish these teachings in book form. Bhagavan then asked Sadhu Natanananda, a Tamil scholar and devotee, to arrange the verses by subjects since there was no particular order or sequence in the material that Muruganar had amassed. After Natanananda had done this work and shown it to Bhagavan, Bhagavan himself thoroughly edited the work, modifying the sequences and adding many revisions. In addition to making these textual corrections, Bhagavan also composed new verses that he added at appropriate places in the text. Because of the care and attention that Bhagavan put into checking and revising these verses, we can be sure that their contents have his full approval.

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