The Ribhu Gita


Ahh, the Ribhu Gita. Its words are uncompromising: they leap off the page, smack you in the mouth and leave you speechless (and thoughtless). At first glance the ideas it unfolds are preposterous. But this text is not meant for the mind. It is meant for the heart, it is speaking directly to that Truth that we already are and always have been.

The text pinpoints the basic errors we have made and again and again hammers the point home: there is only One Reality, call it the Self or God or whatever you want, but it is only One. There is no room for anything else: there is no world, no person, no mind. All these are fictions. Any ideas you have about reality – they are all false. In the end you have nothing to hold onto: no world, no sense of self, nothing.

“Some may argue that this universe of duality (multiple existences) is a factual second reality, clearly seen by the senses operated by the mind. But then, are the senses anything apart from the mind? Can they function without the support of the mind in which they are imbedded? What is this mind except a bundle of thoughts? What are thoughts except evanescent ripples in the still, limitless ocean of pure Being-Awareness-Self, which is the sole Existence without a second?”

Chapter 2, verse 34

‘There never was a mind nor any of its countless forms like world, jivas (individuals), etc. There isn’t the least doubt that all these are the form of the eternally undifferentiable Supreme Brahman Self. This is the Truth. The one who hears this great secret diligently and understands completely, abides as Brahman-Self.’

Chapter 5, verse 28

The actual text is hundreds of verses long, and it makes up only a part of a much larger text, a devotional text to Shiva called the Sivarahasya. Luckily for us a shortened form, the Essence of the Ribhu Gita has recently been composed of extracted key verses.

Many spiritual seekers will know of the Ribhu Gita via the teachings of Ramana Maharshi. He is well-known to have highly recommended it, and many of the verses he singled out have been included in this much condensed version.

essence ribhu

Here are some sample passages:

“The firm denial of the existence of the mind and the firm belief in the existence of Brahman-Self, is the sure way to the conquest of mind, leading to the experience of the sole effulgent Self.”

Chapter 15, verse 11

“All worlds and creatures are only thought forms. They are nothing but the mind, which is a bundle of thoughts, which again are nothing more than ripples in the still ocean of Awareness-Self, and certainly nothing apart from that Self. Therefore, one should abide in the firm conviction that all objects are only I Am Self-Brahman.”

Chapter 22, verse 24

“Having realised that the world picture on the screen-Self is evanescent and essentially non-existent, one should ever remain still and blissful in the firm conviction of ever being the sole Brahman-Self only. This conviction should be maintained even while functioning as an individual in the world of name and form. This matured state of abidance in the Self is called Sahaja Nishta (the Natural State).”

Chapter 26, verse 3

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