Through the grace of my Lord’s glorious revelation I learned that the pre-eminent form of worship – which alone is worthy of him – who shines within the heart as the Self – is just to be. Thus did I learn to worship him without worshipping through the simple act of being.
Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, verse 389
Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam was written by Muruganar (1870-1973), one of the most eminent of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s devotees. Muruganar was liberated shorty after meeting Ramana and thereafter continued to spend several decades alongside him. It is because of Muruganar’s questioning and urging that Ramana composed works such as ‘Self-Knowledge’, ‘The Essence of Instruction’ and ‘Forty Verses on Reality’. These succinct works contain the essence of Ramana’s (written) teachings. We are indeed indebted to Muruganar!
Muruganar himself lived as a virtual unknown, neither seeking praise, money nor appreciation. Perhaps the most extensive and authoritative written teachings of Ramana Maharshi are those contained in Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings). This collection was penned by Muruganar and then checked, edited and amended by Ramana.
Ramana’s extensive amendments to verse 7 of Guru Vachaka Kovai make it clear that he considered Muruganar to be self-realised. Ramana altered the verse to state that ‘…Kanna Murugan [Muruganar], who sees through his eye of grace that the essence of all things is only the far-reaching feet of his Lord’, thus confirming that he considered Muruganar to be experiencing all as Self.
The beginning quote above is taken from Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam. This text consists of over one thousand verses of poetry in which Muruganar pours out his love, affection and devotion for Sri Ramana Maharshi – who is not to be mistaken for a mere human being with a body – but Him, Him that is everywhere and is none other than our true Selves. Guru, God and Self are one:
My Master taught me that my own nature is not different from that of our Father, Lord Siva, the Self that shines miraculously within the heart. And since My Master too is that same Father, in my understanding all became united as the one Self such that there was no longer any difference between us.
Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, verse 29
This reminds me of a verse from the bible:
On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Let me leave you with another instructive verse from Murganar. I must say that this very much reminds me of Quaker worship:
Here I stand, estatically performing worship throught the fitting means of mauna (silence), to the delicate feet of the Lord whose presence is everywhere. In that pure dimensionless state of grace where the ‘I am the body’ idea does not exist, ‘here’ is everywhere. How can we speak of ‘there’?
Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, verse 390