Ulladu Narpadu (40 verses on Reality) with commentary by K. Lakshmana Sarma ‘Who’| Revelation | Sri Ramana Hridayam | PDF download eBook

Sri Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] once remarked that of all the commentaries on Ulladu Narpadu which then existed, Lakshmana Sarma’s Tamil commentary was the best.

T. N.  Venkataraman

(former president of Sri Ramana Ashram)

Also see: Recommended Reading: Books for Enlightenment, Liberation and Self-Realisation

Many have said that Ulladu Narpadu (The Forty Verses on Reality) is the most important of Bhagavan Sri Ramana’s own written works.

Many have said, including Bhagavan Sri Ramana himself, that K. Lakshmana Sarma’s commentary on Ulladu Narpadu is the best available commentary. It was published under the title ‘Sri Ramana Hridayam’ and later translated into English by K Lakshnama Sarma himself under the title ‘Revelation’.

However many have informed me that they have not been able to locate a copy of this text and so not been able to benefit from it. This here is an attempt to make this text more widely available – I hope it is of benefit to you.

You can download as a PDF it here:

In the version of this text published by Sri Ramana Ashram, the entire commentary was included in a separate section after the verses. I have instead chosen to intersperse the commentary among the verses which I hope aids readability by preventing the reader having to flick back and forth through the text.

Words underlined in the commentary are words that Lakshmana Sarma (LS) himself chose to emphasise and not my own additions.

Throughout I have added a few comments in italiscised blue, but the aim has been to keep my comments to a minimum so the text speaks for itself.

I encourage you to read the text slowly in order to take in the depth of meaning. For most repeated readings will be necessary. And do not forget to put the teachings into practice.

The accuracy, veracity and value of this work

Here are some reasons we should take this work to be an accurate and clear reflection of Sri Ramana’s teachings:

1) LS was a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Ramana for more than twenty years.

2) He was one of two people, the other being Sri Muruganar, who had the opportunity to study one-on-one with Bhagavan about the meaning of Bhagavan’s own written works.

3) Moreso, he was the only devotee who received extended and comprehensive instruction from the Master on the subject of Bhagavan’s master-work, Ulladu Narpadu.

4) Bhagavan repeatedly checked LS’s translation of Ulladu Narpadu from the original Tamil into Sanskrit verse by verse, and usually made him change the translation several times until he was satisfied that the meaning had been accurately conveyed. This process went on for 2-3 years.

5) Around 1931 a book purporting to be a commentary on Bhagavan Sri Ramana’s teachings was published. LS was unhappy to see that it had misrepresented Bhagavan Sri Ramana’s teachings. LS sought Bhagavan’s advice and thereafter proceeded to write a commentary on Ulladu Narpadu in Tamil in order that Sri Ramana’s teaching would be correctly understood.

6) This commentary was written and published during Bhagavan’s lifetime and Bhagavan often directed devotees to this particular commentary if they had questions regarding the meaning of the verses.

7) Bhagavan himself said that LS’s commentary was the best one available at the time.

8) Bhagavan personally requested that Ramana Ashram publish this work.

The structure of the text

Ulladu Narpadu (40 verses on reality) was written in Tamil by Bhagavan Sri Ramana. K Lakshmana Sarma translated this text into Sanskrit and then wrote a Tamil commentary upon the text under Sri Bhagavan’s guidance which was published in 1936. How this was done has been described both above and below. K Lakshmana Sarma then translated these, namely the Sanskrit verses and his Tamil commentary, into English himself, and this is what is presented here in this text.

!Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!

For the Sri Ramana Ashram translation of Ulladu Narpadu found in the Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi, see here.

Guru Ramana Vachana Mala (PDF download)- a wonderful text on the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Guru Ramana Vachana Mala is a small but wonderful text that concisely and accurately summarises the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. It also clarifies areas of the teaching that may not be otherwise clear for the seeker. It also summarises the essential Vedanta teachings, as per verse 3 of the text.

Click here to download Guru Ramana Vachana Mala in PDF format

The text consists of 349 selected verses compiled together by Sri K. Lakshmana Sarma (who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Who?’), who was not only intimate with Sri Ramana’s teachings, but also a scholar in Vedantic studies and also fluent in the Tamil, Sanskrit and English languages – these verses are translated into English by Lakshmana Sarma himself. The verses are helpfully organised by topic and about 300 of these verses are taken from the text Guru Vachaka Kovai which is widely thought of as being an authoritative text on Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings.

Whilst the verses in Guru Ramana Vachana Mala do not go into great detail on the method of Self-Enquiry compared to other recommended texts, they are very illuminating nonetheless and give great clarity on areas of the teaching that may otherwise not be clear for the seeker. I therefore highly recommend this book, but I also recommend that you read this together another of the recommended texts pertaining to Sri Ramana, such as The Path of Sri Ramana which explains the process of Self-Enquiry in greater detail.

Sri Lakshmana Sarma was in close contact with Sri Ramana Maharshi for over 20 years and was also good friends with Sri Muruganar (who wrote Guru Vachaka Kovai). He was also one of only two people who received private tuition by Sri Ramana Maharshi on the teachings (the other person was Sri Muruganar) and he was known for constantly checking his understanding of the teachings with Sri Ramana to ensure that his understanding was accurate.

These above factors, together with the fact that this text was first published during Sri Ramana’s lifetime means we can be confident that the teachings presented here are a true representation of Sri Ramana’s teachings.