In a Sahasranama, the supreme is being worshipped as being embodied in a particular name and form. The 1000 attributes for adoration and contemplation cover the descriptions about the beauty of the body, ennobling qualities, the matchless love and the unlimited power of the Supreme.
For many centuries, two Sahasranama, one in praise of Goddess Lalitha written by Sage Agastya and the other then Vishnu, written by Sage Sanaka have been regularly chanted by the devout.
This book is a Sahasranama on the Supreme as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. It is a composition of Sri Jagadeeswara Sastri under the inspiration and strength received from Bhagavan Ramana himself. The purpose of this translation, commentary and the transliteration is to throw open the elevating enchantment of this work to those who do not know Sanskrit.
There is little doubt that the regular recitation of this Sahasranama will have the same potency. Time will clearly establish this. Those who recite these attributes, steadfastly in mood of surrender, would be free from diseases and sufferings caused by adverse circumstances. The mood of prayer while chanting these scared and powerful names establishes a relationship with the Supreme embodied as Bhagavan Ramana. Unlike other attachments this attachment to the name and form of Ramana, the Supreme, frees one from all binding bonds. As a result one gradually discovers one’s own natural bliss.
Sri Ramana Sahasranama is a part of daily worship at Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai and in may homes. Its sanctity is further enhanced because it focuses attention on the direct path to Self-Knowledge through self-enquiry revealed by Bhagavan Ramana.
In a Sahasranama, the Supreme is being worshipped as embodied in a particular name and form. It consists of one thousand attributes for adoration and contemplation. These cover the matchless love and unlimited powers of the Supreme radiating from that form and name. It also asserts the potency of the prayerful recitation of these attributes, both for fulfilling one’s desires and for attaining Self- knowledge.
This book is a Sahasranama of the Supreme as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. For centuries two Sahasranamas, one in praise of Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari written by Sage Agastya and the other in praise of Lord Vishnu written by the Sage Sanaka are being regularly chanted by the devout. There is little doubt that prayerful recitation of Sri Ramana Sahasranama would have the same potency. Time is bound to prove this.
Appropriately Sri Jagadeeswara Sastri takes one to the background of this Sahasranama. Goddess Parvati after hearing from Maharshi Gautama about the glory of Arunachala requests him to tell her about the great soul ‘Ramana’ also, as he is the human embodiment of the same Arunachala. Maharshi Gautama responds for he recognises at once that this question is being put for the welfare of the world. As a preamble, Gautama refers to the path of knowledge (gnana) as being the best for liberation. Then he states that in the path of gnana the matchless way is self-enquiry as revealed by Sri Ramana for it could be practised at all times, by people of different religions and backgrounds. Therefore, he agrees to reveal the secret of secrets, the glorious state of Sri Ramana.
In any Sahasranama, the undercurrent is devotion. What purpose does it serve? Such a question would of course arise only for those who have not experienced the growing influence of these sacred words in their lives. The first benefit of course is the fulfillment of one’s desires. The Supreme is the storehouse, the reservoir of all powers. Simultaneously, universal love is its essential nature. When there is devout recitation of the thousand names be it of Sri Lalitha, Sri Vishnu or Sri Ramana there is an automatic divine response. The students would do well in their education, bachelors and spinsters would get married according to their wishes, businessmen would build their empires, politicians will stay in power and so on. The gain even in material terms is far more than one could imagine.
In ‘Ulladu Narpadu’, Ramana gives a special reason for the seekers of truth. The worship of the Supreme loosens one’s bonds and prepares one for liberation. Why? Firstly the Supreme is the repository of all auspicious qualities. In reciting the Sahasranama in a prayerful mood one’s mind is thinking of these qualities and begins to partake of the same qualities. The mind becomes purer and more ready for recognising the value of self-enquiry. Seemingly implicit in any worship is the recognition of the fact that one cannot achieve one’s goals on the imagined strength of one’s ego, ‘I am the doer’ notion. This false notion is eroded and the truth dawns that one’s true strength is only the Supreme.
Many are used to the idea of worship of Gods and Goddesses through Sahasranamas in their praise but they have their own doubts about a Sahasranama on the Supreme when it is embodied in a human form as Sri Ramana. In their ignorance they would presume that such worship would lead to what they see as a ‘Personality cult’. There are many fallacies in such a train of thought. The scriptures repeatedly assert that God, Guru and the Self are identical. Since ‘bhavana’ or attitude of mind is all important, one should, while expressing one’s adoration for the Guru, remember always this identity of Guru and God.
Besides one who steadily abides in the Self, like Sri Ramana is the Self itself. It would also be wrong to think of Sri Ramana as that particular form. He is all forms which exist now, existed in the past and will come into existence in the future. Are not all forms mere lifeless puppets unless he inhabits their hearts as consciousness. Again Ramana has demonstrated to some of his devotees his essential bodiless ness. It is a strange but true enigma that when the Supreme is embodied in a human form for the welfare of the world that form too and that name too remains for all times, deathless and eternal.
One Would do well to go through the introductory verses in which the Maharshi Gautama stresses the special advantage of Sri Ramana Sahasranama Stuti. He declares that whatever path one may tread ultimately it is only through gnana that one can attain Self -knowledge. Arid for this the simple and direct path is the path of ‘Vichara’ or self- enquiry, incessantly taught by Sri Ramana. For those on this royal high road there can be no better support than the Supreme as Sadguru Ramana.
Sri Ramana Sahasranama Stuti is part of the daily worship of Sri Ramaneswara at Sri Ramanasram. For this treasure, the world owes a great debt to Jagadeeswara Sastri who composed it. As one keeps reciting these holy names many things become clear. The work has been inspired, specially inspired, by Ramana himself. For, to praise the Supreme in the human form of Ramana is a task which is beyond the most gigantic intellect.
One also finds the total inadequacy of language, any language, to communicate the glorious state and life of Sri Ramana. We can definitely say that except for Ganapati Muni, Jagadeeswara Sastri has no peer in his mastery of the Sanskrit language. His association with Bhagavan Ramana was from his young age and his love for him was abundant. Even so he is able to give us only glimpses of Ramana’s glory and uniqueness.
One also finds that when one recites these attributes, the impact on the reader would depend on receptivity, on the attribute of surrender to Ramana. Ts Charm grows as one is drawn to this Supreme force Ramana. So one might find the recitation increasingly meaningful, increasingly transforming, increasingly magnetic.
One may pick any of the thousand attributes at random and savour is sweetness. Each one has sufficient depth and elevating force to permit meaningful reflection and absorption in Ramana.
The purpose of this translation, commentary and the transliteration is to throw open the elevating enchantment of these thousand attributes of Ramana to those who do not known Sanskrit.
The grace of Ramana places one in his constant debt, a debt of such magnitude that it can never be repaid. There can be no greater blessing than the remembrance of the presence which Sri Ramana Sahasranama Stuti ensures.
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