DEVIKALOTTARA AGAMA & RAMANA
Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi
DEVIKALOTTARA AGAMA: Part One
(Introduction by Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi)
This work is one of the upa-agamas and explains the
supreme wisdom to be attained by prepared souls and their mode
of life, expounded by the Supreme Lord Siva to Devi Parvati.
It is the essence of all Agama Sastras on matters of spiritual
realisation. This is verily the boat which can rescue all the mortals
struggling hard, sinking and rising, in the sorrowful ocean of
samsara of endless cycles of births and deaths and take them
by the direct path to the shore of actual liberation. Let all earnest
seekers after Truth, instead of groping in the dark, bewildered,
and losing their way, adopt the help of this straight path and
reach the supreme state to bliss, love, light and peace.
Meditate in the Heart upon Lord Ganesa — the silent,
non-dual, universal witness — who is the nectar of divine
bliss and is full of grace, shining as the bountiful flowering of
aspirants following the path of spiritual wisdom revealed in
Devikalottara, which was expounded by Lord Ishwara into
the ears of Goddess Ishwari.
Note: In the original Tamil verse, the word `kari’ means
`elephant’, which denotes Lord Ganesa as per tradition, but
the word `kari’ also means `witness’, which denotes the
Universal Self, which is in line with Advaitic experience.
1. O Lord of all celestial beings! I yearn to know that path
of supreme wisdom and the code of conduct by adopting which
one can get liberation, so that all humanity may attain salvation.
I request you to enlighten me on them, out of your grace.
2. O Queen among women! So that everyone may attain
knowledge, I shall clearly explain to you today the highest
knowledge and the discipline to be followed by which
discerning seekers will attain liberation, which is free from
any blemish and is difficult to describe.
3. O Lady with fair countenance! Understand that one
who is not able to realise the Truth in his Heart by this
knowledge of spiritual wisdom known as Kala Jnana, can
never attain it even by studying countless crores of sastras [?]
(scriptures) spread out like the sky.
4. Therefore cast aside all fears (on following this path)
and shed all doubts. Giving up attachment or desire for
anything, be ardent in seeking the ultimate knowledge with
wholehearted devotion and with a clear mind (without any
trace of confusion).
5. Claiming nothing as `mine’, filled with compassion,
giving protection to all living beings so that no creature fears
you, yearning for liberation, absorbed in yoga (union of jiva [?]
and Para, fusion of individual self with the universal Self),
study this work Devikalottara and follow wholeheartedly and
steadfastly the single path shown therein.
6-7. If one is to describe the person who can bring under
control his mind, which is restless and turbulent like a
whirlwind, and maintain it in a tranquil state, he is verily
Brahma (the God that does the creation), Siva (the saviour
who shows the path to salvation) and Vishnu (the sustainer of
the world); he is Indra, King of the devas, and Lord
Subrahmanya (chief commander of all the celestial forces);
he is Brihaspati, the guru of all devas; he is a supreme yogi,
and one who has achieved the result of performing all
austerities; he is a great scholar (who has mastered all the
Vedas and sastras[?]), and an outstanding man; he is one who
has achieved the true spiritual goal.
8-9. The means by which this mind, which is restless and
moves about quicker than the wind, can be brought under
control, is indeed the means to obtain liberation; it indeed is
what is good for those who seek the permanent Reality; it
itself is Pure Consciousness and the state of firmness;
moreover, it alone is the righteous duty to be followed by
discerning aspirants; it alone is the pilgrimage to holy waters;
it alone is charity; it alone is austerities. Know that there is no
doubt about this.
10. When the mind moves even a little, that is samsara
(worldly bondage); when the mind abides firmly and
motionlessly (in the state of Self), that is mukti [?] (liberation).
This is certain. Therefore know that the wise man must hold
his mind firm by supreme Self-awareness.
11. The happiness attained in this aloneness is the highest,
boundless bliss. Which learned persons will not revel in
that Supreme Reality, in which there is absolutely no action?
12. Being rid of the worldly knowledge, the great hero
who has acquired pure wisdom, in which there are no sense
objects, and which is all pervading and without any form,
will attain immutable moksha [?]without fail, even though he
may have no desire to attain liberation.
13. The consciousness (chaitanya) associated with the
aspect `am’ is called Sakti. The universe shines by its light.
The entire creation is Sakti’s sankalpa (thought). The state
(of mind) which is completely devoid of all attachment is the
pure (wisdom) to be attained.
14. The void which is the infinite and all-encompassing
one whole without a second, which is just the effulgence of
pure wisdom, which is completely devoid of visible
phenomena and which consists of the aspect `I’ is the seed
which fructifies as liberation, bestowing salvation by enabling
one to unite with the Supreme.
15. Instead of following this direct path, do not ever
contemplate even in the least upon chakras (located in six
adharas, centres in the body), nadis (subtle nerves that produce
the ten divine sounds such as Pranava), the deities associated
with the lotus seats (in the adhara chakras, beginning with
Vinayaka), the mantraksharas (potent sound syllables for the
worship of these deities) and the diverse mandala murtis (the
God-aspects, starting from those controlling the sun, Surya
Mandala, the moon, Chandra Mandala, and fire, Agni
Note: Some aspirants indulge in severe austerities and
arduous practices, mastering several techniques and
incidentally attaining extraordinary supernatural powers as
well. All these are to be shunned as they do not lead to ultimate
peace and joy. On the other hand, the path of Kala Jnana
described here is a direct path to mukti.
16. Those who seek everlasting liberation need not
endeavour to practise repetition and countless verse mantras
(repeating potent scriptural words or texts to gain various
ends), and methods of yoga such as breath-control
(pranayama), breath retention (kumbhaka) and concentration.
17. There is no room for performing puja (worship of
deities), namaskaram (paying homage like prostration), japa
(incantation), dhyana [?](contemplation) and so on. Hear from
me that the highest truth acclaimed in the Vedas can be known
only through jnana; hence, there is absolutely no need to know
anything outside of oneself.
18. For those whose minds are constantly expanding,
clinging to external objects, factors will always arise causing
increasing bondage. If the outward-wandering mind is turned
inwards to stay in its natural state, know that one will not
undergo any suffering in the world.
19. Unite with that one totality, which is all-pervasive,
which has no inside or outside, which is bereft of all (concept
of) directions such as above, below and in between, which
assumes all the forms in creation and yet is itself formless,
which can be known only by itself, and which is self-luminous.
20. People perform their actions having their own aims
in mind, and they accordingly reap the consequences of their
actions by attaining those aims. Therefore do not engage in
such actions which are not free from flaws (leading to
bondage). Turn the attention completely away from external
objects and concentrate only upon that (the Self) which cannot
21. In our natural state, actions, cause and result of such
actions, and all the various other theories propounded (in the
scriptures) do not exist. In fact, even the diverse world does
not exist. As such even the worldly individual who is attached
to (the various attractions of) the world is also nonexistent.
22. This entire universe is nothing but the niralamba (the
reality which exists without any support). Further, it shines
being illumined by the niralamba. The yogi (with his mind
turned inward) merges with this whole one by making every
object in this world one with it. Know this.
23. If any person does not meditate on this great all-
pervading void, which is the space of consciousness
(chidakasa), he will be a samsari (a worldly individual) forever
in bondage to worldly attachments, like the silkworm in its
self made cocoon. Understand this.
24. All living beings, of whatever genus, undergo great
misery over and over again. Hear from me. In order to avert
all this suffering and sorrow, meditate on the great void
constantly without any break.
25. Good actions and good conduct have been prescribed
only to guide the seeker towards the path of acquiring
knowledge. Therefore, giving up even salamba yoga1 in which
an object (such as a mantra or a form of God) is meditated
upon in the mind, stay steadfast in your real state (sahaja
swarupa), where the outside world is not perceived.
Note: Actions prescribed include worship of Siva in one’s
mind as well as outside. The various ceremonies prescribed
in Agama Sastras for worshipping Siva in saguna form in a
temple are covered in good conduct.
26. One who can destroy all the tattvas (principles) from
patalaloka (the nethermost world) to Sakti (one of the highest
tattvas), which are all interdependent, by the arrow of
sunyabhava is a man of great valour. He has attained supreme
wisdom which is beyond matter.
1Salamba yoga literally means yoga with support (alamba), that is any spiritual
practice in which the mind clings to some object as a support. See also
verses 35, 38, 40, 41.
Note: ln sunyabhava the individual is only aware of his
conscious being while everything else is like a void (sunya)
— without existence.
27. The mind, hankering after things of the world, is more
restless than a monkey. If one controls it from wandering after
external things and holds it in the void of non-matter one will
attain liberation directly.
28. The full Consciousness (purna chit) which is not other
than the true import of the word `I’, being non-different in all
the principles (tattvas) and being other than the sense `I am
the body’, is the all-pervading Reality.
29. This complete wholeness pervades inside and outside
all creations like ether, merging with them, and is itself
formless. Dear, those who are submerged in this supreme bliss
become that supreme bliss themselves. See, how wonderful!
30. The expanding mind will attain peace, becoming still
of its own accord, if it is deprived of something to hold on,
just as fire gets extinguished gradually if not fed with fuel.
31. You must realise that the four states of infatuation,
delusion, swoon (due to shock) and dreaming, as also sleeping
and waking, are all to be dispelled.
32. If one meditates that the one Consciousness (chit [?]) is
different from the prana [?](life-force), which has subtly attached
itself to this gross body, from the mind, from the intellect and
from the ego, one will become established in that Consciousness.
33. Due to sleep and due to thoughts the mind always
loses its sharpness, its foolishness increases, and it goes to
ruin. Awakening this mind with effort, and without allowing
it to wander, establish it in the state of Self. Persevere in
this effort by fixing the mind again and again in its natural
34. When once the mind becomes steady, it should not be
disturbed in any way. There is no need to think even in the
least of anything else, entertaining any doubts. Fixing the mind
firmly in that state (of Self-awareness), keep it still.
35. Make the mind, which always clings to some support
(attaching itself to sense-objects), devoid of all such supports.
Making the mind, which is restless in clinging to external
supports, motionless, do not disturb that tranquillity even
36. Meditate on the peerless Self which pervades all the
various forms, yet remains without any blemish (being
unaffected by them), just as ether, pervading all the creations
made up of the five elements, remains unsullied at the time of
37. When one adopts the practice (sadhana [?]) by means of
which one’s mind, which is restless like the wind, is made
still perpetually, then the purpose of taking birth as a human
being is fulfilled. That is also the mark of a true scholar.
38. Do not practise meditation by fixing the mind on the
six adhara chakras, the ones that are up or down or in the
middle, or anywhere else. Giving up all such meditations,
make the mind always devoid of any support (either inside or
39. If the mind falls asleep, awaken it. Then if it starts
wandering, make it quiet. If you reach the state where there is
neither sleep nor movement of mind, stay still in that, the
natural (real) state.
40. The state in which the mind is bereft of any support
to cling to, ever faultless and pure, and devoid of worldly
attachments, is the nature of liberation attained through
knowledge. Keep this firmly in mind.
41. Dispelling all attachments completely, and fixing that
mind in the Heart firmly, persist in your practice always in
order to strengthen the awareness, which then shines forth
with great effulgence and clarity.
42. Know that whoever meditates on that supreme void,
and becomes established in it by virtue of constant practice,
will definitely attain the great state which is beyond birth and
43. Gods and goddesses, merits, demerits and their fruits,
which are likewise anya (other than oneself), objects of
attachment and the knowledge of those objects — all these
will lead one to bondage in mighty samsara.
44. All objects of attachments are said to be pairs of
opposites (happiness and misery, good and bad, profit and
loss, victory and defeat, and so on). When one rises above
those pairs of opposites, one realises the Supreme. Such a
yogi is a jivanmukta, liberated from bondage. On discarding
the body, he becomes a videhamukta.
45. A wise man should not give up the body out of aversion
to it. Know that when once the prarabdha karma [?](result of
accumulated actions) which was responsible for the creation
of the body ceases, the bodily burden will automatically
46. The Consciousness which shines as `I’ in the Heart-
lotus is pure (flawless) and perfectly steady (without a trace
of movement). By destroying the ego, which rises (from that
Consciousness), that Consciousness itself bestows the supreme
joy of liberation. Be sure about it.
47. With great devotion meditating constantly that `I am
that Siva the form of the one Consciousness that is always
unsullied by any adjunct,’ dispel all your attachments.
48. Giving up all notions about country, caste, blemishless
community, asrama (status as a bachelor, family man, ascetic
or one who has renounced the world) and associated matters,
hold on to and practise always meditation upon the Self, your
own natural state.
49. I alone am. No one belongs to me; nor do I belong to
anyone else. I can see no one who can call me his; neither can
I see anyone who is mine. I am all alone.
50. Know that the person who experiences the firm
conviction, `I am the Supreme Brahman [?], I am the Master and
Lord of the Universe!’ is the real mukta [?](one who has attained
liberation), and that the one following conflicting paths is in
51. The day one is able to see oneself with his inner eye
as not the body, all his desires vanish, and he experiences
52. He who is described in the scriptures as the unborn
and Lord, I am He, the Atman (Self), who is forever without
form or qualities. There is absolutely no doubt about it.
53. I am pure Awareness, immaculate, perfectly liberated;
and forever present everywhere. I am indeterminable. No one
can grasp me or leave me. I am free from sorrow. I am always
brahmamayam (of the nature of Brahman [?]).
54. I am the Self which is Consciousness, absolute
completeness, deathless and self-established, and which is
other than this insentient body, limited between the top of the
head and the sole of the foot, and which, beginning with the
antahkaranas (the inner instruments such as mind and
intellect) is bounded by the covering of the skin.
55. Thinking, `I am the Lord of all creations, moving or
stationary, I remain as father, mother and father’s father for
the universe’, aspirants for mukti [?]contemplate with
concentration and ardour only upon Me, who am that great
turiya [?]state (the substratum of the waking, dream and
56. I am the one who is worshipped through sacrifices
and penances by all celestial beings beginning with Brahma
(the Creator), the heavenly damsels who are themselves sought
after, humans, yakshas, gandharvas, nagas and other groups
of superhuman beings, and also by many others. Know that
everyone worships only Me.
57. By many kinds of rare austerities and charities,
everyone worships only Me. Know that this vast creation,
moving and stationary, and all objects, are nothing but Me,
the Infinite One.
58. I am not the gross body, nor am I the subtle body. I
am also not the causal body. I am the kinsman of the universe.
I am the One who is of the nature of transcendental knowledge.
I am moreover the eternal One, the Lord, the taintless One,
the One who is devoid of the states (of waking, dream and
sleep), the One who is devoid of the universe.
59. The beginningless Consciousness is unborn, whole
and, residing forever in its natural home of the Heart-cave, is
without form, world or impurity. It is beyond comparison and
completely unattached. It cannot be comprehended by the
mind nor can it be seen or felt by the senses.
60. Repeatedly see thus: `I am He, the eternal, omnipresent
Reality which is Brahman [?]’. Meditating thus for a long time,
whoever abides imperturbably will become the Supreme
Brahman[?], thereby attaining immortality.
61. Having thus explained the nature of knowledge to
enable everyone to attain liberation, which is always available,
I shall now proceed to describe the conduct to be adopted by
seekers. Noble Lady, listen to them calmly.
62. O Queen among women! Know that bathing in holy
waters, repeating holy names or words (mantras), performing
daily homa [?](sacred offering in specially prepared fire),
worship, other oblations in lustrous fire, or any other means
(sadhana[?]) to be followed after great study, are never required
for him (the earnest aspirant seeking liberation).
63. Niyamas (strict rules of conduct such as what to eat,
when to eat, how to eat, what to wear, where to sit and so on),
worship of deities in sacred places, nama archanas (worship
of deities by reciting sacred names), pitru karmas (oblations,
etc., carried out for the sake of forefathers to help them reach
a high state), pilgrimage to holy places which have come forth
on earth, and observance of great vows, are all not for him
(the earnest aspirant), if considered deeply.
64. He does not reap the fruit of actions, good or bad.
Important dates and special observances zealously followed
by the world are not for him. Give up all actions and all kinds
of worldly codes of conduct.
65. Renounce completely all religious edicts and
disciplines. Since all kinds of action result in bondage, give
up all action plans, mental conflicts, and attachment to one’s
66. Even if the aspirant acquires many kinds of
supernatural powers and magical powers such as visualising
what is buried underneath the earth, and can demonstrate
them before the world, he should give up mental attachment
67. All these (powers) are only bondages to the individual
soul. Further they drag one to follow a low path. The supreme
joy of liberation does not lie in any of them, but only in the
68. One must engage unfailingly in yoga (the practice
of Self-abidance) in all conditions, without allowing any
special event to affect one adversely. If, due to doubts, delusion
arises in the form of attraction to worship in holy places and
temples (on account of past practices and vasanas [?]), reject
69. Listen to me, Lady! Know that only the wise man
who never does anything which leads to the destruction of
any form of life, such as insects, worms, birds or plants, is a
person who is seeking true knowledge.
70. He (the true aspirant) should not pull out tender roots
(of fragrant plants, which is often done for worship); he
should not even pluck the leaves; he should not harm any
living thing out of anger; he should not heartlessly pluck
He should worship Lord Siva using only flowers
that have fallen naturally. He should not indulge in vile
practices such as marana [?](causing destruction through the
use of certain mantras) uchadana (driving one out with the
force of mantras), vidveshana (causing mutual hatred between
friends), the well known sthambana (freezing one’s
capabilities), causing fever, putting into action evil spirits,
causing agitation, wrongly taking control of others, attracting
and infatuating others, and so on. Abandon the worship of
stones, wooden objects and similar articles.
73. Having relinquished the great mudras which are
adopted in order to fix the mind on the devatas (deities)
residing in holy places and temples, and the associated
sacrifices, get rid of the vasanas [?]also which may have
accumulated on account of such practices in the past, and
cling only to the Self, the all-pervading real Consciousness.
74. Maintain a neutral attitude towards all things; do not
get infatuated with anything; maintain equanimity whether
in happiness or suffering; be the same to friends and enemies;
treat alike a broken piece of mud pot and a piece of gold.
75. Know that a flawless yogi is one who does not ever
allow himself to be swayed by desire for the pleasures of the
senses, who frees himself at heart from mamakara (treating
things as `mine’), who has a steadfast mind, who is free from
desires and fear, and who always revels in the Self.
76. Being unaffected by either praise or slander, treating
alike all creatures, he should always unfailingly maintain an
equality of vision (sama drishti), considering all living beings
in the world as himself.
77. Avoid unnecessary arguments and worldly
associations. Do not create misunderstanding among others.
Do not join religious bodies well versed in many scriptures
(sastras [?]). Give up both words of abuse and words of praise.
78. Gradually and completely get rid of jealousy, slander,
pomp, passion, consequent hatred, desire, anger, fear and
79. If a man is free from all the pairs of opposites and
always lives in Solitude (established in himself alone), he gains
perfect wisdom even while in the present body and shines
forth with great effulgence.
80. Liberation is attained only by knowledge (jnana [?]). By
other powers (siddhis) such a fruit is unattainable. However,
aspirants become enchanted with blemishful worldly
enjoyments and thaumaturgic powers (siddhis) and go after
them with desire.
81. Know that the pure flawless person will experience
that blemishless Lord (the Supreme Brahman [?]) and positively
attain liberation whether attended by the supernatural powers
82. The body is a form constituted of the five elements
(earth, water, fire, air and ether). The one all-pervading
Siva is also nicely seated there. Hence the entire universe,
right from the indivisible all-pervading Sivam (the highest
and most abstract tattva or principle) to this world, is the form
My dearest, earnest seekers who see the
enlightened one and worship him with all the three instruments
(mind, speech and body) in unison, offering him with
heart-melting love, sweet-smelling sandal paste, fruits,
flowers, incense, good water to bathe, clothes and food, will
thus attain liberation. Know that those who worship that jnani
reap the fruit of his righteous deeds and those who slander
him reap the result of his sins.
85. I have revealed the truth about knowledge and the
conduct pertaining thereto, as you have asked. This entire path
is indeed Kalottara Jnana (the knowledge to be revealed at
the final stage of maturity). Tell me, O Lady, if you want to
ask anything more.
© Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai