Category Archives: Upadesa Saram

Upadesa Saram verse 13

Verse 13: laya vinashane ubhaya rodhane laya gatham punar bhavati no-mrutam

laya vinashane : absorption and destruction
ubhaya rodhane : by the restrain of both [prana and mind]
laya gatam : (the mind ) that has gone to absorption
punar: again
bhavati na: does not come into existence
mritam: having died.

Upadesa Saram Verse 13:
“Absorption or laya, destruction or nasa are the two kinds of mind control. When merely absorbed, it emerges again, but not when it is destroyed.”

Subsidence of mind is two kinds. Abeyance (laya) and destruction (nasa).That which is in abeyance will rise but if mind dies it will not rise. The subsidence of mind is gained by breath restraint and in states like sleep, death, swoon, coma is temporary and is thus manolaya or abeyance of the mind. Since happiness is experienced only when the mind subsides and since rising of the mind is misery itself, if we are to enjoy happiness forever it is necessary that the mind is destroyed permanently. Such permanent destruction of the mind which is the true goal of all spiritual disciplines is called manonasa. The reason why breath control cannot bring about manonasa is breath control does not destroy the tendencies.

For making the mind subside permanently there is no adequate means other than self-enquiry. If made to subside by other means, the mind will remain as if subsided but will definitely rise again. Where as in manonasa (destruction of the mind) the “I” thought is pulled into the spiritual heart centre which eventually destroys it so completely that it never rises again. The concept of individual self is destroyed forever, only Self remains.

Ramana Maharshi


Upadesa Saram verse 12

Verse 12:
citta vayavas chit-kriya-yutah sakhayor-dvyai sakti mulaka

chitta-vayavah : the mind and the vital airs
cit kriya yutah: they are endowed with consciousness and the activising force.
sakhayoh dvayi: they are the two branches

sakti mulaka: the root cause of energy or power

The mind and the vital airs are the two branches with thought and action as functions that eminate from the same root.

Upadesa Saram Verse 12:
“Mind and breath manifesting in thought and action, branch out from a common source, Atma Sakti (Aham Spurana).”

The mind is the conscious aspect, the power of objective knowing, thinking (Jnana Sakti) where as breath or life force (Prana) is the power of doing or action (kriya sakti).But the original power Aham Sphurana is like a trunk of a tree having mind and prana as two branches. So mind and prana are interrelated. The imaginary power of the mind comes to a stand sRamana Maharshitill if breath is controlled. Likewise if mind stops imagining completely whatever is the reason breath comes to a standstill. Prana supplies energy to mind for thinking and to the body for it’s maintenance. When mind is strayed if we control the breath, immediately it feels suffocated, stops imagining and comes back to the present. If due to self-enquiry thought process collapses in the spiritual heart the breath is controlled. The existence of the mind depends upon it’s identity with something gross. In self-enquiry because we pay our entire attention on the source of mind identity with nonself including all adjuncts is nullified, so attraction to nonself does not exist and in such a state of being there is direct experience of nonexistence of the mind (naiva manasam).The ego, the thinker appears as a real entity because of our continuous identity with the nonself. This identity is broken when we pay attention only to “I” thought excluding all other thoughts. Then “I” thought is deprived of it’s identity with all other thoughts and perceptions it normally identifies with. Then the “I” thought start to subside in the spiritual heart and gets dissolved in it.

Upadesa Saram verse 11

Verse 11:
vayurodhanat liyyathe manah jalapakshivat rodhasadhanam

vayurodhanat : by restrain of the prana
manah : the mind
liyate : becomes absorbed
jala pakshivat: like the ensnaring of the bird
rodha sadhanam: is a means of checking

By holding the breath, mind is restrained like a bird caught in a net. This is a way to restrain the distracted mind.

Upadesa Saram Verse 11:
“The mind may be subdued by regulating the breath, just as a bird is restrained when caught in a net.”

Pranayama is the science of breath. Mind is accustomed to stray in nonself leaving its source the “Self”. To control such a chaotic mind cultivating the prana (life force) makes the mind temporarily settled like a pond in full moon light and mind for the first time tastes the bliss and happiness of thought free state while awake. This tasting of bliss makes the aspirant certain that the nature of his being is bliss. So he pursues further to establish in that state of bliss without any interruption. In this way pranayama is an aid in preparing the mind of the aspirant to do self-enquiry. In pranayama only manolaya (temporary cessation of activity of the mind) happens and so annihilation of tendencies will not happen in pranayama. No radical transformation of the mind is possible in pranayama. It helps us to taste the bliss of thoughtless state of the mind as long as pranayama
lasts. Prnayama is an important Anga in Astanga Yoga. Body health and quality and length of life are profoundly affected positively due to pranayama. But when the breath (prana) comes out, the mind will also come out and wander under the sway of tendencies as usual. So pranayama is mere aid for restraining the mind but will not bring destruction of the mind.

Ramana Maharshi