Nothing Existed Except the Eyes of the Maharshi
by N.R. Krishnamurti Aiyer. Oct. 29, 2001
Who Are You? An Interview With Papaji by
Jeff Greenwald. Oct. 24, 2001
An Interview with Byron Katie by Sunny
Massad. Oct. 23, 2001
An Interview with Douglas Harding by Kriben
Pillay. Oct. 21, 2001
The Nectar of Immortality by Sri Nisargadatta
Maharaj. Oct. 18, 2001
The Power of the Presence Part Two by David
Godman. Oct. 15, 2001
The Quintessence of My Teaching by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Oct. 3, 2001
Interview With David Godman. Sept. 28, 2001
The Power of the Presence Part One by David
Godman. Sept. 28, 2001
Nothing Ever Happened Volume 1 by
David Godman. Sept. 23, 2001
Collision with the Infinite by Suzanne
Segal. Sept. 22, 2001
Lilly of the Valley, the Bright and Morning
Star by Charlie Hopkins. August 9, 2001
email address is editor
Vijai R. Subramaniyam
IS AN EXTREMELY obscure book about Advaita Vedanta written
in Tamil in the nineteenth century. We have added it
to our site because Ramana Maharshi recommended it very
strongly to people he knew personally.
came to our attention while reading the memoir of Annamalai
Swami, who was Ramana's personal attendent and supervisor
of construction at Ramana's ashram. He says:
another occasion, when I asked Bhagavan [Ramana] to
select some reading material for me, he gave me a
short-list of six books: Kaivalya Navanitam, Ribhu
Gita, Ellam Ondre, Swarupa Saram and Yoga Vasishta.
laid particular stress on Ellam Ondre, telling
me, "If you want moksha [liberation] write, read
and practise the instructions in Ellam Ondre."1
This quotation is from pages 98-99 of Living By The
Words of Bhagavan by David Godman published in 1995
(second edition) by Sri Annamalai Swami Ashram Trust in
Tiruvannamalai. Although Godman is credited as author
of the book, he is really the editor, and the actual author
is Annamalai Swami.
of Annamalai's memoir gives two citations for Ellam
Ondre in the bibliography:
Ondre: by Vijai R. Subramaniyam,
pub. Pinnalur Ramalingam Pillai, 1935.
is One: a translation of Ellam Ondre by 'Who,'
pub. Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1950.
the translation reproduced here is the one cited in
Annamalai's book. If so, the translator is "Who,"
also known as K. Lakshmana Sarma, a devotee of Ramana's.
obtained the text of this translation from The Maharshi,
a newsletter published by Arunachala Ashrama, where
it appeared in four consecutive issues starting in September-October
1998. The first installment included the following letter
from Eurico M. S. Saraiva of Lisbon which explains how
the newsletter got hold of the text:
French devotee who could not speak English and was
living in Sri Ramanasramam during my last visit asked
me to go with him to the Annamalai Ashram for a visit
on some personal matter. While I was there translating
for this devotee I notice Annamalai Swami's book,
"Living by the Words of Bhagavan," for sale. I immediately
purchased it and while reading through it found the
reference to "All is One." I somehow became keen on
knowing more about this book and asked in the Sri
Ramanasramam Book Depot if an English translation
of this Tamil book was available. Even though it was
also noted to be recommended by Sri Bhagavan in "Day
by Day with Bhagavan," no one could give me any information
or five days before my departure something made me
remember that probably in the Annamalai Ashram I could
find out some information about the book. The Ashram
manager told me it was only available in Tamil and
that the last English translation had been printed
privately some time around 1950. However, he had a
photo copy of that translation and allowed me to copy
it for myself.
the same time, a French devotee with whom I had earlier
discussions about the book came to me and showed me
the French translation. In spite of it being printed
in Pondicherry, she had purchased it in Paris.
am now sending it to you because I think that we should
make an effort to publish it for the benefit of devotees
and Advaita students, even if it is in the form of
a small inexpensive brochure. It appears that this
19th Century, anonymous composition was highly valued
by Sri Maharshi and, for this reason alone, I am sure
many will be interested in studying it.
attributing this text to Who and Subramaniyam, we relied
entirely on the documents cited above. If they are mistaken,
then our attributions are incorrect.
page was published on May 20, 2000.