"It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by ten symbols each receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity the great ease which it has lent to all computations puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Appollnius two of the greatest men produced by antiquity." - Pierre Simon de Laplace

Documents : Devotional 2 : Other

Akshara Mana Malai - 1 : - : Roman - English

Akshara Mana Malai

Akshara Mana Malai

Akshara Mana Malai
{Scented Garland arranged Alphabetically}
By Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

{Bhagwan Ramana was a great sage who lived in the Arunachala Mountains in Thiruvannamalai. He was not a sanyasin and used to make it clear that he was not having any Guru. His scholarly nature and the life of utter simplicity that he lead, attracted lot of great admirers to him. I am quoting verbatim about how he came to compose this great work: 'During the early years of Sri Bhagavan's abode at Virupaksha, Palaniswami and others used to go into town to beg food for the small group of devotees, and one day they asked Sri Bhagavan for a devotional song to sing as they went. He replied that there were plenty of sublime songs composed by the Saints, many of them neglected, so there was no need to compose a new one. However, they continued to urge him and some days later he set out on pradakshina round the Hill, taking a pencil and paper with him, and, on the way, composed the hundred and eight verses. Tears of ecstasy streamed down his face as he wrote, sometimes blinding his eyes and choking his voice. The poem became the great devotional inspiration of the devotees. All the pain of longing and all the bliss of fulfillment are mirrored in its glowing symbolism. The perfection of Knowledge is combined with the ecstasy of devotion. And yet this most heartfelt of poems was composed from the standpoint of the devotee, of one who is still seeking. It is also an acrostic, its hundred and eight verses beginning with the successive letters of the Tamil alphabet. Nevertheless, no poem could be more spontaneous. Some devotees asked Sri Bhagavan the interpretation of some of the verses and he replied: "You think it out and I will too. I didn't think while I was composing it; I just wrote as it came." Quoted from arunachala-live.com/108_verses.htm. This entire prayer in Tamil script along with Tamil explanation is available in scribd.com/doc/8770616/Arunachala-Aksharamanamalai-Tamil. This meaning was written by a close devotee of the sage called Muruganar. It is understood that several times he used to have discussion with the sage about the purported meaning of each verse. The famous translation in to English by Arthur Osborne is available in arunachalasamudra.org/ramanahymns1.html. In many cases Mr. Osborne has given two different meanings for some verses. This translation is terse. After reading both these translations, I have written my own translation in English verse, about my understanding of what is written. The first word of the title is 'Akshara'. This would mean either 'Alphabets' or 'that which never decays'. Each of the 108 verses commence with the different alphabets of the Tamil language. Due to this I am taking the first indicated meaning. The second word is 'Mana'. This word in Tamil would either mean 'Marital' or 'Scented'. Most of the commentators prefer 'Marital'. They claim it to indicate the Nayaki-nayaka Bhava in the verses. But I would prefer the second meaning 'Scented'. That is why I have translated the title as 'Alphabetical scented Garland'. Since my aim of transliteration is to provide identity of the verse, I have taken some independence in doing it so that verses are more readable. Please refer to the original in case of doubt. 'Arunachala' literally means 'Mountain of the colour of the purple sun.'. This mountain is situated in Thiruvannamalai of Tamil Nadu. Devotees consider the mountain itself as a form of Lord Shiva. 'Arunachala' can also refer to Lord Shiva who is consecrated in the temple near 'Arunachala.'}


Tharuna aruna mani kirana vali nigar,
Dharma kshara mana magizh malai,
Theru nadiya thiruvadiyar theru maral,
Theliya parvuthal porualakk,
Karunkara muni Ramana riyanuva,
Kaiyinar choliyathu gathiyaga,
Varunachalamena ga arivodu,
Mazhvar shivanugamalware.


Recommending verse.

This joyful scented garland,
Which resembles the beam,
Of the rays of the rising Sun,
Was requested for by his devotees
Who chose the streets for removing
The delusion and make people understand
And this was composed by Ramana,
Who was the ocean of pity.
Those who choose to tell this as their refuge,
Would understand that they are Arunachalam,
And reign in the land of Lord Shiva.

* Murugan is one of the great devotees of Bhgawan Ramana.

Prayer to Lord Ganapathi

Arunachalavarketha Akshara malai chatha,
Karunakara Ganapathiye Karamaruli kaapaye.

Oh merciful Ganapathi, give a hand and help me,
To make a garland of letters suitable for Lord Arunachala.

Refrain ( this refrain has to be chanted after each verse)

Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva,
Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva,
Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva,
Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva.

Arunachalamena agame ninaippavar,
Agathai aruppai arunachalane. 1

Oh Arunachala, cut of the pride in the minds,
Of those who meditate on Arunachala.

Azhagu sundaram pol agavum neeyum uttha
Binnamay iruppom arunachalaa. 2

Oh Arunachala, like the words Azhagu in Tamil,
And Sundaram in Sanskrit mean the same beauty,
Let our mind and you be not different and be same.

Agam pugum theerthu, unnaka guhai chirayai,
Amarvithathen kolo arunachalaa. 3

Oh Arunachala, why did you enter in my mind,
Drew me, made me imprisoned in your mind?

Aarum kavenai yandanai yagathidil,
Akhilam pazhithidum arunachalam. 4

Oh Arunachala, after having drawn the useless me,
If you remove me later, the world would find fault with you.

Ippazhi thappunai yeninai pitha,
Yini yaar viduvaar arunachalam. 5

Oh Arunachala, get rid of this bad name,
Oh Mad one, who would leave you now.

Yeendridum annayir peritharul purivo,
Yidhuvo unadharul Aunachala. 6

Oh Arunachala who is kinder than my mother,
This is indeed your great grace.

Unaye mathi odathulathin mel,
Uruthiyayiruppai Arunachala. 7

Oh Arunachala, please change yourself,
And sit firmly on my changing mind.

Oor chuthu ulam vidathu unnai tatangida,
Un azhagai kattu Arunachala. 8

Oh Arunachala, show me your beauty,
So that my mind, which wanders round becomes firm.

Yenai azhithippo yenai kalava vidil,
Ithuvo vanmai Arunachala. 9

Oh Arunachala, Are you man enough,
So that you destroy my ego,
And merge me with yourself?

Yen inda urakkam yenai pirar izhukka,
Ithu unakku azhago, Arunachala. 10

Oh Arunachala, Is it pretty for you,
To be asleep when others drag me to things bad?

Iympula kalvar agathinir pugum pothu,
Agathu nee ilayo, Arunachala. 11

Oh Arunachala, Are you not within me,
When the thief of five senses enters within me?

Oruvanaam unnai olithavar varuvaar,
Un chootheyidhu, Arunachala. 12

Oh Arunachala, If the one who hides you,
Appear before me, it is only your deceit, Oh God

Omgara porul oppu uyar villoy,
Unai yaar arivaar, Arunachala. 13

Oh Arunachala, who is great and incomparable,
Who can claim ever to know you?

Ouai pol, yenakku un arulai thandu yenai,
Aluvathu un kadan, Arunachala. 14

Oh Arunachala, It is your bounden duty,
To control me after giving your grace, just like my mother.

Kannukku kaanai kannindri kanunai,
Kanuvathu yevar paar, Arunachala. 15

Oh Arunachala, you watch over me yourself,
To help me see you with the eye of the eyes,
When I am trying to see you with my eyes.

Kandham irumb pol kavarndu yennai vidamal,
Kalandhu yennodu iruppai, Arunachala. 16

Oh Arunachala, be always with me,
Like the magnet attracting a piece of steel,
And be always merge with me never leaving me.

Giri uruvagiya kirubai kadale,
Krubai koorndu arulvay, Arunachala. 17

Oh Arunachala who is the ocean of mercy,
With the looks of a mountain, please bless me with your grace.

Keezh melengum kilar oli mani yen,
Keezhmayayai paaz chey, Arunachala. 18

Oh Arunachala, Who shines like a gem,
In the minds of the great as well as the base ones,
Destroy this quality of baseness within me.

Kutham uthu aruthennai gunamay paninthal,
Guru uruvay olir, Arunachala. 19

Oh Arunachala, destroy all the crimes that I have committed,
And make me pure, through the mouth of the teacher.

Koor vaat kanniyar kodumayir padathu arul,
Koorndu yennai Cherndhu arul, Arunachala. 20

Oh Arunachala, Be merciful with me and bless me,
So that I do not fall in the hooks of the bad ones, with sharp swords.

Kenjiyum vanjiyay konjam irangilai,
Anjel yendru arul, Arunachala. 21

Oh Arunachala, like a deceiver you have not shown pity on me,
In spite of my begging, Please tell me, not to be afraid.

Kelathu alikkum un kedil pugazhai,
Kedu cheyyathu arul, Arunachala. 22

Oh Arunachala, do not spoil your fame,
Of giving without asking, by not giving to me.

Kaiyinir kaniyul mey rasam kondu uvagai,
Veri kola varurl, Arunachala. 23

Oh Arunachala, bless me with the exuberance of happiness,
By using the juice of the truth of the fruit in my hand,

Kodiyittu adiyarai kollunai kkatti,
Kondu engan vazhven, Arunachala. 24

Oh Arunachala, how will I Ever live,
As a slave to you who kills,
Without killing his devotees?

Kopamil gunathoy, kuriyay yenai kola,
Kuray yen cheythen, Arunachala. 25

Oh Arunachala, who is never angry,
What great did I ever do, to make you,
Choose me to receive your grace?

Kowthamar pothum karunai maa malaye,
Kadai kanithu aalvay, Arunachala. 26

Oh Arunachala, who is the mountain of mercy,
Which is being worshipped by sage Gowthama,
Please see me with your side long glance and bless me.

Chakalamum vizhungum kadir oli ina mana,
Salasa malarthi yidu, Arunachala. 27

Oh Arunachala, who is the light that swallows all,
Please make the lotus of my mind open fully.

Chappadu unnai charndhuna vaayaan,
Santhamay pavan Arunachala. 28

Oh Arunachala, when I approached you for food,
You made me your food and made me peaceful.

Chitham kulira kkathir atham vaitha amudha,
Vaayai thira varun mathi, Arunachala. 29

Oh Arunachala, with a view to cool my mind,
Open the nectar like mouth of the bud of my mind.

Cheerai azhithu nirvanamai cheythu arut,
Cheerai alitharul, Arunachala. 30

Oh Arunachala, Remove the cloth that covers my mind,
Make me nude and again grace me with your cloth of grace.

Chuka kadal ponga chollunar adanga,
Chumma porunthidanga Arunachala. 31

Oh Arunachala, to make my mind ebb with pleasure,
And to make my senses under control, you occupy my mind.

Choothu cheydu yenni chothiyadini un
Jothi uru kkattu, Arunachala. 32

Oh Arunachala, from now on, do not test me by deceit,
And show me your form which shines like a flame.

Cheppadi vithai kkathu ippadi mayakku vittu,
Uru ppadu vithai kkattu, Arunachala. 33

Oh Arunachala, do not show the magical shows
To make me completely confused,
And show me that which would build me.

Cherayenin mey neera yurugi kkan,
Neeral azhiven, Arunachala. 34

Oh Arunachala, If you do not unite with me,
I would melt like water and be destroyed by tears.

Chaiyena thallin chey vinai chudum amala,
Uy vagai yethu urai, Arunachala. 35

Oh Arunachala, if you push me away with disdain,
Oh pure one, my actions would burn me,
And so tell me how should I live and win.

Chollathu cholli nee, chollara nillendru,
Chumma yirundhay, Arunachala. 36

Oh Arunachala, without talking you talked to me,
And told me to stop talking and you kept quite.

Chombiyay chumma sukhamundu urangidir,
Chol very yen gathi, Arunachala. 37

Oh Arunachala, If I lazily sleep in pleasure,
Tell me, what other way to get away is there for me.

Chowriyam kaattinai, chazha kathathu yendre,
Chaliyathu irunday, Arunachala. 38

Oh Arunachala, you showed me your prowess
And the darkness in me vanished,
And you remained still motion less.

Gnamaliyir kedaa naan yendru uruthi yay,
Nadi nin urave, Arunachala. 39

Oh Arunachala, I am worse than a dog,
For when did I ever steadfastly seek you.

Gnanamillathu, un asayar thalar vara,
Gnanam therithu arul, Arunachala. 40

Oh Arunachala, I sought you without wisdom,
But did only get tired because of my desire,
And so grace me with the wisdom to seek you.

Jnimiru po neeyum malarnthilai yendre,
Ner nindaranai, yen arunachala. 41

Oh Arunachala, When I as a bee wanted to enter you,
And when I thought that you have not opened like a bud,
To my surprise I found you standing in front of me.

Thattuvam theriya thathanai yuthay,
Thathuvam ithu ven, Arunachala. 42

Oh my Arunachala, when I did not know the innate philosophy,
You yourself stood before me as the same innate philosophy.

Thane thane thathuvam idanai,
Thane kattuvai Arunachala. 43

Oh Arunachala, please show and make me realize,
That you, yourself are the innate philosophy.

Thirumbi yagam thannai dina maga kan kaandu,
Yeriyum yendranai, yen Arunachala. 44

Oh my Arunachala, You told me to turn and see,
Within myself, so that I will know it.

Deeramilakathir thediyum thanayaan,
Thirumba vuthen arul, Arunachala. 45

Oh Arunachala, by your grace I searched inside,
Without inner courage and got you again.

Thupparivilla ippira ppen bhayan,
Oppidavaye, yen Arunachala. 46

Oh my Arunachala, what is the use of this birth,
Without the innate knowledge, and then why,
Should I try to compare it with that of others.

Thooy mana mozhiyar thoyu mun meyygam,
Thoyave yarul yen Arunachala. 47

Oh my Arunachala, please bless me to merge within you,
Before the others with purer mind merge in you.

Dheivam yendru unnai charave, yennai,
Chera vozhithay Arunachala. 48

Oh Arunachala, when I bent towards you,
Thinking you are my God, you pushed me away.

Thedathu uttha na thiru varu nithi yaga,
Thiyakkam theertharul Arunahala. 49

Oh Arunachala, You are the divine treasure,
That I got without searching for it,
And bless me with a stable mind.

Dhairiyamodu mun meyyaga nada yaan,
Thattazhithen arul, Arunachala. 50

Oh Arunachala, when I tried to approach you with courage,
The boat of mine tottered and I fell down and so bless me.

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