The Garland of Guru's Sayings  -  Guru Vachaka Kovai

The Garland of Guru's Sayings - Guru Vachaka Kovai

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Author: Sri Muruganar
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Prof. K Swaminathan
Publisher: Sri Ramanasramam
Year: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 252
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8182880818


Professor Swaminathan’s English rendering of Guru Vachaka Kovai of Sri Muruganar with the elaborate commentary of Sri Sadhu Om, carries useful notes and explanations in simple Tamil, which established the claim that this Treatise provides the most precise, systematic and authoritative exposition of Sri Bhagavan’s teaching, explaining step by step the theory, the practice and the experience of Jnana, the Truth supreme which is Being as Life Eternal, pure Awareness, Perfect Bliss.

Further, the elaborate commentary of Sri Sadhu Om, published by the Delhi Ramana Kendra in 1980, carries useful notes and explanations in simple Tamil, which established the claim that this Treatise provides the most precise, systematic and authoritative exposition of Sri Bhagavan’s teaching, explaining step by step the theory, the practice and the experience of Jnana, the Truth supreme which is Being as Life Eternal, pure Awareness, Perfect Bliss.

Thus, the most comprehensive collection of the Maharshi’s saying is Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings) composed and strung together artistically by the poet Muruganar. In this massive Tamil work of 1282 stanzas (11254 being Muruganar’s handiwork and 28 the Maharshi’s), each stanza presents, in a well-wrought and finely polished setting, a pearl that fell from the Master’s lips.

Not only are these stanzas arranged in the most logically effective order, under 231 chapters, but most of them were seen and approved by the Master, who has supplied some links and re-statements of his own to emphasize a point or tighten up or clarify the argument.

The value of The Garland of Guru’s Sayings is not merely in its literary appeal to Tamil readers. The collection equals the Talks in Comprehensiveness and authenticity. The Talks are informal and present the Maharshi’s teachings against the background of the questions posed by enquirers. The Garland focuses the light on what the Maharshi said regardless of when or why he said it and the saying are strung together in a manner which is intellectually satisfying.

It has been well said by Sri Sadhu Om that Muruganar is the main architect of the Ramana Prasthana Traya (Trinity of Scriptures). He elicited Upadesha Sara, he helped in giving final form and a coherent structure to the Forty Verses on What Is, and he himself composed the bulk and finalized the arrangement of the stanzas in Guru Vachaka Kovai, a systematic and detailed exposition of the Master’s teaching which carries his imprimatur and which provides, for the Tamil reader at any rate, a perennial source of literary enjoyment.


1.Invocation to the Guru
2.Name and Genesis of this Treatise
3.This Treatise But Restores
4.Author’s Humble Apology
6.The Author


1.Actuality of the World
2. Unreality of the World
3. Allurement of the World
4. Aridity of the World
5. Playing one’s Role In the World
6. Illusory Appearances (Vivarta)
7. Doctrine of No Birth (Ajata)
8. Why Diverse Theories of Creation
9. Part Played by God
10. The Three Prime Entities
11. Veiling (Tiroda)
12. Individuality (Vyakti)
13. Wrong Identification
14. The Pandit
15. The Poet
16. Futility of Mere Learning
17. Truth of Vedanta
18. The Course of Prarabdha
19. The Power of Prarabdha
20. False Jiva and Self
21. Strength of Vasanas
22. The Ego-Knot
23. The Ego’s Strength
24. The Ego’s Dance
25. Treachery to the Self
26. Heaven and Hell
27. Terror of Hell (Naraka)
28. Victory over Naraka
29. Turning Inward
30. The Kingdom of God
31. Sivahood
32. Non-Difference of Hari and Hara
33. Sakti and Siva
34. Siva-Worship
35. Meaning of Prostration
36. Image-Worship
37. Sacred Ashes (Vibhuti)
38. Riding the Bull
39. Sakti and Santi
40. Macro and Micro
41. Desire for Thaumaturgic Powers (Siddhis)
42. True Immortality
43. Elixir for Immortality
44. Body-Preservation
45. Of Non-Attachment
46. Awareness Is Detachment
47. Mind’s Puissance
48. Inner Purity
49. Of Death
50. Locus of Life
51. The Heart
52. The True Guru
53. Guru’s Grace
54. Certitude
55. The Left-over (Uchishtam)
56. Reverence to the Guru
57. Guru’s Greatness
58. Of Satsang
59. The Greatness of Devotees
60. Of Brahma-Vidya (Knowledge of Brahman)
61. The Living Truth in Religions
62. Infinite Vision
63. Ego-Loss
64. The True I
65. Self Awakening
66. Freedom from Sorrow
67. Desirelessness
68. Freedom from Bondage
69. Self-Enquiry
70. True Penance (Tapas)
71. Awareness
72. Nirvana
73. Self-Realization
74. Firm Awareness
75. Enjoyment of Bliss
76. Sleep
77. True Being
78. Ending of Doership
79. Non-Action
80. Self-Surrender
81. How to Treat Enemies
82. Moderation in Life
83. The Sin of Excess
84. Meekness
85. What is Worth Doing


1. Teaching and Learning
2. Mahavakyas
3. The Upanishada
4. Worship
5. Silent Worship
6. Vanity of Argument
7. Maya of Measurement
8. Indirect Knowledge
9. Jiva One Only
10. Knowledge and Ignorance
11. Illusion
12. Waking Dream
13. Different States
14. Deeds Good and Bad
15. Dyads and Triads
16. Sense Pleasures
17. Illusion of the Mind
18. Ignorance
19. Immaturity
20. Forgetfulness
21. Samsara
22. Affictions
23. Wonderful Maya
24. The Harm of Praise
25. Evil of Egotism
26. Origin of Sorrow
27. The Jiva (Separate Self)
28. The Jiva’s Unreality
29. The World’s “Reality”
30. Denotative Knowledge
31. Ending Indicative Knowledge
32. Love
33. Embodiment as Form
34. Five-Fold Function
35. Freedom from Doership
36. Jiva’s Creation and God’s
37. The Process of Neti (Not this)
38. Freedom from Vasanas
39. true Fasting
40. Diet Regulation
41. True Purity
42. Freedom from Desire
43. Sense-Control
44. Conquest of the Senses
45. Asanas
46. Becoming Pure
47. Breath-Control
48. Secret of Karma
49. Japa
50. The True Temple
51. The Holy Name
52. Bhakti
53. Bhakti-Jnana Identity
54. Shakti-Vichara
55. One-Pointed Devotion
56. Dhyana –Vichara
57. Meditation on Form
58. Meditation on Space
59. Meditation on Time
60. Steady, Continuous Meditation (Nididhyasana)
61. Other Sadhanas
62. Aids to Enquiry
63. Completion of Sadhana
64. Meditation and Discrimination (Viveka)
65. Pure Being (Summa Irutthal)
66. The Separate “I”
67. The Basic Quest
68. Seeker’s Conduct
69. Peace
70. Disciple’s Conduct
71. Real Compassion for Creatures
72. Rites for Ancestors
73. Service to “Others”
74. Sympathy
75. Equality
76. Testimony of Conscience
77. truthfulness
78. Detachment
79. The Greatness of Renunciation
80. True Renunciation
81. The Whole Mind
82. Destruction of the Ego
83. True Being
84. Who is the Witness?

1. Direct Knowledge
2. Eternal Awareness
3. Nirvikalpa Samadhi
4. Changelessness
5. Solitude
6. Non-Attachment
7. Destruction of Mind
8. The Defunct Mind
9. Omniscience
10. Transcendence of Turiya (Turiyatita)
11. Wholeness and Movement
12. Severing the Knot
13. Fulfilment
14. Non-Existence of Suffering
15. The Pervasiveness of Deep Sleep
16. Waking Sleep
17. Non-Dual Awareness
18. Grace
19. Sat-Chit-Ananda
20. Being
21. All is Brahman
22. Harmony
23. Childlikeness
24. Union with the Atman
25. The Grandeur of Awareness
26. Cosmic Consciousness
27. The Sky of Awareness
28. The Inner Space
29. Makin That Known
30. The Atman
31. the Puissance of the Self
32. Nature of the Self
33. The Grandeur of the Self (Atman)
34. The Self Supreme (Paramatman)
35. Freedom From Fear
36. Advaita (Non-Duality)
37. Atheism
38. True Faith
39. Eternal Freedom
40. Authentic Living
41. The Formless
42. Sahaja Nishta (Those in the Natural State)
43. The Sthitaprajna (Steadfast Awareness)
44. After the Knot is Cut Asunder
45. The Power of the Great Ones
46. Service to the Great Ones
47. Ending of Vasanas
48. JIvanmuktas (Liberated while Alive)
49. Jnanis
50. The Jnani’s Actions
51. Self-Abidance
52. Might of Mouna
53. Pure Mouna
54. Supreme Bhakti
55. The Miracle of Jnana
56. Brahman
57. Mukti
58. The Truth Supreme
59. True Being
60. Transcendence of Thought
61. Describing the Experience
62. Equanimity