By Lakshmana Sarma, translated by ‘KAYS’
Published by V. S. Ramanan, President, Sri Ramanasramam
‘Reality in Forty Verses’ is the usual English translation of Ulladu Narpadu, the most important of Ramana Maharshi’s philosophical poems. Composed in the 1920s at the request of Muruganar, the original Tamil text summarizes all the main points of Bhagavan’s teachings in verse form. Two years after the first publication of the original Tamil verses, Ramana Maharshi gave private lessons to K. Lakshman Sarma on their true meaning. These lessons and explanations were needed because literary Tamil, the language in which the verses were composed, is inaccessible to those who have not undergone a proper training in the subtleties of Tamil prosody. After K. Lakshman Sarma (who was both a lawyer and a vedantic scholar) had received his lessons and satisfied Sri Ramana that he had properly understood the content of the verses, he wrote this commentary in Tamil on the meaning of the verses. This Tamil commentary was shown to Sri Ramana prior to its publication, and he often referred to it when visitors asked him about the meanings of his writings.