The 108 Names of Sri Bhagavan (Ramana Ashtothara 96-108) Original Sanskrit by Sri Viswanatha Swami and English Translation & Commentary by Professor K. Swaminathan
96. Avichyuta nija prajnah: One who never swerves from Self-awareness.
[Father Siva, who is absolute Awareness, and Muruga, who seems to meet and mate with the world, are in substance one. Skanda does not swerve from self-awareness; rather he shares it with others in order to enjoy all the better that sole Awareness. Absolute Awareness is beyond all categories, it is all-transcendent ananda. Relative awareness is awareness of awareness, joy of mutuality, a stirring, a movement, a ripple. The ripple, the movement, the relativity is only an appearance, it exists only for Valli and for her benefit. Valli is only the human manifestation of the divine Deivasena, as Muruga is the human manifestation of Subramanyam. Mey is the outer truth or the body, as unmai is the inner truth or the spirit. There was a visible, living body moving before our eyes like a father, mother, child, master, teacher, friend or patient. This body, this mey, was used by Bhagavan as a medium with which to perceive the world and help others to perceive it aright. All this is not swerving from, but fully experiencing and exercising, his nija prajna, his self- awareness, as the ‘I-I’, all atman, seated in all beings. (Bh. Gita, X. 20). Bhagavan is and functions as the heart of all mankind and all the world. The world was and is in him; but he was not in the world. Only his body was. The universal becomes available to each one of us as a unique possession when we see our own inmost Self in such a manifestation. Bhagavan sees all of us and the whole world as Himself. The devotee sees in Bhagavan his own self].
Om Avichyuta nija prajnaya namah.
97. Naisargika mahatapah:One spontaneously blazing forth as Pure Awareness, a great tapasvi by his very nature.
[Bhagavan did not deliberately perform tapas, as the Sun does not choose to emit rays. As the last verse of Upadesa Sara declares, egoless living is itself the most excellent tapas. Bhagavan shines as the eternal I, effortlessly and without a thought, now as then. A sthitaprajna, one established in Self- awareness, he blesses the world by his mere presence, which continues even though the body is no more. It is this Presence which we invoke in this puja].
Om Naisargika maha tapase namah.
98. Kamandalu-dhara: One who holds the waterjug.
[The Kamandalu is a symbol of purity, simplicity and firmness. The water flows out of the vessel as Grace from his eyes. Unerringly he pours out on those he chooses the cool, cleansing waters of immortality].
Om Kamandalu dharaya namah.
99. Subhra Koupina vasanah: Wearer of a pure white Koupina.
[The waterjug and the clean white codpiece are marks of utmost simplicity. The barest necessities of human existence, they suggest what the renunciant can do without. This man the wisest and the happiest man we know, possessed nothing beyond a body, a water jug and a strip of cloth].
Om Subhra koupina vasanaya namah.
100. Guhah: Subrahmanya, dweller in the heart cave.
[Compare No. 20 of the supplement to the Forty Verses: The Lord who dwells and shines in the Heart-Lotus is worshipped as Guhesa (Guha, the Lord, or Lord of the Cave). When by continued effort, the conviction “I am that Guhesa” becomes as firm as the sense of ‘I’ in your body, and you become that Lord, the false notion that one is the body will disappear as darkness in the face of the Sun].
Om Guhaya namah.
101. Dandapani: Wielder of the staff of wisdom.
[Subrahmanya uses this staff to drive away the demon of ignorance].
Om Dandapanaye namah.
102. Krupapârnah: One full of Grace.
[As Grace he pervades the whole universe].
Om Krupapârnaya namah.
103. Bhavaroga bhishagvarah: Best of physicians who destroys the ego, the root-cause of all disease and discomfort.
[The disease of mistaking this phenomenal existence as real is cured radically by destroying the ego].
Om Bhavaroga bhishagvaraya namah.
104. Skandah: Kumara, as the earthly manifestation of Siva.
[The sphurana, the vibration, of ‘I-I’ in the heart, is Skanda, God accessible and active on earth, a ray of the transcendent and unapproachable Sun who is Siva].
Om Skandaya namah.
105. Devatamah: Best of gods, God supreme.
[The Supreme is accessible to us here and now, like this morning’s sun, not yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. This God of Every Day is immanent in us and the world. (Cf., Derek Neville’s poem in the Mountain Path, April, 1975)
I will not have God in his heaven,
And part of his creation Still in hell.
I want God grimy with the grime of men
Hewing in face of coal;
Glistening in sweat
On brows, tired of work.
I want God dirty with the dirt of towns,
All soot-encrusted there among the chimney-pots.
I want heaven and God put back where they belong –
Waiting on earth
Until men come to see
The glory of the every-day
Behind their greed and blindness.
Oh – he shall sing with birds upon the bough
And he shall ride up there among the blue,
In the dark night of cities,
Among the earth-bound, And the dead.
Then, then shall he be waiting
Like a jewel
Hid in the dark, clay-shuttered Souls of men.
Freed, at long last, from pulpit
And from pew,
From sect and creed,
From Litany and Mass;
No longer what we seek,
But what we’ve found –
Here, on the common earth,
In common ways,
God of the even-day
With every heart a manger,
And every life a throne].
Om Devatamaya namah.
106. Amartyah: Immortal one.
[One consciously identified with Eternal Awareness not the mortal body. This immortal spirit is present as ‘I-I’ within each one of us, but we forget it. Thinking of Bhagavan who never forgot it, we share his immortality].
Om Amartyaya namah.
107. Senani: Commander of the army.
[Skanda is the Lord of the divine Hosts vanquishing the demons of evil tendencies, latent and patent; born of the ego. When the Self destroys the ego, the battle is won].
Om Senanye namah.
108. Purushottamah: The Supreme Person.
[Bhagavan is the supreme person present as sovereign awareness in all persons. He is thus the purushottama who as Awareness unites all persons in one common being. Awareness-Bliss, the great God Siva, the magnetic Mountain Arunachala, the pure awareness shining as ‘I-I’ in every human heart – all these are names and forms of one Purusha, the only Purusha, whose most glorious vibhuti and active manifestation in our age is Sri Ramana].
Om Purushottamaya namah.