In this work, Bhagavan Ramana summarises the teachings that Lord Siva gave in ancient days to the ascetics in the Daruka Forest, indicating in the first fifteen verses that all other spiritual practices must eventually lead to the simple practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), which is the only means to eradicate ego, and then explaining this practice in more depth in verses 16 to 30. - Michael James

Verse 1: Action giving fruit is by the ordainment of God. Since action is non-aware, is action God?
Verse 2: The fruit of action having perished, as seed it causes to fall in the ocean of action. It is not giving liberation.
Verse 3: Desireless action done for God, purifying the mind, it will show the path to liberation.


Verse 4: This is certain: pūjā, japa and dhyāna are actions of body, speech and mind. One than one is superior.
Verse 5: Worshipping thinking that all eight forms are forms of God is good pūjā of God.
Verse 6: Rather than praising; in a loud voice; rather than japa within the mouth, what is done by mind is beneficial. This is called dhyāna.
Verse 7: Rather than meditating leavingly, certainly meditating unleavingly, like a river or the falling of ghee, is superior to meditate.
Verse 8: Rather than anya-bhāva, certainly ananya-bhāva, in which he is I, is the best among all.


Verse 9: By the strength of meditation, being in sat-bhāva, which transcends bhāvana, alone is para-bhakti tattva.
Verse 10: Subsidingly being in the place from which one rose: that is karma and bhakti; that is yōga and jñāna.


Verse 11: When one restrains the breath within, like a bird caught in a net the mind also will be restrained. This is a means to restrain.
Verse 12: Mind and breath are two branches, which have knowing and doing. Their root is one.
Verse 13: Dissolution is two: laya and nāśa. What is lying down will rise. If form dies, it will not rise.
Verse 14: Only when one sends the mind, which will become calm when one restrains the breath, on the investigating path will its form perish.
Verse 15: When the form of the mind is annihilated, for the great yōgi who remains permanently as the reality, there is not a single doing. He has attained his nature.


Verse 16: Leaving external phenomena, the mind knowing its own form of light is alone real awareness.


Verse 17: When one investigates the form of the mind without forgetting, there is not anything called ‘mind’. This is the direct path for everyone whomsoever.


Verse 18: Thoughts alone are mind. Of all, the thought called ‘I’ alone is the root. What is called mind is ‘I’.


Verse 19: When one investigates within what the place is from which one rises as ‘I’, ‘I’ will die. This is awareness-investigation.


Verse 20: In the place where ‘I’ merges, that, the one, appears spontaneously as ‘I am I’. That itself is the whole.


Verse 21: That is at all times the substance of the word called ‘I’, because of the exclusion of our non-existence even in sleep, which is devoid of ‘I’.


Verse 22: Since body, mind, intellect, life and darkness are all jaḍa and asat, they are not ‘I’, which is sat.


Verse 23: Because of the non-existence of other awareness to be aware of what exists, what exists is awareness. Awareness alone exists as we.


Verse 24: By existing nature, God and soul are just one substance. Only adjunct-awareness is different.


Verse 25: Knowing oneself leaving aside adjuncts is itself knowing God, because of shining as oneself.


Verse 26: Being oneself alone is knowing oneself, because oneself is devoid of two. This is tanmaya-niṣṭhā.


Verse 27: Only knowledge that is devoid of knowledge and ignorance is knowledge. This is real. There is not anything for knowing.


Verse 28: If one knows what the nature of oneself is, then beginningless, endless and unbroken existence-awareness-happiness.


Verse 29: Standing in the state, thereby experiencing supreme bliss devoid of bondage and liberation, is standing in the service of God.


Verse 30: ‘I ceasing, if one knows what remains, what, that alone is good tapas’: thus said Lord Ramana, who is oneself.