Dharma Message for January, February 2006

Ramana Maharshi The Song of the Poppadum

No need about the world to roam
And suffer from depression;
Make poppadum within the home
According to the lesson
Of ‘THOU ART THAT’, without compare,
The Unique Word, unspoken,
‘Tis not by speech it will declare.
The silence is unbroken
Of Him who is the Adept-Sage,
The great Apotheosis,
With His eternal heritage
That Being-Wisdom-Bliss is.

Make poppadum and after making fry,
Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy.
The grain which is the black gram’s yield,
The so-called self or ego,
Grown in the body’s fertile field
Of five-fold sheaths, put into
The roller-mill made out of stone,
Which is the search for Wisdom,
The ‘Who am I?’. ‘Tis thus alone
The Self will gain its freedom.
This must be crushed to finest dust
And ground up into fragments
As being the non-self, so must
We shatter our attachments.

Make poppadum . . .

Mix in the juice of square-stemmed vine,
This association
With Holy Men. With this combine
Within the prepartion
Some of the cummin-seed of mind-control
And pepper of restraining
The wayward senses, with them roll
That salt which is remaining
Indifferent to the world we see,
With condiment of leanings
Towards a virtuous unity.
These are their different meanings.

Make poppadum . . .

The mixture into dough now blend
And on the stone then place it
Of mind, by tendencies hardened,
And without ceasing baste it
With heavy strokes of the ‘I-I’
Delivered with the pestle
Of introverted mind. Slowly
the mind will cease to wrestle.
The roll out with the pin of peace
Upon the slab of Brahman.
Continue effort without cease
With energetic elan.

Make poppadum . . .

The poppadum or soul’s now fit
To put into the fry-pan,
The one infinite symbol it
Of the great Silence, which can
Be first prepared by putting in
Some clarified fresh butter
Of the Supreme. And now begin
To heat it till it splutter,
On Wisdom’s self-effulgent flame
Fry poppadum, ‘I’, as That.
Enjoying all alone the same;
Which bliss we ever aim at.

Make poppadum of self and after eat;
Of Perfect Peace then you will be replete.

NOTE: Poppadum is a thin, light, round wafer-like food, usually made of black gram. It is fried and is much relished by the inhabitants of India. This recipe is common in South India…

From The Poems of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Translated and Rendered into English Verse by
Sadhu Arunachala (Major A. W. Chadwick)
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai