A devotee once wrote on a slip of paper that Self-knowledge is the easiest thing, since one already is the Self, and handed it to Bhagavan, asking him to write a poem on the subject. Bhagavan responded with the following poem:
Lo, very easy is Self-Knowledge,
Lo, very easy indeed.
Even for the most infirm
So real is the Self
That compared with it the amlak
In one’s hand appears a mere illusion.
True, strong, fresh for ever stands
The Self. From this in truth spring forth
The phantom body and phantom world.
When this delusion is destroyed
And not a speck remains,
The Sun of Self shines bright and real
In the vast Heart-expanse.
Darkness dies, afflictions end,
And bliss wells up.
The thought ‘I am the body’ is the thread
On which are strung together various thoughts.
Questing within, enquiring ‘Who am I?
And whence this thought?’ all other thoughts
Vanish. And as I, as I within the Heart-cave The Self shines of its own accord.
Such Self-awareness is the only Heaven,
This stillness, this abode of bliss.
Of what avail is knowing things
Other than the Self?
And the Self being known,
What other thing is there to know?
That one light that shines as many selves,
Seeing this Self within
As Awareness’ lightning flash;
The play of Grace; the ego’s death;
The blossoming of bliss.
For loosening karma’s bonds and ending births,
This path is easier than all other paths.
Abide in stillness, without any stir
Of tongue, mind, body. And behold
The effulgence of the Self within;
The experience of Eternity; absence
Of all fear; the ocean vast of Bliss.
Annamalai the Self, the Eye
Behind the eye of mind which sees
The eye and all the other senses
Which know the sky and other elements,
The Being which contains, reveals, perceives
The inner sky that shines within the Heart.
When the mind free of thought turns inward,
Annamalai appears as my own Self.
True, Grace is needed; Love is added.
Bliss wells up.
(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)
— The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi