New translation of the "Ribhu Gita"

Stanley Rice srice at
Thu Jul 13 23:37:33 UTC 1995

Dear Indologists,
Scholarly review of the new "Ribhu Gita" is needed and wanted.
Interested scholars are invited to reply to the publisher
as listed at the end of this announcement.
  Regards, Stan Rice



    Translated by Dr. H. Ramamoorthy, assisted by Master Nome
    Published by the Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) 1995


Very seldom does a central text of an important religious
tradition appear "out of the blue," as in this case. The "Ribhu 
Gita", a consummate work of Advaita Vedanta, is now translated for
the first time into English from the Sanskrit. It is an ancient,
astonishing description of direct Nondual experience, and thus
a spiritual event of great importance--and not only for adherents
of Vedanta. Ribhu declares, in endless variety of narration, the 
central nondual experience of Advaita:

    "I am the Self, which is Brahman alone. I am solely a
    mass of pure Consciousness. I am the sole-existent,
    undivided Essence. I am Brahman alone.
    I am solely of the nature of Knowledge. I am of the
    nature that exists by itself. I am the sole-existent,
    complete Essence. I am Brahman alone.
    I am of the nature of Existence. I, indeed, am of the
    nature of beatitude. I am beyond meaning or absence of
    meaning. I am Brahman alone."
      (From Chapter 1 of the "Ribhu Gita", verses 46-48)

Directness, specificity, and authenticity are strikingly present.
H.H. Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati, a Sankaracharya of the
Kamakoti Pitha, has stated in glowing terms that the "Ribhu
Gita" is to the Sivarahasya as the "Bhagavad Gita" is to the
Mahabharata. Its description of reality most closely resembles 
those in the better-known "Avadhut Gita" and "Ashtavakra Gita." 
First-hand descriptions of the experience of Nonduality are
luminous and rare. And none is more powerful than this classic, as 
the reader can scarcely avoid experiencing. It communicates the
direct experience of the ancient Sage known as Ribhu. (Ribhu also
figures in three of the traditional anthology of 108 Upanishad-s.)
The language is colorful, but points persuasively beyond the limits
of time and circumstance. The Advaitic framework, the traditional
dialog between Guru and Disciple, is enveloped in the universally
penetrating insight that is absolute, beyond any conceptual frame.

There are helpful introductions, and a good glossary. But beyond its
apparently meticulous scholarship, this translation seems intended 
not just for the scholar, but notably for the serious spiritual seeker.
Consider this from the Introduction by Master Nome of SAT:

    "Abandoning the notions of the external, which give rise to
    the appearance of the world, and notions of the internal, which
    give rise to the delusions of mind and an individual, the
    aspirant should have full faith in the sacred Knowledge of
    Advaita Vedanta. Endowed with humility and also with full
    faith in the Guru and in the innate ability to realize the
    Absolute--because all are, in truth, the Absolute Self--he
    should imbibe the sublime wisdom of this Ribhu Gita and abide
    in the natural state of Self-Realization."  

Or this from Dr. Ramamoorthy's introduction:

    "In the Ribhu Gita's strident sweep of Advaita, it brushes aside
    as unreal the Trinity of the gods Brahma, Hari, and Hara, the
    path of action, the concepts of varna (caste) and asrama-s (the
    orders of life), not to speak of the duties prescribed for these.
    It delineate the characteristics of a videhamukta (one liberated
    out of the body) as well as the characteristics of a jivanmukta
    (one liberated while yet in the body), implying that liberation,
    being a function of knowledge, occurs with the destruction of
    avidya (ignorance) and that the continuance of the physical body
    is in no way incompatible with liberation."
The Ribhu Gita was highly recommended by Sri Ramana Maharshi.  
Annamalai Swami, realized disciple of the Maharshi, has said,

    "Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi often said that we should read
    and study the Ribhu Gita regularly ... Bhagavan sat with us
    every day while we chanted extracts from the Ribhu Gita,
    which affirmed the reality of the Self." (Annamalai Swami, in
    "Living by the Words of Bhagavan" by David Godman)

V.S. Ramanan, president of Sri Ramanasramam, has said:

    "Sri Ramana has spoken appreciatively of the Ribhu Gita.
    Hence any devotee of Sri Ramana taking this beautiful book
    in his hand will not fail to feel the love and adoration SAT
    and Master Nome of USA have for Sri Ramana."

The inimitable purity of the Nondual experience conveyed here
is of great interest to all Hindus--and not only devotees of the
great tradition of pure Advaita Vedanta but those of other nondual
traditions: Buddhism, as Theravada and Ch'an/Zen, Sufi mysticism,
and even Christianity, especially as it appears in early Gnosticism.
The book itself has been produced in India, in a manner befitting
its message.

In short, the unexpected availability in English of a major
scripture of such importance as the Ribhu Gita is a rare spiritual
event for which we can all be grateful. Scholarly reviews will be
forthcoming, and we are grateful once again for the care with which 
this timeless tradition of Advaita Vedanta has been handed on over 
the many centuries. 

Note: The first three chapters of the Ribhu Gita will be E-mailed 
free, on request for the file CHAPTERS (to RAMANA at
This is also the Internet address of the publisher.

Stan Rice, Autospec Inc, srice at  


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