A puranam is an ancient story. The title of the work can therefore be roughly translated as ‘Recounting the Ancient Glory of Ramana’. While he is telling his tale and simultaneously singing the praises of his Guru, Muruganar takes the position that the same Siva who took the form of Manikkavachagar’s Guru took a human form again in order to bestow his grace on him.
The subtitle of ‘Siva Puranam’ – ‘The Eternal Nature of Lord Siva, Enduring Through the Ages’ – is therefore appropriate for this work as well since it includes praise of the transcendent unmanifest Siva, Sivam, praise of the Siva who performed the various heroic deeds that are recorded in the Puranas, and extensive portions that sing the glories of that same Siva who took the form of Ramana Maharshi in order to bestow liberation on devotees. The original Tamil poem of ‘Ramana Puranam’ is a single verse comprising 540 lines. The line numbers of the poem are given above .
The translation, editing and annotations have been done by Robert Butler, T. V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman.
Long live the mantra ‘Namo Ramanaya’,
for the benefit [of all living beings].
Long live the fragrant lotus feet of the True One,
who releases us from [our ignorance]!
The beginning of the work echoes the first two lines of ‘Siva Puranam’:
Long live [the mantra] Nama Sivaya! Long live the feet of the Master!
Long live the feet that never, even for an eye’s blink, leave my heart!
‘Namo Ramanaya’ means ‘Obeisance to Ramana’ and ‘Nama Sivaya’, the sacred mantra of all Saivas, means, ‘Obeisance to Siva’.
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