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Sri Tripura Rahasya or Haritayana Samhita

Translated by
(Sri Munagala S. Venkataramaia)
© Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai. South India.
Fifth Edition, 1989. Reprinted 1994


Tripura Rahasya was considered by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi as one of the greatest works that expounded advaita philosophy. He often quoted from it and regretted that it was not available in English. As a consequence Sri Munagala Venkataramaiah (now Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi) took up the work of translation in 1936 as another labour of love, adding just one more English translation to his already extensive store. This was first published in parts in the Bangalore Mythic Society’s Journal (Quarterly) from January 1938 to April 1940 and afterwards collected into book form, of which five hundred copies were printed and privately circulated. The Asramam has since taken over the copyright and made it one of their official publications.

The work originally in Sanskrit is widely known in India and has been translated into a number of local languages, but I do not know of any previous translation in English. It is regarded as one of the chief text-books on Advaita, the reading of which alone is sufficient for Salvation. Sri Ananda Coomaraswami quotes from it with appreciation in his book, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

I for one much appreciate the present translation which will now be easily available for all who know English. Sri Ramanananda Saraswathi has put us under a great obligation by his painstaking work. It will surely be a gratification to him to know that his labour of love has at last found a permanent abiding-place and will not be lost to future generations, for many of whom it must become a spiritual text book.

October 16, 1959. Sri Ramanasramam
SADHU ARUNACHALA (Major A. W. Chadwick, O.B.E.)



Introductory Note


CHAPTER II – Obligatory Sense towards Action Condemned and Investigation Recommended

CHAPTER III – The Antecedent Cause for Learning the Gospel. Association with the Wise must precede “Vichara”

CHAPTER IV – Disgust for Worldly Enjoyments is Inculcated so that Dispassion might be Developed

CHAPTER V – On Bondage and Release

CHAPTER VI – On the Merits of Faith for gaining the Goal and on the Harmfulness of Dry Polemics

CHAPTER VII – That the Goal is gained only after Ascertaining God by Faith, Effort and Approved Logic, and Devotion to him

CHAPTER VIII – Key to the Parable of Chapter V

CHAPTER IX – How that Hemachuda Realised the Self after Analysing His own Mind and Plunging within

CHAPTER X – On Further Instructions by His Beloved, He got Samadhi in spite of His External Activities and Remained in the State of Emancipation even while Alive

CHAPTER XI – That the Cosmos is not other than Intelligence

CHAPTER XII – The Appearance of the Reality of the Universe depends on the Strength of Will of Creation

CHAPTER XIII – How Wakefulness and Dream are similar in Nature and Objects are only Mental Images

CHAPTER XIV – How the Universe is Mere Imagination; How to gain that Strong Will which can create it; and the Highest Truth

CHAPTER XV – On what need be known and need not be known and on the Nature of the Self

CHAPTER XVI – On Consciousness; Control of Mind; and Sleep

CHAPTER XVII – On the Uselessness of Fleeting Samadhis and the Way to Wisdom



CHAPTER XX – Vidya Gita

CHAPTER XXI – On the accomplishment of Wisdom, its Nature and Scriptural Lore

CHAPTER XXII – The Conclusion

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