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Ozhivil Odukkam

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Item Code: NAY363
Author: Kannudaiya Vallar
Publisher: Sri Ramanasramam, Tamil Nadu
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788182882829
Pages: 230
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 280 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the Book
Like the Upadesha Undiyar and Ulladu Narpadu of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Ozhivil Odukkam is one of those rare books that challenges the reader to leave the comfort zone of the ego-based mind and intellect and seek the truth of his or her own being in the non-dual realm of pure awareness. As such, Ozhivil Odukkam was an essential book in Sri Ramana's couch-side revolving book case and he frequently quoted from it. Though superficially couched in the terminology of Saiva Siddhanta, it reveals along the way how, in the final analysis, all doctrinal differences of whatever nature cease to exist, upon the death of the ego-mind.

Sri Ramanasramam welcomes the opportunity to publish this important work for the first time in the English language for the benefit of all seekers on the spiritual path.

The serialisation of a translation and commentary by J. Jayaraman of Ozhivil Odukkam by Kannudaiya Vallalar was first begun in the July issue of the Mountain Path magazine, 2004, and continued over the following three issues, ending in April 2005 at verse 38. Readers are recommended to consult these articles, which contain many original and thought-provoking insights. Previously, J Jayaraman had edited and published in the Mountain Path a selection of 88 verses from the unpublished translation by Munagala S.Venkataramiah (see Previous editions and translations in the Introduction, p. x). These articles appeared in the four 1988 issues, under the title To Withdraw as Pure Being - Ozhivil Odukkam.

Aware of the significance of the work and of the importance accorded to it by Sri Ramana himself, Sri Ramanasramam began a new serialisation of the entire work in the Mountain Path, beginning in April 2013 and ending in July 2018. The translation was by Robert Butler and the commentary by Robert Butler with contributions from S. Ram Mohan.

The Ashram is now publishing the complete work in a single volume. Whilst being based on the articles published in the Mountain Path, it is a more detailed work. The general commentary which accompanied the original articles has been replaced by numbered footnotes, headed in most cases by quotations from the actual text in a slightly modified form of the Roman diacritic representation employed in the Madras Tamil Lexicon. Additionally numerous new quotations have been added, mainly from the works of Sri Ramana himself, which highlight the Advaitic stance of the author, Kannudaiya Vallalar, revealing in the process a degree of commonality between the two teachers, both in content and in style.

Due to the preponderance of Saiva Siddhanta themes in the work as a whole and the style of its learned commentary by Tirupporur Chidambara Swamigal, which relies heavily on Siddhanta exegesis, somewhat at the expense of its Advaitic content, Ozhivil Odukkam has not until now been widely recognised as a major work in the Advaita canon.

Ozhivil Odukkam by Kannudaiya Vallalar is a 15th century Tamil work in 253 venba verses. Its main assertion, which it drives home by means of numerous terse and pithy illustrations, often drawn from everyday life, is that the non-dual reality is unattainable in the mental world of the body-bound consciousness, and that, to attain it, or rather to realise it as our true nature, we must abandon all concepts, whether of Vedanta, Siddhanta or anything else, relying entirely on the inner witness of our own consciousness. The work is clearly written from the perspective of one schooled in the philosophy of Saiva Siddhanta, a circumstance which is compounded by the fact that the only available commentary, by Tirupporur Chidambara Swamigal, an eminent Tamil poet and scholar, leans heavily towards Siddhanta terminology rather than emphasising the advaitic aspect of the verses. However such considerations do not in the final analysis detract from the fact that Ozhivil Odukkam is a great work of Advaita, with many parallels to the teachings of Sri Ramana himself.

It is a work which advocates the path of Self-knowledge as the means to liberation, very much in the manner of Sri Ramana's Ulladu Narpadu (with certain reservations), and there are a number of verses which recall the latter both in style and content. It mercilessly lampoons false gurus with their pedantry and posturing, and warns against the ego which only perpetuates its own existence in its ridiculous and self-defeating attempts to transcend itself. As for the style, the text is terse and vivid, full of striking images which are deliberately designed to jar and shock the consciousness of the reader out of its comfortable ego-based frame of reference.

Ozhivil Odukkam is written entirely within the frame of reference of the philosophical school of Saiva Siddhanta.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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