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Appalam ittup Pāru

(Song of the Pappadum)


Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi

This was written by Ramana Maharshi, when he was about 29. His mother had come to stay with him on the hill. He had warned her she would have to live the life of a sadhu along with the few other sadhus who were with him, and not start a kitchen etc.

She agreed and came. Soon however, she wanted to make some papads as she recalled her son used to like these to go with his food in the 'home' days before, and so secretively she arranged to procure the necessary raw materials.

On the day she started the project, and was making the dough, she tried to induce Maharshi to join and help in the making, as he had done in the days before he left home. Maharshi would not relent and when she pleaded he told her: "you make your papad and i will make mine"

He knew she used to like to sing tamil folk songs of high philosophic content, and so composed one on the making of Appalams [which is tamil for Papads].

listen to this article, 3 min 44 sec, 5.13 MB mp3 file


Instead of wandering this earth, wearied by longing for peace
follow the incomparable Word of the sadguru pointing to Truth,
roll-out the Papads and see for yourself !

Verse 1

Here encased in the five sheaths of organs, Mind,
Intellect and Sleep of blissful-ignorance
And different from them, grows the kernel, the self, the abhimān felt as 'I'.
Pound it with the wisdom-pestle of the enquiry "Who am I ?"
Reducing it to powder as "not I" "not I"

Verse 2

Now mix the juice of the edible-cactus Pirandai
This is sat-sanga, the company of the elevating which removes discord
Add Jeera and Black-pepper which are Shama and Dama, equanimity and self-restraint
Toss in some salt of Uparati which is non-attachment
Round it off with Heeng which is good vāsanas, the tendencies which free us

Verse 3

With an inward turned pestle of mind pound away 'I-I'
Unrelenting at its stubborn out-going disobedience
Then with the rolling pin of Shanti, roll out on the platter of evenness
The Appalams and see for yourself !

Verse 4

Taking the bottomless vessel of endless-Mauna
With the wholesome oil of the One Self of all
Fired by the flames of wisdom's enquiring
Fry the Papads without let-up
Till the questioning self reaches and remains The Source
Thus you can have the papad and eat it too !

Below is an image of the Tamil text in Bhagavan's handwriting.
you can click the image to view or print the poem. [reproduced from
"Works of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His own Handwriting."]

the Appalam Song, in Tamil script



appaḷam iṭṭu pāru---attai
chāppiṭun āsaiyai tīru.

Anu Pallavi

ip-puvi tannil ēṅgi tiri-yāmaṛ
saṛbōḍa sukha saḍguru vānavaṛ
cheppāḍu chonna tattuva māgiṛa
oppuyar villā vōr-mozhi yinpaḍi ---  (appaḷam)


tān-allā ainkōsa kshētra miḍil-vaḷar
tān-ennu māna-mān ḍānya vuḷun-dai
nānā-ren jñāna vichāra tirigai-yil
nān-alla venḍṛe uḍait-tup poḍittu   (pallavi)

sat-sānga-māgum piraṇḍai rasat-tōḍu
sama-dama māginḍṛa jīraga-miḷa-guḍan
uparati yāgu-mav uppō ḍuḷḷa nal
vāsa-nai yām-peruṅ kāya-muñ chērttu   (pallavi)

kal-neñjil nān-nān enḍṛu kalaṅ-gāmal
uḷmuka vulak-kaiyāl ōyā-diḍittu
shānta-māṅ kuzha-viyāl sama-māna pala-gaiyil
san-tatañ chalip-paṛa santōsha māgavē   (pallavi)

mōna-mud drai-yagum muḍi-villāp pāttrattil
jñānāgni yāl-kāyum naṛ-bramma nei-yaḍil
nān-aḍu vāgavē nāḷum porit-tu
tānē tānāga bujikka tan-maya   (pallavi)
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