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Re: nityatvam of jIva-s & paratvam of SrIman-nArAyaNa

From: Madhavakkannan V (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 22:44:48 PST

SrImathE gOpAla-deSika-mahA-dESikAya nama:

Dear SrI-vaishNava-s

It is said that the jIva-s always existed from beginningless time.
How do we understand this correctly, in conjunction with the paratvam
of SrIman-nArAyaNa?

Please be informed that this is a question asked in earnestness.

Thank you,

aDiyEn Ramkumar rAmAnuja dAsan
SrImathE Gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:

Dear Sri Ramkumar,

Our VisishtAdvaita Srivaishnava Sri philosophy talks about three tattvams 
(or reals):
1. Chit- soul- self- AthmA or Chethanan (JivAthmA) This is sentient and has 
jnAnam (knwoledge)
2. Achit- or matter- it is non sentient and has no knowledge.
3. Iswara (Supreme Lord)

The jIvathmAs (infinite in number) donot have beginning or end; it is 
eternal; it is atomic in size. No death for jIvAthmA; it is only for the 
body; The jIvan passes from one body to other depending on karmA or attains 
mOksha (when performs bhakti yogam or prapatti).
JIvAtmAs are also further classified into:
a. baddha- who are subjected to repeated births and deaths and are bound in 
b. muktha- who are released from the bondage of samsaara and have attained 
mOksha (by performing bhakti yogam or prapatti)
c. nithya- who are eternally liberate like Adhiseshan, Garuda, Vishvaksenar 
and others.

Iswara -the Supreme Lord is Sriman Narayanan.
He is the Master; Supporter; Controller of everything (other than Him)
He is present everywhere and knows everything. Out of compassion for us, 
Sriman Narayanan takes avtaars as Rama, Krishna, out of freewill and desire. 
The avtaars are not bound by karmas and are not like our births. The purpose 
of avtaars is to protect good and punish the wicked and to uphold dharma. 
Out of His compassion for us, He takes archA avtaars and shows Himself in 
Divya mangaLa vigraham at His chosen places (divya dEsams- ugandhu aruLina 

The most important priniciple of VisishTadvaita philosophy is the sarIra 
sarIri (Body/Soul) relationship between chethana, achethana and Iswara. The 
Lord (Iswara) is the soul; and other two tattvas chethana and achethana form 
His Body.

It is to be noted that the "sarIrI" needn't be physically present inside a 
"sarIrA". This is not a condition to be met out for the sarIra-sarIrI bhAvA 
to hold good..

Thus Sriman NArAyaNA supports and controls all jIvAtmAs, and all the 
jIvAtmAs exist purely for His enjoyment. Thus, the very essential nature 
(svaroopam) of a jIvAtmA is to perform kainkaryam to Sriman NArAyaNA for His 
pleasure and performance of any other activity doesn't conform to its 

To recapitulate:

Yes. JivAthmAs are existent from time memorial; just like the Lord. (so is 
the achEthana). Everything (in leela vibhUthi)has been either inside His 
stomach (during mahApraLayam) or outside ; (Nithya vibhUthi stays nithyam 
-permament). (even devas are temporary. remember- uNdu, umizhndha eccil 
dEvar. Thus, jIvAs are eternal (just like the Lord). jiVas are born (out of 
Him) and go back to Him (to His stomach). They lie dormant in His stomach; 
Out of compassion, Lord grants opportunity to jIvAs for being born again so 
that at least then, if we think of Him, and surrender to His Lotus Feet. 
(But.. we immerse ourselves in sensual pleasures and materialistic desires))

He ALONE is the Master (PARATHVAM); because everyone else is His servants; 
Master and servants-ever present al all times.
otthAr mikkAr illAdha maamAyan avan.

unnOdu uRavEl namakku ingu ozhikka ozhiyaadhu; (AND)
uRROmE aavOm; umakkE naam AtcheyvOm..
conveys all...

This sarIra sarIri is also echoed by Thirumazhisai AzhwAr with a simili: 
Like the ocean which has waves spreading out from its own(though waves look 
and are different from the ocean), and takes the whole lot of waves back to 
its own waters; (and then the cycle repeats.) You (the Lord) let the moving 
(chith) and non moving (achit) be born and dead and then take them 
converging back to you (during mahApraLayam) (please forgive me for my free 

thannuLE thiraiththezhum tharanka veNthadankadal
thannuLEthiraiththezhun^thadankukinRa thanmaipOl
ninnuLEpi RanthiRanthu niRpavum thiripavum,
ninnuLEya dankukinRa nIrmain^in_kaN ninRathE.
(Thirucchandha viruttham- 10)

Sri Paraasara Bhattar compares the same to Peacock and its feathers that 
expand when dancing and again goes back (after the performance). What great 
examples! (even dull headed ones like me can perceive!)

Hope I have not confounded your confusion.
Any questions, do not ask me (I know nothing). Please ask the erudite 
scholars of the list:-) It is my bhagyam to write this on EkAdasi dhinam. 
Thanks for giving us an opportunity to talk about this.
Namo Narayana
aDiyEn dAsAnu dAsan

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