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Our true nature -- vaarththaamaalai 22

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Fri Mar 12 1999 - 14:34:32 PST

vArttAmAlai 22

	The body is inert and unconscious;
	the individual self within consists of consciousness.

	One is the very foundation of sorrow; 
	the other consists of bliss itself.

	One is dirty; the other is stainless.
	One can be destroyed; the other is eternal.
	One is a product of change; the other is of a single form.
	One is gross; the other is infinitesimally subtle.
	One is darkness; the other is light.
	One induces sleep; the other induces understanding.
	One induces anger; the other induces forbearance.
	One is impure; the other, pure.

	God is the protector, 
	       the whole, 
	       the cause,
               the innermost self,
               the supporter,
	       the pervader, 
	       the controller, 
	       the independent one, 
	       the refuge,
	       the one who should be served --
	Why say so much?
	He is the Master.

	The individual self is the one to be protected,
	       the part belonging to the whole,
	       the effect,
	       the body,
	       the supported,
	       the pervaded,
	       the controlled,
	       the dependent one,
	       the one comes for refuge,
	       the one who serves --
	Why say so much?
	He is the slave (adiyan).


1) This vArttai contains the basic conclusions of
   Visishtadvaita Vedanta.  It describes the three elements of 
   Reality, known as the 'tattva-traya' -- matter, of which 
   our bodies are made, the individual self (the jIva), and God,
   ISvara.  God is the One Reality who stands as the 
   Self of all, encompassing the jIva as well as matter as 
   Its body.  
   These are the fundamentals upon which the rest of the Vedantic 
   approach to life is built.   

2) The first section teaches us to stop confusing our bodies
   with our true selves. The body is nothing but matter; it is
   inert, incapable of thought.  The self by its very nature 
   is conscious, pure, and blissful; the confusion of the self with
   the body is the basis of all sorrow.  Recognizing the difference 
   between the two goes hand in hand with overcoming the main 
   obstacles to spiritual growth, egotism and possessiveness.

3) But this is not the end. Both matter and the jIva stand
   subordinate to ISvara, who is the Whole.  It all comes down
   to this -- PerumaaL is the master, we are all His slaves.


Original, p. 38-9 in puththUr svaami's edition

Sareeram - jadamaayirukkum; aathmaa - jnaanamayamaayirukkum.
duHkhaatmakamaayirukkum; aanandhamayamaayirukkum.
azhukkaayirukkum; nirmalamaayirukkum.
azhiyumaayirukkum; nithyamaayirukkum.
pariNaamiyaayirukkum; EkarUpiyaayirukkum.
vibhuvaayirukkum; aNuvaayirukkum.
iruLaayirukkum; oLiyaayirukkum.
nidhraiyaayirukkum; uNarcciyaayirukkum.
kOpamaayirukkum; kshamaiyaayirukkum.
aSuddhamaayirukkum; Suddhamaayirukkum.

ISvaran, rakshakanaayirukkum; SEshiyaayirukkum;
kaaraNamaayirukkum; SarIriyaayirukkum, dhaarakanaayirukkum,
vyaapakanaayirukkum, niyanthaavaayirukkum;
svathanthranaayirukkum; SaraNyanaayirukkum;
sEvyanaayirukkum; palacolliyen? naayakanaayirukkum.

aathmaa, rakshyanaayirukkum; SEshamaayirukkum;
kaaryamaayirukkum; SarIramaayirukkum, dhaaryanaayirukkum,
vyaapyanaayirukkum, niyaamyanaayirukkum;
parathanthranaayirukkum; SaraNaagathanaayirukkum;
sEvakanaayirukkum; palacolliyen? adiyanaayirukkum.