thathtva thrayam is glorified as kutti bhAshyam (miniature version of srI bhAshyam). emperumAnAr wrote detailed commentaries for braham sUthram which became to be famously known as srI bhAshyam and emperumAnAr became to be famously known as srI bhAshyakArar. This is because, it contains all the essential principles of our visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham in the most comprehensive way as outlined in srI bhAshyam in easily understandable sUthrams (aphorisms) in thamizh. This grantham discusses the three fundamental principles namely chith (jIvAthmAs), achith (matter) and Isvaran. A brief summary of this grantham can be viewed at http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/p/thathva-thrayam.html.
With this background, let us now see the translation of thathva thrayam's wonderful introduction given by mAmunigaL.
As mentioned in "anAdhi mAyayA suptha:", since time immemorial, jIvAthmAs in this samsAram due to their connection with matter which causes ignorance (darkness), their intelligence being totally subdued, exist without understanding that jIvAthmA's nature is different from matter (i.e., filled with knowledge and bliss and fully exist for the pleasure of bhagavAn only).
Without the proper understanding,
- the jIvAthmA thinks "dhEvOham manushyOham" (I am a dhEva, I am a human) and considers the insentient body as the same as the self
- even if he understands that he is different from the body, as said in "IsvarOham aham bhOgi" (I am the controller and I am the enjoyer), he starts thinking that he is fully independent
- even if he understands that he is a servitor of bhagavAn, he still engages in worldly pleasures instead of constantly engaging in kainkaryam
As said in "vichithrA dhEha sampaththir IsvarAya nivEdhithum, pUrvamEva kruthA brahman hasthapAdhAdhi samyuthA", when the jIvAthmA is in a subtle state (during layam) just like matter (intelligence fully subdued) without any senses/body and not being able to engage in worldly enjoyment or efforts towards emancipation, the most merciful sarvEsvaran, blesses the jIvAthmA with senses/body to begin the process of approaching bhagavAn's lotus feet.
One can learn the true knowledge in two ways: from sAsthram and through upadhEsam (from preceptors).
- Learning from the sAsthram has the following limitations:
- As said in "sAsthra gyAnam bahu klEsam" - since sAsthram is endless and there are many seemingly contradictory statements, for a common man, it will be difficult to easily study the sAsthram and understand the purports. That is why this is difficult to pursue.
- Even if one is prepared to undergo difficulties in studying sAsthram, as said in "ananthabhAram bahuvEdhithavyam alpachcha kAlO bhahavachcha vignA:", there is so much to learn, but jIvAthmAs (bound souls) have limited intelligence and a limited life span and there are so many hurdles while trying to study sAsthram.
- Finally, even though women and shUdhras qualify to be mumukshus (one who desires for mOksham), they are not qualified to study sAsthram.
- Learning from preceptors have none of the above limitations (as they understand the essence and purport of the sAsthram and transmit the same to the disciples/students in very simple language).
- fully free from any ahankAram (ego)
- always thinking about the well-being of all jIvAthmAs
- never looking for any personal fame, glory, etc.
- Even though AzhwArs were said to be EkagaNtar (one neck with many faces - meaning they all talk about the same principles), by seeing many AzhwArs talk about the same principle, the principle becomes more trustworthy - if many of (trustworthy) persons glorify a particular object, the object becomes well established. Similarly, AchAryas also being EkagaNtar explain the same principles in various granthams so that even the least-intelligent person will also look at several great personalities write about the same principle and become convinced about the validity of the same.
- Also, what is discussed briefly in one grantham will be discussed in detailed in another grantham. So the different granthams are complimentary to each other.
Thus ends the most magnificient introduction section for thathva thrayam. This grantham is greatly glorified for presenting the most complicated principles of our visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham in the simplest possible way. With mAmunigaL's beautiful and precise commentary, this is a great treasure for us to cherish. It is most beneficial if this grantham is heard under an AchArya to understand the principles fully. Let us bow down at the lotus feet of these great AchAryas and be blessed.
Previously, the three principles - chith (jIvAthmAs), achith (matter) and Isvaran were discussed in very simple terms and the same can be viewed at http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/p/thathva-thrayam.html.