srimathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srimadh varavaramunayE nama:
sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:
In this article, let us try to understand the basics of svarUpa jnAnam.
The first step in reaching out to emperumAn is to understand who we are (svarUpa jnAnam). Without understanding who we are, it is impossible to understand anything else properly.
Ours is a thathva thraya samprAdhAyam - there are 3 thathvas (entities) - chith, achith and Ishvaran.
- chith is sentient being - infinite number of entities that have knowledge
- achith is non-sentient object - matter that has no knowledge
- Ishvaran is the supreme sentient being who is the single/supreme controller of all chith and achith
- dhEham, etc are seen as objects belonging to the AthmA
- dhEham, etc as seen as mine and AthmA as I
- AthmA is always felt, while dhEham, etc are felt at times and not felt otherwise - for example, while sleeping we dont realise anything else but when we wake up, we understand that we slept well (or not so well).
- dhEham, etc are many but AthmA is one (in relation to each individual) - one person has a child body, later adult body followed by older body - but the person remains the same. Same way there are many senses (touch, vision, etc) but AthmA is only one.
- beyond all of these, sAstram says that AthmA is different from dhEham, etc and that is ultimate pramANam for the ones who accept sAstram.
- anAthamani Athma budhi is ahankAram - i.e., considering what is not AthmA (dhEham, etc) as AthmA. This ahankAram is the cause for dhEhAthma abhimAnam - thinking that AthmA and dhEham (body) are non-different and acting according to that.
- asvE sva budhi is mamakAram - i.e., considering some one else's property as our own. mamakAram is the cause for sva svAthanthriyam - thinking that we (AthmA) are our own (independent) instead of thinking that we are owned by emperumAn and acting according to that.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan