Simple Guide to SrivaishNavam - thathva thrayam - the three entities - short summary

SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:
SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SrI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

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Entities are classified into 3 main categories. chith, achith and ISwara.

chith constitutes the collection of innumerable jIvAthmAs that exist in both nithya vibhUthi (parama padham - eternal spiritual realm) and leelA vibhUthi (samsAram -temporary material realm). By nature, jIvAthmAs are made of gyAnam (knowledge) and have gyAnam too. Since true knowledge is always blissful, when the AthmA is situated in true knowledge, it is blissful too. jIvAthmAs are classified into three – nithyasUris (those who are eternally free), mukthAthmAs (those who were once bound in samsAram but are now liberated) and badhdhAthmAs (those who are bound in samsAram). badhdhAthmAs too are further classified into bhubhukshus (those who want to enjoy in this samsAram) and mumukshus (those who want to be liberated). mumukshus are further classified kaivalyArthis (those who desire for self-realization and self-enjoyment) and bhagavath kainkaryArthis (those who want to serve bhagavAn eternally in parama padham). For further reading, please visit .

achith constitutes the variegated collection of insentient objects that are visible to our gross senses. They are in unmanifested state after the period of total destruction and become manifested during creation. achith is also present in both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi. While, in general, achith (matter) covers the true knowledge in the material realm, in the spiritual realm it facilitates true knowledge. achith is classified in to sudhdha sathvam (pure goodness – which is mainly seen in parama padham), miSra sathvam (goodness mixed with passion and ignorance – which is mainly seen in samsAram) and sathva sUnyam (devoid of any goodness) – which is kAlam (time). For further reading, please visit .

ISwara is SrIman nArAyaNan who is the supreme lord and the divine consort of SrI mahAlakshmi. bhagavAn which means possessor of six qualities in full, the qualities being gyAna (knowledge), bala (strength), aiSwarya (control), vIrya (valour), Sakthi (power), thEjas (radiance). These six qualities further expand into many innumerable auspicious qualities. He is the abode of all auspicious qualities and opposite of all inauspicious qualities. All chith and achith rest on him and are also pervaded by him – so he is both existing within them and bearing them. He being the supreme master of everything, all chith and achith purely exist for his pleasure. For further reading, please visit .

Similarities between the entities:
  • Both ISwara and chith (jIvAthmAs) are sentient beings. 
  • Both chith (sentient) and achith (insentient) are properties of ISwara. 
  • Both ISwara and achith have the ability to transform chith into their own characterstics. For example, when a jIvAthmA engages in too much material activities, he too becomes like matter with respect to knowledge (i.e., becoming devoid of it). Similarly, when a jIvAthmA engages fully in bhagavath vishayam (spiritual matters), he becomes liberated from worldly bindings and becomes truly blissful like bhagavAn.
Distinctions between the entities:
  • The distinguishing/unique quality of ISwara is his supremacy over everything else and He being omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, et al. 
  • The distinguishing quality of chith is having the knowledge about total servitude towards ISwara. 
  • The distinguishing quality of achith is being devoid of knowledge and existing purely for others. 
Also read an introduction to piLLai lOkAchAryrar’s thathva thrayam rahasya grantham at .

AzhwAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
piLLai lOkAchAryar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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