ULLADU NAARPADU (Reality in Forty Verses): Verse #17

(Reality in Forty Verses)

The famous Vedantic poem in Tamil by Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi
(consisting of two preliminary verses called Mangalam,
40 verses which form the main text ,
and another 40 verses called the Appendix)
Detailed Commentary in Tamil by Lakshmana Sharma,
adapted into English by Profvk

(Continued from ULLADU NAARPADU – Verse No.16
See Post#48650 Of Harsha Satsangh

Lakshmana Sharma’s Introduction to Verse No.17

As of now the Jiva-Ishvara-Universe have been shown to be mithyA. Without contradicting it, it is also shown that they are not absolutely unreal in the sense in which a hare’s horn is; on the other hand they are real as a part (amsha) of the adhishhTAna. In the coming two verses, it is explained how the ajnAni, without recognising the adhishhTAna (substratum), wrongly thinks of the superposed world as real, whereas the jnAni knows it truly as is.

The jnAni mentioned here is the JIvan-mukta who appears for the world to be with a body.

How the two, jnAni and ajnani, cognise the body, is taken up in Verse #18.

Verse #17

uDal nAne, tannai uNarArkku, uNarnthArkku;
uDalaLave nAn, tan(nai) uNarArkku;
uDaluLLe tan(nai) uNarnthArkku ellai aRat tAn oLirum nAn
iduve innavartam bEdam ena eN.

Sanskrit Version

svo deho bhavati dvayor-avidushho vijnAta-tatvasya ca
svaM dehAvadhikaM pRthak paravibhor-ajno jano manyate /
jnasya svo vapushho’ntarahito’bhinnaH parasmAd-vibhoH
bhAty-evaM mahatI bhidAsti hi tayoH svajnasya cAjnasya ca//

Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)

The body is the Self, both to him that does not know the Self and to him that knows. The one that knows not believes himself to be limited to the body and distinct from God the All. To the knower of the Real Self within, He shines as the Infinite Being, not other than God. Great indeed is the difference between the knower of the Self and the non-knower!

Translation (Prof. K. Swaminathan)

To those who do not know the Self and to those who do, the body is the `I’. But to those who do not know the Self the `I’ is bounded by the body; while to those who within the body know the Self the `I’ shines boundless. Such is the difference between them.

Translation (Osborne)

To those who have not realized the Self, as well as to those who have, the word ‘I’ refers to the body, but with this difference, that for those who have not realized, the ‘I’ is confined to the body whereas for those who have realized the Self within the body the ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self.

Word for word (Tamil verse)

uDal nAne : The body is the ‘I’
tannai uNarArkku: to those who have not realized the Self;
tannai uNarnthArkku: (and) to those who have realized the Self.
tan(nai) uNarArkku: For those who have not realized the Self,
uDal aLave nAn: the ‘I’ is limited to the body, (whereas)
tan(nai) uNarnthArkku: for those who have realized the Self,
uDaluLLe : within the body
tAn oLirum nAn : it is the ‘I’ that shines as the Self (that is)
ellai aRa : limitless; infinite.
iduve: It is this that is
bEdam: the difference
innavartam: between these two.
ena eN: Know it thus.

Commentary in Tamil by Lakshmana Sharma

Both the jnAni (the enlightened) and the ajnAni (the unenlightened) call this body as ‘I’, the Atman. But the two have different meanings.

When the ajnAni refers to the body as ‘I’, he does not distinguish between the body and the Atman; he thinks that there is no self other than the body. And he moves about in the world as per that conception. This is the dehAtma-buddhi – the notion that the body is the Atman. It is Ego. It is Ignorance.

When the jnAni calls the body as ‘I’, he feels the Self as the Infinite Existence-Knowledge which is the reality as the substratum for everything including the body. The body is a false appearance on that Existence-Knowledge and so is not foreign to it. In his view there is nothing that is foreign to that Existence-Knowledge. This will come out in Verse 31. Because of this insight he does not think of the body as non-self. The Self is everything; therefore, the body also is the Self. In other words, for the jnAni, it is not the ‘body’. If you think of it as the body it is unreal. But since he thinks of it as the Self that is the substratum, it is real. Thus for the jnAni the body is not ‘body’. Nor does he have any attachment to it. By this it is clear that the viewpoint of the jnAni and that of the ajnAni are totally different.

Why do the two views appear to be the same? It is because the Self is everything.

Because of the dehAtma-buddhi of the ajnAni, the Real Self is hidden by the body and he confusedly thinks that the body is the Atman. On the other hand by the clarity of Self Realisation, for the jnAni, the false body becomes false and only the Infinite Atman shines before him. This is what Bhagavan is saying.

(To be continued in Verse # 18).

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