Posted in Naalayiram, Philosophy, Thiruvaimozhi

Thiruvaimozhi – First Decad – Paasurams 9 & 10

உளனெனிலுளன் அவனுருவமிவ்வுருவுகள் *
உளனலனெனில் அவனருவமிவ்வருவுகள் *
உளனெனவிலனென இவைகுணமுடைமையின் *
உளனிருதகைமையோடு ஒழிவிலன்பரந்தே (TVM 1.1.9)

Be it said (as the theists say) that “He is”, or (as the Atheists say) “He is not”, (both ways) His existence is established. He exists, at all times and in all places together with the aggregate of the formless sentient beings and the non-sentient things with shape and size, both in the gross state (embodied and therefore visible) and in the subtle state (disembodied and therefore objectively imperceptible).


(i) In the above translation, the theists (Vaidikas) are those; who subscribe to the authority of the Vedas;
(ii) The atheists (Nastikas) are those who deny the existence to a thing, which forms the subject of such denial. That thing should be there, at least notionally, as nothing as such, does not warrant denial, and rather needs no denial.

Thus, this stanza cuts across the exponents of “Sunya Vada” or the doctrine of nothingness (Refer: Buddhist Philosophy). The Upanishadic text ‘asat va idamagra asith’ refers to the invisible subtle state (too subtle to be visible), when this world which forms Brahman’s body was gradually reabsorbed into Brahman, each constituent element being refunded into its immediate cause. The word ‘asat’ does not connote a state of nothingness or non-existence but the subtle, state as distinguished from the gross or visible or manifest state.

This beautiful pAsuram should have formed one of the bases for the arguments Vishishtadvaitic scholars used to defeat the “Sunya Vada” of Buddhist scholars.

பரந்ததண்பரவையுள் நீர்தொறும்பரந்துளன் *
பரந்தவண்டமிதென நிலவிசும்பொழிவற *
கரந்தசிலிடந்தொறும் இடந்திகழ்பொருடொறும் *
கரந்தெங்கும்பரந்துளன் இவையுண்டகரனே (TVM 1.1.10)

The Lord pervades every little bit of the oceanic waters, cool and sprawling (and yet does not feel cramped but, on the other hand), He feels as easy there as in the expansive world outside. Either on earth or the upper regions (in the whole universe) there is no place where He is not immanent, dwelling as He does secretly, in the heart of all things and being however minute, and in all places (imperceptible to the things and beings pervaded by Him ever firm and eternal). He is the Lord, who contains them all within Himself, during the period of deluge (in the state of dissolution, marked by the end of a Yuga).

Further Clarification:

(i) The Individual Soul, of the size of a minute speck, pervades the body it gets into, only by dint of its attributive consciousness; in the very nature of things, it cannot be co-extensive and co-expansive with the body it occupies, like God, who is omnipresent, not being conditioned by any limiting adjuncts of the other two entities, namely, spirit (Jiva) and matter.

(ii) The doubt as to how the Lord can pervade the inside out of the Individual Soul, of the size of a mere speck (subatomic)gets automatically resolved, seeing that the Lord, in but a juvenile form, contains all the worlds during the period of deluge. If the golden stomach, which devoured all the butter stored up by the damsels in the pastoral village of Gokul, could contain within it all the world’s as well, why should one doubt the Lord’s power of pervasion of the minutest of things, both in and out?

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