top of page




Lakshmana Sharma’s Introduction to Verse No.9


The Ishvara and JIva spoken of here constitute a dual pair. They consist of two opposites, like light and darkness. Ishvara is all-knowledgeable while JIva has only a scanty intelligence; they differ in many other respects. So they form a pair.  Knowledge and ignorance, good and evil, happiness and misery, inside and outside, are each a pair (Sanskrit: dvandva). Such pairs or dualities are numerous. The world is full of differences because of these dualities. Further, when we visualise an Ishvara, there are three different things, namely, the seer, the seen and the sight. These three constitute a triad (Sanskrit: dtripuTi) or trinity. Triads also are innumerable. And they too create differences in the world. We have to enquire whether these differences are real or unreal. If they are unreal, it will confirm that the world is unreal. This is conveyed by Bhagavan in this verse.


Verse #9


iraTTaigaL, muppuDigaL, enRum onRu paRRi iruppavAm;

avvonRu Ethu enRu karuttinuL kaNDAl

kazhalum avai; kaNDavare uNmai kaNDAr,

kalangArE, kAN.


Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)


The triads all arise depending on the ego-sense; so too arise the pairs. If one enters the heart by the Quest of ‘Who is the I?’ and sees the truth of it (the Real Self) all of them vanish utterly; such a one is the Sage; he is not deluded (by them).


Translation (Prof. K. Swaminathan)

`Twos' and `Threes' depend upon one thing, the ego. If one asks in one's Heart, `What is this ego?' and finds it, they slip away. Only those who have found this know the Truth, and they will never be perplexed.


Translation (Osborne)


The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer, sight, and seen can exist only if supported by the One. If one turns inward in search of that One Reality they fall away. Those who see this are those who see Wisdom. They are never in doubt.


Word by Word


iraTTaigaL: Pairs  (like knowledge & ignorance, pleasure & pain)

muppaDigaL:Triads (like knowledge, knower & the known)

enRum : always

iruppavAm: hold alive, exist

onRu paRRi: supported by  (some) one (namely, the ego )

Edu:  Whence (is)

avvonRu: that one

enRu: thus

karuttinil : in the bottom of the heart

kaNDAl : if one finds out

avai ; they (the dualities and trinities)

kazhalum: slip away

kaNDavarE: those who thus see (the truth)

kaNDAr: have realised

uNmai : the Absolute Truth

kalangArE : they are not deluded (by thedualities and trinities)

kAN : Know this to be the truth.


Commentary (by Lakshmana Sharma)


Pairs and triads all arise in the mind. In every pair, when one rises, the other (of the pair) also arises simultaneously. In the same manner, in every triad, when one rises, the other two of the triad also rise alongside. And similarly, when they die they die together – the two of the pair together and the three of the triad together. In sleep where the mind is absent, there are no duads or triads. Therefore they are all constructs of the mind. And at the bottom of all thoughts in the mind there is the thought of ‘I’. Always this thought arises only in respect of a form or body (see verse #25). This is what is called the Ego (‘ahamkAram’ or ‘ahamtA’ in Sanskrit and ‘akanthai’ in Tamil). It will be explained in the sequel.  Thus, pairs and triads, all have their roots in the Ego. In the words ‘onRu paRRi iruppavAm’ in the first line of the verse the word ‘onRu’ (meaning ‘one’ in general, but here in the context meaning ‘some one thing’) stands for this.


In a later verse (#26), it will be shown that this Ego is the original source   for all world-appearances.


All the differences of the world that hide the Atman, the Existent Reality, have their seed in this Ego. If this is destroyed, everything vanishes and the Real Nature of the Atman shines. This is the content of this entire work.


What is the means by which this Ego may be destroyed? The means is the quest for the source of the Ego. This comes up in verse #27 and succeeding verses.


That source is what is mentioned in the second line of this verse by Bhagavan. In order to know the truth of this Ego one delves inside; the mind dives into the heart and merges into it. Then one realises the Self. The ‘finding out’ in the bottom of the heart (‘karuttinil kaNDAl’) is nothing but this experience. ‘The dualities and trinities slip away’ says the verse; this shows that in theturIya of Self Realisation these do not survive.  In other words in absolute truth (pAramArthika reality) they are not real.  Only so long as the feeling or attitude of ‘I am the body’ is there they appear to be real – just as for the dreamer the dream is a reality while dreaming.


Those who see thus realise the absolute truth.  This shows that such a seer is a jnAni. Not only that.  Because he sees no differences – he does not see them – he is not perplexed by this mAyA of the world. The delusion caused by these differences is only when Ego is alive.


Thus all the differences have their root-source in our Ego; in Self-Realisation the Ego has vanished; therefore the mental constructs of dualities and trinities all vanish. And the only thing that remains is the Atman.  All this go to confirm that the world is unreal.

bottom of page