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Verse #16


nAm anRi nAL Edu? nADu Edu?

nADungAl nAm uDambEl, nAL nATTuL nAm paDuvam.

nAm uDambo? nAm inRu anRu, enRum onRu;

nAdu ingu angu engum onRAl, nAm uNDu, nAl nADu il nAm.


Sanskrit version (by Lakshmana Sharma)


kAlo  desha imau pRthak kimahamo?’dhInAstayo:smo vayaM

dehA: syAma yadi svayaM; kimu vayaM dehA bhavAmo vada /

sarvatrApi ca sarvadApi ca vibhAty-AtmA samAno yataH

tasmAt-santa-mavehi kevalam-amuM tau dvau nigIrya sthitaM //



 Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)


Do Time and Space exist apart from the Ego? If we were bodies, then we would be sub ject to them.  (But) say, are we bodies? Because the true Self is the same everywhere and at all times; therefore learn that He is the sole Reality, consuming both (time and space).


Translation (Prof. K. Swaminathan)


Without us there is no time nor space. If we are only bodies, we are caught up in time and space. But are we bodies? Now, then and always -- here, now and everywhere -- we are the same. We exist, timeless and spaceless we.


Translation (Osborne)


Apart from us where is time and where is space? If we are bodies, we are involved in time and space, but are we? We are one and identical now, then, and forever, here, and everywhere. Therefore we, timeless, and spaceless Being, alone are.



Word by Word (of the Tamil Verse)


nAm anRi : Apart from us

nAL Edu? : where is Time?

nADu Edu? : where is space?

nADungAl while we search

nAm uDambEl : if we are (only) bodies,

nAM : we

paDuvam. : are caught up

nAL nATTuL : in Time and Space.

nAm uDambo? : Are we bodies?

nAM : we

inRu : today

anRu : in the past days

enRum : always

onRu. Are of the same form

nADu place

ingu : here

angu : there

engum : and everywhere

onRAl  : since we are same

nAm uNDu we exist

nAL nAdu il  dateless, placeless

nAm  we.



Lakshmana Sharma’s commentary in Tamil


Time and Space are dependent on our Ego. When we are in the egoless sleep state there is no awareness of Time or Space.  Therefore, both time and space are only thoughts, dependent on the mind. The moment we get the fundamental concept that ‘I am this body’, all thoughts arise including the concepts of time and space. Even the modern researchers in the science of this material world of time and space do agree that Time and Space are concepts of the mind.


But there is an experience of being bound by time and space. Why is this so? We are not examining our ignorant ‘knowledge’ that ‘I am this body’. We have to examine this notion and then enquire into ‘Who or what am I?’. And then we have to identify (ourself) with the infinite Atman. Because we do not do this, the finiteness of the body is assumed to be our own finiteness and thus arises the bondage. This bondage will vanish once we pursue this enquiry.


Once we start this enquiry, we will find that the real ‘I’ is something which is unaffected by Time and Space. And then we shall discover that it is the Atman that is the Truth and it is not delimited by Time or Space.  The bottom line is that these two do not subsist in the experience of jnAna.


It is not correct to say that the Atman exists at all times and everywhere. What is true is that the Atman is  timeless and spaceless. So it is not accessible to mind or speech. What is accessible to the mind or speech has to be subject to Time and Space.  

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.

                                                                                  GO TO 31.16

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