By Periyava

Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj


ஸ்வாமி என்றால் என்ன? : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)

What is the meaning of Swamy? Deivathin Kural part One

http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/part1kurall02.htm  (Tamil Text)

What is the meaning of Svāmy?

Svam means possession or property. Svantham (சொந்தம்) is what we own. That is our property. In Telugu it is 'Sommu.' Temple property is called in Kerala ‘Dēvastham.’ The Owner of the property is Svāmy. Uḍaiyār is the Tamil word for Svāmi. The carvings on the rock walls of the temples have Uḍaiyār meaning Gods: Tiru-c-ciṛṛampalam-uḍaiyār, Tiru-venkatam-uḍaiyār, Tiru-nākēcchura-uḍaiyār, Kapālīṣvara-uḍaiyār…

Guru and God one for Vaiṣṇavas and they say Srī Rāmānujar is Uḍaiyavar.

Svāmi is the owner of property, I said. What property? We and the entire Universe are His property. All that you see, feel, breath, touch, imagine, deduce…are the property of That One (second to none).  Thāyumāṉavar quotes God, “All are mine.”  People say this is his property and this is my property. In truth, all the properties we claim as ours are His. If he is not extant, this universe does not exist. Neither do we. The properties we claim as our own do not exist.

We think we created anew the house we live in and the car we drive. Scientists invent and make new machines. All the raw materials are the creation of Svāmi. We modified and tinker with what Svāmi already made. We created nothing new. Creation of an element and an atom is an impossible task for the scientists. Could a scientist manufacturing bombs and machines…make a small leaf with a beautiful complexity?

The One who makes all, owns all. That is why He is Uḍaiyavar (Svāmi) and called such. Don’t we do whatever we wish with our property? Likewise, if we, the property of Uḍaiyavar let Him do whatever with us according to His wish, we carry no burden and remain in joyousness.

We, in an egoistic fit, say ‘I, Me, Mine,’ and wander aimlessly. If you realize He owns this, that, and everything else, we will not ramble sporting the I-ego or I-ness. If we do not entertain personal desire and aversion as our right and realize it, there is no weary wandering for us. Perfect tranquillity!  Svāmi, as a word, declares that we do not own ourselves, He has, by His Will, the right to dispose us any way He can, and we are His property. This realization is Bakthi’s supreme aim, also called Saraṇāgathi.