satyam, nityam

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sun Aug 24 07:06:42 CDT 1997

The two sanskrit words - satyam and nityam - can be translated into
english as

satyam = truth
nityam = permanent.

I recently had opportunity to meet and discuss with a swamiji who
follows vishishhTa-advaita philosophy. In our discussion of dream
state and the wake-up state, he defined satyam as follows:

satyam as prayojanakaarii. The equivalent in english may be: as
anything that causes an effect or which has a use.

On that basis, he defined dream state as satyam (because its effect
is felt by the dreamer), but anityam i.e. impermanent, because it
vanishes when the dreamer wakes up.

He called the wake-up state as satyam and nityam [satyam on the same
basis as above, and nityam because matter transforms from one form to
the other, but does not get destroyed].

In answer to a question to give an example of asatyam, he said there
is nothing which is asatyam (untrue), based on the definition of
satyam. I trust I understood him correctly in this explanation.

Would knowledgeable list-members comment on what is satyam and nityam
from an advaitic perspective. Isn't what is satyam in advaita nityam
also ?

Also, isn't the definition of satyam given by the swamiji rather unusual ?

Gummuluru Murthy
... Moksha is not freedom for the individual; it is freedom from

                        T.M.P. Mahadevan in "Time and the Timeless"

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