A look at some of the commonly used words in Malayalam having Atma(meaning soul) as the prefix:
Atmasuhoort (soul mate), Atmartatha (sincerity), Atmavishwasam (self confidence, Atmaraksha (self defence), Atmamsham, Atmabandham, Atmanombaram, Atmasangarsham etc.
What for others was "self", we understood it as "atma/the soul". Just look at this word "atmartatha". It denotes the importance you give to something from the depthness of your soul, neither mind or heart but soul. This was and is the culture Kerala had/has. A culture where people lived spirituality and not merely talked about it. And this is what is the true aim of all religions around the world, to know the "soul" of all.
TO BE CONTINUED...