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Meaning of Atman: Hindu Philosophical Term

Atman , a time period used for the inmost self within the VEDANTA faculties of Hindu philosophy. The Sankhya and YOGA faculties have an analogous idea. They name it purusha, “person.” Others, such because the Jains, discuss in regards to the jiva, that's, the residing element of human beings and animals, as opposed to inert matter.

The UPANISHADS are the final layer of the sacred writings often called the VEDA. For that purpose they're referred to as Vedanta, “end of the Veda.” Among different matters, the Upanishads are notably all in favour of BRAHMAN, the truth that underlies the world that we understand, and atman, the truth that underlies the human particular person. The sages of the Upanishads wished to know what the “self” was. They didn't have a single reply. Indeed, they didn't even use a single phrase for this self. Sometimes they referred to as it purusha. Nevertheless, the discussions within the Upanishads laid the foundations on which a lot later Hindu thought arose.

One of an important discussions happened between a father named Aruni and his son, Svetaketu. It is recorded within the Chandogya Upanishad. Aruni asks Svetaketu to open up a seed-pod from a banyan tree, after which to open up a seed. He asks his son what he sees. Svetaketu solutions, “Nothing.” That is the purpose. The atman, just like the essence of life on the coronary heart of the seed, is imperceptible. Yet from each spectacular residing beings develop. Similarly, Aruni asks Svetaketu to dissolve salt in water.

Svetaketu can now not see the salt, and he can now not separate it from the water. The atman resembles salt dissolved in water. It is distinct from an individual’s physique, senses, thoughts, and needs, however it pervades all of them and can't be separated from them.

The sages of the Upanishads had a number of concepts of what the atman is likely to be. Some stated the solar, others air, others ether, others breath. Most essential for later thought, some sages identified the atman as consciousness.

There are, nevertheless, many varieties of consciousness. Not all of them are atman pure and easy. In waking consciousness the atman interacts with a world of materials objects. In dreaming consciousness it interacts with a world of refined objects. Deeper than both of these is sleep with out goals. But in accordance to the Mandukya Upanishad deeper nonetheless is a fourth, anonymous state. That is the atman.

In some passages the Upanishads appear to equate the atman—the truth underlying the human particular person—with the brahman—the truth underlying the world that we understand: “This atman is brahman”; “I am brahman”; “All this is indeed brahman”; “You are that.” But different passages appear to disagree. Different faculties of Vedanta took totally different positions. In any case, they agreed that the atman had three fundamental traits: sat, chit, and ananda—being, consciousness, and bliss.

Ideas in regards to the atman profoundly infl uenced Hindu teachings about life and dying. According to the sage Yajnavalkya, the atman is reborn at dying. It takes together with it the fruits of the actions completed on this life. This course of is called SAMSARA. According to the BHAGAVAD-GITA, samsara doesn't alter the atman: “It is never born; it never dies. It does not, nor has it, nor will it become. Unborn, eternal, perpetual, primal—it is not killed when the body is killed” (2.20).

Freeing the atman or purusha from continuous rebirth got here to be the last word aim of some influential kinds of Hindu spiritual observe.

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