In contrast, devotional sub-schools of Vedanta such as Dvaita dualism differentiate between the individual Atma in living beings, and the supreme Atma Paramatma as being separate. Advaita Vedanta philosophy considers Atman as self-existent awareness, limitless and non-dual. Dvaita Vedanta calls the Atman of a supreme being as " Paramatman " , and holds it to be different from individual Atman.
Dvaita scholars assert that God is the ultimate, complete, perfect, but distinct soul, one that is separate from incomplete, imperfect jivas individual souls. Dvaita school, states Graham Oppy, is not strict monotheism, as it does not deny existence of other gods and their respective Atman. In the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan school of Vedant , the atman, referred to as the jiva , is defined as a distinct, individual soul, i. Jivas are bound by maya, which hides their true self, which is characterized by eternal existence, consciousness, and bliss.
There are an infinite number of jivas. They are extremely subtle, indivisible, impierceable, ageless, and immortal. The jiva is the performer of virtuous and immoral actions karmas and experiences the fruits of these actions. It has been eternally bound by maya; as a result, it roams within the cycle of birth and death.
Birth is when a jiva acquires a new body, and death is when it departs from its body. Just as one abandons one's old clothes and wears new ones, the jiva renounces its old body and acquires a new one. Within Mimamsa school, there was divergence of beliefs. The Upanishadic discussion of Atman, to them, was of secondary importance. Time and space are indivisible reality, but human mind prefers to divide them to comprehend past, present, future, relative place of other substances and beings, direction and its own coordinates in the universe.
John Plott  states that the Nyaya scholars developed a theory of negation that far exceeds Hegel 's theory of negation , while their epistemological theories refined to "know the knower" at least equals Aristotle's sophistication. Nyaya methodology influenced all major schools of Hinduism.
Suan Mokkh: The Garden of Liberation - Suan Mokkh
One, they went beyond holding it as "self evident" and offered rational proofs, consistent with their epistemology, in their debates with Buddhists, that "Atman exists". Nyayasutra , a 2nd-century CE foundational text of Nyaya school of Hinduism, states that the soul is a proper object of human knowledge. It also states that soul is a real substance that can be inferred from certain signs, objectively perceivable attributes.
For example, in book 1, chapter 1, verses 9 and 10, Nyayasutra states . Further, they both consider self-knowledge as the means of liberation, freedom and bliss. The difference between Samkhya and Advaita is that Samkhya holds there are as many Atmans as there are beings, each distinct reality unto itself, and self-knowledge a state of Ipseity. In contrast, the monism theme of Advaita holds that there is one soul, and that the self of all beings are connected and unified with Brahman.
Samkhya asserts that each being's Atman is unique and different. The Yogasutra of Patanjali, the foundational text of Yoga school of Hinduism, mentions Atma in multiple verses, and particularly in its last book, where Samadhi is described as the path to self-knowledge and kaivalya.
Chapter 15. Religion
Some earlier mentions of Atman in Yogasutra include verse 2. In verses 2. These verses also set the purpose of all experience as a means to self-knowledge. The seer soul is the absolute knower. Though pure, modifications are witnessed by him by coloring of intellect.
15.1. The Sociological Approach to Religion
In Book 4, Yogasutra states spiritual liberation as the stage where the yogin achieves distinguishing self-knowledge, he no longer confuses his mind as his soul, the mind is no longer affected by afflictions or worries of any kind, ignorance vanishes, and "pure consciousness settles in its own pure nature". It is the self that is discovered and realized in the Kaivalya state, in both schools.
Vedanta monism, for example, adopted Yoga as a means to reach Jivanmukti — self-realization in this life — as conceptualized in Advaita Vedanta. The Atman theory in Upanishads had a profound impact on ancient ethical theories and dharma traditions now known as Hinduism.
Atman theory, particularly the Advaita Vedanta and Yoga versions, influenced the emergence of the theory of Ahimsa non-violence against all creatures , culture of vegetarianism, and other theories of ethical, dharmic life. The Dharmasutras and Dharmasastras integrate the teachings of Atman theory. Apastamba Dharmasutra, the oldest known Indian text on dharma, for example, titles Chapters 1.
There is no higher object than the attainment of the knowledge of Atman. We shall quote the verses from the Veda which refer to the attainment of the knowledge of the Atman. All living creatures are the dwelling of him who lies enveloped in matter, who is immortal, who is spotless. A wise man shall strive after the knowledge of the Atman. It is he [Self] who is the eternal part in all creatures, whose essence is wisdom, who is immortal, unchangeable, pure; he is the universe, he is the highest goal. Ahimsa theory is a natural corollary and consequence of "Atman is universal oneness, present in all living beings.
Atman connects and prevades in everyone. Hurting or injuring another being is hurting the Atman, and thus one's self that exists in another body". This conceptual connection between one's Atman, the universal, and Ahimsa starts in Isha Upanishad ,  develops in the theories of the ancient scholar Yajnavalkya, and one which inspired Gandhi as he led non-violent movement against colonialism in early 20th century. And he who sees everything in his atman, and his atman in everything, does not seek to hide himself from that. In whom all beings have become one with his own atman, what perplexity, what sorrow, is there when he sees this oneness?
He [the self] prevades all, resplendent, bodiless, woundless, without muscles, pure, untouched by evil; far-seeing, transcendent, self-being, disposing ends through perpetual ages. All orthodox schools of Hinduism hold the premise, "Atman exists, as self evident truth". Buddhism, in contrast, holds the premise, "Atman does not exist or, An-atman as self evident".
Buddhists do not believe that at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is any "eternal, essential and absolute something called a soul, self or atman". In its soteriological themes, Buddhism has defined nirvana as that blissful state when a person realizes that he or she has "no self, no soul". Hindus believe in Atman. They hold that at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is "eternal, innermost essential and absolute something called a soul, self that is atman.
While the Upanishads recognized many things as being not-Self, they felt that a real, true Self could be found. They held that when it was found, and known to be identical to Brahman, the basis of everything, this would bring liberation. In the Buddhist Suttas , though, literally everything is seen is non-Self, even Nirvana.
When this is known, then liberation — Nirvana — is attained by total non-attachment. Thus both the Upanishads and the Buddhist Suttas see many things as not-Self, but the Suttas apply it, indeed non-Self, to everything. In modern era studies, scholars such as Wayman and Wayman state that these "self-like" concepts are neither self nor sentient being, nor soul, nor personality. In Theravada tradition, the Dhammakaya Movement in Thailand teaches that it is erroneous to subsume nirvana under the rubric of anatta non-self ; instead, nirvana is taught to be the "true self" or dhammakaya.
Payutto , a well-known scholar monk, who added that 'Buddha taught nibbana as being non-self". This dispute on the nature of teachings about 'self' and 'non-self' in Buddhism has led to arrest warrants, attacks and threats. According to Johannes Bronkhorst, a professor of Indology specializing in early Buddhism and Hinduism, while there may be ambivalence on the existence or non-existence of self in early Buddhist literature, it is clear from these texts that seeking self-knowledge is not the Buddhist path for liberation, and turning away from self-knowledge is.
There is not what could be called a philosophical system in these Upanishads. They are, in the true sense of the word, guesses at truth, frequently contradicting each other, yet all tending in one direction. The "know thyself" of the Upanishads means, know thy true self, that which underlines thine Ego, and find it and know it in the highest, the eternal Self, the One without a second, which underlies the whole world.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Atman disambiguation.
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Major texts. The Philosophy of the Upanishads. Cosimo Classics June 1, Thus we can see in the Upanishads, a tendency towards a convergence of microcosm and macrocosm, culminating in the equating of atman with Brahman". As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism". All are members of one human family. Separation is death. Unity is eternal life. Cultivate cosmic love. Recognize the worth of others.
Destroy all barriers that separate man from man. There was a lady living in a thatch hut without electricity. She lost her needle while trying to mend her cloth and went outside of the hut, looking for it desperately.