ATMA AND IT’S ADJECTIVES
In my book on glory of Vishnusahasranama, posted in the forum “Literature” in this website, I have dealt with Atman in cha pter 6, from pgs 45 to 53.
Atman is defined as the supreme self. When the intellect maintains a perfect control over the mind and senses, the prakrutitatvas, the individual, reaches the ultimate goal. As if the re-instate this, the word Atman, either alone or in its different adjectivile forms appears 26 times in the vishnusahasranamam, including Jeevatma and Brahman as the 25th and 26th Tatvas, to explain to the lay and un-initiated individual in addition to the well known 24 Prakrutitatvas. Please refer to Para 6.1.1 of the book for details.
It is interesting to observe that the different adjectives for Atman from the first to the 106th Sloka are so chosen, as to explain first that the Atman or soul is different from life or body, through different levels of statements like “ Atman is free from all bondages, beyond the three Gunas etc” to a final statement that there is only one Atman. This is similar to the approach of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita to slowly elevate a person from Karma Yoga to the Yoga of Liberation by renunciation.
In Viveka choodamani, Adi Shankara again explains the Atman and the 24 Prakruti Tatyas in beautiful slokas (237 to 240).
Entire chapters in Brihadaranya Upanishad are devoted to the understanding of Brahman.
Practically every chapter in Bhagavad Gita talks about Brahman, the reality and its indestructibility. Krishna induces Arjuna NOT to be motivated by desire and yet to be intensely active. When duty is discharged untarnished by desire, clarity of understanding ensues and efficiency increases. This is the famous sloka “ Karmany eve Adhikaras te maa phalesu kadacana maa karma phale Ketur bhur maa te Sango’stu akarmani”. Seek to perform your duty, but lay not claim to its fruits. Be you not the producer of fruits of Karma; neither shall you lean towards inaction”. (Please see the book for more details).
The Vedas speak of the interconnection between the external and the internal worlds.
Yogavaishta speaks of facts like,
¥ Just as space does not have a fixed span, time does not have a fixed span.
¥ Entire universe is contained in a sub-atomic particle.
¥ In every atom, there are worlds within worlds.
¥ The lord who is the infinite conciousness is the silent but alert witness of the cosmic dance. He is not different from the dancer and the dance (Please see pgs 50 and 51 of my book)
Today, we know that a single cell after splitting 47 times, the human body has 10,000 trillion cells and are ready to spring forth as a human being. Each cell exactly knows its job. A cell will contain some 20000 different types of proteins, though many of them live for less than ½ an hour only. The enzymes perform a thousand tasks every second. This is the staggering immensity of bio-chemical activity in our body. The wonder is that the cells manage everything on their own so smoothly for decades. All this is random action directed by nothing more than elemental rules of attraction and repulsion, without any desire or motivation behind any of the action.
Which is then the Atman ? The cells ? Proteins ? Enzymes ? Or the DNA ? No, because they are all finite and the Atman is beyond them. They all function in the 26 adjectival roles mentioned earlier, attached to Atman but Atman itself is beyond all of them. What better example of “Karmany eve Adhikaras te” can be found in real life ?
Is Atman then the nucleus ??