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Brahman, Atman & Jiva - How do we differentiate these 3 entities?

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A7thiru

New member
Greetings & Good Evening to All our Spiritual Masters.

Much has been said and discussed on the above 3 common entities in our Hindu scriptures. Unfortunately, having read the description and explanation given by the various gurus and masters, i am still left with much confusion. Would sincerely appreciate if your website could clarify the above 3 entities.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

athiruchelvam
 

sravna

Well-known member
Brahman is sat, chit , ananda - formless, timeless and experiencing perfect bliss. Brahman as just experiencing bliss is called nirguna brahman.

Brahman also exists as saguuna brahman assume form and with attributes.

Creation happens because saguna brahman wills it. In that process saguna brahman veils itself with an illusion creating force called maya. Maya has the ability to project one as many. Thus the world is created. The essence of everything in the world is brahman. But remember brahman is veiled. Brahman along with that veil or the effect of maya forms the jivatma and is always attached to a body.

So the concept of atman and jivatma go together. While atman is brahman itself behind the veil, but talked only in relation to the physical world, jivatma is brahman along with the veil.

The removal of the veil or ignorance is the goal of births and rebirths when eventually the jivatma realizes that it is atman and has been under illusion all along. It is then liberated for good from the physical world and becomes one with brahman.

The purpose of all this is a different topic altogether.
 

tbs

Well-known member
Greetings & Good Evening to All our Spiritual Masters.

Much has been said and discussed on the above 3 common entities in our Hindu scriptures. Unfortunately, having read the description and explanation given by the various gurus and masters, i am still left with much confusion. Would sincerely appreciate if your website could clarify the above 3 entities.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

athiruchelvam
hi

all the three are NOT PRATYAKSHAM....JUST ANUMAANAM.....
 

sravna

Well-known member
Exactly, these are just unproven theories. In fact, they can never be proved. Let us stop believing and start inquiring.
Dear Auh,

They can be proved. That is one of my major initiatives. Once you show that spiritual energy is real, there is a lot of facts that can be shown to accord with what is said in scriptures. The real success is when you can predict correctly and consistently based on your theory that something will or will not happen.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Just because something cannot be detected by technology does not mean it does not exist. It does not even mean it cannot be proved. All the skeptics can say is I do not believe in it. Many others trust their intuition more than physical instruments and believe what they perceive.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Brahman is sat, chit , ananda - formless, timeless and experiencing perfect bliss. Brahman as just experiencing bliss is called nirguna brahman.

Brahman also exists as saguuna brahman assume form and with attributes.

Creation happens because saguna brahman wills it. In that process saguna brahman veils itself with an illusion creating force called maya. Maya has the ability to project one as many. Thus the world is created. The essence of everything in the world is brahman. But remember brahman is veiled. Brahman along with that veil or the effect of maya forms the jivatma and is always attached to a body.

So the concept of atman and jivatma go together. While atman is brahman itself behind the veil, but talked only in relation to the physical world, jivatma is brahman along with the veil.

The removal of the veil or ignorance is the goal of births and rebirths when eventually the jivatma realizes that it is atman and has been under illusion all along. It is then liberated for good from the physical world and becomes one with brahman.

The purpose of all this is a different topic altogether.

Here is another perspective. Please think and perceive.

All this talk of sat chit ananda prabrahmam is an overdose of clever explanations. They are all inventions of a clever and contriving sharp mind which has a lot of time at its disposal. When closely questioned it will answer that there is no tangible proof for all this. It would further argue with ingenuity that any proof is in the domain of cause and effect dimension, that these entities are far beyond the cause and effect logic/dimension. It will further state that every pramAnam like pratyaksham, anumAnam etc., are fallible and so has to be discarded as useless for a right inquiry. It will further state that Sruthi is the only pramanam that can be relied upon as it comes straight as pure knowledge (call it straight from God if you are a believer). It is pure knowledge because it is original and preserved carefully through generations with great care to insulate from any corruption. It is pure knowledge by another logic too (speaking the language of the sharp mind the word logic is used). In the whole body of knowledge there are several facts told. Many of them remain true and hold their fort to this daydespite the dynamics of evolution. They have all remained truths through millennia and so every other thing said there (which we are unable to prove tangibly) in the body of knowledge must also be true. You can not study physics and say that you will not accept the law of gravity but will accept all other derivatives therefrom. It is just like that. The whole and complete body of knowledge must be accepted as true in toto or discarded in toto.

I am unable to do that because my inquisitive mind will not allow me to do that. it troubles me with its hundred questions again and again and laughs at me. So I have become a nAstik. This world just came into existence and is continuing to exist. All systems here - living and non living-just came into existence because of the favourable conditions that evolved and came into existence here on this planet. The systems are all fitted with self destruct mechanism and a ticking time device. When their time here is up they just collapse and perish. It is just the end of existence for them just as a beginning of the existence for them was there. There is no birth again. More such systems just keep coming on this earth and after living their tenure just perish and disappear every day. No God ever created all this because there need not be a cause at all. If you go into cause then you should tell me what is the cause of that God too and we will end up in a regressive circular riddle about the original cause.

All this is confusing and painful to me, just an ordinary human being living on this earth-you call me just a physical system and that is okay with me as I understand your POV. So with my limited intellect I perceive a God who is a replica of me with physical attributes like me but free of my flaws-akhila heya prathyaneekan. LOL. I am in love with him because as a physical system I am endowed with a unique ability to love and express it too with a language. And I am able to view my love for God standing away from myself and from him because I have that ability too-may be part of evolution. LOL. I find my love for him to be so beautiful that I at times get drunk with it. It turns enchanting and rapturous/ecstatic. The atheist in me come round and accept my love because there is no harm and there is beauty in my love. And luckily I am a Tamil and a Brahmin. The language Tamil in which I naturally think/transfer/express all my perceptions and experiences is so rich that it has become very close to me. With Tamil by my side, with sAtvik nature that is in born and always present in me because of my lineage (brahmin) I find my tenure here as a physical system to be eventful and pleasant. I enjoy every day and every moment of my life here. I am happy. I would define my happiness as the state in which I am in equilibrium without any emotions tearing me to pieces. I am never in conflict with myself or my surroundings. I believe this is what is meant by the upanishadic statement that Atma is anandamaya. Some one like me has defined the word anandam as an attribute which enables atma to be very friendly and at equilibrium with itself free from conflict.(எப்போதும் தனக்கு அனுகூலமாகவே இருத்தல்).

You can see where you stand vis a vis this perception of a soul. And a discussion is welcome.
 
Last edited:

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
I find my love for him to be so beautiful that I am at times drunk with it. It turns enchanting and rapturous.


Nason Mein Tu Nasha Banke Ghulna Yuhin!


To me right now... Brahman is the glass..the Wine is Maya..and I the Jeeva,drinks it and gets drunk.

Why waste time knowing how the Glass originated, What the components of the Wine are etc... Just enjoy the Kiccku!
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Vaagmi,

For everything there is an objective.

The purpose of philosophy is to explain everything in a logical manner. When we find contradictions in our explanation, we say it is lacking and some other explanation is required.

But people may not be interested in philosophy or in its logic and may just prefer to have a peaceful existence. This is pragmatism and can be very effective in giving the needed peace.

So each one has an objectives and chooses ways to pursue it. People with the same objective also may choose different paths.

Yours is a different perspective and I do understand that your approach can be very effective in helping one lead a pleasant life.
 

auh

New member
Dear Auh,

They can be proved. That is one of my major initiatives. Once you show that spiritual energy is real, there is a lot of facts that can be shown to accord with what is said in scriptures. The real success is when you can predict correctly and consistently based on your theory that something will or will not happen.
Tha is a mighty bid IF... and that too you have to prove SE is real based on a neutral rationale rather than by your own yardstick... (like trying to lower the temp etc).

Just because something cannot be detected by technology does not mean it does not exist. It does not even mean it cannot be proved. All the skeptics can say is I do not believe in it. Many others trust their intuition more than physical instruments and believe what they perceive.

I am not saying that it cannot exist... just that these are unproven. But to elaborate and to conclude without an iota of proof is stupidity, imo.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Tha is a mighty bid IF... and that too you have to prove SE is real based on a neutral rationale rather than by your own yardstick... (like trying to lower the temp etc).



I am not saying that it cannot exist... just that these are unproven. But to elaborate and to conclude without an iota of proof is stupidity, imo.

Dear Auh,

It seems you have a limited understanding of what proof is. Proof is that which shows that something is real. Proof can be had from experimental set up where you assemble instruments and try to detect something or alternately its absence. But this is just the support for the theory you develop to explain that something.

Those who believe in mind understand that it is also something that detects truths in the form of intuitions. Beyond a certain point things cease to be physical and you may not be able to prove the way you would like to. i.e., using physical instruments. But these deeper truths can be detected by the mind directly and that is what is also the proof itself. There is no separation of theory and experimental set up.

So those who have that ability are certainly not stupid.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Nason Mein Tu Nasha Banke Ghulna Yuhin!


To me right now... Brahman is the glass..the Wine is Maya..and I the Jeeva,drinks it and gets drunk.

Why waste time knowing how the Glass originated, What the components of the Wine are etc... Just enjoy the Kiccku!

Renukaji,

I enjoyed that.

But is that not also the language of recklessness? Atma being Anandamaya includes self preservation too. So an overdose is a strict no no. LOL.

Jagjit Singh sang Mujhe ithna.................. Mein nashe mein hun. A song which I like though it is about nasha which is tamasic. LOL. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtWlYgG7qBQ
 

sravna

Well-known member
Nason Mein Tu Nasha Banke Ghulna Yuhin!


To me right now... Brahman is the glass..the Wine is Maya..and I the Jeeva,drinks it and gets drunk.

Why waste time knowing how the Glass originated, What the components of the Wine are etc... Just enjoy the Kiccku!

Renuka,

It is ok to get drunk but you need to get your balance back or you will start seeing everything as two
 

sangom

Well-known member
Greetings & Good Evening to All our Spiritual Masters.

Much has been said and discussed on the above 3 common entities in our Hindu scriptures. Unfortunately, having read the description and explanation given by the various gurus and masters, i am still left with much confusion. Would sincerely appreciate if your website could clarify the above 3 entities.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

athiruchelvam

Shri Athiruchelvamji,

Right from the days of our Rigveda, some of the thinking minds had been possibly pondering over the question of "why" behind all this observed world and its inhabitants, their coming into existence and vanishing into non-existence (death) and the inequalities which are part and parcel of the existence in this world, etc., etc. Somehow they felt that there must be some causative factor underlying all these observed phenomena, i.e., our world, and by extension, now we may also say, our observed universe. The rigvedic rishis or seers probably named this causative factor as "sat (ஸத்)", and, as time passed, our own (hindu) scriptures started calling this underlying, causative factor as "Brahman (ப்ரஹ்மன்)". The Sanskrit word ப்ரஹ்மன் signifies something that is infinitely large, big, etc.

The Upanishads give us the findings which different sages arrived at about this ப்ரஹ்மன். These Upanishadic conclusions are all not identical, and there are differences among those. However, some of our Rishis & Acharyas like Patanjali (பதஞ்ஜலி), Gautama (கௌதமர், an ancient Rishi — not Gautama Buddha of Buddhism), Kanaada (கணாதர்), Jaimini (ஜைமினி), Adisankara (ஆதிசங்கரர்) developed their own theories each, to explain the nature and role of the ப்ரஹ்மன் and this world. The viewpoints developed by these sages are called the six "Darsanas" or systems of philosophy within hinduism and these are Saamkhya, Yoga, Nyaaya, Vaiseshika, Meemaamsa and Vedaanta respectively.

It is my humble view that except Vedaanta, the other 5 systems give more emphasis to the evolution of the world and aim of human life, whereas Vedaanta is more pre-occupied with Brahman, Aatma (i.e., Jeeva) and the observed world. All the six systems referred to above had to accept the vedas as sacrosanct and inerrant sources of real knowledge and proceed. None of these systems could therefore chart out any view different from or opposite to whatever the Vedas declared.

Though the rigveda (the earliest scripture of ours) does not talk about rebirth of people who die and vanish from the face of this earth, as time passed, the concepts of rebirth and of Karma found a prominent place in our philosophy. The law of Karma together with the theory of rebirth was used effectively to explain (away) all the inequalities, sufferings and sorrows which plague human life, and this necessitated the supposition that there are individual Aatmas residing each of our physical bodies, which transmigrates into another, new birth and a new physical body in order to experience the results (good and bad) of some part at least of its past accumulated Karmas, in the new birth (life). The concept of an individual Aatma, also called Jeevaatma (ஜீவாத்மா) or Jeeva (ஜீவா), fitted very well with the feeling of "I-ness" which is deeply ingrained in every living entity and was, therefore, lapped up by the people as gospel truth!
Brahman then came to be called Paramaatma (பரமாத்மா). Adisankara's advaita, which started the Vedaanta system of philosophy, declares that the Jeevaatma (ஜீவாத்மா) and Paramaatma (பரமாத்மா) are essentially one and the same, although the Jeevaatmas labour in this world since their view is clouded by a veil ofm ignorance about their own real nature and that of this universe.

Since you have written that you have read mush about all these topics, you may find much of what I have written as boring and unnecessary. But, to my limited understanding and ability, this was the best that I could write. Kindly excuse me if my post is superfluous or boring.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Dear Shri Vaagmi,

For everything there is an objective.

The purpose of philosophy is to explain everything in a logical manner. When we find contradictions in our explanation, we say it is lacking and some other explanation is required.

But people may not be interested in philosophy or in its logic and may just prefer to have a peaceful existence. This is pragmatism and can be very effective in giving the needed peace.

So each one has an objectives and chooses ways to pursue it. People with the same objective also may choose different paths.

Yours is a different perspective and I do understand that your approach can be very effective in helping one lead a pleasant life.

There is a slight difference which makes all the difference in perception.

You have an objective and you move towards that. Imagine for a moment that the object is behind you and you have passed it to come round after a long struggle. May be you never reach it at all.

And also imagine for a moment that you are a soul standing away from yourself watching this cat and mouse game unattached and amused, the cat being again "you" and the mouse being knowledge/philosophy/spirituality or what you will. Is that not interesting?

That is the perception I am talking about.

Phylosophy, logic etc., are just tags which hang attached to pigeon holes as far as I am concerned. I am able to detach myself from all these and yet engage in all of them. I enjoy the game. Everything in this game is deliberate. LOL.

Call me mad? So be it. I am happy and that matters most. Try it and you will get converted. LOL.
 

sravna

Well-known member
There is a slight difference which makes all the difference in perception.

You have an objective and you move towards that. Imagine for a moment that the object is behind you and you have passed it to come round after a long struggle. May be you never reach it at all.

And also imagine for a moment that you are a soul standing away from yourself watching this cat and mouse game unattached and amused, the cat being again "you" and the mouse being knowledge/philosophy/spirituality or what you will. Is that not interesting?

That is the perception I am talking about.

Phylosophy, logic etc., are just tags which hang attached to pigeon holes as far as I am concerned. I am able to detach myself from all these and yet engage in all of them. I enjoy the game. Everything in this game is deliberate. LOL.

Call me mad? So be it. I am happy and that matters most. Try it and you will get converted. LOL.

Dear Shri Vaagmi,

One's philosophy or logic is what one believes in and I am not sure if you can detach yourself from your beliefs. It is also not detrimental to be attached to truth because you only detach yourself from something that should not influence you. I think happiness does have a lot to do with what you are attached to or detached from.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Dear Shri Vaagmi,

One's philosophy or logic is what one believes in and I am not sure if you can detach yourself from your beliefs. It is also not detrimental to be attached to truth because you only detach yourself from something that should not influence you. I think happiness does have a lot to do with what you are attached to or detached from.

Detach you must if the belief turns out to be untrue or hollow in course of time. I know people who gave their huge ancestral properties and all that they had to the party (communist party) because they believed that the party stood for truth and welfare. When they later learnt that the cardinal principle of Marx that "Each according to his ability (contributes) and to each according to his needs (delivered)" was utopian they were pathetic figures. So detach you must, in time, if your belief is turning out to be a millstone round your neck.

I do not depend for my happiness on my attachments. I wear all of them lightly like I wear my shirt and pant. I can give them up at any time if there is a need to do that. My happiness comes from my awareness. Period. LOL.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Detach you must if the belief turns out to be untrue or hollow in course of time. I know people who gave their huge ancestral properties and all that they had to the party (communist party) because they believed that the party stood for truth and welfare. When they later learnt that the cardinal principle of Marx that "Each according to his ability (contributes) and to each according to his needs (delivered)" was utopian they were pathetic figures. So detach you must, in time, if your belief is turning out to be a millstone round your neck.

I do not depend for my happiness on my attachments. I wear all of them lightly like I wear my shirt and pant. I can give them up at any time if there is a need to do that. My happiness comes from my awareness. Period. LOL.

I do agree with the above Shri.Vaagmi
 
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