Atman and Brahman

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by SvgGrdnBeauty, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    So, I've been listening to a lot of Vedanta lectures lately...and I was wondering if any of you know this. So I know in Sanskrit that atman is the word for Self and that Brahman is Ultimate Reality...

    But what I'm trying to understand is... are they both one in the same? I know this brings up the whole dualism verses non-dualism debate...but I was wondering... is there any difference? Or are we just ignorant to think so, and these are just words that we use to help us until we see there is no difference...

    I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
  2. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    Pardon me, I don't know much myself. I think brahman is atman, but atman is more individualized. For instance, if we draw an analogy where the body is a pot, the air inside the pot is atman , the air everywhere is brahman. But the funny thing is, when the pot is broken, the air outside the pot and inside the pot is one and the same. So I guess they are simultaneously the same and different.
  3. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    yeah...I've heard a similar analogy...where there's a glass of water in the ocean...same idea though.

    Yeah...I guess it would have to be same and different...? Would not saying that limit it?
  4. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    There's also the Jiva or Jivatman - and that again is distinguished from Atman and Brahman. In his 'Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita' Sri Krishnaprem gives a good account of it all - but I have read different accounts from diferent Indian writers.

    Perhaps one way to look at it is to see Brahman as the unmanifest, and Atman as Brahman in the manifest universe.
  5. Yogi Bhairava

    Yogi Bhairava Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    The way to distinguish what is reality when approaching these "absolute issues" my friends, is to be able to experience them as a state of consciousness. Philosophy of any forms, be they Vedantic, Tantric, Christian, or whatever are all thought forms. The immanent absolute state of consciousness is outside the realm of thought, and indeed, thinking is a direct impediment to the realization of these levels. The divine qualities of Sat-Cit-Ananda are direct consciousness attributes of "Parabrahman, or Paramatman, or Paramisvara".These words listed here, Supreme Brahman, Supreme Atman, and Supreme Lord, are all the same thing and are indicative of the unmanifested absolute which is simultaneously the Lord, the All pervading galactic Divine Self, which ends up relegating itself as our finite consciousness after a plethora of reductionistic processes have taken place.And another thing all of you wisdom seekers, don't forget about the Mother Devi. Without Her, Brahman doesn't manifest as us.
  6. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    The word 'galactic' here would impose a limitation - Thanks to the Hubble space telescope, we now know there are billions of galaxies.

    Otherwise yogi, yes. Lets' try to get beyond the limitations of the intellect.
  7. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Amusing that in the same post you manage to pick at the little semantic errors and talk of rising beyond the intellect. We're all this way - we talk well, but in the talking lose the practice.
  8. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    As for the original question, in the scriptures both terms have been used interchangeably. Of course atma is also used to refer to the individual egobound self. But it is also used for brahman at times to convey the immediate intimacy of the divine.
    As for air, wether within our outside the pot is the same. And the pot always has a hole in it (otherwise it is not a pot it is a ball) and the hole allows the air inside to mingle with the air outside. So really, we may be air in the pot, but we are hole-ier than we think.

    But it is best to not talk about it. I don't care for the arguments, the cerebration. I'd rather smile.
  9. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    Pot calls kettle black?

    It's like different phases - thinking has it's place, but it shouldn't be so dominant as it is in most people, me included. There's no final 'right idea' or set of 'right ideas' - but somehow, the mind finds that hard to accept, and so begins to strive to think out 'the truth' -

    I suppose that what people want is to have a set of ideas that seem to correspond to the experience beyond mind - but nothing is or can be fixed.

    I posted a quote from the Chan master Lin Chi over in the Buddhist forum earlier, his advice: 'it is far better for you to stop thinking and take a rest, thus without more ado'
  10. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Snake, as I said in my post, I am as guilty of it as any one else. It was just an amusing example of it.
  11. ditmog

    ditmog abhaya-namaste

    I think the two of you Bhaskar and Snake Sedrick in your bickering, have missed the profundity of what Yogi Bhairava has brought up. This is the fact that these terms which we are talking about here actually refer to a dynamically blissful experiential state of 'Consciousness'. Another thing to point out is that this Divine Consciousness is the very source of 'our minds', how can you try to understand it through the mind? Such an approach is entirely limited from the very start, it is in direct contradiction to the experience of the Absolute. All this obssesive concern over the semantics of language and philosophy is really uncalled for. The thing is, like Yogi Bhairava has already mentioned, we should all endeavor to experience these things as an actual state of Consciousness, and do away with this blinding obssesion with religious dogmatics and philosophic superiority, its childish, and not to mention destructive.
  12. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    Why can't we all just chant God's names and be happy?

    Hare krishna Hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, Hare rama Hare rama rama rama hare hare

    Om Thryambakam Yajaamahe' Suganthim Pushtivardhanam, Urvarukamiva Bandana-mr.uthyormuksheeya Ma-amr.uthathu

    Jai Sriman Narayana!
  13. Jedi, you cut straight through the BS...I'll go with that.

    The Hare Krishna maha-mantra has the power to take a person to the absolute platform and thereby destroy all ignorance; applied to this particular thread, ignorance would be the apparent differences between the advaita and dvaita-Vedanta philosophical stances.
  14. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    So why add to it with more words?

    We have to go beyond the intellectual and the rational, no doubt - both Bhaskar and myself are agreed. However, if you want to communicate with others on a forum like this, you have to engage the rational/linguistic circuts in order to be able to communicate.

    If Hinduism in general didn't do just this, we'd hardly have the masses and masses of different scriptures and so on which have been accumulated over the ages.
    No doubt such writings came from the supra-rational experiences of seers - but to seek to communicate with others they had to devise forms of words.

    Perhaps we should discard all of that, and philosophy too - ?
  15. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    We weren't bickering at all.
  16. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    I didn't notice if we were.
  17. philosophy

    philosophy Guest

    Another name of Krishna is Brahman, but He is Supreme Personality of Godhead, and has own abode - Vaikunthaloka (Goloka)

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