Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Atman - The Soul


आत्मा

Atman is the soul. It is believed to be indestructable and immutable. The Advaitha (not-dual) principle (this was propounded by the great philospher Adi-Sankara), states that the Soul is the only one, it is the truth and all else is Mithya (illusion). As per this theory, Moksha (salvation) is attained when illusion is dispelled by self-realization. It states that Karma (deeds) is the basis of the cycle of life and birth. Likes and dislikes spring from attachment. To attain Moksha, it is necessary to be free from Likes and dislikes.

The counter principle Dvaitha states that Atman is separate from the universal spirit that is Brahman. The soul is constantly trying to achieve unity with the universal spirit from whence it sprang. Salvation is attained when this union takes place.

In the Katha Upanishad, which is associated with the "Black" Yajur Veda, Nachiketa asks Yama to explain the nature of Atman (soul). Yama says, "The soul is devoid of beginning and an end. It is infinite and is devoid of cause and effect. It is free from life and death. It is one, it is flawless. The body is merely a transitory home for the soul. The body ceases to exist at death, but Atman is indestructible."


Last Modified At: Sat Nov 6 20:53:37 2004