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Jiva versus Atman

Pandara2010-07-04 12:09:59 +0000 #1
Naamste All,

I am busy reading Yoga from Shore to Shore by Swami Satyananda. In it he mentions that jiva is the individual awareness and Atman is the cosmic awareness, but doesn't really expand much on this. Awareness is for me central to yoga and most of you would have deducted from my posts already that building awareness is key for me to everything.

I have tried to get more info on the net, but most of the articles doesn't really satisfy, they are either very vague or they just don't give any explanation.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated as it has intrigued me greatly and somehow somewhere it rings true for me, but I need more info on why and how Swamiji came to this conclusion.
Philippe*2010-07-04 12:15:21 +0000 #2
Hi,

As far as I know, Jiva or Jivatman means the individual Self of a living creature, when you consider a living entity, it is close to what we call in the West sometimes the monad.

Basically, Atman means the Self, it can be considered as individual (Jivatman), universal or immanent (Atman), and transcendent (Paramatman). The word Atman can be used for these different aspects.

It is some vedantic terminology.

Philippe
Fin2010-07-04 12:33:26 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pandara



Naamste All,

I am busy reading Yoga from Shore to Shore by Swami Satyananda. In it he mentions that jiva is the individual awareness and Atman is the cosmic awareness, but doesn't really expand much on this. Awareness is for me central to yoga and most of you would have deducted from my posts already that building awareness is key for me to everything.

Hi Pandara,

Great question.

The way I interprets this is as follows:

Jiva is this consciousness in this life time, in this incarnation, i.e. the consciousness crafted by samskaras of this life time, & we who only know of Maya are identified by the limitations of our gross & subtle bodies.

Atma is cosmic consciousness. Jiva is something which perishes (or merges with Atma) when you die, Atma is eternal.

A truly realised individual knows his Atma.

When someone dies Hindus say – “there is no Jiva in his body, may his Atma now experience peace…”

Hope all this helps.

Namaste,

Love,

Fin
Philippe*2010-07-04 12:49:49 +0000 #4
Actually Jiva can be found with two meanings in Indian literature, that's why it might be confusing:

- the living creature including all the aspects (for instance body, energy, mind...atman) ...

- the individual Self (Jivatman) of an entity.

According to the traditions, Jivatman can be "bound" roaming in Prakriti (Nature), the symbol is the Hamsa, the goose often translated as swan, in Upanishads. In Advaita Vedanta it is illusory, only Atman is real. For others like Sri Aurobindo, Jivatman is always free and pure like Purusha in Yoga Sutra, unbound but it has some emanation in Prakriti.

Philippe
PatR2010-07-04 12:41:01 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pandara

jiva is the individual awareness and Atman is the cosmic awareness

From Vedanta pov:

What is moonlight ?

Reflected sunlight, in other words the moon borrows light from the sun. The moon is not self luminous. Similarly Jiva borrows consciousness from Atman or the individual awareness is the reflection of the cosmic awareness. This reflected awareness (Cidabhasa in Sanskrit) is ego. The moon turns the sunlight into moonlight, similarly the Maya turns the cosmic awareness into individual awareness, from paramatman (brahman) to jivataman. Without the sunlight the moonlight won't exist, similarly the existence of jiva proves the existence of Atman.

So the existence or awareness or consciousness of Anatta & not Anatta itself is Atman the higher self. This is how the Taittreya Upanishad explains Atman, as "Satyam jnanam anantam brahma" where satyam is absolute unconditional existence, jnanam is unabbreviated knowledge & anantam is infinite (not limited to space, form & time).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fin



the consciousness crafted by samskaras of this life time

Hello Fin

You mean to say in this life time free-will doesn't exist ?

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