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What is Atma? - Part 2

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The supreme Self, Atman is the core of your personality. The Atman enlivens the body to perceive and act; enlivens the mind to feel; the intellect to think and contemplate.

    However the type of perception and action, feeling and thought emanating from the body, mind and intellect will all depend upon one’s inherent nature called Vasanas.

    The Atma functioning through the organs of perception becomes the perceiver.
    The Atma functioning through the mind creates the feeler.
    The Atma expresses through the gross intellect as the thinker and the subtle intellect as the contemplator.
    The Atma is said to be a homogeneous mass of pure Consciousness. It is the same in all beings. It is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent like the sun. The sun is singular and unconditioned. But its reflections are many-fold in the numerous reflecting media.
    So also, the Atma, the Self appears tainted, restrained by the limitations of the equipments through which it functions. And becomes the limited, restricted human being.
    So it is with everyone. You are the supreme Self, Atman, God. You are pure consciousness. Like water passing through coloured glasses appear coloured, the Atma is reflected, by the body depending on the Sarirathrayam and avasthathrayam.

    The nature of Atma is Sat – Chit – Ananda.

    The consciousness continues to survive after the death of the body and is immortal. It is not limited by time and hence is called Sat.

    Consciousness is called Atma in the scriptures and is Cit in Sanskrit. It is also known As chaitanyam.

    It is not limited by time or space and hence is limitless – Ananta.
    Hence it is known as Ananda which means a sense of completeness, a sense of fulfillment.

    So thus having seen that the Atma pervades in and through all bodies, every individual is a mixture of
    Consciousness - Atma
    Matter - Anatma.

    Generally, whenever we use the word “ I”, we refer to the reflecting medium (Atma) and the matter-part Anatma.

    There are two fundamental principles to be understood.
    The first principle is
    “I”, the experiencer of life, am a conscious being who is different from whatever I experience. This is the fundamental Law of Vedanta.

    The subject is always different from the object. For example, our eye is capable of seeing all objects in the world, but the eye cannot see itself ! So subject is never subject to objectification.
    Subject is ever the subject; so also the object. Subject can never become object.
    So, whatever I experience, I am not.

    The second principle is
    I am different from the body I experience. I, who am the experiencer of the world is different from everything that I experience.
    There is plurality only from the stand point of physical bodies, not from the stand point of Atma. There is only one Atma, not subject to time and without form and attributes.
    When we are told Atma is eternal, we think of Atma having a long, long life. But
    Gita – 2.12 says

    Na thvaevaaham jaathu naasam na thvam naemae janaadhipaa

    Na chaiva na bhavishyaama: sarvae vatamatha: param

    There was never a time that I did not exist, nor you, nor these kings. Nor will any of us cease to exist in the future.
    Since you cannot cry for the timeless, Atma is not a cause for sorrow.

    So, we have to learn to look upon the body-mind complex (Anatma) also as an object, though it is intimately close to the subject (Atma). Thus we disriminate between the experience and the experienced; the observer and the observed. By adopting this pattern of thinking, we learn to identify ourselves with Atma, the experiencer, the witness Conscious principle.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
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  2. babyraji

    babyraji Silver IL'ite

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    dear mam
    it is really nice 2 read ur articles on vedanta. i cannot say tht i hav understood it but truly iam thriving hard 2 catch up with u.but everytime i read them i feel myself becoming more n more interested in this vast subject.n getting calmness .
    this time u hav explained abt "atma"very beautifully.
    thanks mam
    gd day
    ragards
    raji
     
  3. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    So you have now explained about Atma and Anatma. It is little more clear to think that an individual is a mixture of Atma and Anatma where Atma as consciousness and Anatma (which is Sarira thrayam, avastha thrayam and pancha kosas put together) as matter. So now do you think that we will be able to understand the second chapter of Gita? Looking forward for next Thursday.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,

    Got on time to read this weeks posting......yes it is difficult to understand these in depth concepts.....but i am sure if we are patiently following you, we will be THERE one day.
    I particularly liked these lines....
    ......we have to learn to look upon the body-mind complex (Anatma) also as an object, though it is intimately close to the subject (Atma). Thus we disriminate between the experience and the experienced; the observer and the observed. By adopting this pattern of thinking, we learn to identify ourselves with Atma, the experiencer, the witness Conscious principle.

    Keep them coming.....and we will try to comprehend!
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Raji,
    Please do not worry, if you cannot understand in one or two readings.
    When you write that you are interested in this vast subject, you must read it repeatedly, the topic being very subtle !
    Thanks for being the first to send the feedback, Raji.
    Love,
    Chithra.


     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    You have condensed & summed up beautifully. When we die, atma continues to exist, only anatma is nomore. So, death is nothing to be worried about !
    Yes, this is the basis of Gita second chapter.
    I want to write a "connecting link" between gita first two chapters, next week.
    Thanks for your F B.
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sudha,
    Thankyou for the feedback.
    The usual example is pot, for this. Once a pot breaks, the pot space remains. It does not vanish. Pot is anatma & the potspace is atma.
    Is this a little easy on you, now, to start with?
    As we move ahead, the undersanding will be better, Sudha !
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  8. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear chith,
    This Week's' Glossary' (you said it,I did not!)explains the difference between the seer and the seen and how the seer is superior to seen.Of couse thanks to the object we are aware of the subject.You have scored a point when you explained that our body-mind complex is only an object.See howmuch time we are wasting trying to look our best!
    Regards,
    meenu
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Meenu,
    Thanks for your F B.
    One of my I L ite friends happened to mention that what i write is more on the format of a glossary ! Well, if I go indepth, all will run away !:cry:
    Yes, the best example is we cannot make a call to our own mobile or telephone just like, we can never see our own eyes !
    But all this knowledge will not help us in wasting our time to look good - that is an innate desire so long as anatma continues !
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  10. gayathriar

    gayathriar Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear C

    A brief but lucid continuation on Atma. If we can look upon Atma and Anatma as subject and object, where will there be any ego!!! If I think that way, I can relate to the comparison of life as drama and we as actors.

    I have a lot of questions coming up. But, will hold on to them. As of now, looking forward to the Gita write-up next week.

    -Gayathri.
     

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