BBC - Religions - Hinduism: Hindu concepts
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means inner self or soul. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism, Ātman is the first principle, the true self of an individual beyond identification with phenomena, the essence of an individual. In order to attain liberation (moksha), a human being must acquire The six orthodox schools of Hinduism believe that there is Ā. In Hindu philosophy, Brahman (ब्रह्म) is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all .. So the question of what is the ultimate purpose of everything including the The theistic schools assert that moksha is the loving, eternal union or The concept of Brahman, its nature and its relationship with Atman and the. At the core of Hinduism is the most central idea that brahman and Personal & Intellectual · Relationships & Communication · Health & Fitness · Financial & Career In particular, there is one belief that stands above the rest for Hindus . Once an individual attains Moksha, by unifying Atman with Brahman.
Buddhism and Carvaka school of Hinduism deny that there exists anything called "a soul, a self" individual Atman or Brahman in the cosmic sensewhile the orthodox schools of Hinduism, Jainism and Ajivikas hold that there exists "a soul, a self".
The nature of Atman-Brahman is held in these schools, states Barbara Holdrege, to be as a pure being satconsciousness cit and full of bliss anandaand it is formless, distinctionless, nonchanging and unbounded. Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, for example, holds a substantial, realist ontology. In these schools of Hinduism, states Tietge, the theory of action are derived from and centered in compassion for the other, and not egotistical concern for the self.
Teleology deals with the apparent purpose, principle or goal of something. In the first chapter of the Shvetashvatara Upanishadthese questions are dealt with. What is the cause of Brahman? Why were we born? By what do we live? On what are we established? Governed by whom, O you who know Brahman, do we live in pleasure and in pain, each in our respective situation? One can only find out its true purpose when one becomes the Brahman as the 'Brahman' is all the knowledge one can know itself.
Hence, complete answers for anything in life can only be determined or obtained when the Brahman is realized as the Brahman is all the complete knowledge itself. This is said in the Aitareya Upanishad 3. Knowledge is the eye of all that, and on knowledge it is founded. Knowledge is the eye of the world, and knowledge, the foundation. This is because the person has the ability and knowledge to discriminate between the unchanging Atman and Brahman and the ever-changing Prakrit and so the person is not attached to the transient.
And, the subset of the Vedas that are very concerned with the spiritual and the philosophical are known as the Upanishads, which means sitting down or coming near to. Some people say coming near to God, some people say coming near to the actual reality, or coming near to a teacher as in sitting down to get a lesson or to have a dialog.
Now, the central idea in Hinduism is the idea of Brahman. And Brahman should not be confused with the god Brahma. Brahma is sometimes, you could view, as a aspect of a Brahman, but Brahman is viewed as the true reality of things.
It is shapeless, genderless, bodiless, it cannot be described. It can only be experienced. Now, according to Hindu belief we are all part of Brahman. And, what we perceive as our individuality is really, you can consider to be a quasi-illusion.
So, this might be one individual right over here and then we might have another individual right over here.
And, this separateness, the illusion of the reality that we see around us this is referred to as Maya. And, Maya is not just the illusion or the quasi-illusion created by our senses it is even notions like our ego, our identity. And, within that context that inner self, the thing that is even within our, that is even deeper than our sense of identity.
This is referred to as Atman. And, as you can see they way it's been diagrammed here, the way we've drawn it out Atman is essentially the same thing as Brahman. And, oftentimes you will see it referred to as Atman-Brahman, they're really the same thing but it's really, it's an illusion that there is this separateness of our reality. Now, according to Hindu belief in each life you have this core part of yourself which is Atman, which is part of Brahman.
And, when you die it doesn't disappear, but it will take on or it will subjugate itself to another reality. So, after death this individual or this perceived individual might take on another identity in another reality. They would perceive it as another life. And, this notion of one life after another, one reality after another is sometimes referred to as transmigration of the soul, sometimes referred to reincarnation, or this notion of Samsara, which is this endless cycle of birth and rebirth.
It really comes from this notion of same flowing, this thing, this pattern that goes on and on and on. And, according to Hindu belief what that next life is, what that next reality is is based on your actions in this life.
Karma, literally is referring to actions, but it's really actions driving consequences not only in this reality but in the next reality. Now, there's another notion of Dharma. Dharma is based on what is the role you should play given the reality, given the life that you are in.
Ātman (Hinduism) - Wikipedia
So, in a very simplified way you could say, "Well, Dharma is the rightful role, the rightful actions, "your duty depending on your role, "depending on your reality. Now, a core idea of Hinduism is to try to escape from this cycle, to awaken to the true reality, awaken from this quasi-reality. And, this is really one of the central ideas of the Upanishads that eventually if you can awaken, so let's say that this is an awakening, this entity, this Atman, this self right over here, this perceived individual has now awoken and can see through, pierces the veil of that Maya.
Now, they have rejoined Brahman and they've recognized that Atman and Brahman are the same. And, this freeing from Samsara, from this birth death cycle, this is referred to as Moksha. Now, to make this idea a little bit clearer let's look at some quotes from the actual Upanishads.