An awareness program on Atman — the Self or The Spirit, is an initiative by Vedicology Center for Spiritual and Cultural Empowerment for supporting the tradition of Sanatana Dharma. Vedicology team members Mr Eswaran Namboothiri and Mr Praveen Saanker facilitate a study on understanding the core philosophy and essential concepts of Atman.
What is Atman ?
Atman is a Sanskrit term that means Inner self, or soul. In Hindu philosophy, Atman is the foundational principle, the real self of someone beyond identification the gist of a person, with happenings. To be able to attain liberation (moksha), a human being has to acquire self-knowledge (Atma Jnana), that is to observe that one’s true self (Atman) is equal with the higher self Brahman.
Hinduism’s six schools consider that there is Atman (soul( self) in every being.
It is vital to understand the foundational concept named Atman to understand the spiritual core of Hinduism. The Real Self, which never changes is referred to by atman. It is distinct from both the body and the brain. This self that is real is beyond the designations we ascribe in terms of nationality, sex, species and race. Ideas of reincarnation are natural extensions of the preliminary concept. Consciousness is regarded as a symptom of the soul.
Mr.Praveen Saanker and Mr Eswaran Namboothiri motivate the participants to understand that the true self (atman) is distinct from the mortal body. Another vital point is that earthly denominations do not apply to the spirit. The participant’s key takeaway is the atman is your soul — unchanging, conscious and constant. The learning that is most important is that consciousness within us is an extension of the soul and in a way, an extension of the higher self ( brahman) .
Related Values and Problems
The notion of this unchanging self and the ultimate need for self-realisation are at the root of Hindu attitudes towards several essential issues like :-
- Shared values
- Tolerance, patience, forbearance
- Austerity and renunciation
- Empathy and compassion for others
- Wealth and poverty
All forms of spiritual practices and yogas are aimed at realising the true self. Just when one stops searching happiness that is external and appears within, can one perceives the self that is authentic. According to the Bhagavad-gita, this may be attained through meditation study, and renunciation but also by the active and selfless performance of a person’s duty. Indeed, just before the battle of Kuruksetra, Krishna encouraged, arjuna to develop his self-realisation.
Common Misunderstandings on Atman
1. Hindus believe that they have a soul.
On the contrary, Hindus believe that we, like all living beings, are the soul and have a body
2.Hindus believe that atman = brahman.
Whereas nearly all Hindus maintain that the spirit is Brahman (soul ), this equation could be misinterpreted to conclude that Hindus believe that the soul and God are equivalent in all respects.
This awareness program empowers you to begin a search within yourself to understand your exact self, your real identity. By the end of this program, you could have more clarity on the following questions .
- What is Atman ?
- What is my identity?
- Who is atman ?
- How are atman and brahman related ?
The concept of Atman has the earliest references in the Rig Veda. Vedicology facilitators Mr.Praveen Saanker and Mr.Easwaran Namboothiri would take you through an explorative journey that covers the development of this particular concept through the Vedas, Upanishads, The six schools of Hinduism ( All orthodox primary schools of Hinduism – Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta accept the foundational premise of the Vedas and Upanishads that “Atman exists”) and the Dharma Sutras.
Vedicology awareness program on Atman is conducted at the Vedicology Center for Spiritual and Cultural Empowerment, Annanagar, Chennai.