[Advaita-l] Atman -- soul or witness or both ?

Sarma KV sarmakv at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 07:59:43 CDT 2009

Dear Sri Michael,

I am sure 'you know' more than your words are conveying, esp. your words
"whom we can invite to witness every thought, every word, .... "

We do not "invite" aatma.. Atma IS, like it or not, witnessing everything.
Our attempts to be aware of it take us into it. "brahmavit brahmaiva
bhavati" (one who knows brahma/Atma becomes brahma/Atma.)

What do you mean by "classical texts?"

Here it is usually referred to as "tat." There are some vEdic references
with the word "Atma" itself. For example, in atharva vEda, gaNapati is
praised as:
"tvam saakshaat Atma asi nityam."

Though not using the word "Atma", SvEtASvatara upanishat says:
EkO dEvaH sarva bhUtEshu gUDhaH - sarvavyApee savra bhUta antarAtmA |
karmaadhyakshaH sarva bhUta adhivaasaH - saakshee chEtaa kEvalO nirguNaScha

Notice the last quarter of this - it is the direct reference of the word
"witness." It says that "the One - God" is "The Witness."

To understand more on Atma-witness etc. in lucid words, please Bhagawan
Ramana Maharshi's talks.


On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 6:03 PM, Michael Shepherd <
michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> The mahavakya all remind us of the shared identity of atman and Brahman.
> But how do we personally enter the truth of this ?
> Some teachers and gurus emphasise the practicality of atman as eternal
> witness, whom we can invite to witness every thought, every word, every
> action; as a means to unite with Brahman in the simplest possible manner.
> But I note that 'atman as witness' doesn't seem to figure much in classical
> texts. Or am I wrong ? Is this more implied than stated outright ?
> I'd appreciate comment.
> Michael
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नगुरोरधिकं नगुरोरधिकं नगुरोरधिकं नगुरोरधिकम्।
शिवशासनतश्शिवशासनतः शिवशासनतश्शिवशासनतः ।।

Best Regards,

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