Advaita terminology

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 18 21:36:09 CST 2002

Hari Om !!

I have been reading various vedanta  books for some time. This has been
generating a lot of confusion with regard to the terminology used there in.
I request your help to clarify my doubts.

1. I read the following sentence in "Vedanta for Beginners" by Swami

"The word  'Atman' is used with reference to the soul in the individual.
The term 'Brahman' is used with reference to the same Soul as the Soul of
all beings and objects in the universe."

(--- In some other books of other authors I see that Brahman and Atman are
used as substitutes to each other.)

a) What is the correct usage ?
b) What is the 'Soul in the individual' and 'Soul of all beings' ?
c) what are the equivalent english words for 'Jiva' and 'Isvara' ?
d) I assume 'Self' is the english equivalent for 'Atman'. Then what do the
words 'Individual Self' and 'Supreme Self' represent ?
e) What are the equivalents of 'Jivatman' and 'Paramatman' ?
f) Are 'Atman' and 'Jivatman' same ?
g) Are 'Jiva' and 'Jivatman' same ?
h) What is the correct usage for 'Isvara' and 'Brahman' ?

2. I understand that Antahkarana Chatusthaya means 'Manas, budhi, Ahamkara,
Chitta'. These four are different functions of the same "MIND"
(collectively called). So, we can say Manas is Antahkarana; similarly Budhi
is Antahkarana; similarly Ahamkara is Antahkarana; similarly Chitta is
Antahkarana (based on the explanation of Swami Chandrasekhara Bharathi's
explanation in Vivekachudamani).

I believe Ahamkara is translated as EGO, or I-Sense.

Based on the above I infer that "EGO" is the nature of MIND which is a
manifestation of Avidya.

Now coming to my understanding of "Jiva", it is the same Atman with the
adjunct of Mind, and because of Superimposition with the Mental sheeth, it
acquires "EGO"

I see in most of the books of Swami Chinmayananda, the terms 'EGO'
and 'JIVA' being used as one and the same.

a) Is 'Jiva' different from 'Ego' or not ?
b) I understand 'Apavada' meaning removal of superimposition is the process
of realization. In that context where is "EGO" playing a role ?
c) What is the root cause of this 'EGO', and what is its nature ? Why is
such a sense existing in the MIND/Maya ? What are the prescriptions of
Bhagavan Sankara?
d) When I analyze of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's 'Who Am I' enquiry, it does
not seem to be concerned about 'Ego'; where as Swami Chinmayananda's books
seem to hammer saying reduce/nullify 'Ego'. Can these two paths mean the
same ? In the second situation as we see 'Jiva' and 'Ego' being used as
equivalents, it poses an understanding problem to me: How can we
eliminate 'Jiva' who is 'Atman' Himself ? based on "Jivo Brahmaiva

I will highly appreciate if you can share your comments on these questions.
I have specific sentences from other books, but I will mention them as the
requirements arise.

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


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