[Advaita-l] Difference between Paramatma, Pratyagatma, and Atma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun May 22 16:20:40 CDT 2011

[With the recent obsessions with trivia, worthy topics of discussion are 
being overlooked.  I urge readers to remember this is list is called 

On Fri, 20 May 2011, shriharsha chatra wrote:

> Please explain me the difference between Paramatma, Pratyagathma, and Atma
> wrt to Brahman.

Atma is ones self.  At the most basic level it is understood as ahamkara 
(I-ness or ego.)  But as we ascend in understanding, we realize self means 
more than just body and mind. When we speak of that enduring atman while 
still embodied we use the term pratyagatman.  Still further we come to 
know that all atmas which we thought were separate are indeed the same. 
This we call paramatma.

We can approach the process from the opposite direction too.  The One 
brahman through the power of maya appears to create, maintain, and destroy 
the universe in all its multiplicity including the jivas.  But the 
difference in terminology should not obscure that atma and brahman are one 
and the same.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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