[Advaita-l] Few Questions I cant get around

Girish Ramadurgam rsgirish at aol.com
Sat Feb 19 11:01:11 CST 2005

Dear All,

I Was reading through a Web site
and wanted the opinion of this forum. As I perceive most of you in this
forum are really knowledgeable and know what they are talking.

If you all find time to read through it please let me know what you

Quote from the web site

According to Shankara, Atman is the spirit of the Self, and is the
spirit of the individual being. Atman is not the ego or the individual
personality. The ego is a form of the individual soul, and the
individual soul (or jiva) is an appearance of Atman. However, the
appearance of Atman should not to be confused with the reality of Atman.
The reality of Atman is that it is actually no different from Brahman.

Shankara teaches that Atman is the Self of all individual beings. Atman
is uncreated and eternal. It may dwell within a body, but it does not
depend on the existence of a body. Wrong knowledge may be produced by
the false perception that the Self actually belongs to a body.

Question -

I couldn't understand the difference or are they the same?
1) Atman
2) Jiva
3) Jivatman
4) Self( I feel its the same as Atman)

Any analogies to perceive this would really help.

Quote from the web site
Shankara also believes that God is Brahman, insofar as Brahman refers to
the world of existence. While Brahman itself is without cause or effect,
God (Ishvara) is the material cause, as well as the operative cause, of
the world of existence.

For Shankara, God is the creator of the world and is the ruler of the
universe. The universe is an appearance of Brahman. Thus, God is also
the supreme being who causes and directs the unfolding of the universe.

There was another thread where Amuthan Arunkumar Ji dint(if he did I
must not have read that, sorry) explain what he meant by Ishvara.
I though can some on explain the content above.

I perceive it as God is Brahman like Self is Brahman. Eventually we all
accept that when we transcend to a higher plan its on Brahman. So what's
differentiating God and Self?
Above they say 'God is material cause'? How Does God fit in Advaita
Vedanta or does he as I think exits only from a vyavaharika level.


it states that duality
'in which all duality is said to be in the vyAvahArika level,'
My understanding of duality - Brahman and Self. So Ishvara still does
not exists in Advaita for me.

Please enlighten me with your knowledge and help me clear my
understanding/misunderstanding. I also request you not to be
judgemental, I am just trying to find out and gain knowledge.

As for Books -

I would really prefer to read books along with web sites, but I am not
aware as to where to start from.

I am in London and if anyone knows any good book store in London please
let me know.

I do not mind buying books online, but need to know which book to buy.
Want to read UpadeshasAhasri in English as my knowledge of sanksrit is 

I would be in Bangalore/Sringeri for 2 weeks, so would want to make the
most out of my visit this time. Please tell me where and what books to
start with.

Thank you for your patience.

Best Wishes,


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