[Advaita-l] Re: Few Questions I cant get around

Raghavendra N Kalyan kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Feb 20 01:58:29 CST 2005

>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.

If Atman is analogous to space, then jIvAtman (jIva) is analogous to the space in a pot. Space is never defiled nor does it have parts. Atman has no parts nor is it touched by good or bad. Smoke in a pot *appears* to defile the space inside it. Similarly the jIva *appears* to be tainted by avidya. There is no essential difference between the space in a pot and space itself. There is no essential difference between jIvAtman and Atman. That said, this analogy is just for a better understanding. In reality, no analogy can properly capture these concepts.
"Atman" is generally translated as the Self (with a capital S) but I am not comfortable with it as it gives the mistaken impression that it refers to or has something to do with the ego.

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