Jiva-Atman

Last Updated: March 11, 2016

Definition - What does Jiva-Atman mean?

In Indian philosophy, the jiva-atman – also simply called jiva – is the individual soul or self. It is one of two types of souls, the other being the paramatman or atman, which is the universal and eternal Soul. Jiva-atman is trapped in the earthly body until death, when it is reincarnated.

The term, jiva-atman, comes from the Sanskrit jiv, meaning “to breathe,” and atman, meaning “self.” Therefore, it may be translated to mean “living being.”

The path of yoga can unite jiva-atman (the personal self) with atman (the cosmic Self) by creating and expanding the practitioner's awareness of the oneness of all creation.

Yogapedia explains Jiva-Atman

Vedic scriptures contain a metaphorical story about jiva and atman becoming separated from each other. Using the image of two birds in a tree, the texts describe jiva's separation from atman and it's subsequent fall to the earthly world of birth, death, disease and old age.

The ultimate goal of the jiva-atman varies among the Hindu traditions, but is one of the following:

  • Moksha - liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth
  • Bhakti - obtaining pure, divine love
  • Jivanmukta - Self-knowledge that provides liberation while living

Regardless of tradition, the practice of yoga can help a dedicated individual come closer to one of these three states by expanding their consciousness and creating a sense of harmony with the universe.

During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Chakras May Be Blocked.

To help you bring attention to your chakras and to identify which of your chakras are causing you issues, we created the following quiz.

Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

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