Aham Brahmasmi

Definition - What does Aham Brahmasmi mean?

Aham Brahmasmi is a term that is used in Hindu and yoga philosophy to describe the unity of the atman (individual self or soul) with Brahman (the Absolute). It is typically translated as “I am Brahman” or less literally as “I am divine.” It reflects the ultimate goal of yoga – union with the higher Self. Yoga itself means “union.”

The term comes from the Sanskrit, aham, meaning “I”; brahma, meaning “divine,” “sacred” and also the name of the Hindu creator god; and asmi, which translates as “I am.”

Yogapedia explains Aham Brahmasmi

Aham Brahmasmi is one of the main Mahavakyas, the short statements known as the "Great Utterances" from the Upanishads. These utterances are contemplated as part of self-exploration and are used in conjunction with prayer, meditation and mantra chanting. Jnana yoga, in particular, focuses on contemplating the Mahavakyas.

Other Mahavakyas include:

  • Prajnanam Brahma (“Brahman is intelligence”)
  • Tatvamasi (“That you are”)
  • Ayamatma Brahma (“My Self is Brahman”)
  • Isavasyam idam sarvam (“All this is enveloped by God”)
  • Pranosmi (“I am breath”)
  • Prajnatma (“I am the intelligent Self”)
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