Because the nature of ātmā is jñāna, it is self-luminous. The ātmā’s intrinsic “I” is called ahamartha and is not the same as the conditional “I” called ahaṅkāra, which is projected through the mind to form a knot between ātmā and a material body. Ahaṅkāra is tangible as the delusion that a material body is the true self.
Section 2: The Conception of Advaita-vāda Advaita-vādīs offer authoritative quotations: yo vijñane tiṣṭhan — “It is that which is situated within consciousness.” (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad,... Read More
Ātmā is nitya-nirmala, ever pure. This means it never mixes with the qualities (gunas) of matter (prakṛti), it is always distinct from matter, factually untouched by it. This is evident from a statement in Bhāgavata Purāna (5.11.12): “The pure self witnesses the activities of the impure mind.”
The first verse in this quotation describes what ātmā is not: It is not the physical body, mind, intelligence, life air or ego, because... Read More
By Satyanaryana Dasa Part 1: The Nature of Ātmā - Different schools of Indian philosophy and theology present different doctrines regarding the agency, enjoyership and knowership of ātmā, the individual self. Among them, the Vedānta schools accept the authority
Advaita-vādīs raise an objection to this necessity of accepting illuminating power (dharma-bhūta jñāna) as a quality possessed by ātmā: “Consciousness (jñāna) cannot be the... Read More