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atman
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 Related Terms
• Hinduism
• Upanishads

 

Definition: The term atman derives from the Sanskrit word tman, which means "breath or spirit." In Hinduism, it has come to mean simply the "self" - the indivisble essence of a person's identity.

In the Upanishads, the term also came to mean the "universal self," an ultimate reality represented by the Brahman-Atman. Only through developing an understanding that the personal-atman was identical with the universal Brahman-Atman could one attain the highest levels of Hindu spiritual knowledge.

Also Known As: none

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is Atheism?
The definition of atheism causes many people problems. Too often, people have the wrong idea of what atheism really is and what atheists really believe.

What is Agnosticism?
Misunderstandings about agnosticism are just as frequent as misunderstandings about atheism.

What is Theism?
What is the difference between monotheism and monolatry? Between pantheism and panentheism? How about between animism and shamanism? Or theism and deism? What the heck is henotheism? For that matter, what is and is not a religion?

What is Religion?
A system of human beliefs, ideals and practices which is harder to define than it may at first appear.

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