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Hindus/Means Of Atman

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Question
Dear Sir.

Can U Please Tell me the meaning Of Atman, i am not satisfied what ever i know like it is nameless, what does it means nameless.
It is formless, so how i understand a thing without form, what ever we seeing understand is having a form, what i understand from s thing that is formless.
hope u will clear my doubts

Thanks

Answer
Dear Vineet,

Thank you for your question.

The word Ātman means "self." In some contexts it can mean the physical body, and in others it means the subtle body. In Vedānta philosophy it is most often used to mean the transpersonal Self, the essential Consciousness that is the ultimate substance of all things.

You can think of it like electricity, which has no definite form and which is everywhere. We only see it when it manifests through forms, such as light bulbs, which can be of different shapes and sizes. Or think of it like radio waves that pervade space, yet only manifest when there is an instrument to channel them, i.e., a radio. Light itself is also formless, yet we can imagine forms made of light such as the sun, moon, and fire.

The Self is called Saccidānanda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss. We can see it manifest through conscious beings as awareness, understanding, and love. It is the essential Consciousness behind the body composed of five elements and behind the mind. It illumines and brings life to the inner and outer worlds, yet it remains unaffected by the many changes in these worlds, as the light of a projector remains unaffected by the many dramas that take place in movies.

The Gītā says, "Outside and inside [all] beings, animate and inanimate: due to its subtlety it is not perceived, that which is far and near." (13:15)

To learn to perceive what is so subtle, your mind has to become subtle through sādhana, spiritual practice.

If form is the only way you can understand it now, take up a divine form and worship and meditate on that. In time through the grace of God/dess you will have the vision of the deity, and you will understand what is meant by cidghanakāya, "Form of Condensed Consciousness."

Best wishes,

Brother William  

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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