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Atman: the Hindu concept of Self

Define the concept of Atman, and describe how it is similar to yet different from the typical western concept of self.

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Atman: A Hindu Divine Concept

Atman is a Sanskrit word that in Pali equates to the word Atta and it means 'original source' or the breath of life or literally living-breath. In Indian use the word is used in the reference to the individual 'being' with the closest approximation in Western terminology as the 'soul' for this being, one's Atman is one's very essence, the breath of life, mind and self that makes the person his own unique being. But this goes beyond physicality for in Hindu, Atman refers to the indestructible essence of self. Now, Atman, together with Brahman (the cosmic self or one true soul of the world) is seen as one unit, one monistic manifestation of what is holy in individuals. While Brahman is the source of the entire world and is its divine essence, Atman is the distilled essence of all that is holy and divine in man, ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 712-word narrative that provides a discussion, explanation and definition of the Hindu concept of Atman, the Hindu concept of the self. It is then compared and contrasted to the Western concept of self to show the similarities and differences. A word version fo the solution is attached for easy printing and digital use. References are listed to give the student room for further exploration of the topic.

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