Tree of Jiva and Atman

Last updated

The Tree of Jiva and Atman appears in the Vedic scriptures concerning the soul.

Vedas Ancient scriptures of Hinduism

The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless".

The Rig Veda samhita 1.164.20-22, Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1-2, and Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.6-7, speak of two birds, one perched on the branch of the tree, which signifies the body, and eating its fruit, the other merely watching.

Samhita literally means "put together, joined, union", a "collection", and "a methodically, rule-based combination of text or verses". Samhita also refers to the most ancient layer of text in the Vedas, consisting of mantras, hymns, prayers, litanies and benedictions.

Human body The entire structure of a human being

The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the human body.

Rig Veda samhita says:

1.164.20 Two birds associated together, and mutual friends, take refuge in the same tree; one of them eats the sweet fig; the other abstaining from food, merely looks on.

1.164.21 Where the smooth-gliding rays, cognizant, distil the perpetual portion of water; there has the Lord and steadfast protector all beings accepted me, though immature in wisdom.

1.164.22 In the tree into which the smooth-gliding rays feeders on the sweet, enters, and again bring forth light over all, they have called the fruit sweet, but he partakes not of it who knows not the protector of the universe.

The first bird represents a Jiva, or individual self, or soul. Shiva Samhita presents briefly the nature and the function of Jiva. It says: “Jiva lives in the man’s body and in the woman’s body as well. It is covered in all kinds of desires. There is a strong and tight relationship between him and the body throughout karma that was accumulated in the past lives. Every being enjoys and suffers according to his/her own past actions. The Jiva who’s done many good and virtuous deeds will enjoy a happy life and wonderful conditions in this world. But the Jiva, who, on the contrary, has done many bad deeds, will never find his peace. No matter what is the nature of his desire, positive or negative, it will always cling to the Jiva and follow him all the time, during his countless reincarnations.” [1] When the Jiva becomes distracted by the fruits (signifying sensual pleasure), Jiva momentarily forgets the Lord and lover and tries to enjoy the fruit independently. This separating forgetfulness is maha-maya, or enthrallment, spiritual death, and constitutes the fall of the jiva into the world of material birth, death, disease and old age.

In Hinduism and Jainism, the jiva is a living being, or any entity imbued with a life force. The word itself originates from the Sanskrit jivás, with the root jīv- "to live". It has the same Indo-European root as the Latin word vivus, meaning "alive".

Soul The incorporeal essence of a living being.

The soul, in many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche comprises the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal.

The concept of spiritual death has varying meanings in various uses and contexts. A "spiritually dead" person may mean someone who is not spiritual – one who identifies himself with dead matter, though he is a living conscious being. Thus the first meaning for "spiritual death" is "to become atheist". Another, narrow, "purified" meaning of "spiritual death" is "death in a spiritual way", "to die being a spiritual person, not being an atheist". Thus this means that "spiritual death" relates to two selfs: soul, and ego. Differences in meaning come from misidentification of the eternal soul to be "spiritually dead" or "material", which is nonsense for theist. For a theist there is no such thing as "spiritual death". Matter can be only dead, and the soul can only be eternal. As put by the LDS Church, "the body is as a glove, and the spirit the hand that moves". One cannot say "dead life", or "alive death". For contrast one can guess what is the meaning of "material life: life is always spiritual, though "material life" would mean just "to live having materialistic values".

The second bird is the Paramatman, an aspect of God who accompanies every living being in the heart while she remains in the material world. He is the support of all beings and is beyond sensual pleasure.

Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman, or supreme Self, in various philosophies such as the Vedanta and Yoga schools in Hindu theology, as well as other Indian religions like Sikhism. The Paramatman is the "Primordial Self" or the "Self Beyond" who is spiritually practically identical with the Absolute, identical with the Brahman. Selflessness is the attribute of Paramatman, where all personality/individuality vanishes.

In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived as being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present) and as having an eternal and necessary existence. These attributes are used either in way of analogy or are taken literally. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence".

Related Research Articles

Rudra deity

Rudra is a Rigvedic deity, associated with wind or storm and the hunt. One translation of the name is "the roarer". In the Rigveda, Rudra has been praised as the "mightiest of the mighty". Rudra is the personification of 'terror'. Depending up on the periodic situation, Rudra can be meant as the most severe roarer/howler (could be a hurricane or tempest) or the most frightening one. The Shri Rudram hymn from the Yajurveda is dedicated to Rudra, and is important in the Saivism sect.

Karma is a concept of Hinduisms which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a soul's (Atman's) reincarnated lives forming a cycle of rebirth. The causality is said to be applicable not only to the material world but also to our thoughts, words, actions and actions that others do under our instructions.

<i>Shvetashvatara Upanishad</i> One of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit text embedded in the Yajurveda. It is listed as number 14 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. The Upanishad contains 113 mantras or verses in six chapters.

<i>Shiva Purana</i> medieval era Sanskrit text, one of eighteen major Puranas

The Shiva Purana is one of the eighteen Purana genre of Sanskrit texts in Hinduism, and part of the Shaivism literature corpus. It primarily centers around the Hindu god Shiva and goddess Parvati, but references and reveres all gods.

Mayabheda, (Sanskrit:मायाभेद:), means the breaching or removal of Avidya ("ignorance"). It means the destruction of the illusion caused by Maya which occurs coinciding with the gain/dawn of Right Knowledge, the knowledge of Brahman. The Rig Veda Sukta R.V.X.177 addressed to Mayabheda in its three Mantras in its own cryptic way serves this purpose. The central theme of this hymn is the discernment of Maya or illusion, the cause of material creation. Mayabheda is also one of the Rigvedic deities.

Agama (Hinduism) Collection of Hindu religious texts

The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires. These canonical texts are in Sanskrit Telugu and Tamil.

In Hinduism, Âdityas, meaning "of Aditi", refers to the offspring of the goddess Aditi and her husband the sage Kashyapa. The name, Aditya, in the singular, is taken to refer to the Sun God, Surya.

Paramananda is a compound Sanskrit word composed of two words, Parama and Ānanda. Parma is usually taken to mean the Highest, the utmost or the most excellent, but actually means - "beyond". And Ānanda, which means, happiness and bliss and most often used to refer to joy though it does not exactly mean these because the original meaning implies permanence rather than just a momentary surge of delight or happiness; it also suggests a deep-seated spiritual emotion that is solidly entrenched. The Upanishadic Seers have used the word, Ānanda, to denote Brahman, the limitless, formless, infinite, indestructible, sole eternal Supreme Being or Sole Reality, to mean, Brahmanmayah, i.e. full of Brahman.

Jivatva means – the state of life or the state of the individual soul. Jivatva is the state of life of the Jiva, the living entity, which is a particular manifestation of Atman, the embodied being limited to psycho-physical states, and the source of avidya that suffers (repeated) transmigration as result of its actions. Until ignorance ceases the Jiva remains caught in experience of the results of actions bringing merit and demerit, and in the state of individuality (jivatva), and so long as the connection with the intellect as conditioning adjunct lasts, so long the individuality and transmigration of soul lasts.

Idam(Tamil) is a Tamil/Sanskrit word which denotes location or position or place. In grammar it is used at the beginning or middle of a sentence as a nominative or attributive pronoun, combined with or without ya, adds emphasis to other nouns, propositions etc.; and means - this, here or yonder, present or seen nearby, fit for, or without reference to noun refers to एतद् ('that') or to what precedes.

Prajña or Pragya as प्रज्ञा, प्राज्ञ and प्राज्ञा is used to refer to the highest and purest form of wisdom, intelligence and understanding. Pragya is the state of wisdom which is higher than the knowledge obtained by reasoning and inference.

Kasaya is attachment to worldly objects and is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samadhi: it is overcome through viveka, discrimination.

<i>Skanda Upanishad</i>

Skanda Upanishad or Skandopanishad is one of the 108 Upanishads of Hinduism, written in Sanskrit. It is classified as a Samanya (general) Upanishad and is associated with the Krishna Yajurveda, one of the 32 listed Upanishads under it.

<i>Jabali Upanishad</i> Shaiva Hindu text

The Jabali Upanishad, also called Jabalyupanishad, is a Sanskrit text and one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism. It is attached to the Samaveda, and classified as is one of the Shaiva Upanishads.

Agni Fire god of Hinduism

Agni is a Sanskrit word meaning fire, and connotes the Vedic fire god of Hinduism. He is also the guardian deity of the southeast direction, and is typically found in southeast corners of Hindu temples. In the classical cosmology of the Indian religions, Agni as fire is one of the five inert impermanent elements (pañcabhūtá) along with space (ākāśa), water (ap), air (vāyu) and earth (pṛthvī), the five combining to form the empirically perceived material existence (Prakriti).

<i>Mantrika Upanishad</i>

The Mantrika Upanishad is a minor Upanishad of Hinduism. The Sanskrit text is one of the 22 Samanya Upanishads, is part of the Vedanta and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy literature, and is one of 19 Upanishads attached to the Shukla Yajurveda. In the Muktika canon, narrated by Rama to Hanuman, it is listed at number 32 in the anthology of 108 Upanishads.

References