Tree of Jiva and Atman

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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".

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

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

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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

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<i>Mantrika Upanishad</i>

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