According to Advaita is there any difference in the atman before entering maya and after exiting maya?

In other words, does the atman gain or lose anything e.g., knowledge?

Does it gain any knowledge after exiting the maya. Is there any change in it's nature?

Does it merge in God or Brahman or something?

I want to know about any change even minute that happens in the atman.

By atman I mean the "soul" that Vivekananda refers to as being "eternal and ever blissful".

  • 3
    No, soul doesn't loss or gain anything... because maya can't affect soul.. as soul is non different from Brahman and Brahman is infinite.. hence there is no question of loosing..
    – Tezz
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 14:03
  • This question would make sense if the word soul is replaced by Jiva. A Jiva thinks himself as an ego when under the influence of Maya. The same Jiva thinks himself as the Atman when he has gone beyond the influence of Maya. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 15:28
  • According to Advaita, there is no Maya, it is just an illusion :). You are always, have always been and will ever remain as you are, the Eternal Brahman. From a relative perspective, there is no beginning to Maya, Maya is sat-asat vilakshana. Avidhya is without beginning, but with an end. All the best :)!
    – Sai
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:20
  • When you say 'soul' do you mean the jiva or the atman? I think you mean atman, but you should be more specific in your question. The word 'soul' is really a western religious concept which has a different meaning from Hindu concepts. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:44
  • @Sai There's a good verse from Gaudapada's Mandukya Karika that illustrates what you're saying: "There is neither dissolution nor creation, none in bondage and none practicing disciplines. There is none seeking Liberation and none liberated. This is the absolute truth." swamij.com/upanishad-mandukya-karika.htm Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Atman is unconditioned, immutable and formless.

Astavakra Samhita:

सशरीरमिदं विश्वं न किञ्चिदिति निश्र्चितम् ।
शुद्धचिन्मात्र आत्मा च तत्कस्मिन् कल्पनाघुना ।।

I have known for certain that the body and the universe are nothing and that the Atman is Pure Consciousness alone. So on what is it now possible to base imagination? II.19

Atman neither enters nor exits, neither comes nor goes.

एकं सर्वगतं व्योम बहिरन्तर्यथा घटे ।
नित्यं निरन्तरं ब्रह्म सर्वभूतगणे तथा ।।

As the same all pervading space is inside and outside a jar, so the eternal all pervasive Brahman exists in all things. I.20

नाहं देहो न मे देहो जीवो नाहमहं हि चित् ।
अयमेव हि मे बन्ध अासीद् या जीविते स्पृहा ।।

I am not this body, nor have I a body. I am not Jiva, I am Pure Consciousness. This indeed was my bondage that I had thirst for life. II.22

  • Nice references. Can you post Sanskrit versions of these verses. I am interested in knowing, what's translated as "consciousness"?
    – iammilind
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 21:39
  • @iammilind Have updated the answer.
    – Pinakin
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 18:19

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