Almost every religion has a belief in this qoute that God lives in us and we are an image (in Islam human is stated to be the Khalifa; junior, of God). What does Hinduism state about this belief?

3 Answers 3


Using Advaita Vedanta to answer your question, God(Nirguna Brahman) has no form, gender or qualities. Brahman cannot be called He or She but only It or That. Hence humans are not an 'image' of God. God didn't create the cosmos but became the cosmos. Hence everything in this world is Brahman, from a rock to a bacteria to a human. Only humans poses the potential to realize the true nature of Brahman.

The phrase "Atman is Brahman" is used in Advaita. The metaphor of Indra's Net is used to explain this. It is an infinite network with a jewel at each node. Each jewel reflects every other jewel and each jewel is a microcosm of the whole net. The jewels are the Atman the whole net is the Brahman. Hence Atman is a microcosm of Brahman.

Some illustrations of the Indra's Net: Image 1 , Image 2. Notice that each node reflects every other node and thus each node also contains the whole network in it.

  • +1 That was really simple! But one thing is tickling my mind, A runningMind used term Brahma you're talking about Brahman highest class in Hindus, This one thing is the issue with me here, little clarification about this would be welcomed! :) Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 15:52
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    @Afsal - There is three words that every one confuse. That is "Brahmin" , "Brahman" , "Brahma". Brahmin is a cast while Brahman is the eternal truth ,can say God , and at last Brahma is one of the trinity..
    – Kiran RS
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 16:11
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    @AfzaalAhmadZeeshan, Brahman is the Ultimate Truth which can be approximated to be God. Brahmin is the anglicized word for Brahmana which approximately means one who is dedicated to the knowledge of the Brahman. Brahma is a deva/deity. Can be confusing since they are similar sounding :)
    – Bharat
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 16:39
  • @KiranRS Atleast in marathi, Brahman refers to the caste. The word Brahmin is not used at all. Are you refering to Hindi or Sanskrit? Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 6:18
  • Brahman is formless impersonal God. Brahman is one and only truth. Actual Ishwar is the Brahman, when seen from inside maya. Now, Brahma is one of the deity in trinity "brahma,vishnu,mahesh" - whose idol is at Pushkar temple. anyone's Ishtdevta is mapped to the ishwar. So he is strictly monotheist upto here. Now, Each deity you see is just an aspect/demi-god(almost like angel in islam) to the Ishtdevta of the worshipper. "Devta" word(like indra etc) translation as God is not accurate, because devta can die and reborn. Even any human with enough good merits can become devtaa
    – zaxebo1
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 1:31

The fundamental difference between the religions of the West and Hinduism, is that there are two entities in the religions of the West - The Creator and Creation. Hinduism doesn't.

Hinduism is one religion that is a proponent of the "Part of the whole" theory. The universe is the "Whole", and we are part of that "Whole". So, there is no difference between a human and the universe. We are part of that whole. Our bodies are made up of the same elements (Pancha Bhootas) which the universe is made of.

For example, human body is made up of 1 billion cells.

Can ONE cell say that it was created by the human it belonged to ?


Do we say that the Cell is the "part of the whole".

So, in a sense each cell makes the human the WHOLE. Also, the cell lives because it is part of the WHOLE HUMAN, and the WHOLE HUMAN lives because of each cell.

Now, if you use the same argument on the HUMAN as a part of the WHOLE universe, the argument is the same. The human being lives because of the Universe, and the universe lives because of the human, and other parts of the universe.

Or we extend it further and say that "GOD is part of you " . "You are part of God"

Now if you read this again..

1.Rig Veda - prajñānam brahma Wisdom/consciousness is the brahma(highest truth)

2.Atharva Veda - ayam ātmā brahma I am this Self is Brahma

3.Sama Veda - tat tvam asi You are that(Brahma)

4.Yajur Veda - aham brahmāsmi I am that (Brahma)

It makes more sense. " You are part of God " God is part of you.


The most important texts in Hinduism is 4 veda's mahavakyas(ultimate messages) are the following

  1. Rig Veda - prajñānam brahma Wisdom/consciousness is the brahma(highest truth)

  2. Atharva Veda - ayam ātmā brahma I am this Self is Brahma

  3. Sama Veda - tat tvam asi You are that(Brahma)

  4. Yajur Veda - aham brahmāsmi I am that (Brahma)

Everything is God according to Hinduism, including every living and nonliving things, and the human life is for realizing this fact. Humans are getting a chance for self realization or moksha by this life. Even if everything is God, only humans can understand that, only they can think about the God and thus move in the path of self realization.

  • One thing, what would be the Brahma, God? Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 14:14
  • Brahma is different from Brahman. @A runningMind, your quotes are correct but usage of the term Brahma is not.
    – Bharat
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 14:51
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    Yeah, Brahma is not Brahman. @Afzaal: I can't explain what exactly it is, but that can be considered as the highest truth or God itself and it includes everything in the universe- yes,everything. I guess there is no better words in English to explain that. As RBK answered, it can be said as 'it' or 'that', but the actual word in sanskrit is 'Brahma'.(Not to be confused with Lord Brahma)
    – user11
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 15:48

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