I was asking someone that why sometimes we call it soul and sometimes as spirit. I found that Spirit (आत्मा) same as the Soul (अन्तरात्मा). And he said jivatma and pretatma are forms of soul in which it exists. But he knows only two forms. So I like to know,

In How many forms can Spirit (आत्मा) exist?

  • 2
    Spirit and soul are English words. You can translate both of them using the same Sanskrit words, or you can translate them using two different Sanskrit words. So this isn't really a Hinduism question. If you give two Hindu terms and ask what the difference is, that can at least be answered. Jan 15 '18 at 13:10
  • I edited the question and added Hindi translation. I couldn't get Sanskrit translation Jan 15 '18 at 13:56
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    @KailashChandraPolai It's same thing, just different words.
    – Just_Do_It
    Jan 15 '18 at 14:36
  • To the best of my knowledge, in Hinduism there are only two forms of Atman - the Atma which wants to merge with the Paramatma. This is the basic concept of various schools of Hindu thought. The various forms of the Atma is what we get references to as Jivatma(living), Pretatma(after death) and so on. It is basically only the Atma. Jan 16 '18 at 5:38
  • @SureshRamaswamy: thought or taught ??
    – ssr1012
    Jan 16 '18 at 7:09

To the best of my understanding there is only one Atma that pervades/manifests as many forms. This is the Advaita philosophy of Adi Shankara as explained by many contemporary Gurus such as Swami Dayananda, Swami Chinmayananda, etc. According to this school, Atma and Paramatma are the same as there is only one true existence. The forms (all forms - nature, living beings, etc.) are all transitory and in that sense they do not exist

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