When we see all the practices from vedas, puranas, Yoga, and all scriptures, ithihasa, the theme has been to purify the mind and detach it from world. They never talked about on how to grow your Atman for liberation etc..

All instructions, the methods of practice, seems everything related to mind. Thus, my question is - Is liberation for mind? If so, then is Atman already free? If that's the case, then I think mind is sole reason for our existence in this world.

  • That's fine but if we see right from when we wake up, till sleep, every action we do arises from mind. From brushing to eating. If there's no mind, we don't need food I suppose. Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 3:11
  • If we see basic action of our life - everything from thoughts which is the mind. Thus, every true spiritual master says purify the mind and mind is the cause of all miseries. But when you look at Lord Krishna - he directly reveals Souls true nature by saying - OUR ATTACHMENT IS CAUSE OF MISERIES. This line tempted me to throw this question. @UdayKrishna Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 3:19
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    When Mann loses its identity and becomes Atman, it's referred as liberation. There is also Buddhi between these 2. The realisation to Atman (or ParamAtman) happens with Neti Neti (not this, not this). So paradoxically, whatever 'state' our Mann perceives as liberation, is not liberation.
    – iammilind
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 8:23
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    @AkshayS when you say mind, please consider Pranamaya kosha also along with Manomaya kosha. This is important. And the answer is different for different philosophies. According to Advaitha Atman is always free. Only the mind and energy covering the Atman needs to open up. But according to Vishishtadvaitha and Dvaitha Atman has to achieve liberation. This is my understanding.
    – user13262
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


What we perceive as consciousness through our mind is contained in Atman only. Atman is pure consciousness. It is the cause of consciousness which is played by the "mind" in the human body.

Kena Upanishad Chapter One:

That which speech does not illumine, but which illumines speech: know that alone to be the Brahman (the Supreme Being), not this which people worship here.

That which cannot be thought by mind, but by which, they say, mind is able to think: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which is not seen by the eye, but by which the eye is able to see: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which cannot be heard by the ear, but by which the ear is able to hear: know that alone to be Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which none breathes with the breath, but by which breath is in–breathed: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here. Ordinarily we know three states of consciousness only – waking, dreaming and sleeping. There is, however, a fourth state, the superconscious, which transcends these. In the first three states the mind is not clear enough to save us from error; but in the fourth state it gains such purity of vision that it can perceive the Divine. If God could be known by the limited mind and senses, then God–knowledge would be like any other knowledge and spiritual science like any physical science. He can be known, however, by the purified mind only. Therefore to know God, man must purify himself. The mind described in the Upanishads is the superconscious mind. According to the Vedic Sages the mind in its ordinary state is only another sense organ. This mind is limited, but when it becomes illumined by the light of the Cosmic Intelligence, or the “mind of the mind,” then it is able to apprehend the First Cause or That which stands behind all external activities.

  • Thus we can say consciousness at physical level is mind & at higher stage is Atman? Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:24
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    Consciousness at every level is Atman. It is only compressed into a limited entity when it assumes the Antahkarana (Totality of the mind) consisting of Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkara. Mind is anyway an English word, and it is not convenient in Vedic philosophy. In Vedic metaphysics, the mind is heavily dissected.
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:26
  • So we falsely assume that we are this mind due to interaction of senses and its perception. The moment we detach ourselves from this, we can understand this is nothing but Maya! Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:41
  • Absolutely, thats it
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:45
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    You need a Guru to convert the theoretical info into practical. And technically Moksha is attained when you realize Satchidananda.
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:52

The question is 'Is liberation for mind? If so, then is Atman already free? "

According Sri Krishna, persons aspiring for liberation should do Karma without regard to results.

तदित्यनभिसन्धाय फलं यज्ञतपःक्रियाः।

दानक्रियाश्च विविधाः क्रियन्ते मोक्षकाङ्क्षि।।17.25।।

After (uttering) the word tat, acts of sacrifice and austerity as also the various acts of charity are performed without regard for results by persons aspiring for Liberation.

Sri Ramana Maharshi says the Self (Atman) is already free. The obstacles are bundle of thoughts. The moment thoughts vanish, you will feel liberated.

Please go through Talks No.462, 195, 46 of Sri Ramana Maharshi at the below given link



Liberation is of mind alone, Atman is a reflection of Paramatma within the body and is God himself.

"For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation." (Amṛta-bindu Upaniṣad 2)

Ramakrishna Paramhans

God is directly perceived by the mind, but not by this ordinary mind. It is the pure mind that perceives God, and at that time this ordinary mind does not function. A mind that has the slightest trace of attachment to the world cannot be called pure. When all the impurities of the mind are removed, you may call that mind Pure Mind or Pure Ātman.

The Pure Mind and the Pure Ātman are one and the same thing. Whatever comes up in the Pure Mind is the voice of God.

Silenced mind, without the desires of sensual pleasures, is the state of Samadhi.

Ramana Maharshi

D. What is guru’s grace? How does it lead to Self-realization?

M. Guru is the Self…. Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied with it, and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires, through prayer to God etc. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain His grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God’s grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the Truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association. The devotee’s mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self.

The Guru is both ‘external’ and ‘internal’. From the ‘exterior’ he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the ‘interior’ He pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind. That is guru’s grace. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self.

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