Atma is one no doubt, but the people around me also have the same atma and the rest of individuality left in them is jada.

My question is

  • Does the person reading this question have any separate existence from ME?

  • If I am the atma, how am I able to perceive the universe through a million billion people simultaneously?

  • Am I really perceiving it or are others just not real, just characters in my dream?

  • Is my idea of others having individuality a wrong notion?

  • Is not my neighbor's liberation my own liberation, because atma is one? (or)

  • Is my neighbor inexistent to me as he or she is just a character in my dream?

  • Using the example of a dream, how can a single character in the dream get liberated?

  • Would that not end the universe as the dreamer has got up?

  • 1
    Excellent question. You touched hot spot of spiritual. There's no seperate you and me. Your existential aspect is non different from my existential aspect. Am not my name and you're not your name. Neither characters. Binding elements bring individuality but when that is cut, no difference between you and me.. existence is same and that is Brahman. Aug 18, 2019 at 16:06
  • 4
    You are mixing your body's local aatma and Paramatma together, Your liberation is of your Aatma not of entire world, because every aatma is bound by its Karma whether its of your relative or any nearby person. Everyone has to pay for their own Karmas. Just like different leafs are connected to same tree, so are all living beings connected to same Paramatma Brahman. But plucking one leaf out and turning into soil and liberating it, wont effect other leafs, similar is the Moksha of liberated person.
    – user16530
    Aug 18, 2019 at 18:13
  • @ParabrahmanJyoti are you(the name and form) real for me? Aug 19, 2019 at 3:13
  • 1
    @ParabrahmanJyoti i don't think it is right to call it real or false. Maya is neither real of false, but it's existence snaps like that of a dream when a person is liberated.
    – user17858
    Aug 19, 2019 at 12:26
  • 1
    @Random-15 you have good understanding of Maya through blessings of Adi Shakti!!! Aug 19, 2019 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


Parbrahman Paramatma is different from an individual's aatma in the domain of time. The universe was created by single consciousness by its reflections just like one Sun reflects into million reflections in million pots filled with water. So does One Paramatma(Supersoul) reflects/divides into infinite Aatmas(souls).

Eko ham, bahu syam - Vedas

I am one, let me be many

Brahmsutras,Tree of Jiva and Atman explained it as well

II.3.46 The Supreme Lord is not (affected by pleasure and pain) like this (individual being) just as light (is unaffected by the shaking of its reflections).

II.3.50 And (the individual soul is) only a reflection (of Paramatman or the Supreme Lord).

All the souls were not made human beings directly. There is a Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu which illustrates the evolution of life from single celled organism to insects to reptiles to mammals to the most complex organism i.e human. Fish to Turtle to Boar to Lion to complex Man. The universe is not a dream, its Vyavahrik Satya based on the law of Karma. There are trillions of souls on this earth in the form of insects, animals etc., but only 7 billion are chosen to be born as human with intellect and given chance to self-realize, understand Dharma and go beyond senses. Vivekchudamani also discussed about the rarity of human birth.

  1. For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brahmin-hood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than this is erudition in the scriptures; discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realisation, and continuing in a state of identity with Brahman – these come next in order. (This kind of) Mukti (Liberation) is not to be attained except through the well-earned merits of a hundred crore of births.

  2. There are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God –namely, a human birth, the longing for Liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage.

  3. What greater fool is there than the man who having obtained a rare human body, and a masculine body too, neglects to achieve the real end of this life?

  4. Let people quote the Scriptures and sacrifice to the gods, let them perform rituals and worship the deities, but there is no Liberation without the realisation of one’s identity with the Ātman, no, not even in the lifetime of a hundred Brahmas put together.

Every person's horoscopes explains the weaknesses and strengths of a person's Karmas and hence every person has an individual journey and individual Moksha. Autobiography of a Yogi.

“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results."

Just like different birds sit on a tree for a night, so are the temporary societies and families are formed for temporary time until a person self realizes or dies. But the person liberating are very rare, hence the Prakriti system continues to operate in the form of several earths and Suns and Lokas continuously and giving chances to the past bound souls to self-realize through rare human birth. Geeta Chapter 6

Bhagavad Gita 6.37 Arjun said: What is the fate of the unsuccessful yogi who begins the path with faith, but who does not endeavor sufficiently, due to unsteady mind, and is unable to reach the goal of Yog in this life?

Bhagavad Gita 6.38 Does not such a person who deviates from Yog get deprived of both material and spiritual success, O mighty-armed Krishna, and perish like a broken cloud with no position in either sphere?

Bhagavad Gita 6.39 O Krishna, please dispel this doubt of mine completely, for who other than you can do so?

Bhagavad Gita 6.40 The Supreme Lord said: O Parth, One who engages on the spiritual path does not meet with destruction either in this world or the world to come. My dear friend, one who strives for God-realization is never overcome by evil.

Bhagavad Gita 6.41 – 6.42 The unsuccessful yogis, upon death, go to the abodes of the virtuous. After dwelling there for many ages, they are again reborn in the earth plane, into a family of pious and prosperous people. Else, if they had developed dispassion due to long practice of Yog, they are born into a family endowed with divine wisdom. Such a birth is very difficult to attain in this world.

Bhagavad Gita 6.43 On taking such a birth, O descendant of Kurus, they reawaken the wisdom of their previous lives, and strive even harder toward perfection in Yog.

Bhagavad Gita 6.44 Indeed, they feel drawn toward God, even against their will, on the strength of their past discipline. Such seekers naturally rise above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.

Bhagavad Gita 6.45 With the accumulated merits of many past births, when these yogis engage in sincere endeavor in making further progress, they become purified from material desires and attain perfection in this life itself.

Bhagavad Gita 6.46 A yogi is superior to the tapasvī (ascetic), superior to the jñānī (a person of learning), and even superior to the karmī (ritualistic performer). Therefore, O Arjun, strive to be a yogi.

Bhagavad Gita 7.3 Amongst thousands of persons, hardly one strives for perfection; and amongst those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows me in truth.

Avadhut Geeta explaining the state achieved after Moksha which is called the state of Videhamukta(without body)

[1.31] When the pot is broken, the space within it is absorbed in the infinite space and becomes undifferentiated. When the mind becomes pure, I do not perceive any difference between the mind and the supreme Being.

Uttara Geeta

2.35 As the Akãsa of the pot is absorbed in the Mahãkãsa when the pot is broken, so also the ignorance bound Jîvãtman is absorbed in the Paramãtman when ignorance is destroyed. 2.36 He who has been able to acquire the knowledge of the Tattvas that the Jîvãtman is absorbed in the Paramãtman, even as the Akãsa of the Pot is absorbed in the Mahãkãsa, becomes undoubtedly free from the chain of ignorance, and goes into the sphere of the Light of Supreme Knowledge and Wisdom.


There are two identities one is defined by your family tree . The second is your true self ( Atman) which is secretly coded by God. The process of life should be how closer you bring your atma (Consciousness) to the Brahman . The process of bringing our everyday thoughts , decision and action nearer to Brahman (True Knowledge)is called "SuKarma " Good Karma . This refining process continues birth after birth till it reaches Parabrahman. The Atman can reach Brahman only by Gyanam.


Rig Veda I.164.20 says

Two Birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge. One of the twain eats the sweet Fig-tree's fruitage; the other eating not regardeth only.

The 2 birds mentioned, in esoteric sense, in the above mantra, are God and Individual soul in every being - 2 birds on the same tree.

The 1st Bird, which tastes the fruits, is individual soul, and the other one is GOD. As long as individual is after gratifying one's senses - indriyAs , ie., in pursuit of materialistic issues like, mating, power, riches, etc, duality exists.

Once this desire to gratify one's senses vanishes, the 2nd bird, after getting merged into the 1st bird, will no longer exist.

This is advaIta stage - non-dual stage.

Till the advaIta stage has been reached, one cannot feel the pain or pleasure of other beings, as the 2nd bird still remains. Once the advaIta stage has been reached, one can experience what is transpiring around, including in other's minds.

The following is an excerpt from the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

  1. Sri Ramakrishna experienced the pain of blows being received by someone else on the other side of Ganga.

  2. Sri Ramakrishna ate food from other people's mouths.

Pundit Shashadhar one day suggested to the Master that the latter could remove the illness by concentrating his mind on the throat, the scriptures having declared that yogis had power to cure themselves in that way. The Master rebuked the pundit. "For a scholar like you to make such a proposal!" he said. "How can I withdraw the mind from the Lotus Feet of God and turn it to this worthless cage of flesh and blood?" "For our sake at least", begged Narendra and the other disciples. "But", replied Sri Ramakrishna, do you think I enjoy this suffering? I wish to recover, but that depends on the Mother."

NARENDRA: "Then please pray to Her. She must listen to you."

MASTER: "But I cannot pray for my body."

NARENDRA: "You must do it, for our sake at least."

MASTER: "Very well, I shall try."

A few hours later the Master said to Narendra: "I said to Her: 'Mother, I cannot swallow food because of my pain. Make it possible for me to eat a little.' She pointed you all out to me and said: 'What? You are eating enough through all these mouths. Isn't that so?' I was ashamed and could not utter another word."

Sri Ramana Maharshi said the universe is real if perceived as the Self.

Sri Ramana said that the jnani is aware that the world is real, not as an assemblage of interacting matter and energy, but as an uncaused appearance in the Self. He enlarged on this by saying that because the real nature or substratum of this appearance is identical with the beingness of the Self, it necessarily partakes of its reality. That is to say, the world is not real to the jnani simply because it appears, but only because the real nature of the appearance is inseparable from the Self.

The ajnani on the other hand, is totally unaware of the unitary nature and source of the world and, as a consequence, his mind constructs an illusory world of separate interacting objects by persistently misinterpreting the sense-impressions it receives. Sri Ramana pointed out that this view of the world has no more reality than a dream since it superimposes a creation of the mind on the reality of the Self. He summarised the difference between the jnani's and the ajnani's standpoint by saying that the world is unreal if it is perceived by the mind as a collection of discrete objects and real when it is directly experienced as an appearance in the Self.

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