Prof Peter Harvey writes "Both Buddhism and Hinduism distinguish ego-related "I am, this is mine", from their respective abstract doctrines of "Anatta" and "Atman". This may have been an influence of Buddhism on Hinduism"

Wikipedia says "Upanishads state that the core of every person's self is not the body, nor the mind, nor the ego, but Atman, which means "soul" or "self". While the Upanishads recognized many things as being not-Self, they felt that a real, true Self could be found. Atman is that which one is at the deepest level of one's existence."

Could anyone tell me verses in Hinduism from Upanishads speaking of Non Self objects like Mind Body etc differentiating it from Atman? And are these words Anatma etc refered in Upanishads as Non Self?? If not then why do such words like Anatma get used in Vivekaschudlamai to differentiate between Atman and Body?

  • Harvey appears incorrect above about Buddhism. In the original Pali suttas, the doctrine of anatta appears not an explicit negation of Atman but merely a negation of the ego-related "I am, this is mine". While the original Pali suttas certainly contain accounts of non-Buddhist doctrines of an eternal self (sassato attā), this non-Buddhist doctrine does not appear to be the purpose of the Buddha teaching anatta in his 2nd sermon (SN 22.59). Also, when other Pali texts refer to the "soul & body", they use the words "jiva & sarīra". Feb 1, 2021 at 4:40
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    You can get verses from Upanishads showing that Self is different from body, Indriyas (mind is the 6th or 11th Indriya) and Pranas in this answer.
    – Rickross
    Feb 1, 2021 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


Could anyone tell me verses in Hinduism from Upanishads speaking of Non Self objects like Mind Body etc differentiating it from Atman?

The Taittiriya Upanishad talks about the 5 sheathes, starting from the outside with the most gross sheathe of annamaya (consisting of food), then pranamaya (vital airs), manomaya (mind), vijnanamaya (consciousness), and anandamaya (bliss).

It calls all of these "atmas", and then it says that the next subtler atma dwells within the more gross one, for example:

Different from this annamaya-atma, is the other inner atma, the pranamaya-atma.

Annamay-atma = physical body

Pranamaya-atma = subtle body

Manomaya-atma = the mind

Vijnanamaya-atma = the Jivatma

Anandamaya-atma = Brahman

These different selves are to be meditated upon, and the Upanishad mentions the fruit of this meditation at the end:

He who knows this, when he has departed this world, reaches and comprehends the Self which consists of food, the Self which consists of breath, the Self which consists of mind, the Self which consists of understanding, the Self which consists of bliss (Brahman).

  • Sir thanks a lot for the answer. Sir Anna here should refer to matter right? How can anna mean food here? All beings are born from food?? Sir Shankaracharya writes in Vivekaschudlamai 71 "yadboddhavyaṃ tavedānīmātmānātmavivecanam" Sir we know he was using Anatman to negate what's not Atman and he doesn't use in Buddhist sense. But he is using Buddhist terminology here??? What words did Upanishads use to say these items are not the Self? Anatman?? Feb 1, 2021 at 2:54
  • He uses ātmā nātma right? Can we find like that in Upanishads? I was shocked to find translators calling it Anatma in English and that Prof who claims this is Buddhist Influence Feb 1, 2021 at 2:57
  • Wiki writes for Tejobindu Upanishad " The Buddhist concept of "Anatman" (not-self) is a false concept, asserts Ribhu, and there is no such thing as Anatman by reason that it contradicts the existence of free will." Sir is that Buddhist stuff? Its just a sanskrit term right? Feb 1, 2021 at 3:19
  • Sir why should we meditate on Physical Body and all that when we are not that ?? Feb 1, 2021 at 3:21
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    @SethuSrivatsaKoduru It doesn't say anatma but it says "anyaH antaraH AtmA" -> (The other inner self).
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 1, 2021 at 15:54

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