Some saints say we(atma) are god itself and some say we are amsh(part) of god!

For eg lets take the verse from nirvana shatakam composed by shri adi sankaracharya

Mano buddhi ahankara chittani naham Na cha shrotravjihve na cha ghraana netre Na cha vyoma bhumir na tejo na vayuhu Chidananda rupah shivo'ham shivo'ham Chidananda rupah shivo'ham shivo'ham Chidananda rupah shivo'ham shivo'ham

Neither am I the mind nor intelligence or ego, Neither am I the organs of hearing (ears), nor that of tasting (tongue), smelling (nose) or seeing (eyes), Neither am I the sky, nor the earth, neither the fire nor the air, I am Shiva, the supreme auspiciousness of the nature of consciousness-bliss. I am (Shiva) the auspiciousness.

So which view is correct according to scriptures?

  • Part of god is god itself. It is also mentioned across scriptures.
    – hanugm
    Jun 11, 2022 at 16:30
  • 1
    @hanugm how can we say drop of an ocean separated from it to be ocean.we can only say when it mingles once again with ocean.
    – Harsh
    Jun 11, 2022 at 17:03
  • It appears to us as distinct from the ocean, but it(a drop) in fact contains oceans and universes according to our scriptures.
    – hanugm
    Jun 11, 2022 at 17:06
  • These myriads of worlds and the millenniums of kalpa ages, are no more real in themselves than our false computation of the millionth part of an atom or the twinkling of an eye. It is our error that represents them as true to us, though they are as false as our calculation of those infinitesimals. These creations whether past or future, follow one another in endless succession, like the overflowing currents of water, with all the waves, eddies and whirlpools in them.
    – hanugm
    Jun 11, 2022 at 17:10
  • 1
    I copied from here: wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/yoga-vasistha-english/d/…
    – hanugm
    Jun 11, 2022 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


We are all Atma, no school of thought disagrees with that, what they disagree with are a few characteristics( whether the atma is God or an amsha or something else )

It depends on your school of thought, however from the perspective of Advaita there is no difference between the Atman and Brahman of the form of sat-chit-ananda

From the perspective of Advaita, Brahman has no parts(from the perspective of the Paramārthika/Absolute Truth).

In the Gita Shri Krishna says:-

Gita 13:17

Advaita posits 3 tiers of reality so to speak, (Paramārthika/Absolute, Vyavahrika/Empirical, Pratibhashika/Dream). These are all contingent on one another like the waves are contingent on the ocean and not something completely separate from it(even dreams are contingent on the empirical world for example)

There is no difference from the perspective of the Absolute Truth, it is only due to Maya that we perceive duality i.e it only seems that he is distributed/divided(the world which is caused by Maya is Vyavahrika) hence this perceived difference is ultimately illusory, owing to nescience/ignorance

Adi Shankaracharya in his Gita Bhashya on verse 15:7 says:-

Shankara Bhashya, 15:7


Of course even the Jivanmukta is not God or Isvara himself. If every Jivanmukta becomes Ishvara then there will be many Ishvaras with powers to create, preserve and destroy the universe. Then when one Ishvara wants to preserve the universe another Ishvara may want to destroy it. This is a formula for chaos. This is why scripture makes it clear that no Jiva can become God or Ishvara Himself.

Fate of the Liberated soul

Except overlordship (on the world), they become equal to Brahma in affluence, glory, form (appearance) and objects.

Vayu Purana I.7.29

So what is the meaning of the Advaita position that the Atman is Brahman?

Philosophical Conception of Ishvara

Who is Ishvara? Janmadyasyayatah - "From whom is the birth, continuation, and dissolution of the universe," - He is Ishvara - "the Eternal, the Pure, the Ever-Free, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Merciful, the Teacher of all teachers"; and above all, Sa Ishvarahanirvachaniya-premasvarupah - "He the Lord is, of His own nature, inexpressible Love." These certainly are the definitions of a Personal God. Are there then two Gods - the "Not this, not this," the Sat-chit-ananda, the Existence-knowledge-Bliss of the philosopher, and this God of love of the Bhakta? No it is the same Sat-chit-ananda who is also the God of Love, the impersonal and personal in one. It has always to be understood that the Personal God worshipped by the Bhakta is not separate or different from Brahman. All is Brahman, the One without a second; only the Brahman, as unity or absolute, is too much of an abstraction to be loved and worshipped; so the Bhakta chooses the relative aspect of Brahman, that is Ishvara, the Supreme Ruler. To use a simile: Brahman is as the clay or substance out of which an infinite variety of articles are fashioned. As clay, they are all one; but form or manifestation differentiates them. Before everyone of them was made, they all existed potentially in the clay, and, of course, they are identical substantially; but when formed, and so long as the form remains, they are separate and different; the clay-mouse can never become a clay-elephant, because, as manifestations, form alone makes them what they are, though as unformed clay they are all one. Ishvara is the highest manifestation of the Absolute Reality, or in other words, the highest possible reading of the Absolute by the human mind. Creation is eternal and so also is Ishvara........Those who attain to that state where there is neither knower, nor knowable, nor knowledge, where there is neither I, nor thou, nor he, where there is neither subject, nor object, nor relation, "there, who is seen by whom?" - such persons have gone beyond everything to "where words cannot go nor mind", gone to where the Shrutis declare as "Not this, not this"; but for those who cannot, or will not reach this state, there will inevitably remain the triune vision of the one undifferentiated Brahman as nature, soul and the interpenetrating sustainer of both - Ishvara. ..... Bhakti, then, can be directed towards Brahman, only in His personal aspect. "The way is more difficult for those whose mind is attached to the absolute!" Bhakti has to float on smoothly with the current of our nature. True it is that we cannot have any idea of the Brahman which is not anthropomorphic, but is it not equally true of everything we know? The greatest psychologist the world has ever known, Bhagavan Kapila, demonstrated ages ago that human consciousness is one of the elements in the make-up of all the objects of our perception and conception, internal as well as external. Beginning with our bodies and going up to Ishvara, we may see that every object of our perception is this consciousness plus something else, whatever that may be; and this unavoidable mixture is what we ordinarily think of as reality. Indeed it is, and ever will be, all of the reality that is possible for human mind to know. Therefore, to say that Ishvara is unreal, because He is anthropomorphic is sheer nonsense. It sounds very much like the occidental squabble on idealism and realism, which fearful-looking quarrel has for its foundation a mere play on the word "real". The idea of Ishvara covers all the ground ever denoted and connoted by the word real, and Ishvara is as real as anything else in the universe; and after all, the word real means nothing more than what has now been pointed out. Such is our philosophical conception of Ishvara.

(The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda III.37-42)

  • But, I'm a little confused as to why Jivanmukta is not Ishwara. I think Jeevan Muktha is Ishwara. And that is why I think, with all due respect, myself being an Advaiti, I think Brahma Sutras won't advocate Advaitha. They advocate some sort of Vishistadvaita. The problem of multiple Ishwaras, doesnt exist because the moment one person becomes a Jeevan Mukta he becomes one with Ishwara and his actions are synchronized with Dharma. There is no him anymore. All Jeevanmuktas are one being, and they all become channels for Ishwara, so they are Ishwara in effect.
    – user28152
    Jul 14, 2022 at 5:44
  • If you observe we have example of Vyasa, who is considered an incarnation of Vishnu himself, but he was actually a reincarnation of Apantaratamas who was realised. We have Buddha who is also considered an Avatara but from Jataka tales you can see he was once a normal person. The same applies for Narada. All are considered incarnations of Ishwara, vut were actually realised people.
    – user28152
    Jul 14, 2022 at 5:46
  • I'm also somewhat doubtful, as little learned I am, that Brahma Sutras won't represent Advaita. If they wwre written by Veda Vyasa, you can see in Mahabharata Veda Vyasa gives a different philosophy also in his work Shankaracharya lists Veda Vyasa Siddhanta as a separate siddhanta than Advaita siddhanta. hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/46281/27936
    – user28152
    Jul 14, 2022 at 5:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .