• Jivatma – Soul
  • Atma– Self
  • Paramatma - God

    Jivatma is the individual, and Atma and Paramatma are Universal. What is difference between Aatma, Jeevatma and Paramatma?

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      Atma is a general term used to indicate the ultimate reality. Atma can be (for lack of better word) classified into two. One is jivatma, another is paramatma. Jivatma refers to the ultimate reality of you and me. Paramatma refers to God. There is only one paramatma - that is Brahman or God. Atma is a very abstract term it is something which is devoid of all describable elements. It has no name, it has no form. It has no body. It is not the Mind. it is beyond knowledge, beyond ignorance. It is the core identity and the ultimate reality. Good question sir !!
      – Sai
      Mar 11, 2015 at 15:31
    • Paramathman is jeevathman covered in Maya. Once maya is lifted / understood from Jeevathman, it becomes Paramathman. Ultimately, Paramathman will rejoice with ParaBrahman to achieve liberation.
      – user4536
      Jan 4, 2016 at 3:28
    • Paramatma is like ocean, atma is like water, jiva is like sponge, and jivatma is just a name for the water inside the sponge. Paramatma is soul of souls, Atma is soul (but universal and only one), jiva is the feeling of being just a part, and jivatma is the portion of universal soul which is felt inside that jiva
      – Indra
      Mar 14, 2018 at 1:20

    5 Answers 5



    Atma simply means one's true Self. This is the root or fundamental entity of anything or any being that is eternal, unchangeable, unmodifiable and so on. Atma can mean different things depending upon the context it is used. For living beings like us, atma means the soul about which Shri Krishna explains in the Gita using the following verses:

    For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain. [BG - 2.20]

    The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. [BG - 2.23]

    But atma can even mean Brahman or God also as He is the soul of everything. So when it is said only the atma was there in the beginning, atma there means God:

    ātmā vā idameka evāgra āsīt [Ait. Up -1]
    - Atma alone was there in the beginning.


    Atma which is quality-less and attribute-less when gets combined with prakruti, forms different kinds of senses (both subtle and gross) and gets different material natures. This combination of atma and qualities arising from prakruti is called as jivatma.

    apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
    jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
    [BG - 7.5]

    Besides these (insentient matter), O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.

    It is the jivatma which resides in the physical body and in many other subtle bodies after casting off of the gross one. Jivatma or the jivas are sentient and eternal energy fragments of God:

    mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
    manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati
    [BG - 15.7]

    The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.


    Paramatma means supreme soul. If the self of the body is the soul, then Parmatma is the self of the soul. That is, the soul of the soul is the supreme soul:

    ānandaṁ paramātmānam ātma-sthaṁ [SB - 11.26.1]
    - Paramatma is the reservoir of all pleasure situated within the soul of every living being.

    God basically has three forms or modes. Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan:

    vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
    brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate
    [SB - 1.2.11]

    Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.

    Among these three, in Barhman no attribute, no activity, no power is exhibited. Parmatma exhibits only few more powers and dwells in the heart or soul of every being. But in Bhagavan all power, all lila(pastimes) and all attributes are exhibited.

    And the major difference between Jivatma and Paramatma is that, Jivatma is mayadhin, that is, he is under the influence of maya. But Paramatma is mayadhis, that is, He is the Lord of maya. And both over the atma or jivatma and maya rules one Lord who is known as God, Bhagavan, parmatma, etc.

    kṣaraṃ pradhānamamṛtākṣaraṃ haraḥ kṣarātmānāvīśate deva ekaḥ [Sve. Up - 1.10]
    - Matter is perishable, immortal and imperishable is the soul. Both over the perishable and the soul rules one God.

    • i didn't understand the last part. Can you explain me clearly difference between bhagavan and paramatma?
      – The Destroyer
      Oct 9, 2015 at 7:33
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      //Jivatma is mayadhin, that is, he is under the influence of maya.// This is incorrect. Yoga Sutra says. 'Drst Drshasyo Samyogo Heya Hutu'. The Drstaa(Jivathama) is free, but it is the samyoga(Union) of the Aham with Drshyam(creation) that causes the illusion that Jivatma is bonded.
      – Naveen
      Dec 29, 2015 at 15:27

    Atma is higher soul, never takes birth. JeevAtma a portion of Higher soul takes birth. Jeev atma by name itself means the atma that takes birth.

    Jeev atma is always conected to the Atma.

    Atma is our real self. It is the whole soul that fully does not incarnate.Only a part of the Higher soul called Atma incarnates, this is the JeevAtma,our lower soul that takes birth and is connected to the Higher Soul which is called Atma.

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      Welcome to Hinduism SE! You should cite sources.
      – The Destroyer
      Dec 25, 2015 at 6:36
    • Atman Pervades the Universe, it is indivisible. The Sat only appearances within Aatman are termed JaDA. The Sat-Chit-Ananda appearances within Aatman are termed Jivatma. Jivatman is mistaken to be the Causal Body. When Jiva bhava is removed by removal of mind's ignorance, the Causal Body merges in Aatman/Paramatman. Jivatma = Reflected Consciousness (Reflecting medium + Reflection (chidAbhAsa)) + Original Consciousness (Aatman/Paramatman) i.e JivAtman without jiva bhava = Aatman ~Upanishads and AdhyasaBhashya
      – SheshPai
      Mar 20, 2018 at 14:31
    • @SheshPai, Original consciousness is omnipresent (present everywhere) but the portion of IT that interpenetrates the subtle/causal bodies should be understood as the reflection. This reflection + the reflecting medium like subtle/causal body, makes up the entity called jivatma ..... The original consciousness is everywhere , even outside us ..... and so IT doesn't make up the jivatma... Only the portion of IT that interpenetrates us or illumines us, plus the medium such as subtle/causal body makes up the entity called jivatma/jiva. Feb 11, 2019 at 17:36

    Jeeva is made up of Three bodies:-

    Sthula sarira or the gross body is the material physical mortal body that eats, breathes and moves (acts).

    Sukshma sarira or the subtle body is the body of the mind and the vital energies, which keep the physical body alive. Together with the causal body it is the transmigrating soul or jiva, separating from the gross body upon death.

    Karana sarira or the causal body is merely the cause or seed of the subtle body and the gross body. It has no other function than being the seed of the subtle and the gross body. It is nirvikalpa rupam, "undifferentiated form". It originates with avidhya, "ignorance" or "nescience" of the real identity of the atman, instead giving birth to the notion of jiva.

    Jeevatma means combination of causal and subtle body as subtle body is unique for every individual based on his/her Samskar and Vasanas

    Aatma means Causal body, which is reflection created out of Paramatma, under the viels of ignorance/Maya.

    Paramatma/Brahman is Nirvikalp reality, that reflects into Aatma(individual soul). The difference between Aatma and Brahman can only be removed through Brahman Gyan, which leads to Kaivalya Moksha(non-dual union) as explained in Shiv Geeta.

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    As far as I understand in common man language, there are three elements in the world JAGAT, JEEV, PARMATAMA. Life is provided by PARMATAMA to the body which consists 5 elements plus MAN, BUDHI and AHANKAR in a set proportion -it becomes JEEV or JEEV ATMA with the DHARNA SHAKTI called ATMA (SOUL) . Since soul is an ANSH of PARMATAMA as such has DHARNA SHAKTI in individual capacity to hold the body. Which comes and go and again take rebirth.

    • Please answer in brief with proper cite sources.
      – Kedarnath
      Apr 29, 2015 at 8:06
    • * DharShna Shakthi
      – Naveen
      Dec 29, 2015 at 15:19

    The question should be in different type........it should be as that, "What is the different between the Jeeva, Aatam, Jeevatma and Parmaatama? Ans. All four term can be differentiate according to their ability of guna(virtue).

    1. The Jeeva is the symbol of Maya. Further it can be said that Jeeva is the part of Maya.
    2. Atma is the symbol of Paramaatama. Thus it is also known as the part of the Paramaatma(Supreme God).
    3. Jeevatma, it is the most important element many are confused in this. These are all known by self-realization. When the Jeeva and Aatma meets takes the form known as Jeevatma. At the first time, at meeting point of God and Maya, All the universe are exist in the form, all lives takes the form. Thus in the spirituality, this meeting point known as manthan(to have a wish for Dharma, i.e. Truth.), as soon as manthan starts Jeevatma's takes forms. Science also says that the universe is spreading. In the universe we know this manthan as methun(sex). Both two part when meets in dark room with the wish of sex generation takes palace. Thus in short methun(sex) drived from manthan(thought). And in this process Jeevatma takes palace.
    4. Paramaatma-Paramatma is the supreme soul. Its composed by two words i.e. par+Aatmaa. Means it has the supreme from all souls and It has the supremacy over all Souls.
    5. One word is rest to elaborate known as Maya. Maya is the darkness self.

    Thus Maya and Paramaatma are to pole. We can understand them as Paramaatma(Positive energy) And Maya(Negative Energy). Reason of Universe-When the Brahm(God) or light meets with Maya(Darkness), the universe takes palace.

    • Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. Jul 13, 2015 at 14:01

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