I have read in an forum that Jeeva means Soul or individual self. Typically it contains seven layers(koshas).It is the one who was shackled in prakriti(Maya). On death of physical body it gets new body.

Another is Atman or spirit, which lives in heart of each living being.It is an aspect or spark of god .

Rig Vedic quotes over here in wiki doesn't do good job describing and differentiating each term https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_Jiva_and_Atman

Could anyone give me proper quotes and descriptions ?

  • According to Adi Shankaracharya's philosophy, Jivatma and Parmatma are one and the same - it's only Maya that makes it seem as if there's an individual soul other than Brahman. According to the other Vedantic philosophies, like Dvaita, Visishtadvaita, Achintya Bheda Abheda, etc., it's not just an illusion - there really are such things as individual souls. What more detail do you want? Sep 15, 2015 at 2:27
  • Thanks.But I was not asking about the distinction between individual spirit(Atman) and Paramathma. I was asking proper distinction between Soul(Jeeva) and Spirit(Athman) in our hindu scriptures.
    – tekkk
    Sep 26, 2015 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


You should consult Taittiriya Upanishad part 2 which talks about the five Koshas surrounding the Atman. The five koshas are annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas. These 5 koshas or sheaths are organised into two bodies the Sthula sarira or the gross physical body and the sukshma or linga sarira also known as the subtle body. It is the subtle body that survives death and is reborn. For example, Gita 15.8 says:

When he gets a new body or abandons an old one, the Jiva, the lord of the body, moves, carrying them (the mind and the senses) with him, as the wind carries smells from their seats (in flowers and the like).

The mind and the senses form the subtle body. The subtle body dies only after attainment of moksha. A description of Moksha which explains this is given in Mahabharata:

When men of knowledge, conversant with the rules of Yoga, become as fixed as a stake of wood, and as immovable as a mountain, then are they said to be in Yoga. When one does not hear, and smell, and taste, and see; when one is not conscious of any touch; when one’s mind becomes perfectly free from every purpose; when one is not conscious of anything, when one cherishes no thought; when one becomes like a piece of wood then is one called by the wise to be in perfect Yoga. At such a time one shines like a lamp that burns in a place where there is no wind; at such a time one becomes freed even from one’s subtle form, and perfectly united with Brahma. When one attains to such progress, one has no longer to ascend or to fall among intermediate beings. When persons like ourselves say that there has been a complete identification of the Knower, the Known, and Knowledge, then is the Yogin said to behold the Supreme Soul.

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCCVII

  • Yes, what is commonly called the individual's soul is the subtle body - the jiva, that which survives the death of the body and continues on. The atman is the same as brahman as seen through the individual soul. Sep 15, 2015 at 3:59
  • Thanks!!,I understand soul would live on after death.I have read in some hindu websites which says athman stays in heart like small room with 12 doors.But Soul(Jeeva) lives in Ajna chakra.I wanted to know some quotes from hindu scriptures , which specifically explain these aspect
    – tekkk
    Sep 26, 2015 at 15:33
  • You should go through Katha Upanishad (KU). Specifically read KU II.3.16-17 which says 'A hundered and one are the arteries of the heart; one of them leads up to the crown of the head. Going upward through that, one becomes immortal; the others serve for going in various other direction. The person of the size of a thumb, the inner self, abides always in the hearts of men. Him one should draw out with firmness, from the body, as (one may do) the wind from the reed. Him one should know as the pure, the immortal, yea, Him one should know as the pure, the immortal.' Sep 27, 2015 at 16:45
  • You get information about the Atman and the connection between the Vedas and the Agamas or Tantras in the Upanishads. Sushumna Nadi that goes to the crown of the head is the detailed subject matter of the Tantras. Sep 27, 2015 at 16:47

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