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The Atma/soul is be believed to be infinite, opmipotent, omnipresent, pure, divine and perfect.

How/Why (in the first place) did it get stuck in the finite body and forgot its reality?

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    Good question. How can it be that the Infinite and Divine Brahman can mistaken Himself to be a mere body? How is it that the One Indivisible Satchidananda could get divided into various jivas which became separate from Him? Keep questioning like this and you will eventually realize that it never was the case. You were always You. You have always been Perfect. Your impression that you are now imperfect is an illusion, which doesn't exist. You are That. This is self-enquiry and will lead to Brahman. In other words, when you find out the answer to this question, that is Truth. :) – Sai Oct 22 '15 at 18:32
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    @Sai How did the soul got the illusion that he is imperfect? If it knows it is Brahman then it should not be in this body, right? How did the soul got the wrong impression? This cannot happen due to Maya because if it happened because of Maya, then how did Shiva, Vishnu are above it and the same indivisible self is in it? – Chinmay Sarupria Oct 23 '15 at 5:15
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    @ChinmaySarupria Yes good question. This is the question you need to ask yourself. As you probe deeper into this question, you will find yourself removing layer after layer of illusion and realize that there is really no illusion (I know it sounds like a paradox - how can illusion be removed to realize something if it is always that? however this is something which needs to be realized, rather than explained). According to traditional Advaita belief, nobody knows from where Maya arises. Maya is known as sat-asat-vilakshana. Avidhya is said to be beginningless, but having end. That is Maya. :) – Sai Oct 23 '15 at 13:40
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    It is because of avidya, which is a form of maya. avidya encloses the jiva making him forget that his truest form is param. – user1195 Oct 24 '15 at 22:58
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    @ChinmaySarupria I don't want to confuse you further. However will end with this: the answer (from a non-dualist perspective) is that there is no difference between Swami Vivekananda and you. You seem to think that you are imperfect for some reason? What makes you believe that you are not realized? Why do you think you are different from Swami Vivekananda. By seeking the answer to the question that 'why am I on the other side', you will realize that you are not on the other side, you are on the same side. You are playing a different role, thats it. All the best. – Sai Oct 26 '15 at 3:04
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Because there's atma - simply put, us, - and bhagavan - simply put, the God. It was like that literally since time immemorial, as clearly said in BG 2.12: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

Bhagavan, or, I would prefer to say, Ishvara, creates this material world over and over for those of atmas who wants to try out being Gods themselves and not be involved in relationships with him. So all-knowing, ever-happy, and totally-pure soul can fall into material life only by its own envy of God.

It's insanely hard to find out specifically in scriptures the clear explanation of reasons for creating this material world, but Krishna in Bhagavad-gita chapter 9 and chapter 12 explains in great details what he ultimately wants from atma. When individual atma restores the forgotten relationships with God it returns back to God and never falls back to material world again: After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. (BG 8.15)

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This confusion is created by the Advaita Siddhanta that claims that Everything other than Brahmam is Mithya (fantasy). According to Advaita there is no Jiva nor Prakruthi in reality. All these seemingly existing objects are unreal and appear so due to the delusion of Brahmam. Advaita deals with only Abheda Shruthi Vakyas as valid and conveniently forgetting the Bheda Shruthis and Gataka Shruthis. So, Advaita siddhanta cannot provide convincing answers to this question. So, is Dwaitam that holds the opposite views of Advaita ignoring Abheda Shruthis as invalid! Only Visishtadvaitam holds the key as it has all the answers as it accepts the entire Shruthi Vakyas as valid and true and procedes to explain all the Pramana Vakyas using Deha/Atma Bhavam concept. Accordingly, Jiva is distincltly different from Paramatma and also an eternal servant to Him. The conditioned soul (Baddha Atma) is going through the AnAdhi Karmic cycle of birth and death owing to its enticement in Samsara Maya of the created Universe forgetting its divine nature and proximity to Paramatma.

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