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:
According to the Garbha Upanishad, the soul can remember its past life when it is 9 months old in the womb:
Whatever is consumed or drunk by the mother passes through the nerves
and vessels to the child, becoming the source of his satisfaction.
During the ninth month, all outer signs attain completeness. And he
is reminded of his previous birth, and ...
Yes, the current Brahma attains Moksha at the end of his life. As I discuss in this answer, the Srimad Bhagavatam describes what happens to the inhabitants of Brahmaloka, including Brahma himself, at the end of the Mahakalpa:
Worshipers of the Hiraṇyagarbha expansion of the Personality of Godhead remain within this material world until the end of two ...
Because no one has actually seen what happens after death, there are multiple beliefs regarding this. But the yogis through their eyes of knowledge know the movement of the beings before and after their death:
utkrāmantaḿ sthitaḿ vāpi bhuñjānaḿ vā guṇānvitam
vimūḍhā nānupaśyanti paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ [BG - 15.10]
Not the people ...
There is no conflict. Gita is talking about the Atman. Garuda Purana is talking about the linga sarira (also known as sukshma sarira) or the subtle body.
The human body and personality are contained in 5 sheaths according to Vedanta:
Of these koshas, Annamaya Kosha is the ...
This is an interesting question. It would be best to first clarify a few points you make before answering your questions.
A Human is identified in terms of 3 Bodies, 3 States and 5 Koshas or Sheaths. An Atman/soul covered by three bodies, Which are Karana sharira (Causal body), Sukshma sarira (Subtle body) and Sthula sharira (the Gross body).
No, the self doesn't have gender, it's just a body which has gender.
According to Shwetashwatara Upanishad:
नैव स्त्री न पुमानेष न चैवायं नपुंसकः । यद्यच्छरीरमादत्ते तेने तेने स युज्यते ॥ १०॥
V-10: He is neither female, nor male, nor neuter. Whatever body he assumes, he becomes identified with that.
Another translation from Vidyaprakash:
The Jiva is ...
Ayurvedic texts are not Veda.
The Chhandogya Upanishad (V. x. 5-6.) answers this question directly. It says
Having dwelt there [in the lunar world] till their [good] works are consumed, they return again the same way they came. They [first] reach the akasha, and from the akasha the air. Having become air, they become smoke; having become smoke, they ...
The same question was asked by Nityanand Swami and answered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. These spiritual discourses are recorded and complied into the Vachanamrut.
In one of the discourses in the section Gadhadã I-13 titled as
Planting the Branch of a Banyan or
Pipal Tree Elsewhere, Bhagwan Swaminarayan explains how God gives body to the jivas and following ...
No, not immediately. As per the scriptures, depending upon his good/virtuous and bad/sinful actions, the jivatama will be taken to Yama and after judgement he will first experience the results of his actions accordingly either in heaven or hell [Agni Pu. - 203.5]. Only after he has experienced those that he will obtain another body on earth.
So to answer ...
Every living thing is having "Athma" or "soul". In Hinduism, body is illusion and the "Athma" is true and the reality. After death, Athma will take rebirth until it is merged with the supreme one called "Paramathma" . This is called "Moksha". The time taken for the Moksha will depend upon one's "Karma" and "Dharma".
Souls are never actually created; here is what Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:
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.... 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. ...
The answer to your question is: yes, it is possible to to separate the soul or jivatma from the body. Even one can enter another body through this process:
When the bonds of the mind caused by action have been loosened, one may enter the body of another by knowledge of how the nerve-currents function. [PYS - 3.37]
But from your question it seems you have ...
Brahman can be thought of in its as Saguna Brahman and as Nirguna Brahman. Parabrahman refers to Nirguna Brahman.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says (Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 10, The Master and the Brahmo Devotees (III)):
MASTER: "When the Godhead is thought of as creating, preserving, and destroying, It is known as the Personal God, Saguna Brahman, ...
Atman. You've already said you've spent good time in understanding what is Atman or the self and the answer of "Who am I?" is already hidden in that thing.
Now, since you've started to learn spiritual concepts like Atman, the question "According to Hinduism" would be more suitable if you ask "According to <specific philosophy like Vedanta>" Because ...
No, the atma will not get moksha by such deaths. The default rule is, a person dying such unnatural death as suicide, weapons, etc. will become a ghost:
udbandhanamṛtā ye ca viṣaśastrahatāśca ye
ātmopaghātino ye ca viṣūcyādihatāstathā [GP - 2.22.8]
One who dies by hanging, also through poison and weapon, one who commits suicide and also dies by ...
Going to the question: Do plants have souls?
Yes, many scriptures discuss the birth of Jiva as a tree. Example:
Chhandogya Upanishad 5-10-6:
अभ्रं भूत्वा मेघो भवति मेघो भूत्वा प्रवर्षति
त इह व्रीहियवा ओषधिवनस्पतयस्तिलमाषा इति
जायन्तेऽतो वै खलु दुर्निष्प्रपतरं यो यो ह्यन्नमत्ति
यो रेतः सिञ्चति तद्भूय एव भवति ॥ ५.१०.६॥
Having become mist, he ...
The same question was asked to Sri Swami Sivananda. He answers this question in his book "May I Answer That?"
267. When the Jiva undergoes transmigration and takes another birth after leaving this physical body, is it necessary that we should perform the Shraddha ceremony for him? He is no more in the heavens. To whom will the ablations go?
The life cycle of a soul is very simple. In course of time it emerges from God, takes up material bodies and revolves in samsara and back into God goes it again.
yathā sudīptāt pāvakādvisphuliṅgāḥ sahasraśaḥ prabhavante sarūpāḥ
tathā'kṣarādvividhāḥ somya bhāvāḥ prajāyante tatra caivāpi yanti [Mundak Up. 2.1.1]
Just like from a well ...
First of all, there is no starting point for the soul; here's what Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:
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.... 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 ...
Is it considered ultimate to be reborn as a human?
In Hinduism, it is considered ultimate to be not born at all. Jivas being part of God exist in different kinds of bodies starting from insects and humans on earth to gods and demons in heaven and hell. But any kind of such material existence being under the influence of repeated death and birth, has always ...
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to Lokas. People identify with their material bodies and therefore assume that the material sensual universe is the be all of everything. Lokas do not exist on the physical plane, therefore they are not observable by material scientific instruments. Remember that one of the reasons that your body is cremated is ...
The book Dharma Bindu(Essence of all Dharma Shastras) quotes Daksha Prajapati,in the context of discussing "Sannyasa Dharma":
Dakshan Prajapati affirms:
Trimshatparaamstrim shadaparaan trimshacchhapara –tah paraan,
Sadyassannyasanaa deva narakaattraayete pitraan.
On account of Sanyasa of a person in a vamsha, Pitru Devatas of thirty
Atmas (souls) were never created. Atma is eternal, ever existing and unborn:
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [BG - 2.20]
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 ...
Yes, as outlined by the other answers the souls is not created, but it is eternal. This is agreed upon by all the schools of Vedanta and has been commented on by Sankara, Bhaskara, Ramanuja, Madhva, and Vallabha.
Madhava says that the Vedanta Sutras (II. iii. 11-50) that refer to its birth are in reference to its Upadhis, the body, etc.
Ramanuja says that ...
Why is man mortal?
We are not mortal. In fact no living being in true sense is mortal. it is only owing to our ignorance that we think that we are being born, growing, dying etc.
in Bhagavad Geeta Krishna Says:
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood
to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at
First, your interpretation of verse 7.5 is almost there, but not quite, which leads to your confusion. It is best to read verses 4-7 together and not separately. Verse 4 refers to the apparent division of Brahman, the Self, when seen through Maya. According to Sankara’s commentary on this verse, the elements referred to in the verse are the subtle elements ...
No, they have different soul because they have different Consciousness. Here is passage from Aitreya Upanishad showing it:
III-i-3: This One is Brahman; this is Indra, this is Prajapati; this is all these gods; and this is these five elements, viz. earth, air, space, water, fire; and this is all these (big creatures), together with the small ones, that ...
रुद्र विष्णुप्रजानाथप्रमुखाः सर्वचेतनाः । स्वरसेनाहमित्याहुरिदमित्यपि च स्वतः ॥ २॥
The Consciousness is the principle entity amongst, Rüdra, Vishñu, and Prajänätha(Brahma).The Instinctual expression, in expressing the essence of the self, by thus having said here "I".
एवं समस्तजन्तूनामनुभूतिर्व्यवस्थिता ।
भ्रान्ता अपि न कुर्वन्ति विवादं चात्र ...
From the book Who am I. His technique name is Self inquiry.
Que:10. How will the mind become quiescent?
Ramana: By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the
stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise
Ques:11. What ...