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Hinduism

Step 2: Becoming the Atman.

Principle: Hope

Atman is the eternal light of of consciousness that illumines the mind. It is not the mind; this Atman is Brahman. The goal of spiritual discipline is knowledge (jnana) of the identity between one's true Self (the higher Self) and Brahman which leads to liberation from (samsara) the cycle of birth and death perpetuated by karma. The true Self is the light of consciousness that shines deep within the mind. The true Self is changeless. The journey home is impossible without external assistance because the conditions of captivity are so disorienting that the deluded are unable to find their way home under their own power.

Text or Verse

Real, in spirituality means that which is eternal, indestructible, and never changing. Anything impermanent, even if it lasts a long time, eventually changes -and thus does not have true reality.

Your body, according to this logic, is not real, and neither is your grief. But there is something that dwells within your body that is real - it's the Atman, your soul. Atman is existence itself. It is awareness of itself, pure consciousness and your conscience as well. It pervades the entire cosmos.

The real you, this Atman, was never born, or will it ever die. In fact, this indwelling reality never undergoes any changes; it is never-ending and can never be destroyed. Just as clouds appear in the sky but do not cause the sky to grow apart to make room for them, too grief and sadness cannot touch the Atman.

Getting to know the Atman, this mysterious soul-reality within, is the fundamental goal of spirituality.
Essential Wisdom of
the Bhagavad Gita

Practice

Jnana yoga is the way of knowledge that transforms intellect into intuition. It leads one to God through intellectual analysis and knowledge. It is a process of becoming one with the Truth through listening, studying, perception and assimilation. It begins with the study of sacred texts followed by contemplation and meditation of the texts.

The Jnana Yogi is convinced of the oneness of Atman and Brahman and affirms this despite what the illusions (maya) of the natural world indicate. This practice requires detachment, renunciation, and clarity of thought. Every form of ignorance must be overcome. Meditation practice focuses on the absoluteness (Brahman) of which the individualized Atman is identical.

Resources

American Institute of Vedic Studies (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Auyrvedic Institute (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Hindu Universe (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Hindu University of America (go to Links menu to connet to the website)

Hinduism Today. (bimonthy magazine) South Asia Books, P.O. Box 502. Columbia, MO 65205. Email: sabooks@juno.com (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

World Association of Vedic Studies (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

Yoga Research Center (go to Links menu to connect to the website)

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