Ātman
(282 words)

[German Version]

is a Sanskrit masculine reflexive pronoun and noun meaning "self, soul, true personality." It is cognate with German Atem, "breath." Since the early Upaniṣads, it has been the Indian term representing various notions of the soul or self. "Ātman" denotes oneself in contrast to someone else; it can mean the breath-soul (cf. Gk πνεῦμα/pneúma), a homunculus, the individual soul (sometimes in transmigration), the immortal spirit in a mortal body, or mind and consciousness. Already in the Upaniṣads (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3, 7, 3ff.) the identity of the individua…

Cite this page
Michaels, Axel, “Ātman”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 September 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_01245>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



▲   Back to top   ▲