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Article IX: The Self and Realization

By finding one's true Self, one can achieve eternal peace. Atman is the word in Sanskrit for one's true Self, or Soul. However, each individual's Atman is not actually separate. The individual soul, or jivatma, is one and the same as the Supreme Soul, or Paramatma. These ideas are summarized in the Mahavakyas (great sayings) of the Upanishads: 1) Prajnanam Brahma -- Consciousness is Brahman; 2) Ayam Atma Brahma -- This Self is Brahman; 3) Tat Tvam Asi -- That Thou Art; 4) Aham Brahmasmi -- I am Brahman. Four major paths are described to attain realization: bhakti, or devotion; karma, or selfless action; jnana, or wisdom; and raja, which is more meditative. However, these paths are not mutually exclusive. People may strongly follow one, but incorporate aspects of all of them. For example, a highly devotional person may follow the path of bhakti, but still incorporate wisdom and selfless work.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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