Atmopaniṣad

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Atmopanisad, AtmopaniSad, Atmopanishad


Atmopaniṣad is a small Upaniṣad belonging to the Atharvaveda with just three sections in prose, it deals with three kinds of ‘puruṣas’ or beings, called ‘ātmā’.

  1. Bāhyātmā - It is the physical body comprising the various limbs and subject to birth and death. It is also called as the outer ātman.
  2. Antarātmā - It is the inner ātman. It is the mind composed of the sukṣma-bhūtas or the subtle elements. It is also responsible for the functions of the senses and various states like thinking, feeling and willing.
  3. Paramātmā - It is the third and the last and is also called as the ‘puruṣa,’ the Supreme Self or the Person. He is the true Self who is subtler than the subtlest. He is also described as the one beyond all the changes and destruction, the eternally pure witness of all, the infinite, the indestructible.

Some recensions contain an additional part in verses numbering 31, describing this Ātman-Brahman, the unreal nature of the manifested world and the state of liberation of the emancipated being.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore