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March 08, 2017

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Aryeh: In Yāska's etymological work, Nirukta, which predates Buddhism, we learn what ātman means. First of all, it is not a self (a pronoun) or an individual. It refers to what animates us—an animative principle in other words.

Westerners use the word awareness a lot. Is it a translation of citta, vijñāna, jñāna, smṛti, etc.? I have no idea. I wish translators would not use it or at least show in parenthesis the Pali or Sanskrit term the translation is using.

how does consciousness differ from atman? what is an Atman? is it pure awareness without any thoughts, emotions, impressions or something completely different?

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