is the Absolute Atman
or Supreme Soul or Spirit (also known as Supersoul
) in the Vedanta
philosophies of India
. Paramatman is one of the aspects of Brahman
. Paramatman is situated in the heart of every individual jiva
in the macrocosm
compare Atman and Paramatman to two birds sitting like friends on a tree (body). Atman eats its fruits (karma
), and Paramatman only observes as a witness (sākṣin) of the friend's actions.
The word stem paramātman
(परमात्मन्, pronounced [pərəmaːtmən], its nominative singular being paramātmā
— परमात्मा, pronounced [pərəmaːtmaː]) is formed from two words, param
, meaning "supreme" or "highest", and ātman
, which means individual spirit or soul or self.
Description in Vedas and Upanishads
The relationship between Paramātmā and Atman
is likened to the indwelling God and the soul within one's heart like two birds on a tree.
Two birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge.
One of the twain eats the sweet fig tree's fruitage; the other eating not regardeth only. (Rig Veda 1.164.20)
Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1)
They are two birds, close companions, clasping the same tree. Of the two, one eats sweet fruit; the other looks on without eating. On this same tree a person, sunk and grieving in slavery, is deluded, but upon observing the Lord happy and great, becomes free of sorrow. ((Shvetashvatara Upanishad 4.7))
The Supreme Being that dwells in our heart is dearer to us than even our children, wealth and everything else. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.8)
Madhuvidyā of Brihad-Âranyaka further declares - Paramātmā Sri Bhagavān is the sweetness in everything.
philosophy, individual souls are called Jīvātman, and the Highest Brahman is called Paramātman. The Jivatman and the Paramatman are known to be one and the same when the Jivatman attains the true knowledge of the Brahman (Skt. Brahmajñāna
) . In the context of Advaita, the word Paramatman is invariably used to refer to Nirguna Brahman
, with Ishvara
being terms used to refer to Brahman with qualities, or Saguna Brahman
Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan.
The word invariably conjures the concept of an infinite, non-corporeal God in a monotheistic sense, even though Bhagavan or Ishvara may be applied as epithets to many divine forms of God worshiped by Hindus.
Paramatman is beyond knowledge and ignorance, devoid of all material attributes (upadhi
). In Chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita
, Paramatman is described as Vishnu
residing in the hearts of all beings and in every atom of matter. He is the overseer and the permitter of their actions.
Paramatman is different from five elements (pancha mahabhutas), the senses
Vaishnava sects hold that attaining knowledge or Brahman and identification of Atman with Brahman as an intermediate stage of self-realization, and only Bhakti Yoga can lead to the next step of Paramatman realization as the indwelling God, ultimately leading up to liberation (Mukti) by God-realization.
Some, like the sect of Brahma Kumaris
, like to visualize Paramatman as a point of light . Paramatman is also referrred to as "the divine self
" in modern literature. Compare with the Inuit deity Silla
and Ralph Waldo Emerson
's idea of the "Over-soul