AATMA AND PARAMAATMA
May 05, 2000
Friday Meeting

Hindu scriptures explain, "Within the aatma (soul) resides Paramaatma (God)." In many places throughout the Vachanamrut, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has explained that just as the soul resides in and controls the body, the controller and supporter of the soul is God. Thus the words shareera (body) and shareeree (that which resides in and controls the body) are used to describe both the relationship between the body and the soul, and the soul and God.

However, there is a difference in the definition of Paramaatma that belongs in the five eternal entities and the definition of Paramaatma as resident in the aatma. As an eternal entity, Paramaatma is only one and resides in Akshardham. With respect to the dweller of the aatma, Paramaatma resides in and continually helps the soul become closer to God (as shaktee or power, saakshee or witness, etc.).

But, the pervasiveness of God within an aatma varies according to its individual capacity.

In summary, like the sun who is seated in one place and whose light is everywhere, God is both distinct and pervades all souls. In Vachanamrut Gadhada First 64, Kariyani 4, Loya 15, Gadhada Middle 64, and Vadtal 13, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains this as God's vyaapaka-panu or all-pervasiveness. [However, Swaminarayan Bhagwan clarifies that God does not pervade souls without a form (like aakaasha or space) - He resides souls with a definite form (i.e. God is always saakaara).] In Vachanamrut Gadhada First 7, Sarangpur 5, and Vadtal 7, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains God's vyatireka and anvaya forms, or as distinct and residing in all, respectively. Second, according to its purity, there is a greater manifestation of Paramaatma within the aatma.

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