BBC - Religions - Hinduism: Hindu concepts
In contrast, devotional sub-schools of Vedanta such as Dvaita dualism differentiate between the individual Atma in living beings, and the supreme Atma Paramatma as being separate. Dvaita Vedanta calls the Atman of a supreme being as " Paramatman ", and holds it to be different from individual Atman.
Dvaita scholars assert that God is the ultimate, complete, perfect, but distinct soul, one that is separate from incomplete, imperfect jivas individual souls. Dvaita school, states Graham Oppy, is not strict monotheism, as it does not deny existence of other gods and their respective Atman. Within Mimamsa school, there was divergence of beliefs. The Upanishadic discussion of Atman, to them, was of secondary importance. Time and space are indivisible reality, but human mind prefers to divide them to comprehend past, present, future, relative place of other substances and beings, direction and its own coordinates in the universe.
John Plott  states that the Nyaya scholars developed a theory of negation that far exceeds Hegel 's theory of negationwhile their epistemological theories refined to "know the knower" at least equals Aristotle's sophistication.
In these schools of Hinduism, states Tietge, the theory of action are derived from and centered in compassion for the other, and not egotistical concern for the self. Teleology deals with the apparent purpose, principle or goal of something. In the first chapter of the Shvetashvatara Upanishadthese questions are dealt with. What is the cause of Brahman?
Why were we born? By what do we live?
On what are we established? Governed by whom, O you who know Brahman, do we live in pleasure and in pain, each in our respective situation?
Hinduism: core ideas of Brahman, Atman, Samsara and Moksha. (video) | Khan Academy
One can only find out its true purpose when one becomes the Brahman as the 'Brahman' is all the knowledge one can know itself. Hence, complete answers for anything in life can only be determined or obtained when the Brahman is realized as the Brahman is all the complete knowledge itself. This is said in the Aitareya Upanishad 3. Now, what's also interesting is where the name Hinduism or Hindu comes from, a Hindu being someone who practices Hinduism.
The name for what we now call the Indus River in Sanskrit was Sindhu, and Sindh is still a region in the Indian subcontinent. The version that the Persians said was Hindus and this got converted to Indus in Latin. So really, Hinduism is the term for the cultural and religious practices of people beyond the Indus River.
The India really comes from this same root. Indus is where India comes from, but Indus comes from Hindus, which comes from Sindhu and these are all related to the word Hindu. And, you can see that very clearly in the Persian version. Now, as I mentioned, there's many different practices in Hinduism, many different traditions, many different rituals in Hinduism, but I'm going to try to focus in on what could be considered the spiritual core.
And, a lot of this comes out of the Vedas. They're a collection of hymns, rituals, but also philosophy.
And, the subset of the Vedas that are very concerned with the spiritual and the philosophical are known as the Upanishads, which means sitting down or coming near to.
Atman Brahman relationships Indian philosophy thou art that ultimate reality
Some people say coming near to God, some people say coming near to the actual reality, or coming near to a teacher as in sitting down to get a lesson or to have a dialog. Now, the central idea in Hinduism is the idea of Brahman. And Brahman should not be confused with the god Brahma. Brahma is sometimes, you could view, as a aspect of a Brahman, but Brahman is viewed as the true reality of things. It is shapeless, genderless, bodiless, it cannot be described.
It can only be experienced.
Brahman and Atman: That Art Thou
Now, according to Hindu belief we are all part of Brahman. And, what we perceive as our individuality is really, you can consider to be a quasi-illusion. So, this might be one individual right over here and then we might have another individual right over here.
- Hinduism: core ideas of Brahman, Atman, Samsara and Moksha.
- Atman & Brahman
- Hindu concepts
And, this separateness, the illusion of the reality that we see around us this is referred to as Maya.