Atma- analysis of Self


I wonder what the kalama sutta say about that ?

Isn’t that rebirth is something about afterlife ?

Anyway , good luck .


Actually , all one need is faith and carry on with the practice and attain liberation .
As far as Theory goes there is a limit .


I have to agree with Gene here.

Is the next sequential birth the inheritor of the past birth’s karma or not?

“If I am really good, I get to be a fancy deity with magical powers in my next life.”

The above isn’t really solid Buddhism, but unfortunately, in my experience and hopefully others have different experiences, the above is common Buddhism, for all the solidity it lacks.


Its like, what if I told you “the Christians”, whoever they are as a banket category, don’t actually believe in disembodied consciousness. Traditionally, in Christianity, you need a body to be conscious. This is why traditional Christian eschatological narratives stress a bodily resurrection of the dead.

I daresay many Christians nowadays believe that you transform into angels upon death. Or that you go to a non-material heaven.

It’s the same with Buddhism, or rather, views held concerning Buddhism. Sometimes religions are their own worst enemy as much as they are their best friend.

When a religion indigenizes, a certain conceit becomes common amongst the people, certain people. Coming from a traditionally Christian society, I can comment upon it appearing from there, but traditionally Buddhist societies will be no different.

The conceit I speak of is:

“I am a Christian. My dad is a Christian. My friends are Christians. Things that we believe are therefore logically Christian doctrines.”

Substitute “Christian” for “Buddhist” in the above to see what I am talking about. Of course, the indigenization of the dharma is a wonder, and much more good comes of it than bad, but still… One can notice these things.


Kalama sutta doesn’t tell us not to use analytical thought, or teaching derived from oral tradition (most of Suttacentral, that is) but rather not to make the method of deduction the justification of the correctness of the conclusions. Kalama sutta is ok for whatever method to be used, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else or oneself.

Yes, but its seen as continued suffering that we are trying to escape from. Lets say its not desirable- its part of the problem, and not the solution. It’s not eternal heaven. Kalama sutta alows the the listener not to believe rebirth:

"‘If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.’ This is the first assurance he acquires.

"‘But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.’ This is the second assurance he acquires. Kalama Sutta: To the Kalamas

with metta


I think the fundamental question is if a buddhist allow him/her self to take something in Buddhism beyond his six sense experience to be something true and to regard other teachings to be not true , there is a non conforming principle .


When we asked this question, we may assume that (the same) consciousness is what is reborn.

I personally do not know the mechanism of rebirth since I have not yet experience it. However, I do not assume that (the same) consciousness is what is reborn.

Looking at how the cells in our body “reborn”, the new cell is a copy of the old one. It is not the old one, but it is not different from the old one. It carries all the genetics/characteristics of the old one. Would the mechanism of rebirth similar with this? I don’t know.

However, because of this, I cannot assume that (the same) consciousness is what is reborn (or there is no rebirth).


Are you taking your bolded remark, as a proof that Buddha might have implied that there is no other world?

That would be quite misleading, as usual.

First read MA 16.
Second, know what Buddha calls “right view”.
Third know what the “other world” and “away the supreme” (paroparāni) exactly means.

What Buddha means here, is exactly what Pascal meant when he talked about taking the bet that God exists in Christianity. “Pascal’s bet” goes that way:
What do you have to lose believing in God, and applying his ten commandments ?
Take the bet that he exists.
If he does you win to be on his side.
If you lose, you will have lived a proper life.

I suppose this is what Buddha somewhat meant in the kalama sutta.
Let’s not forget what right view is !

What is right view?
This view, namely:
"there is [efficcacy] in giving, there is [efficacy] in offerings - there are wholesome and evil deeds, there is a result of wholesome and evil deeds - there are this world and another world - there is [obligation towards one’s] father or mother - in the world there are worthy men who have reached a wholesome attainment, who are well gone and have progressed well, who by their own knowledge and experience abide in having themselves realized this world and the other world’.
This is reckoned right view.
MN 117 / MA 189

I think you have a very poor knowledge of the Indian religious philosophy at large; and also quite a tendency to apply your own creed to the early Buddhist dogma, by quoting equivocal extracts from the suttas.


Are you quite sure that ātman’s etymology doesn’t have something to do with breath?

Coming from the PIE root *etmen.


And what would be the PIE roots for:
बृह् bṛh - √ मन् man and
ध dha (or √ dhā) - √ मन् man [धर्मन् dharmán]


To prove the absence of something which was there moments ago isn’t hard. To watch the aggregates arising and passing away incessantly and then watch it not arising at all, is clear cut.

At certain levels of samatha it is possible to project all kinds of assumptions onto the void. I can understand this as well. However when all assumption are broken down in vipassana, down into aggregates, and that also fades into nirodha, there isn’t even consciousness to make assumptions. Nibbana and supernibbana, are all conceptual proliferations, after that.

with metta


No I meant he understood that the listener might not readily agree that there is rebirth, as it isn’t easy to see. So he said ‘even if you don’t believe it, you will still benefit from the practice’. In essence it is the ‘safe bet’ ‘Pascal’s wager’ etc.

with metta


I would not know what to say, other than that those are not roots as I have been educated to identify them. I only have a BA though. The root of the word “establishment” is “establish” not “establish” and “ment” with “ment” as a different root.

is not a root here. For instance, ātman doesn’t have a

Root. Consider manyate, however, to give an example of something that does have “√ मन् man” as its root.


Not sure about roots, but this definition seems appropriate:

"Atman, (Sanskrit: “self,” “breath”) one of the most basic concepts in Hinduism, the universal self, identical with the eternal core of the personality that after death either transmigrates to a new life or attains release (moksha) from the bonds of existence. While in the early Vedas it occurred mostly as a reflexive pronoun meaning “oneself,” in the later Upanishads (speculative commentaries on the Vedas) it comes more and more to the fore as a philosophical topic. Atman is that which makes the other organs and faculties function and for which indeed they function; it also underlies all the activities of a person, as brahman (the Absolute) underlies the workings of the universe. Atman is part of the universal brahman, with which it can commune or even fuse. So fundamental was the atman deemed to be that certain circles identified it with brahman. Of the various systems (darshans) of Hindu thought, Vedanta is the one that is particularly concerned with the Atman’. Atman | Hindu philosophy |

It struck me that the Buddhist atman is closer to the vedic one- sort of Self and perhaps Soul as well. There might be others who can elucidate this better than me.

with metta





This definition makes me think about energy…


Nope, that’s प्राण prāṇa [act. prāṇ].
Breath is prāṇa.


I do not relate to word, language… I am referring to its function as described…


Then, you have to put things in context:

For him who sees this, who thinks this and who understands this, life-breath springs from the self (Atman), hope from the self, memory from the self, ether from the self, heat from …
ChUp 7.26.1

Everything comes from the Atman then.
Atman is not just “breath”.


Why construct it in that particular way?

Ātmā, ātmānam, ātmanā, ātmaṇe, etc.

Do you consider the second (and possibly third) syllable(s) of all of these mutations to be a seperate root/stem?

For instance, let us pick a different Sanskrit word, one without a great deal of doctrinal bias behind it:


Do you parse this as

√ha + √ri + √var + √man?

Obviously I myself do not consider this parsing to be correct, but it matches the precedent you have set with

√āt + √man