Hindu Religious and Philosophical Concept in Context of Globalization and Multiculturalism: “Jivatman”





being, spirituality, culture, multiculturalism, traditions, soul, identity, identification, memory, philosophical knowledge


In the 20th and 21st centuries, active interactions have occurred between representatives of various cultures and traditions. This influences religious and philosophical concepts, including those in India. Modern people wish to learn more about ancient Hindu concepts and values. 

The concept of the soul plays an important role in the formation of personal and cultural identity. In this article, we focus on the term “jivatman.” Within the framework of Indian culture and philosophy, concepts such as “Atman,” “Paramatman,” “jiva,” and later “jivatman” are integral to the traditional heritage that is preserved and passed down through generations. In the context of philosophical knowledge, it is important to distinguish concepts such as Atman and soul, since they have different meanings in the religious and philosophical traditions of India. Atman is the inner Higher Self, while the soul (jiva) is the bearer of life and is subject to the laws of karma. Some philosophers and researchers identify “jivatman” as a synonym for “jiva,” meaning the soul, while others equate it with the concept “Atman.” Cultural memory plays a key role in preserving this heritage, and the various interpretations of the term “jivatman” can be attributed to the processes of globalization and the politics of multiculturalism. We examined the interpretation of the term “jivatman” in dictionaries, analyzed its use in ancient texts, and considered the opinions of philosophers, neo-Hindu religious leaders, and researchers, including Mircea Eliade, Sri Aurobindo, Srila Prabhupada, and others. The emergence of representatives of the “new Indian mythmaking,” such as Devdutt Pattanaik, also influenced modern Hindu religious and philosophical thought. Analyzing his works, we observe a tendency to conflate the two terms (Atman and jiva) leading to their identification as a single concept.

Our research indicates that Devdutt Pattanaik’s analysis often lacks depth and fails to delve into the fundamental essence of Indian philosophy. This tendency towards simplification can lead to a superficial comprehension of the foundational principles and ideas that form the basis of Indian spiritual traditions.


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How to Cite

Ryzhik , M. (2024). Hindu Religious and Philosophical Concept in Context of Globalization and Multiculturalism: “Jivatman”. Skhid, 6(2), 64–72. https://doi.org/10.21847/2411-3093.629