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Paramātman

Paramātman (Skt., ‘Supreme Self’). The Supreme Spirit, i.e. Brahman. In the Pañcadaśī, the paramātman is defined as ‘the substratum on which the individual souls (jīvas) are superimposed’.

Among Jains, paramātman takes on a comparable significance, especially after the work of Kundakunda. The self, freed from all impediment of karma, in its unconditioned and absolute state, is realized by liberated jīvas. Since this paramātman pre-exists all manifestations and is unaffected (however much impeded) by them, the paramātman becomes an object of reverence for Jains: it can be revered in all beings, but especially in the tīrthaṅkaras (ford-makers).

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