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What is the relationship between the physical body and the spirit in Hinduism?

In Hinduism, the physical body and the spirit are considered distinct yet interconnected entities. The physical body is seen as a temporary vessel that houses the eternal, unchanging spirit or soul, known as the atman. The atman is believed to be a part of the divine consciousness or ultimate reality, Brahman.

The body is subject to change, decay, and death, while the atman is eternal and unchanging. According to Hindu belief, when the body dies, the atman continues on to another life, either in a new physical body (reincarnation) or in a non-physical realm (such as heaven or hell). The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to break free from the cycle of birth and rebirth (samsara) and merge the atman with Brahman, a state known as moksha.

Therefore, while the physical body and the atman are distinct, they are intimately connected in the sense that the body is the means through which the atman experiences the world and gains knowledge and wisdom that will help it progress toward moksha. Through practices such as yoga, meditation, and self-discipline, Hindus seek to purify the body and mind, connect with the atman, and ultimately attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
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