Brahman

Many Hindus believe in Brahman as the ultimate reality – one 'Supreme Spirit' in many forms. Brahman is male, female and even animal.

Atman

The atman of each of us may also hold a 'spark' of Brahman. For most Hindus, Brahman is present in the lives of all living things.

The traditional Hindu greeting 'Namaste', usually performed with joined palms and bowed head, may be translated as 'I bow to the divine spark within you'.

The belief that atman is indestructible means that ending a life to protect others or in defence is acceptable for some Hindus. In addition to the teachings from the Bhagavad Gita, other scriptures also highlight that death is just part of the cycle of reincarnation. Killing someone is not ending the existence of that atman, just ending one lifetime of many.