By Swami Harshananda
Adhyātma literally means ‘pertaining to the ātman’.
The Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgitā frequently use the three words adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhyātma. The word ‘adhi’ denotes the sense of ‘ruling over’ or ‘pertaining to’. The word ‘ātman’ is often used for the body. Hence ‘adhyātma’ indicates the Self within the body. It is the ātmā (Self) which resides in it and rules over the body.
It is also used to indicate Brahman or the Supreme Self.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore