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A study on Soul

A Study on Soul

SOUL – the life force / energy that keeps a body moving . Science has made so much of advancement but still the concept of the life force/energy is still a mystery or uncharted path for scientists. In this context, it is definitely worth proud of and worth admiring a fact that Vedas and Bhagavad Gita written thousands of years ago in our land offers a rich and valuable information and understanding on the concept of soul.

Reading Bhagavad Gita these days am awed by the enormous wealth of knowledge and insight this master piece provides. Here in this topic , I shall write about the understanding on soul that I gained from my spiritual quest of our Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. So far.

The size of the soul :

Svetasvatara Upanishad (5.9) says :

balagra-sata-bhagasya

Satadha kalpitasya ca

Bhago Jivah Sa Vijneyah

Sa Canantyaya kalpate

Which translates as :

“When the upper point of hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul”

Another verse from the same Upanishad also mentions the size of the soul :

Kesagra-sata-bhagasya

Saramsah sadrsatmakah

Jiavha suksma-svarupo yam

Sankhyarito hi cit-kanah

Which means :

“There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms , which are measured as one ten thousandth of the upper portion of the hair.”

So we can conclude that according to Vedic scriptures of the vedic times , the individual particle of spiritual soul is a spiritual atom smaller than the material atoms.

This very small spiritual spark is the basic principle of the material body and the influence of this tiny spark is spread all over the body . This tiny atom is what gives the life force for our body. If this tiny spark is snuffed out of our body, it’s just a dead body.

Nature of the soul :

According the Bhagavad Gita : chapter 2.17

“ That which pervades the entire body , you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul”

The material body can be destroyed and it is perishable . The same is not the case with the soul. The soul can neither be destroyed . It is imperishable. The material body has to die at one point of time but soul is ever living.

According to Bhagavad Gita chapter 2.20

“ For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being , does not come into being , and will not come into being. He is unborn , eternal , ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain , when the body is slain. ”

According to Bhagavad Gita chapter 2.23

“ The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon , nor burned by fire , nor moistened by water , nor withered by the wind ”

According to Bhagavad Gita chapter 2.24

“ This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting , present everywhere , unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

According to Bhagavad Gita chapter 2.25 :

“ It is said that the soul is invisible , inconceivable and immutable.Knowing this , you should not grieve for the body. ”

So in a nutshell the nature of the soul is describes as : indestructible , imperishable , is unborn , eternal , ever-existing and primeval. The soul is unbreakable and insoluble . It can neither be burned nor dried. It is everlasting , present everywhere , unchangeable , immovable and eternally the same.

The point eternally the same is very important. It conveys a point that all living souls are of the same character but what differentiates one from other is through the cycle of karma and the influences of the individual on its course of births and rebirths. In this regard , it is very interesting to note that , Vedas ascribe two kinds of soul Jeevatma and Paramatma . Both this souls live within every living entity. The actions and reactions of the Jeevatma is what brings the different uniqueness and characterizations of the individual living entity. I will talk about Jeevatma and Paramatma and their significance in another topic.

To conclude with a verse from Bhagavad Gita chapter 2.29 :

“ Some look on the soul as amazing , some describe him as amazing , and some hear of him as amazing , while others , even after hearing about him , cannot understand him at all ”

This is exactly how one reacts when we talk about soul. The more we study indepth the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita , the more we get the understanding on the soul . I have just started my spiritual journey into Vedas and Bhagavad Gita will share the knowledge I gained in due course of time in my blog.

Hare Krishna.

0 02 October, 2008 Bhagavad Gita-as i learned October 2, 2008

About the author

He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan

21 comments

  1. Sushil

    How can you verify the authenticity of Gita and Vedas?

    Y should one believe in these very sources, in the absence of any proof of them being correct?How do you verify their authenticity?

  2. Mr.R

    Hi Sushil ,

    No one is forcing anyone to believe . Its upto the individual to believe certain things in life.

    Not everything in life is based on proof .. do u agree ? Do you ask for proof for motherly love ? When we are in school and learning history or science , do we ask for proof ? we read it and take it for granted cause someone else has agreed and authenticated to it . so is the agreement in spritual quest . You are not forced to believe but some people agree to it cause of their understanding of it and their authentication from the rishis . You read the scriptures , you are free to reason it , you are free to question it , you are free to implore your own ways … You have your own free will to think.

    Like you asked the proof to me can i also ask you a proof to disaprove wat is written or disaprove the concept of God with proof ? You have a right to disaprove and am definitely open to listen to it .. but if u ask for proof , so you put your version with proof … :)

  3. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    ……..Not everything in life is based on proof .. do u agree ? Do you ask for proof for motherly love ? When we are in school and learning history or science , do we ask for proof ? we read it and take it for granted cause ……………………………………., so you put your version with proof ……………………

    Motherly loved is genetically engineer in mother body. Look out all lower order and higher order species, you will find the truth. As science progress, I can assure you we can disable the gene switch what you called as motherly love.
    Next thing science is a study of explaination of proof. You don’t have to just believe what is written, instead you can question, conduct experiment, or visit lab.
    History is history until no records or sources available, otherwise it is called myth. There are people seen it happening and recorded itand you can prove history with help of science too like fossils, DNA etc etc

  4. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    Whereas Soul is just a bullshit devise by theist people to counter the argument what will happen when one die. How he/she can go to heaven or hell?
    It falls on same lie that says God exists, you can neither it nor sense it…just you have feel it. holy crap!…

  5. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    …….Like you asked the proof to me can i also ask you a proof to disaprove wat is written or disaprove the concept of God with proof ? ……..

    let me ask you simple question if I told you I have seen a creature which is half dinosaur and half dragon and it has man leg and woman face….now who has provide the proof me who said I have seen it or you saying you are bluffing.

  6. Sushil

    let me ask you simple question if I told you I have seen a creature which is half dinosaur and half dragon and it has man leg and woman face….now who has provide the proof me who said I have seen it or you saying you are bluffing.

    ^^^

    agree with him here.
    soul may or may not exist.But if one is saying that it does exist, then one needs to back it up with some proof.

    btw, we have proof for all the things which you hve mentioned, for motherly love, for science, for history…and if we do no hve proof for some sections of science n history then we say that its a theory and not a fact.

  7. Mr.R

    Hi butters nice to see u in my blog after long time !!!

    and for you and sushil , i found an interesting article :

    In a debate concerning the question, Does God exist? atheists frequently assert that the entire burden of proof rests on theists. This, however, is a false assertion. As philosopher William Lane Craig has stated, when an interrogative such as Does God exist? is debated each side must shoulder the burden of proof and provide support for what they consider to be the correct answer. This is unlike debating a proposition such as God does exist, where the burden of proof rests entirely with the affirmative side.

    It follows then that when debating the question of God’s existence, both the theist and the atheist are obligated to provide support for their position. The theist should insist that the atheist provide proof as to God’s alleged nonexistence. This, however, leads to a logical bind for the atheist.

    By definition, atheism is the world-view that denies the existence of God. To be more specific, traditional atheism (or offensive atheism) positively affirms that there never was, is not now, and never will be a God in or beyond the world. But can this dogmatic claim be verified?

    The atheist cannot logically prove God’s nonexistence. And here’s why: to know that a transcendent God does not exist would require a perfect knowledge of all things (omniscience). To attain this knowledge would require simultaneous access to all parts of the world and beyond (omnipresence). Therefore, to be certain of the atheist’s claim one would have to possess godlike characteristics. Obviously, mankind’s limited nature precludes these special abilities. The offensive atheist’s dogmatic claim is therefore unjustifiable. As logician Mortimer Adler has pointed out, the atheist’s attempt to prove a universal negative is a self-defeating proposition. The theist should therefore emphasize that the offensive atheist is unable to provide a logical disproof of God’s existence.

    This point can be forcefully emphasized by asking the atheist if he has ever visited the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The library presently contains over 70 million items (books, magazines, journals, etc.). Hundreds of thousands of these were written by scholars and specialists in the various academic fields. Then ask the following question: “What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?” The atheist will likely respond, “I don’t know. I guess a fraction of one percent.” You can then ask: “Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?” Even if the atheist refuses to admit the possibility, you have made your point and he knows it.

    “I don’t believe in God because there is so much evil in the world.”

    Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist. They often say something like: “I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have allow all those atrocities in history to happen.”

    A good approach to an argument like this is to say something to this effect: “Since you brought up this issue, the burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tells you how he knows that some things are evil. This way he is forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system.

    Then point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle).

    The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one can judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.

    At this point, the atheist may raise the objection that if God does in fact exist, then why hasn’t He dealt with the problem of evil in the world. You can disarm this objection by pointing out that God is dealing with the problem of evil, but in a progressive way. The false assumption on the part of the atheist is that God’s only choice is to deal with evil all at once in a single act. God, however, is dealing with the problem of evil through His justice system (dharma-karma-samsara).

    If the atheist responds that it shouldn’t take such long time for an omnipotent God to solve the problem of evil, you might respond by saying: “Ok. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that at this very moment, God declared that all evil in the world will now simply cease to exist. Practically every human being on the planet would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?”

    The atheist may argue that a better solution must surely be available. He may even suggest that God could have created man in such a way that man would avoid evil altogether. This idea can be countered by pointing out that such a scenario would mean that he would no longer have the capacity to make choices, free will. This scenario would require that God create robots who act only in programmed ways.

    If the atheist persists and says there must be a better solution to the problem of evil, suggest a simple test. Give him about five minutes to formulate a solution to the problem of evil that (1) does not destroy human freedom, or (2) cause God to violate His nature (e.g., His attributes of absolute holiness, justice, and mercy) in some way. Don’t expect much of an answer.

  8. Sushil

    May be one shouldn’t expect much of answer, as Atheists are not God(s).

    Btw, point taken. One cannot say for sure that god does not exist.But at the same time, one(read theist) cannot say for sure that god does exist.

    One query btw, what is more foolish,? believing in something to exist w/o proof , or believing in something to be non-existent in the absence of any evidences sustaining the existence of the same?

  9. Mr.R

    Hi Sushil ,

    If your words “may be one shouldn’t expect much of answer , as atheists are not God(s) ” are what you meant , then u tend to agree the concept of God ;)

    and about your ” One cannot say for sure that god does not exist.But at the same time, one(read theist) cannot say for sure that god does exist. ”

    My answer : For those who belief , God exists , For those who dont , He doesnt. It is something to be experienced in personal front.

    Your third part of your reply : ” One query btw, what is more foolish,? believing in something to exist w/o proof , or believing in something to be non-existent in the absence of any evidences sustaining the existence of the same? ”

    My answer : It is definitely not foolish to belief something. But if you want to dispute it , you counter it with proof. Is it foolish to love your mother without proof of DNA test ? or do u ask for a DNA test to prove if she is your mother first ?
    Second , It is the onus on you to prove if the majority people’s belief is foolish or not . A scientist is the one who comes with a proof to squash the common belief. So if atheists think the belief of God is foolish , well n good , come with a proof . For those who beliee in God , there are many personal experiences rich throughout the history of mankind to prove their belief across the culture and continents.

    Pyare Krishna. Sache Krishna. Mitr Krishna. God Bless You.

  10. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    …….The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one can judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it…..
    I disagree…
    Morality is a natural mechanism for the preservation of species. One of the most common mistakes that theists make is to consider that all the morality is originated by their own God of choice, as if before the appearance of the creator of their own God , everyone was barbaric and savage.

    Fact is, morality is part of nature. We create societies and build laws around these basic natural principals. Religions only use these principles and laws and build their own set of explanations for them. After a few centuries of heavy indoctrination, the generations tend to think that their religion of choice was the creator of such principles.

  11. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    >>>The atheist cannot logically prove God’s nonexistence. And here’s why: to know that a transcendent God does not exist would require a perfect knowledge of all things (omniscience). To attain this knowledge would require simultaneous access to all parts of the world and beyond (omnipresence). Therefore, to be certain of the atheist’s claim one would have to possess godlike characteristics. Obviously, mankind’s limited nature precludes these special abilities. The offensive atheist’s dogmatic claim is therefore unjustifiable. As logician Mortimer Adler has pointed out, the atheist’s attempt to prove a universal negative is a self-defeating proposition. The theist should therefore emphasize that the offensive atheist is unable to provide a logical disproof of God’s existence.<<<<

    I know omniscience, omnipotent, omnipresence is attributed to God, but using of these words itself illogical.

    For example:
    Omnipotent – Can God create a rock which he/she cannot lift himself/herself?

    Omnipresence: if gods know everything, freewill is just stupid word.

  12. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    >>>>Practically every human being on the planet would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?”<<<<<<
    hmmm..so god can’t separate evil from human being.
    In that sense a terrorist is also God only if he can get a nuclear bomb.

  13. Mr.R

    >>>Fact is, morality is part of nature. We create societies and build laws around these basic natural principals. Religions only use these principles and laws and build their own set of explanations for them. After a few centuries of heavy indoctrination, the generations tend to think that their religion of choice was the creator of such principles.

    =====================================================

    Butters i tend to vary in this point , morality is not part of the nature. Morality by n large is part of a culture. One culture’s high morality can be another culture’s taboo. The concept of God is universal but various cultures and societies build in due course of time rituals and superstitious belief and laws.

  14. Mr.R

    >>>>I know omniscience, omnipotent, omnipresence is attributed to God, but using of these words itself illogical.

    For example:
    Omnipotent – Can God create a rock which he/she cannot lift himself/herself?

    Omnipresence: if gods know everything, freewill is just stupid word. <<<

    ===============

    Its not illogical but highly logical if you are in the opposite camp of view.

    You asked can a God lift a rock ? Why not ? What makes u think he cannot lift it ?

    And about the free will . God has definitely given us a choice of free will .God knows everything and Free will is also a practical thing. Infact i hav in mind to write a post on it . Look forward to my comming post on it.

  15. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    my question was can god create a rock which he cannot lift himself? if he cannot create he is not omnipotent and if he can create and cannot lift, then too he is not omnipotent. In short omnipotent logically cannot exists.

    Second question was if there is free will God cannot be omniscient and if he is omniscient there is no freewill.

  16. Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky

    Butters i tend to vary in this point , morality is not part of the nature. Morality by n large is part of a culture. One culture’s high morality can be another culture’s taboo. The concept of God is universal but various cultures and societies build in due course of time rituals and superstitious belief and laws.
    =========
    Morality is part of nature and there is morality in animal and homo sapience too. I can quote u from different scientific sources if u want

  17. Mr.R

    butters am not sure what you mean by cannot life himself ? does he had to prove now and then by lifting a rock ?!!

    and about the morality you are talking about , its not morality but the basic nature of species. Every species has its own basic nature. Its not to be confused with morality. Morality is different from it.

  18. Ambi

    Even though its been a long time since this topic was written…

    @ Sushil:

    How do you believe that the food served in a nice platter in a 7-star restaurant is always edible or uncontaminated or unpoisoned?

    You need to know what Gita says to even begin verifying whether it is correct or not… have you read the Gita? Or atleast understand the essence of what it talks about? How did you come to the decision then, that there is an absence of proof of them being correct?

  19. Ambi

    @ Hellogoodbye AKA Butter AKA Lucky:

    You are applying logic which is born out of perception to something that is beyond logic.

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