How Do You Define Soul?
The soul is life energy!
When you put moong beans in a damp cloth, they sprout, isn’t it? And if you put stones in a wet cloth, they don’t grow. It is because there is no Soul in there. Where there is growth, there is a presence of Soul within. Thus, the Soul is defined as life-energy (chetan). Wherever there is the presence of Soul, there is life and hence it’s called a living being. And things that have no Soul in it are non-living. eg. Table, chair, etc.
Another way to know the presence of the Soul within is through feelings. If one can feel happiness or pain, it means the Soul is present within. It is because of the presence of Soul that feelings arise. This is the reason why inanimate objects do not have any feelings. If you kick a table or a wall, they do not feel hurt. They have no sensations, no feelings, or emotions since they do not have a Soul within!
The Soul is infinite knowledge and bliss
Do you know in this entire world, the only one who knows anything, or should I say ‘who knows everything’ is the Soul! ☺
It is only Soul that has the property to know. No other thing can ‘know’. Our ability to know comes from our Soul. When our back hurts, we come to know, right? But would a table know if we put a 100 kgs weight on it for the whole day? The table cannot know anything because it has no Soul in it.
The Soul is like light. With this light, one is able to know and see everything. Suppose, at night, someone gives you a cup of coffee, in this pitch darkness, even without drinking it, you would know from its fragrance that it is coffee, and not tea. You would also be able to tell how it tastes, that is it has more sugar, less milk, etc. One may argue that it is due to nerves, brain, memory, etc. that these functions happen. Yes, that’s true. But a dead body, from whom the Soul has just departed, also has this entire machinery in place, and which was working absolutely fine until just two minutes ago when he was alive. Then why is it not able to tell if we keep a cup of coffee next to it? It’s because the Soul has left from there!
The Soul is an eternal element
Soul never dies as it is an eternal element. The physical body is said to be dead when Soul leaves it. And when Soul arrives, we call it conception or birth.
So, Soul is an eternal element that is never born nor does it die; it only moves from one body to another. And that’s what we actually are. Yes, our true identity is that we are a Soul. This is the real truth.
We believe ourselves to be the body or the name that has been given to identify our body. Hence we feel that death is happening to me. But really speaking, even when the body dies, I remain. I have moved to my next destination. This proves that I am certainly not the body that is burnt to flames, nor the name which can be changed anytime, anywhere by anyone. So, who am I?
The Soul is our real identity
Aatma means Self. The Self is the Soul.
Here, the question arises that if I myself am the Soul, why don’t I know my own Self?
It is due to ignorance that we mistakenly believe the body or the name given to body as our Self, says Gnani, the Enlightened One. How??
For instance, there is a big light bulb. But a pot is put over it which is covering the light. Therefore, although the light is in its full form, its brightness is not to be seen, and hence not understood by us. But if someone drills a small hole in the pot through and through, then we are able to experience this light. Although it is just a ray of light right now, we get the firm conviction of the light, isn’t it? And as more and more holes occur, the light becomes brighter. Finally, the day the pot sheds off completely, the light will spread all over the place, right?
This is what happens with us. The Soul is the Self. But we are unable to comprehend it because we have never experienced it due to the thick layers of ignorance that cover our Soul. Gnani is the Enlightened One, whose own Soul is awakened and who has the special divine power to awaken other’s Souls too. When with great compassion, Gnani breaks our layers of ignorance, the direct light of the Soul begins!!! As we experience that direct light, although it is only a ray right now, we are able to understand and get a firm conviction of what the Soul is. And thereafter, holding Gnani’s hand and following Gnani’s directions, with his help we are able to break more and more holes into the pot, until all the coverings over the Soul shed off. That day, our Soul’s light shall illuminate the entire Universe! Doesn’t that sound ecstatic?
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