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Soul

The self of the principles of humanity - not to lie, no promiscuity, not to steal and not to kill; the definition used the most is not the vague "essence of man"-definition found in the dictionary, but the definition relating to selfremembrance (as in: 'I lost my soul') and alignment ('a loyal soul'). The definition is dynamic, that is to say, identified with life and the living; each moment the soul redefines itself in the light of selfremembrance and conscience. Philosophically is the soul considered the psyche or mirror of the self consisting of reason, spirit, and desire and vedically it is divided in the divinities of ignorance, passion and goodness with an individual soul (jîva-âtmâ), a localized personal aspect or a supersoul (paramâtmâ), and a god person of opulences or fortune (bhagavân or the Lord). Often the idea of continuation is introduced to stress the importance of its eternal value and transcendence of physical death being remembrance not per se located in the personal brain, but shaped in the form of a cultural/biological trace ('my children are my life and soul', 'I put my life and soul in that work'). Also the idea of invariability and completeness is important to its, often religious, definition being the cultural denominator founded in eternal values (truth, purity, compassion and sobriety) that transcends the individual ego identified with the body. In sum its definition could be: the stable and continuing conscientiously remembering true self.

Vedic equivalents:

  • Âtma
  • Sat-cit-ânanda or eternity (durability), consciousness and bliss as the fundamental qualities of the divinity of the soul.
Vyâsadeva speaks

The Soul
In the Bhagavad Gîtâ, "The Divine Song of the Lord" Lord Krishna states in 2: 16-30 the following about the soul:
(16) Never is there of falsehood (asat, the temporal form) any durability nor can one expect of the eternal (sat, the true, the soul) any cessation, thus stress the seers who concluded to the study of both. (17) Know that that by which the whole body is pervaded is imperishable and that no one is able to destroy it. (18) All these material bodies are perishable while of the embodied soul it is said that it is never destroyed and immeasurable, therefore fight o descendant of Bharata. (19) Anyone who supposes that this (soul) is the killer and also anyone who thinks that it can be killed, will of either of both positions never be in knowledge; never does it kill or can it be killed. (20) It is never born, nor does it ever die; never it came into existence nor will it cease to be - it will not take rebirth, it is unborn, eternal and permanent; it is the oldest and is never killed when the body is killed. (21) One who knows that this (soul) is the indestructible, always existing, which is unborn and immutable - how can that person, o Pârtha, be the cause of killing or be killed? (22) Just like giving up worn out garments and accepting new ones, does the embodied (soul) the same way give up old bodies and verily accept different new ones. (23) Never can this soul be cut to pieces, be burnt by fire; nor can it drown in water or wither in the wind. (24) This unbreakable soul that cannot be burned, dissolve in water or dry up, is surely everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, unmovable and primordial.
(25) As one speaks like this of it as being invisible, inconceivable and stable, you should know very well that this soul never deserves lamentation. (26) If, however, you think of it as always taking birth or finding death, still, o mighty armed one, it never deserves lamentation. (27) Death is a certain fact for the one who is born and also is birth certain for the ones who died; they are matters unavoidable that therefore do not deserve your lamentation. (28) In the beginning all are unmanifest, they are manifest in the middle, and in the end, o descendant of Bharata, they are all gone, therefore why complain when it is all like that? (29) Some see it as amazing, some speak of it as amazing and others surely come to know about it as being amazing, while still others, even having heard about this soul, certainly never come to understand it. (30) This soul, the eternal owner of the body of everyone, cannot be killed and therefore, o descendant of Bharata, you should not grieve for any living being.

See also

Category: Definitions | English


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