What is the Soul of a Human


Soul in a human being is the vital intangible life force that sustains even after death of human body. Spirituality as practiced in Hinduism confirms presence of soul in human body. Spiritual traditions of Hinduism further say, in absence of soul within, no human body could survive. This spark of divinity within we called soul was indestructible, could not be created or destroyed.

 

Not visible to the eye or measurable by scientific parameters, the human soul was beyond human comprehension. The presence of soul within us can be recognized only by indulging in spirituality as detailed in scriptures of Hinduism primarily Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (independent treatises). Hinduism believes that present journey of life in human form was undertaken by our soul and manifest human body had no role to play in it.

 

If the present journey of human life belongs to soul atman within then what was the reason behind? Hinduism sacred texts say ever since God (Brahman in Hinduism) exploded self with a big bang, all souls scattered all over cosmos with unimaginable speeds. In the melee, hurtling souls’ atmans gathered impurities. To cleanse self of dross impurities within starts cosmic life cycle of every soul.

 

This becomes possible when life supporting planets like mother earth evolved in cosmic system. No sooner planet earth became conducive for supporting life; souls immediately started manifesting bodies after another. In the evolutionary chain the first form manifested by soul was that of amoeba (single cell formation). It further evolves into multi-cell formation, then insect life plant life and animal life and finally human form.

 

Do we mean to say the soul existing in insects, plants and animals was of the same essence as human beings… sacred texts of Hinduism confirm so!

 

This analogy can be explained with the following example-

When a student of class one promotes to class two, identity of the student remaining same; everything else changes. Next the student in class two promotes to class three and so on.

 

In the world of souls, the soul remaining the same it keeps manifesting form after another. It initially manifests the form of amoeba, then evolving into multi-cell formation and then insect life. Hinduism sacred texts say a maximum of 7.3 million manifestations could occur in insect, plant and animal life. In its lifetime every soul could manifest a total of 7.3 million bodies in insect, plant and animal form. Similar as a student jumps from class one to class two, the soul atman also evolves to higher forms of life like stage of plants, animals and finally human form.

 

Before manifesting human form for the first time, every soul has already manifested 7.3 million life forms as insect, plant and animal. No soul could ever escape this evolutionary ladder. This was how every soul cleansed itself of dross impurities within.

 

This analogy can also be explained with the following example-

Imagine a 100 KG lump of gold ore containing one KG of pure gold. When put through various mining machinery and processes, the 100 KG lump initially reduces to 86 KG meaning one KG of pure gold existing in 86 KG lump of gold ore. The soul has cleared the insect life stage. This 86 KG lump further reduces to 55 KG meaning one KG of pure gold existing in 55 KG lump of gold ore (44 KG of dross impurities removed forever). The soul has now cleared the plant life stage. The 55 KG lump of gold ore further reduces to a 10 KG lump meaning one KG of pure gold surrounded by nine KG of impurities. The soul has finally cleared animal life stage and manifests human form.

 

As a human being we are supposed to remove nine KG of dross impurities within to reach stage of enlightenment when a soul becomes free forever, reaching stage of absolute purity. This is what enlightened souls like Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism), Gautama Buddha… Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed did by following path of spirituality to reach cosmic end of life.

 

Does this mean the cosmic goal of life for all human beings remains, indulging in requisite karma to remove dross impurities within and reach stage of absolute purity as a soul! Yes, sacred texts like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads confirm this spiritual aspect of life. Prime reason why human beings need travelling path of spirituality to reach their cosmic goal of life, stage of absolute purity as a soul within!

 

Liberation from cycle of birth and death is the ultimate goal of life for all human beings on mother earth.

 

After crossing animal stage, a soul has a maximum of 1.1 million manifestations in human form to reach stage of enlightenment, total purity. Does this mean there are 1.1 million types of bodies in human form! Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads confirm so. This also confirms that in human form there was never a hurry to reach stage of enlightenment, absolute purity. We could undertake spiritual journey in present life to reach cosmic end of life or leave it for future manifestations.

 

Choosing our goal of life is purely a human prerogative. God Almighty ordained presence of free will within us, exercising which we could decide our goal and journey of life.

 

We must also not forget the human form is the highest manifest stage in cosmic life cycle. This also explains the fact that enlightenment can be gained only in human form, never lower forms of life. We truly are lucky to be born human beings. More lucky if we could recognize presence of soul within. To indulge or not to indulge in spirituality in present life was our sole prerogative.

 

Coming back to the topic of presence of soul in human body-

In Hinduism, a renowned sage Adi Shankaracharya says other than souls nothing exists in this world nay cosmos. The physical form, the human body was but an act of Maya (veil of illusion). Broken down to basic building block of cosmos, the human form was nothing more than clusters of atoms and molecules. When viewed from senses point of view, we appeared solid… in reality even in scientific terms we were nothing more than gaseous formation (cluster of atoms and molecules).

 

This doctrine of Maya (veil of illusion) forms integral part of Indian spirituality. As per Adi Shankaracharya we were primarily a cosmic traveler, a spiritual being, a spirit; on its cosmic life cycle that has manifested human form to work out its karma, reach stage of absolute purity. If we associate self with human body, it was due to presence of ego (Aham in Hinduism). And for this reason, to travel spiritual path successfully demolition of ego in totality was necessitated.

 

Annihilation of ego in totality means overpowering five senses and mind forever. All this could be achieved indulging in Indian spirituality as detailed in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.

 

By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref. 171211)

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