Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend

From Individual Soul to The Supreme: A Study in Identity

Article of the Month - October 2010
Viewed 27553 times since 15th Oct, 2010

The Vedas are unanimous in declaring God as the Supreme Soul (Param Atma), who is infinite (ananta). However, the most potent Vedic statements also declare: 'You are That' (Tat Tvam Asi), meaning that the individual soul is none other than the Supreme Soul. This naturally presents a problem. The individual soul, as we know it, is inevitably linked to our physical body. Therefore, there is no way that it can exceed the size of the body and share God's infinitude. How then can it be equated to the Supreme Soul? This problem can perhaps be solved if we are able to pinpoint the exact size of the individual soul (jiva atma).

Conjecture: In all probability it seems logical to assume that the jiva is of the size of the body itself.

This supposition does however present some issues. During childhood the size of the body is small which grows larger in youth. How does the soul accommodate this change in size? No one can say that it stretches itself. Also, what about rebirth? If we are to take the body of a cockroach in our next life will the soul compress itself, or will it expand if we are to take on the form of an elephant? More importantly, assigning a finite size to soul implies that it is non-eternal, since it is but our common experience that everything with a finite shape or size is ultimately prone to destruction.

What then do the Vedas themselves say in this regard? For one, the scriptures definitely seem to imply that the soul has a size, because they mention its passing out of the body at the time of death, and also its journeying to other worlds:

'The soul passes out of the body at the time of death, carrying along with it speech and other sense organs' (Kaushitaki Upanishad 3.4).

'To reap the fruits of its karma, the soul ascends to the region of the moon' (Kaushitaki Upanishad 1.2).

'The soul returns to the mortal world again to do fresh karma' (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6).

Conjecture: If the individual soul was really infinite like the Supreme Soul, there would be no possibility of its movement. We have already seen that it cannot be of the size of the body. Since it is neither infinite, nor finite in size, therefore, it must be atomic in size, as declared by the scriptures:

'The soul is a hundredth part of the hundredth part of the tip of a hair' (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 5.9).

'The soul is finer than the tip of a pointed iron goad' (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 5.8).

A Refreshing Bathe in the River Ganga
A Refreshing Bathe in the River Ganga






Objection to the Conjecture: If the soul is atomic in size, it will be located at only a single point in the body, this will contradict our everyday experience that the whole body is conscious of a refreshing coolness when we bathe in the river Ganga, or in the summers we are conscious of heat all over our body.






Atomist: No, it is not a contradiction. Just as a drop of sandal paste (chandan), applied only to a particular part of the body, nevertheless produces a pleasant sensation all over the body, similarly the soul, even though located at only one part of the body, due to its contact with the skin (the organ of touch), derives the experience of pleasure and pain all over the body, because the skin is spread all over the body.

Question: This is an inadequate comparison. In the case of the sandal paste, we can directly perceive both, its point of application and the subsequent diffused experience of pleasantness all over the body. In the case of the soul however, we are aware of it only through the consciousness of pleasure and pain all over the body, but cannot at all pinpoint its exact location in the body as we can do for the sandal paste. Thus, we cannot say with certainty whether it is atomic in size with an exact location, or all-pervading like the akasha, as mentioned in the scriptures.

Atomist: This presents no problem at all. The Upanishads clearly mention the soul as residing in the heart (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.7; Prashna Upanishad 3.6; Chandogya 8.3.3; Taittriya 2.1). So now we not only have the perception of the soul all over the body in the form of consciousness, but also its exact location inside the body. Hence, we can now safely reiterate that the individual soul (jiva atma) is atomic in size.

Or there is even another way which easily explains how the atomic soul even though located at one point in the body is experienced as consciousness all over it. Consider the example of a lamp kept in a one part of a room. Its light spreads over the whole room, similarly, the consciousness of the soul spreads all over the body and causes us the experience of pleasure and pain.

Objection to Atomist: The quality of a thing does not wander away beyond that thing in which it inheres. The whiteness of a piece of cloth remains in it and not beyond. In fact, light is not a quality of the flame, it is a substance (matter), just like the flame itself. Light in its maximum density is the flame (lamp), and in the diffused state it is light (Shankaracharya's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras 2.3.26).

Here we have the great Shankaracharya declaring light to be 'matter'. More than a thousand years later, Albert Einstein would receive the Nobel prize for discovering the same.

How Does Vedanta Resolve this Issue?

A Classical Dancer Enacts the Pricking of a Thorn in the Sole of Her Feet
A Classical Dancer Enacts the Pricking of a Thorn in the Sole of Her Feet








It is unequivocally declared that jiva is non different from the Supreme Soul (God). Therefore, it has to be as big as the Supreme Soul, which is all pervading. Otherwise, we cannot experience the sensation of pleasure and pain extending all over the body. To say that such an experience is possible on account of the soul's connection with the skin extending all over our body, is to negate our own actual experience. The pain of a thorn pricking the sole of our feet is located at the sole and not experienced all over the body.







Nor can it be said that the jiva pervades the entire body by means of its quality of consciousness, for if the jiva is atomic in size, its quality must reside in it, and cannot go beyond it in order to pervade the entire body. A quality which wanders beyond the substance ceases to be a quality. The light of the lamp which goes beyond the flame is a part of the flame itself, and not separate from it. In essence, the flame and its light are not two different things, i.e., we cannot say that the soul is somewhere else and its influence somewhere else. Wherever its influence is being experienced, there the soul is present too. There is no example in our experience where we can say that an object is situated somewhere and its influence is being distributed elsewhere independent of it. Like the power is non different from the one wielding it, similarly, any quality is non different from the object possessing it. The quality and its possessor cannot be separate, they can exist together only.

If consciousness, as the inherent quality of the soul is said to pervade the whole body, it is as good as saying that the soul is not atomic in size. Because, consciousness is nothing but the innate nature of the soul. We have already seen above that the soul is not of the size of the body. By default then, it has to be all-pervading or infinite.

Objection: Why then is the soul described as minutely small, and residing in the heart?

Resolution: Due to the imposition of the qualities of the buddhi (intellect) on to the soul. When the qualities of the buddhi, i.e. desire, aversion, pleasure or pain are superimposed onto the faultless soul itself, then is the latter spoken of as being atomic, the size of the buddhi, which is said to reside in the heart. Fundamentally, the soul is eternally free from these qualities.

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad says: 'The soul is a hundredth part of the hundredth part of the tip of a hair, and yet it is infinite.' (5.9). Now the same soul cannot possess these contradictory attributes. According to 'Tat Tvam Asi', the individual soul, being nothing but the Supreme Soul, must be infinite like the latter. Therefore, the atomic size must be understood as simply metaphorical or conditioned by the qualities of the buddhi. This is clear from the statement: 'The jiva is like the tip of a goading stick on account of it being endowed with the qualities of the buddhi, and not on account of its own true nature' (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 5.8).

The statement that: 'the individual soul is atomic, and is to be known only through the inner light'(Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.9), is not meant to indicate that the soul is atomic in size, but rather that the Supreme Soul (God) cannot be apprehended by the sense organs turned outwards, but only when they are withdrawn from the outside world. This is precisely the reason why it is said to be located inside the heart. The word atomic is used to make us understand that the soul is too subtle to be discerned, it in no way describes the innate true nature of the soul, which is identical with the infinite Supreme Soul (God or Brahman).

It is the metaphorical ascription of the qualities of the buddhi to the soul that is echoed in the other scriptural passages quoted above. The Prashna Upanishad clearly states that the passing out of the soul from the body and its consequent departure to other regions and then coming back to this mortal world is falsely ascribed to the soul on account of the upadhi of the buddhi and prana (Prashna Upanishad 6.3-4). The soul can never be spoken of as leaving the body, since what leaves is the prana and not the soul. In other words, just as the infinite God is spoken of as 'smaller than a grain of rice', for the purpose of devotion (Upasana), even so the soul is said to be atomic so long as the qualities of the buddhi are superimposed on to it.

As a matter of fact, there is nothing like an individual soul (jiva), except the Supreme Soul appearing as jiva on account of the upadhi of the buddhi. For throughout the Upanishads we do not we do not meet with any other conscious principle other than the One and Only Supreme God.

Conclusion: What is the Use of This Analysis?

Vedanta purposefully starts off by pointing out to us that even though we identify ourselves, and others too, exclusively through the physical body, we are in fact different from it. When a person dies, even though his physical body is lying in front of us, it is inert. What this shows is that by itself the physical world is inert, and it is powered some conscious power which is independent of the physical forms. Therefore, there is something different from the body which grants it consciousness. This is what is known as the individual soul.

Once we have logically recognized the presence of a soul in the body, we then set out to determine its physical size. Proceeding step by step we realize that it can neither be the size of the body (finite), nor can it be atomic. Thus, it has to be all pervading, as concluded by the scriptures. It is only because we perceive the soul conditioned by the qualities of the buddhi, mind etc, imposing these on to the eternally pure soul, that the Vedas speak of it as having an atomic size situated inside the heart, making us understand in the process that unless we withdraw inwards from the outside world, there is no hope for salvation.

Finally, this analysis by Shri Shankaracharya Ji makes us realize that even though we are all pervading, we wrongly think of ourselves as confined within the limits of this one single body. We think of ourselves as only 'this much,' and the rest as different from us, thus getting too much attached to our own body and the things associated with it, despising others which we perceive as inimical to the interests of our physical world. It is this raga (attachment) and dvesha (aversion) that this analysis helps us in overcoming.

References and Further Reading:

This article is based almost entirely on the teachings of Param Pujya Swami Paramanand Bharati Ji. However, any error is entirely the author's own.

Post a Comment
Post Review
  • Thank you for updating the truth for which I have never had a second thought about it. Please be advised that I donot own internet; therefore, I won\'t be able to access and take the full benefit of it.
    by mali on 2nd Dec 2010
  • It is an interesting analysis, as you examine it from many angles.
    I think your analysis sounds a bit mechanical.

    Where you quote from various sources as to the size of the soul, that step is misguided. It's not the size the quotes refer to, but, perhaps, the quality of subtlety or how immaterial it really is. Words like atomic, hundredth of a hundredth of a hair are material measures. One cannot take the expressions from Upanishads literally. It's the sense they convey.

    And you overlook the most important aspect of the universal soul. A part of it, nay, any part of it, is the whole. There is no difference between a part of it or all of it. This is the unique quality of infinite entities. They are all around you in Dyau space. You exist in them and they exist in you.
    by Ravi Sadana on 26th Oct 2010
  • What an illusion Vaishnava's have got themselves into calling Dwaitha and Visistadvaitha..ignoring or overlooking our Shankara\'s Advaitha Vedanta.. \"SELF\" realizing article... Satyam SIvam Advaitham.. Salutations to god in the form of Preceptor..for the preceptor alone know\'s god ..for he is god himself…
    by Karthik on 22nd Oct 2010
  • Thank You so much for this article, A nice day to all of You.
    by Siegfried Gutschmidt on 20th Oct 2010
  • Thank you very much for providing spiritual information through Mail.

    Sadana is most important! and

    Moksha is here & is now! He is the infinite peace.

    Once you enter in that, you are that, There are no thoughts, & no world.

    The one who is in moksha " If he is eating" we think that " He is eating "
    but supreme truth is that " He is not eating " beacuse there are not thoughts of eating or something.
    Because he is that .

    Can you see " I " from your eyes, Please try it.

    Hari: Om
    by Shreenivas Achar on 20th Oct 2010
  • Jeevathma is the spiritual being, each individual humans having its own spiritual and physical aspect. Only the physical body has the limitation of space and time - length, width and so on. So the question of big or small is irrelevant for the spiritual being.As for the size of the spiritual body we can speak only in symbolic terms. I agree that it is neither of atomic or infinite proportions. Symbolically we may say two things.

    One: Each Jeevathman can considered to be angels, devas, fairies or whatever symbolically and you can ascribe any size that you feel like. Dimensions of space, applicable only to matter and energy derived from matter, are not applicable to the spiritual being, the atman or soul or spirit.

    Two: We can assume that the individual soul begins as a small being (infancy) and is capable of growing with nurture. This depends on one's spiritual; growth. It is up to each person whether his/her soul/athman should grow up bigger and bigger or sjhould remain small or shrink and wither. This is what spiritual life is all about.

    I would appreciate very much if some one would read this and comment on it personally to me.
    by Joseph Vempeny on 20th Oct 2010
  • Nitin Kumarji's article seems to be that of an uneducated. One cannot equate soul's size with that of body. Soul is like the fuel that ignites the body and keep it working healthy. It does not change the size with the growth of a body since it's sizeless. When an engine gets old and dies the igniting fire, it stops working and is called a death of body. Soul or the fire is estingushed at the death of a person.
    by Shantu Shah on 20th Oct 2010
  • Would it be most likely the 'Supreme Soul' and the individual soul of the Atman (observer) are the same thing? As it’s the 'personage' of the Atman that’s called the mantra or Karma (the slave), etc. . ? ?

    Modern theorists have ‘conjectured’ that everything has evolved because of motion. . ? But if modern theorist were to reflect upon the phrase "everything evolved because of motion" it could be seen “all things would just be in a prpetual state of motion” (i.e. no thoughts, thinking, etc.) Thus a Universal objectiveness has adjusted to allow for what was created before and that will be here long after as the “Supreme Personality of Godhead” or freedom of choice.
    by J. W. Pavlic on 19th Oct 2010
  • The teachings of Madhava Acharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu clarifies that the individual soul is equal with the Supreme soul in quality, but these qualities are very minute in the individual soul. The quality of sea water carried in a tea cup is equal to the water in the sea itself, but while one can sail a ship in the sea it is not possible in the cup. The gold ornament you are having is in quality eqal to the gold in a gold mine, but in quantity they are not equal. We are part and parcel of the super soul. Like the duty of hand is to serve the whole body, the duty of the individual soul is to serve the supreme soul. This is the difference between super soul and individual soul according to the teachings of the above Acharyas.
    by Radhakrishnan on 19th Oct 2010
  • Thank you for sending these articles. I sincerely appreciate the scholarly tone and spiritual information. I am learning a lot and appreciating them very much. Please continue to keep me on your mailing list.

    Thank you very much.

    by Lisa Wojcik on 18th Oct 2010
  • really beautiful indeed. Enjoyed the article. Looking forward for your next one.
    by Hemchand on 18th Oct 2010
  • Thanks for the email, loved reading it, please send more.
    by Kunti on 18th Oct 2010
  • It is a beautiful article. Please keep sending more of it.

    Best regards,
    by Bsahsi on 16th Oct 2010
  • I enjoyed reading your brilliant analysis. Thank you.

    My own analysis as hypothesized in my book His Utopia Her Utopia (available on Amazon) draws the inference that Jiva is Oxygen and Atma is DNA and the combination is Jivatma. Mother earth is the DNA pool to which all life forms return and hence Paramatma. This is in a physical sense. But the thoughts and experiences of a life time cannot vanish or buried with the DNA. This in my humble opinion, might form into Pretatma, which leaves the body when Jivatma leaves. Hinduism, Christianity and Mormonism affirm their belief in the existance of Pretatma.

    My belief is that Pretatma could be hovering around like the radio signals in the atmosphere. When another new born body tunes into this signal, it is captured by that entity. For example a super genius like Adi Shankara could not have occurred through DNA only, which plays only a limited part by transmitting the ancestral genes. The super knowledge might have come from the external source Pretatma.

    The invisible force that controls everything in the universe (Kshetra) is God, which we call Brahma (Kshetragna). Semantics apart, this is the gist of my hypothesis. So the assertion Aham Brahmasmi by Shankara has limited appeal to me.

    As an engineer by training I might be alpa-mathi in this matter and as such would appreciate critique from more knowledgeable persons. Would you be good enough to publish this in your blog.

    Feedbacks would be gratefully acknowledged and would help me to further my study of the concept.
    by Prof. Raj Gadasalli on 16th Oct 2010
  • Very nice article on the quality of the soul. thank you.
    by Billy Name on 15th Oct 2010
Exotic India has the best selection of Hindu/Buddhist Gods and Goddesses in sculptures and books of anywhere I know.
Michael, USA
Namaste, I received my package today. My compliments for your prompt delivery. The skirts I ordered are absolutely beautiful! Excellent tailoring and the fit is great. I will be ordering from you again. Best Regards.
I’ve received the package 2 days ago. The painting is as beautiful as I whished! I’m very interesting in history, art and culture of India and I’m studing his civilization; so I’ve visited Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in theese years. I’m a draftwoman , so I like collect works of extraordinary arts and crafts of villages, that must be protected and helped. In a short time I’ll buy some others folk painting, as Madhubani , Kalamkari and – if it’s possible – Phad. In the meanwhile, I’m very happy to have in my home a work of your great artist. Namaste, Namaskara.
Laura, Italy.
I must compliment you on timely delivery for this order. I was very impressed. Consequently, I have just placed another large order of beads and look forward to receiving these on time as well.
Charis, India
Bonjour, je viens de recevoir ma statue tête de Bouddha en cuivre. elle est magnifique et correspond exactement à la photo. Emballage très épais et protecteur, arrivé intact. Délai de livraison de 8 jours, parfait. Votre service commercial est très réactif et courtois. Je suis donc très satisfait et je tiens à le dire. Merci.
Yves, France
I was thrilled with the Tribal Treasure Box. Your customer service is outstanding. Shopping with you is like being back in India.
Yvonne, USA
I feel so blessed. Thank you for your wonderful service.
Vimala, USA
I appreciate your wonderful service to the yoga community. The Kali Dance of Victory statue and Lord Ganesha Granting Abhaya statue together will go toward a fundraiser for Yoga Life Society's Peace Sanctuary known as Sanctuary of Universal Light.
Vicki, USA
Thankyou Vipin. We LOVE Exotic India!!!! Jay Jay Sita Ram!!! Warm wishes, Jai राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम
Jai, USa
Fast and reliable service.
Dharma Rao, Canada
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Share with friends
Related Links
"The Bhagavad Gita, while describing the qualities of a wise person says…. This verse is vividly illustrated in the story of king Rantideva occurring in the Srimad Bhagavatam…. He did not believe in hoarding, was above all attachments and was highly patient…. They were all trembling due to starvation and thirst….bowed to the dogs and their owner…. What I want is only this: That I be able to go and live in the hearts of all beings and undergo sufferings on their behalf, so that they may become free from all miseries."
An Example of Living Vedanta: The Story of King Rantideva
"Here is a fragment from one of the most poignant episodes of Indian history…. This piece of history is from the Mahabharata…. She was dying with shame but inside, like a true kshatrani (woman of the warrior race), she was burning with anger…. I have heard that women who follow dharma were never brought before a public court….Greed is the destroyer of dharma. I do not desire a third boon…. Draupadi was as forgiving as mother earth herself…. Just then Arjuna saw his dear friend Bhagawan Krishna approaching him…. “Leave him, leave him. He is a brahmin and worthy of our worship. Their mother should not cry, like I have at the death of my children."
Analyzing the Eternal Dimensions of Dharma Through Itihasa (History)
"We assume that our happiness is the result of an interaction with external objects…. Suppose that an individual is deprived of sleep and food and pleasurable objects for a long time and then all of them are simultaneously offered to him…. Actually, seeking the answer to this question is the most significant pursuit in life…. The veil comes up again and the duality returns…. In this background, we can now analyse the nature of dukha (grief)."
Ananda: Understanding the True Nature of Happiness
"Contrarily metaphysicians and theologians perceived his form as it manifested in the Upanishads and Puranas….The ‘Advaita’ philosophy also contends that the entire Creation is just the extension of One…. Dance illustrates one of the ever-first cosmic acts with which Shiva seems to have tamed violent motion and separated from it rhythm, moves that communicated emotions and states of mind – human mind and the cosmic, and disciplined and defined pace…. Unlike Vishnu who resorted to dance for accomplishing a contemplated objective, Shiva has been conceived more or less as a regular dancer performing for accomplishing an objective as also for pure aesthetic delight…. Unfurling locks of hair and his snakes floating into space portray the dynamics of the act."
Shiva, the Nataraja
"Actually, the one who worships Bhagwan Vishnu should get rich and the one who worships Shiva should become an avadhuta like Him…. Then he works hard again to acquire wealth. I render all his efforts futile…. However, Bhagawan Vishnu is not like that, it takes longer to please Him…. As a consequence, they later harassed the great God Himself…. On the seventh day, he bathed in the holy waters of Kedarnath and began to cut his head with an axe to offer into the fire…. The boy bowed respectfully before the demon and asked…. No one who commits sin against a great person can be safe and happy in this world."
Shiva and Vishnu: A Unique Aspect of Their Worship
"There is Rama, the son of Ayodhya's king Dasharatha in his human birth, and there is Rama's divinity, his divine aura that overwhelms the Tulasi's entire Ramacharit-manas, one manifest - with attributes, and the other, unmanifest - without attributes. With main emphasis on his majesty in South Indian tradition this crown is taller than usual. His 'khadgasana' images are usually in three modes; one with his right foot moved forward represents him in a commander's disposition ready to rush for protecting a devotee in crisis or redeem him from some calamity. Harihara, a form in which he shares with Shiva half of the body. Basically a bird Garuda is seen for ages as Vishnu's ardent devotee, a learned human being and an auspicious presence, and in iconographic tradition often conceived with a man's face, anatomy, ornaments and ensemble. The Puranas are replete with tales of Garuda's divine exploits."
Iconography of Vaishnava Images: Vishnu
"Whenever he gets the time, he should go and live amongst people who have given up worldly life…. A wise person should serve his body and family only to the extent that is functionally necessary…. The person who lays claim on the surplus wealth is nothing but a thief…. He should share all objects of enjoyment with everyone, right down to dogs, sinners…. Such is the attachment to one’s wife….How despicable is this body, which if buried is going to become the food of worms, or excreta if eaten by animals….Since a son is to thus revere his elders even after their death, what to say that he is expected to serve them when they are alive…. The person wishing to follow the path of dharma should steer clear of the five forms of Adharma."
Narada Teaches Yuddhishtra a Householder’s Dharma
"Her epithet in the Devi-Mahatmya is Mahalakshmi. She is the wrathful four-armed goddess of battlefield represented holding in them various weapons…. A form of Lakshmi seated over a lotus laid over a golden seat and a pair of white elephants…. Except in some classical forms in Lakshmi-Narayana imagery Lakshmi is ordinarily two-armed…. Incarnation theory is the crux of Vaishnavism. Vishnu incarnates alone but Lakshmi also incarnates in simultaneity…. Though very rare some enthused artists have conceived on Ardhanarishvara line also Vishnu’s Ardhanarishvara images."
Iconography of Vaishnava Deities: Goddess Lakshmi
"Both the Mahabharata and Shrimad Bhagavatam give a vivid description of how things are like in Kaliyuga…. The following is a list of features typical to Kaliyuga…. A man will consider only those people to be his relatives who are related to him through….The ashrams will be full of show-offs who are experts in the art of living off the food of others….. We can save ourselves from Kaliyuga."
50 Characteristics of Kaliyuga
"This middle path lies in between extreme asceticism on one side, and extreme indulgence on the other…. When standing under a Ashok tree, tired and exhausted, she raised her right hand for seeking support of a branch of the tree…. The unique balance that defined his entire life was pre-determined in this duality….One day, in the palace garden he frightened his attendants…. He ate less and less till his diet reduced to a sesame seed, and himself, to a mere skeleton…. Seven days after the attainment of enlightenment gods sent food for breaking his fast…. However, he postponed his ‘nirvana’ for three months till he visited the places he had reminiscences of."
The Light That Enlightened Millions
(The life of Buddha in the popular mind)
"Bhishma undoubtedly is one of the central figures of the Mahabharata.…. One should not venture out too early in the morning…. But one should not go to sleep with wet feet….A person who desires to live long should never irritate the following three…. One must shun company of people who criticize the Vedas…. If we are traveling, one must find shelter inside a house…."
Living the Full Life: 50 Instructions from the Mahabharata
"She has always believed that this would redeem her of her distress….A coconut, otherwise an ordinary dried fruit or the source of edible, or at the most, beauty oil, has always been revered as an auspicious object effecting good and well-being and the food that gods most loved….The tree in the Buddhist tradition was later identified as Bodhi-tree, seated under which Buddha had attained Enlightenment….Body gestures and symptoms, signs, indications among others must have been the early man’s tools of communicating oneself and knowing and understanding the world around….Kirttimukha was initially conceived as a mystical mask….Lion does not figure in the wide range of animal toys or figurines excavated from Indus sites."
Auspicious Symbols in Indian tradition
"Only a certain fraction of this karma is chosen by God in order to form the blueprint of our next birth…. The fruit that one experiences in this birth is due to prarabdha and a portion of the present agami…. Similarly, a fish in the Ganga does not accrue punya because of always living in Ganga…. A good karma can be annulled by a bad karma and a bad one by a good one…. Sometimes we also hear that prarabdha cannot be got rid of. It has to be spent through…. Bhagawan Vyasa says that for the full result of the karma to manifest, three things are necessary…. Then how to understand the statement that prarabdha should unavoidably be experienced?"
Theory and Practice of Karma: Some Salient Features
"But to pull this statement out of context and give it as an advice for anyone is far from correct…. But how is one to recognise the guru? Obviously, he will be able to understand the difficulties of the disciples and clarify to them the meaning of the scriptures on the basis of logic and experience…. They will have to search in their own neighbourhood only….The guru chosen by him should be at least better than himself!…. Of course, if the ideal guru whose features have been enumerated in the beginning is available, then the sadhaka should immediately go and surrender to him…. It is just like going to another teacher for higher education, after completing the education in a school."
The Qualities of a Guru and How to Find One
"One uniqueness of our Vedic religion is that it allows for salvation not only through renunciation (nivritti) but also through the path of material happiness (pravritti).... If dharma makes it mandatory that conjugal pleasure be restricted to the life partner, how is it that Krishna indulged in the amorous sport of Rasa with others' wives?.... Some stopped cooking, some stopped feeding, some stopped eating, some stopped washing clothes etc. and ran away.... Upanishads call the jiva in waking state as Vishwa and the dreaming jiva as Taijasa (Mandukya Upanishad Mantras 3-4)."
Krishna's Rasa Lila: The Vedantic Perspective
Show More
All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 © Exotic India