Questions On Nature Of Soul, and should we accept everything we hear?

What is the home of the soul? Why does it need to have a form? What is the evidence for the information we get from the scriptures?

Partha Das, 20 October 2019

Hare Krsna,

In chapter 2 of the Bhagvad Gita, we read that the soul is ten thousand part of the tip of a human hair. If this is the real nature of the soul, then logically is not our real home in the brahmajyoti? as this is the only place that a particle of this nature can dwell.

Why then do we say that our real home is the spiritual world where this miniscule soul takes up a spiritual body and does action.

Can the soul not just remain in it’s original form without artificially taking up a spiritual or material body.

Or is the soul so unstable in nature that it has to combine with either a spiritual or material.body to exist.Just like a single atom of oxygen is so unstable, it won’t rest till it combined with some other atom.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 25 October 2019

Dear Sriman Partha,

Hare Krishna!

The soul is non-material, please don’t mistake it like a single atom of oxygen.

budhyate sve na bhedena  vyakti-stha iva tad-gataḥ

lakṣyate sthūla-matibhir  ātmā cāvasthito ’rka-vat

Even when reflected in various objects, the sun is never divided, nor does it merge into its reflection. Only those with dull brains would consider the sun in this way. Similarly, although the soul is reflected through different material bodies, the soul remains undivided and nonmaterial.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/7/51

Logically, the size of the soul has nothing to do with where it belongs, they are two separate attributes.

The spiritual body is not separate from the spirit soul. It is the material body both subtle and gross that is separate from the soul.

dehas tu sarva-saṅghāto jagat tasthur iti dvidhā

atraiva mṛgyaḥ puruṣo neti netīty atat tyajan

There are two kinds of bodies for every individual soul — a gross body made of five gross elements and a subtle body made of three subtle elements. Within these bodies, however, is the spirit soul. One must find the soul by analysis, saying, “This is not it. This is not it.” Thus one must separate spirit from matter.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/7/7/23

Size is a limiting attribute only of matter. For the spiritual, there is no barrier of space or time, the spiritual can be bigger than the biggest or smaller than the smallest… Still this one ten thousandth part of the tip of the human hair size is a seed form of the soul – in the perfectional form, the soul blossoms into its eternal identity in the spiritual world.

You assume that the original form is as a particle in the Brahmajyoti effulgence, but actually the original form is in the spiritual world before the soul tried to compete with Krishna.

mad-bhaktaḥ pratibuddhārtho mat-prasādena bhūyasā

niḥśreyasaṁ sva-saṁsthānaṁ kaivalyākhyaṁ mad-āśrayam

prāpnotīhāñjasā dhīraḥ sva-dṛśā cchinna-saṁśayaḥ

yad gatvā na nivarteta yogī liṅgād vinirgame

My devotee actually becomes self-realized by My unlimited causeless mercy, and thus, when freed from all doubts, he steadily progresses towards his destined abode, which is directly under the protection of My spiritual energy of unadulterated bliss. That is the ultimate perfectional goal of the living entity. After giving up the present material body, the mystic devotee goes to that transcendental abode and never comes back.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/27/28-29

In the above purport, Srila Prabhupada writes

quote

Niḥśreyasa means “the ultimate destination.” Sva-saṁsthāna indicates that the impersonalists have no particular place to stay. The impersonalists sacrifice their individuality so that the living spark can merge into the impersonal effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord, but the devotee has a specific abode. The planets rest in the sunshine, but the sunshine itself has no particular resting place. When one reaches a particular planet, then he has a resting place. The spiritual sky, which is known as kaivalya, is simply blissful light on all sides, and it is under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (14.27), brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham: the impersonal Brahman effulgence rests on the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is kaivalya, or impersonal Brahman. In that impersonal effulgence there are spiritual planets, which are known as Vaikuṇṭhas, chief of which is Kṛṣṇaloka. Some devotees are elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, and some are elevated to the planet Kṛṣṇaloka. According to the desire of the particular devotee, he is offered a particular abode, which is known as sva-saṁsthāna, his desired destination. By the grace of the Lord, the self-realized devotee engaged in devotional service understands his destination even while in the material body. He therefore performs his devotional activities steadily, without doubting, and after quitting his material body he at once reaches the destination for which he has prepared himself. After reaching that abode, he never comes back to this material world.

The words liṅgād vinirgame, which are used here, mean “after being freed from the two kinds of material bodies, subtle and gross.” The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence, false ego and contaminated consciousness, and the gross body is made of five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether. When one is transferred to the spiritual world, he gives up both the subtle and gross bodies of this material world. He enters the spiritual sky in his pure, spiritual body and is stationed in one of the spiritual planets. Although the impersonalists also reach that spiritual sky after giving up the subtle and gross material bodies, they are not placed in the spiritual planets; as they desire, they are allowed to merge in the spiritual effulgence emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord. The word sva-saṁsthānam is also very significant. As a living entity prepares himself, so he attains his abode. The impersonal Brahman effulgence is offered to the impersonalists, but those who want to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental form as Nārāyaṇa in the Vaikuṇṭhas, or with Kṛṣṇa in Kṛṣṇaloka, go to those abodes, wherefrom they never return.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/27/28-29

unquote

The soul has 3 features, sat (eternal) chit (full of knowledge), and ananda (blissful). In the Brahmajyoti, only the sat (eternal) aspect is there, therefore, the spirit soul is not satisfied.

One who realizes Brahman has a perfect realization of the sat or eternity aspect of the Supreme. One realizes the Paramatma has a more perfect realization of the sat and cit (knowledge) features of the Supreme. And one who realizes Bhagavan has the most perfect realization of the sat, cit, and ananda (bliss) features of the Supreme.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari in Q&A of TTFD 9 May 2011

I beg you to carefully hear and read from Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada… at least every devotee should read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and hear all of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures.

Mahabhagavat Das

Partha Das, 25 October 2019

Dandavats Prabhuji, 

Wonderful explanation.Thanks so much.

your Servant

Partha Das

Russell, 27 October 2019

I have a question : I am having problems with the Idea that we must except all that is taught. We don’t do this in real life, for example if you buy a car you don’t believe everything the car salesman tells you. You research for yourself so why must we believe everything in shastra as absolutely literally true, for example that the moon is further than the Sun or that Rahu exists when we have no proof of it neither by our Eyes or computer or risidual evidence, this troubles me.greatly and makes me think that we are laying aside our brains the only real tool we have to know anything even if it is not completely reliable it is all we have to understand by we cant even understand shastra without it ! Thank you for receiving my question 

Russell

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 12 November 2019

Dear Russell,

Please forgive the delayed response to your question, which is quite reasonable and very intelligent.

No one is asking you to lay aside your intelligence. BTW, the brain is not your intelligence, your intelligence is a subtle material element that is manifested or linked to your body through your brain.  You are not this body, you are not your mind. And your mind is certainly not your brain.

In fact, we are asking you to surrender “with” your intelligence. We don’t want blind-following fools in the Krishna conscious movement. We don’t want fanatics. Neither do we want mental speculators. Both are quite dangerous. So we are asking you to please analyze, for example, can something come out of nothing? Can an explosion create order? But the modern world is running on this fairy tale that all this came out of nothing, at a certain point of singularity there was an explosion and time and everything we know was created at that point. How absurd!

We accept a lot of things at face value on a daily basis. We don’t question them at all.

Let us take an example of the things that most of us accept or at least don’t ordinarily verify…

1. Do we do a DNA test to prove that we are the children of our parents?

2. Do we personally assess the medical qualifications of a doctor before we take treatment from them?

3. Do we test the teachers before we go to school?

4. Do we test that the driver of a bus or taxi or train is sober and qualified before getting on that vehicle?

5. Have you ever seen your mind? Why do you believe it exists?

6. Can you see others’ emotions? How can we believe that emotions are real?

7. Before you take medication, do you lab-test it to prove that it is what the label says it is?

8. Before you take medication, do you fully understand how it works?

9. When you eat food, do you track the digestive process as it goes through the system?

10. When you look at materials under a microscope, as you go deeper and deeper, you see that there is more space than there is matter, but you don’t see the space with your eyes… so why do you believe that a solid is a solid and a liquid is a liquid?

11. Why do you accept paper money in exchange for your goods or services when it is really worthless?

We want you to use your intelligence, but we want you to know that your intelligence is quite limited, as is mine. You may certainly be more intelligent than me, but no matter how intelligent you are, you are not more intelligent than this Universe – so how can you figure it out? Plus you won’t live forever too in this body! If an ant were to want to map the world, we would laugh at it. We are like those ants. If I wanted to swim out of the middle of the ocean, I’d be dead before long, but if someone came with a big ship and pulled me out, I wouldn’t argue with that person “oh, but you are preventing me from freely swimming to the shore”. So the scripture is preventing us from drowning in that endless ocean of birth and death. But we argue against that scripture which is our savior!

The Vedic scripture says that on every planet there are living beings. The Vedic scripture says that the moon is a heavenly realm. If someone went somewhere and they didn’t find a heavenly realm, is it not that the simplest explanation is that they didn’t go to where the scriptures say is a heavely realm? Srila Prabhupada said that the astronauts went to the dark planet. Is that wrong? The astronauts went to the dark planet after all, and they didn’t meet anyone there too. So we say they went to Rahu, not the moon, because to us, the moon is a heavenly planet – if you didn’t go to a heavenly planet then you didn’t go to the moon!

We accept so many things at face value, but when it comes to the scripture, which is giving us information that is actually unverifiable by material means, we want proof of it? Everything that is in the scriptures can be personally realized, but the process of realization takes work, discipline, and patience. I know that some of my questions can only be answered by Krishna – but when I meet Krishna, will my questions even matter to me? Who cares, here’s Krishna! I’ve been waiting to meet Him for eons!

In the early days of my spiritual journey, my spiritual master repeatedly told me that I cannot taste the honey by licking the outside of the bottle. I had to dive in and put my tongue in contact with the honey.

So I began to chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

and now, even though I’m far from perfect, still I just can’t get enough of it! But how can I convince someone who doesn’t chant?

if a man is blind and cannot see the sun, we can only be sympathetic towards them… but at least they can accept an eye witness account that there is such a thing as the sun.

But if the person is not blind, still one cannot show anything to a man who refuses to open his eyes! One cannot explain the taste of salt or sugar to a person who does  not agree to taste those substances by putting them on their tongue… Similarly Bhakti is a personal experience, the whole thing is experential. The instrument you can perceive the truth of the scripture is your own consciousness, that needs to be sharpened and purified and honed to a high degree of sensitivity.

Are you following the process to realize the scripture by yourself? Does this help you?

Mahabhagavat Das

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Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

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