Category Archives: Soul

Spirit soul

Q. As we are part and parcel of Krishna, we were already there in different bodies maybe spiritual or material bodies depending upon our karma and wandering between the universes, What exactly does Lord Brahmaji create at the inception of the universe? Is it the new spirit, or new body or new form?

A. Lord Brahma creates the material bodies of all the different species of life out of the total material ingredients. Before creation the living entities are lying dormant in the body of Maha Visnu. The material ingredients are present in an undifferentiated, aggregate form, called pradhana. Maha Visnu is the original creator, and by His glancing over the material energy the living entities are impregnated into the material energy, or pradhana. Also, from the body of Maha Visnu, the universes are generated. Brahmaji is the secondary creator and he simply executes the details of sub-creation, by following the ‘blue print’ supplied to him by the Purusa Avatar Garbhodaksayi Visnu. Brahma then creates the various planetary systems within the universe and the various species of life; in turn the living entities take are awarded their respective life forms, according to their karma and their previous association with the modes of nature.

Suffering

Q. Why is there suffering?

A. The soul, although originally pure, is covered by illusion and ignorance when he comes to the material world. In this condition he forgets his eternal, blissful position with Krishna in the spiritual world and identifies with the material body.

When the soul thus identifies with the material body and material existence, he experiences the suffering inherent in matter. Here in the material world there is suffering from the body and mind, suffering from others, and suffering from nature. For the body there is birth, old age, disease, and death—all suffering conditions foreign to the soul.

Our Basic Philosophy

Q. What is your basic philosophy?

A. The Vedas teach us that our real identity is spiritual. All living beings in this world are souls identifying with the bodies they inhabit. Though we souls are tiny and God is infinite, like Him we are by nature eternal, full of happiness  and full of knowledge.

Though we belong with God, Krishna, in the spiritual world, we must stay in the material world until our pure love for Him awakens and we lose all desire to try to enjoy separately from Him.

We must understand the pitfalls of living in the material world. Sensual pleasure is temporary and fleeting. We suffer from old age, disease  and eventually die. The reactions to our activities or karma, compel us to take repeated births in various species.

Enlightenment involves coming in contact with a realized soul or guru, who can teach us how to purify our consciousness and reestablish our love and service attitude for God. In the current age, the easiest method of purification is to chant the holy names of God, the Hare Krishna mantra,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

in the association of like-minded spiritual seekers or devotees of Krishna.

Soul Departure

Q. After death, will the soul be taken immediately or after some time by Yamadutas to hell (non devotees) and after receiving the punishment and put into another gross body will the soul be given sometime to stay with the family members or with the dead body?

A. The time elapsed before a soul gets a new body depends on various factors:  his desires stored in the mind, his attachment to his past body, and his actions of past life.  If his attachment to his body is too strong, then he may hover around his home or his dead body in the form of a ghost until he obtains a new body.  Especially in cases of suicide deaths, such phenomena are said to be common.  Generally, however, the soul does not have to wait too long before accepting a new form.

Consciousness – Paralysis

Q. If we see a paralysis patient, we could see that he/ she had lost conciousness of half of his/her body and the cause of this is brain damage or some other material problem or misfunctioning of an organ. By this, it is seen that conciousness is determined through working and not working of organs. Is it not? Kindly give your comments on the same.

A. Consciousness is like the current which is generated by the soul.  It pervades all over the body and manifests through the organs which are like wires or implements that function because of that current.  If the organs of the body are dysfunctional, they will not work and manifest consciousness. It is not the fault of the soul.  Many times, organs are almost dead and the patient is alive like in coma.

Soul has no beginning

Q. There is one shloka in Bhagvad Gita where Krishna says to Arjuna, “Never was there a time that you didn’t exists nor shall you cease to exist ….” .

There are few other shlokas like in one the Lord says, “I am the seed giving father of all living entities ….” and other one wherein he says, “…. everything emanates from me ….“.

Now to me the first shloka which I mentioned above appears conflicting with other two. For example, if the other two shlokas are assumed to be true then it implies that spirit soul was also created which means we all living entities (jiva tatva) have some beginning in the past with reference to time right now.  However the first shloka refutes this implication by saying that we have no beginning.  So how is that two verses are appearing contradictory to me?

Please substantiate your answer with all possible references so that it will help me build my conviction.

A. The apparent contradiction that troubles you can be resolved by the following understanding.

In the seventh shloka of chapter 15, Lord Krishna reveals the identity of the living entity –

mamaivamso jiva loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati

Translation : The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts.  Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

The words mamaivamso (“fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord) are very significant.  The fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is not like some material broken part.  Before speaking this, the Lord has already explained (Bg 2.23) that spirit cannot be cut into pieces.  This fragment is not materially conceived.   It is not like matter, which can be cut into pieces and joined together again. That conception is not applicable here, because the Sanskrit word sanatana (“eternal) is also used in the same shloka.
According to the Vedic version, the Supreme Lord manifests and expands Himself in innumerable expansions, of which the primary expansions are called vishnu-tattva and the secondary expansions are called the living entities.  In other words, the vishnu-tattva is the personal expansion, and the living entities are the separated expansions.

At another place (Bg 7.5), Lord Krishna explains that

apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat

Translation: Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.

According to this verse, the living entities are the superior energy of the Lord.   Energy exists alongwith the energetic but still, energy is dependent on the energetic. This can help us in understanding how we can be parts and parcels of the Lord and simultaneously be eternal a little better.

Hope this helps.

Heart and Soul

Q. If a person undergoes heart transplant then what happens to the soul?

A. Just as you get up from one chair and sit on another chair the soul leaves the previous heart and occupies the new heart.  As by changing the chair the person is not changed similarly by changing the heart the soul is not changed.  A soul is not glued to the heart but a soul sits in region of heart or rather occupies it.

Jivatma and Paramatma

Q. What is the difference between jivatma and paramatma? What is the size, colour and shape of both?

A. The Jivatma is atomic. (One ten thousandth the tip of the hair)(Anu). Paramatma is Infinite (Vibhu).
Example: A drop of sea water(Jiva). The Ocean(Paramatma). They are one in quality but different in quantity.

Soul is always active

Q. Please give some reference from the scriptures mentioning that the soul is always active.

A. Here is the shloka no. 3.5 from Bhagavad-Gita As it is with complete translation and purport by His Divine A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih

TRANSLATION
Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
PURPORT
It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krishna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations dictated by illusory energy. In contact with material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul from such affinities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined in the sastras. But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krishna consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him.