I often wonder as to how many people really contemplate upon the reason of their existence in this world? How did we come into this world, what really happens to us after we die, and further, what regulates our life as living creatures ? There were so many such unanswered questions which used to run in my mind. I now finally feel complacent by realising that the answer to all my questions lies in my belief in the existence of “soul” in all living creatures.
Now having said this, we must understand as to what is the function and attributes of each one of them. The nature of the soul is to know and see, it does not have any shape, size and structure. It is invisible and a sentient being. However, the body is made of non-soul elements that have defined shapes and sizes. Matter and all others are non-soul objects. Further, once we realise this fact, we can go a step further and conclude that a soul, which is a living being never transforms into a non-living being and a non-soul entity will never transform into a soul.
In this mundane world, this relation between the soul and body can be compared with that of water and milk, both of which though being blended with each other are yet, distinct and separate.
In fact, this difference between body and the soul can be well understood through the phenomenon of death. What happens when a human being or an animal dies? What is the difference between the body of a living being and a corpse? Well, after death, the body gets rid of the soul. The soul though does not die, it just takes a new birth in another body. Each soul constantly passes through countless such birth and death cycles unless it gets liberated. However, the body which is matter gets destroyed, deteriorated and dies, and hence, often burnt into ashes.
The famous Greek philosopher, Plato reaffirmed the existence of the soul that exists separately from the body. Plato’s famous student and philosopher, Aristotle also believed that although the soul is not a material object, the soul does not exist without a body and yet is not itself a kind of body.
So once we accept this truth, what should we really strive for?
Well , the physical body is just a container of flesh, blood and muck, bones and fats . It is an impure and a highly repulsive object. We may improve its external appearances by using the most expensive and well-researched products, which may make us look good from outside but even after infinite attempts to clean it all our life, it will remain impure. To make any attempt to purify it is worthless. Purity is within our soul and hence can be enhanced by our virtues. Therefore, by indulging in passions, sexual pleasures and anger, we make our soul impure, as these destroy the purity of our soul. Even while staying in the impure body, we must not forget the pure nature of our soul.
I am now in a position to now answer my basic question: Who am I? Different from body, mind, speech, delusion, attachment and aversion, ‘I’ am an everlasting, pure, eternally conscious being having perfect bliss and sentience, which is never changing.
‘I’ am an eternal indestructible element existing in all the three divisions of time i.e. past, present and future.
“Who am I ?” is indeed a matter of our awareness, and the answer to this question has to be received from our own inner realisation. It cannot be expressed in words or writings. Words and writings can only make indications about this supreme being, i.e the soul. They can point towards the direction, but cannot bring about its modification.
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