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Bhagvat Gita on the Soul

According to the Bhagvat Gita, the soul is indestructible and eternal (2.18) It neither slays not can it be slain (2.19). It is never born, never dies and after coming into existence never ceases to be. It is nitya (always), sasvatah (permanent), purana (very ancient) (2.20). At the time of death the soul does not die. It just leaves the body and then enters into a new one (2.22). Weapons cannot pierce it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot moisten it and wind cannot dry it (2.23). It is unpiercible, incombustible, all-pervading, stable and immobile (2.24). It is invisible, incognizible and immutable (2.25).

No one exactly know what soul is. One looks at It with great surprise, another speaks about It with great surprise, another hears about It with incredulity and yet another after hearing about It knows it not (2.29). The soul is superior to everything else in the human being. It is said that the senses are great, greater than the senses is the mind, greater than the mind is buddhi and greater than the buddhi is the Self (3.42).

The soul residing in the body is referred as the indwelling witness the Adhiyagna. We are told that when Purusha, also known as the Adhidaiva (Controlling Deity), resides in the body as the inner witness, He is becomes Adhiyagna or the Seat of Sacrifice(8.4). The mental condition in which the soul leaves the body at the time of death is very important, because whatever the person thinks of at that time, that alone he achieves thereafter (8.6). Thus if someone departs from the body thinking of God alone, he would undoubtedly attain Him (8.5, 12 &13).

The soul in the body is different from Jiva (the living entity). The striving yogi perceives Him, as seated in the body enjoying the sense objects, united with the gunas, departing the body at the time of death, but the ignorant ones whose hearts are impure, do not perceive so even after much striving.(15.11&12).

Self-realization is the ultimate goal of yoga or spiritual discipline. That condition is the aim of all yoga, in which through the practice of yoga, the mind become stilled, in which the self behold the Self within and is absorbed in the Self, in which the yogi finds supreme ecstasy (6.21-22). And when the yogi develops the unified and holistic vision through the practice of yoga, he sees the Self in all and all in the Self (6.29).

The soul is bound to the body and to the illusory world through attachment arising out of the interplay of the three gunas (14.5). When through yoga the indwelling soul overcomes the triple gunas, He becomes free from birth and death, old age and sorrow and attains immortality (14.20). This in brief is the description of soul in the Bhagvat Gita.



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