Am I just a soul or supreme soul ? Find out who you really are?

The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation. Things you think are separate and different are actually one and the same.We are all one people, but we live as if divided. Each and every living being(humans,plants,animals,insects etc) in this universe has the spark(soul) of that Divinity inside them.But very few are aware of it.


So let us find who we really are?: Anything which we call 'real' must satisfy two conditions:The real has to be both changeless and eternal.These two criteria are often used when we judge reality in our day to day life.

Who am I ? - am I this body? 

Who am I? 
The face I see every day in the mirror? 
The heart beats within my heart? 
Or the thoughts that vacillating in my brain while I am reading all about this ? 
Am I the body that I have inherited from my parents? 
Or am I the mind by means of which I am busy making my daily plans and resolve life issues?

The human body is made of  four perishable elements viz; air, water, earth,fire and therefore are impermanent in nature.Also, your thoughts are just visitors and are nothing but the reflection of what your mind is perceiving through five sense organs.All of these are temporary nothing is permanent. 

I am not my body, not my feelings, not my emotions nor my mind.
You are the spark of that supreme consciousness called soul inside your body.

The Bhagavat Gita says: 

"Arjuna! Ishwara resides in the heart of the all creatures(known as soul-a part of that supreme soul), causing them to revolve according to their karma by His illusive power."

The human body is made of  4 fundamental perishable elements and therefore impermanent in nature, but the powers that dwell within us are imperishable; are eternal.

Understanding soul

Soul simply means one's true Self. It is also called as 'Atma' in a Sanskrit.This is the root of everything or fundamental entity of anything or any being that is eternal, inevitable and so on. 

For living beings like us, Atma means the soul about which Shri Krishna explains in the Gita using the following verses:

  • For the soul, there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain. [BG - 2.20]
  • The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. [BG - 2.23]
  • But at can even mean Brahman or God also as He is the soul of everything. So when it is said only the atma was there, in the beginning, atma there means God:- Atma alone was there in the beginning.
What is Incarnated Soul(Jivatma)?

Soul-Atma which is quality-less and attribute-less when gets combined with prakruti(nature), forms different kinds of senses (both subtle and gross) and gets different material natures. This combination of atma and qualities arising from prakruti is called as jivatma(incarnated soul).

||apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat||

Besides these (insentient matter), 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. 

It is the jivatma which resides in the physical body and in many other subtle bodies after casting off of the gross one. Jivatma or the jivas are sentient and eternal energy fragments of God:

||mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati ||

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.

Supreme Soul(Paramatma)

Paramatma means supreme soul. If the self of the body is the soul, then Parmatma is the self of the soul. That is, the soul of the soul is the supreme soul:

ānandaṁ paramātmānam ātma-sthaṁ 
[SB - 11.26.1]

- Paramatma is the reservoir of all pleasure situated within the soul of every living being.
God basically has three forms or modes. Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate 
[SB - 1.2.11]

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.

Among these three, in Brahman no attribute, no activity, no power is exhibited. Parmatma exhibits only a few more powers and dwells in the heart or soul of every being. But in Bhagavan all power, all Lila(pastimes) and all attributes are exhibited.

And the major difference between Jivatma and Paramatma is that Jivatma is mayadhin, that is, he is under the influence of maya. But Paramatma is mayadhis, that is, He is the Lord of maya. And both over the atma or jivatma and maya rule one Lord who is known as God, Bhagavan, parmatma, etc.

kṣaraṃ pradhānamamṛtākṣaraṃ haraḥ kṣarātmānāvīśate deva ekaḥ 
[Sve. Up - 1.10]

- The matter is perishable, immortal and imperishable is the soul. Both over the perishable and the soul rules one God.


The difference between individual soul and Supreme soul-

There are no two separate entities called soul and supreme soul. There was the only soul. There is only one and there will be one till the end.

Everything in this universe has the supreme soul. We can’t even say, ‘everything has the supreme soul, because when we use the word same, it means there are copies of the supreme soul in all of us.

No,it is not like that. There is just supreme soul and nothing else. Everything in this universe has the supreme soul. Our mind draws boundaries. It is like creating borders between two countries. So many countries fight over boundaries. One country fights with the other to acquire more land. They are drawing and erasing boundaries all the time.

We think we can draw boundaries between the Self, which is present in us, and the supreme Self. We try to put our soul in a tight container made of greed and fear.We close the lid and are afraid to open it. Actually, we fear to lose our identity. We associate ourselves with our individual ego. We want to show others how different we are.

Our mind knows that if it opens the lid, the soul, and the supreme soul will become one. Our mind knows that the soul in this body and the supreme soul are one and the same; there is no difference between the two. So our mind fears that if it opens the lid, our whole identity will be lost and we will be lost and we will become the same as everyone else. Our mind does not want this to happen.

Sowe continuously holds onto our individual ego. Only when we realize that we are all connected, that everything in this universe is the same universal consciousness, will break open the container and merge with the supremeSoul.

Here Krishna ends by saying, 

‘If we can witness as pure consciousness, we will be liberated from the bondages of the body-mind and achieve the eternal consciousness.’ 

Please know that becoming the witness of the Kshetra is the only way to keep us away from the bondages of the boy-mind. We must witness as the kshetra NYA,consciousness. When we do that we will see the separation of the Self from the body and mind.

Understand that all our movements, reactions and emotions are related to the body-mind system. The way we move our body is a reaction by our body-mind system. Our emotions like anger, laughter, sadness and happiness are a reaction of our mind.All of them are movements created by our body-mind system.

When we witness these movements happening in our system, we separate ourselves from the body-mind system. When we watch then like clouds in the sky, when we watch them like a movie on a screen, without getting attached, we see the truth.

Even the thought of witnessing our thoughts and our emotions is a thought that is controlled by our mind. Even that is our thought and implies that mind is still acting, only when we go beyond that thought, do we experience the eternal consciousness.

The only difference is that after liberation:
After getting freed from this bodily contamination, the spirit soul mixes with the Supreme Soul, all-pervading, without any individual existence.


-Excerpt from the book 'Bhagavad Gita’ demystified by Mahavatar Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda Swami,
March 13, 2014 at 10:41pm

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