Shri Amar Muni
We need not despair entertaining such thoughts as "'I'
means not my body, but my soul that has been crushed by karmas from times
immemorial. Then how can my efforts for (instincts). emancipation be
possible and fruitful? If the soul has been experiencing enormous
afflictions and agitations through countless births as a slave to karmas
where is the possibility of having an end to it?" Of course, we need not
think thus in despair yet we must be aware of this fact so that we may not
be enticed and indulge in the qualities of the body aud senses and
external objects, i.e., the enjoyments of sensual objects and sexual
pleasures, carrying on incessantly their activities and propensities,
which result in collecting terrible karmas.
What awareness is necessary? Don 't forget the
We have to keep this awareness so that in the illusion
of the pleasures of the mortal body, we may not forget our own loveable
immortal soul. The body requires excellent inanimate objects, sensual
pleasures, pride and prestige, food and drink, pomp and power, joys and
jubilations etc. Ensnared in such enticements and cravings of the body,
the soul commits sinful Karmas by committing such follies as developing an
illusory faith, committing sins, devloping attachments and hatred, falling
into the pits of pride and deception, and engaging itself in futile and
sinful behaviour and sinful usage of utterances. Committing such sins the
soul gets itself caught in the bondages of terrible Karmas.
What is body?: Where has the body to be caught in
bondage? The body which will one day stop working, will break down all
relations with the soul. Thee body staying in this world will dismiss the
soul from her. In this respect it can be said that the body can assert its
supremacy over the soul and paralyse it. It is now not at all prepared to
have any connection with the soul and the welfare of soul. And the result
is that the soul will have to be imprisoned in another body, in the next
birth. And in that birth the soul will have to suffer inordinate agonies
and anguishes on account of the effects of the sinful Karmas of previous
For the emancipation of the soul from all these Karmas
and bodily enslavements, as well as births and deaths, even one's father
or one's dear wife is not capable of freeing the soul from those agonies.
Moreover the soul, for experiencing the fruits of such sinful Karmas has
to assume an inferior state of a series of low births. There it cannot in
the least engage itself in the sensibility, faith, and observance of
religion, and cannot carry out elevating spiritual activities or
austerities. In consequence living the life of solely sinful behaviour,
the Karmas of a terrible nature increase, and consequently the soul will
have to take birth in very many inferior and despicable states of
existence and will have to experience countless agitations and agonies.
Who has to experience all these things? You' have to experience them. That
means, 'your' soul has to experience them. No one else. Who experiences
the fruits of your Karmas Not your body, but your soul, which has been and
which will have to continue to wander through the confounding mazes of the
What is the Meaning of 'I'
Yet you need not give way to despair or fear because
your other form of soul is absolutely beautiful. On it you cast a glance
and contemplate a little on that form of your soul. Your' means whose?
Your soul's, whom you recognise as 'I'. Now you see the glory of 'I'.
1. 'I' means the soul that achieves a victory over
the body and the senses, by means of spiritual knowledge and activities
of the devotion to God, and sacrifices and austerities.
2. 'I' means the soul which possesses instead of
false faith, the right faith, the right vision, the vows of renunciation
and repugnance to sinful acts, hatred and disgust towards sensual
objects and the spirit of renunciation, the quality of serenity,
cheerfulness and the propensity to entertain sublime contemplations.
3. 'I means the soul that is capable of newer and
newer sublime and noble contemplations irrespective of the condition of
4. '1' means the soul which can bestow upon all the
souls of the universe, the boon of non-violence and fearlessness and
which embodies such lofty virtues as spiritual strength, ethical
excellence, righteousness, celibacy and refrainment from sensual
5. 'I' means the soul that has the power of attaining
an absolute victory over the inner enemies like attachment etc., and
which can exercise such magnificent qualities as faith, politeness,
discretion, indifference towards the world, refrainment from sins etc.
6. 'I' means the soul that is the proprietor of
supreme peace, poise, and serenity, supreme tolerance, supreme
forbearance, noble thoughts, and supreme spiritual tranquillity etc.
7. 'I' means the soul which has the potentialities of
supreme virtues by means of which it can gradually rise up to the
auspicious deliverance of the supreme state of soul's pure existence
characterised by infinite and ineffable felicity, etc. It is not the
body but the soul. Is not this form of the soul the very embodiment of
beauty? It is the first in beauty and so it is the first in power. How
can we become so fortunate as to possess such a beautiful form of soul
In this state of soul there is the occasion of being petty, caught in
narrow conceptions and faulty propensities or actions. In this
discussion there is no significant digression from the running
contemplation and deliberation. Now we shall think upon the various 'Pramanas'
(evidences) and beliefs and doctrines of various Darshans (philosophies)
and testify the truth in them.
The Upamana pramana (the testimony of comparison)
regarding the existence of the soul: We can establish the existence of
soul by means of the Upamana Pramana because we have to employ the
comparative method in this connection, and we can compare the soul to air
etc. The soul is like air, just as physical indolence, inflation of the
belly, a loud release of wind from it and such things prove the existence
of air in the body. In the same manner, the various activities and
refrainments prompted by the desirable and undesirable propensities of the
mind, anger, pride, etc., which appear on the face, the circulation of the
blood, the shaking of the sinews and nerves etc. prove the existence of
the invisible incentive substance called 'soul' in the body. We cannot see
the wind but when a paper or a piece of cloth is flying we say that the
wind is causing it to fly or shake. In the same manner, we can say that
the activities and commotions of the various senses and organs of the body
and the activities and propensities of the mind etc., are all caused by
soul, though we may not be able to see soul. Someone may say, "If the soul
is like wind, (a) we should be able to experience its presence by the
sense of touch, and (b)it must exist in different forms in the various
organs of the body, manifesting itself just like the wind called 'Prana
Vayu', the 'Apana Vayu' the 'Udana Vayu' etc." Here we can only say that
their opinion is wrong because an example can never be similar in all
respects; it is only partially similar. Here we have to establish the
existence of an invisible substance by means of a partial comparison.
The Arthapati Pramana (Deductive testimony)
Even by means of the Arthapatti Pramana, we can,
establish the existence of soul. For example, Devadatta appears healthy
with a sound and strong body, though he does not eat food for months
during day times. We can deduce from this fact that he must be eating food
at nights, because the robustness of physical health cannot exist without
food. In the same manner, we can infer that the consciousness, the
activities and the refraining movements which are not visible in the dead
body, are seen in a living body, hence they are Indicative of the
existence of the soul inside the body, because without someone dwelling in
the body and accomplishing these movements in the organs---voice, mind and
senses, these cannot happen. Thus by means of the deductive method we can
prove the existence of the soul.
The sambhava pramana (Probability evidence)
Even by means of the sambhava pramana we can prove the
existence of soul because even the sambhava pramana is a kind of
inference. For instance, one hundred includes fifty and fifty. Therefore,
if somebody has with him one hundred rupees, we can infer easily that he
has with him fifty rupees as well. In the same manner, the tendencies of
liking etc. and similar activities, the consciousness, and the movements
of a newborn child indicate the existence of an invisible power and that
is soul. The soul is one of these invisible things. So we can say by
Sambhava pramana that soul lies concealed in the body as the prime cause
of all these activities and movements.
Aitihya Pramana By means of the Aitihya pramana, we can
prove the existence of soul. Aitihya Pramana means historical proof. The
wise learned people had the belief that soul exists. Even a layman may
say, regarding a man lying on the death-bed is still alive, there soul
exists in his body" etc. This is historical testimony.
The testimony of Agama (scriptures). The theories
expounded in the various schools (systems) of philosophy
Now, let us think of the testimony given by the Agams
(scriptures). There are six schools of Darshanas (systems of philosophy)
namely Nyaya Darshana, Vaisheshika Darshana, Vedanta Darshana, Shankhya
Darshana, Yoga Darshana. Let us also see what the scriptures of Jain
Darshan say about this subject. A detailed discussion will be made further
regarding the various philosophical scriptures and their beliefs in
various types of the form of soul, and also a discussion on the point that
two contrary darshanas expound two contrary views regarding this truth.
But first we have to understand these theories in brief and then
The Theory according to the Vedanta Darshana
According to the Vedanta philosophy soul is one named
Param-Brahma. The jivatma and the paramatma are one entity. This is
monistic mysticism; but this theory is not convincing because among the
jivas (souls) of the universe differentiations and diversities are found,
e.g., some jivas are happy, some are unhappy; some are enlightened; some
are ignorant; some are human beings and some are animals, birds etc., some
are religious minded believing in soul, and some are nihilists; some are
violent, and some full of mercy. In this manner, if there is one soul, one
spiritual reality, in this universe, how could there be such difference
and diversities? Moreover, according to the monistic mystical philosophy,
the bondage and deliverance cannot happen in their true sense.