• Volunteer

    yes you are the soul or atma or jivatma. Shastra uses the term Jivatma to distinct it from Paramatma BUT both are called atma.

  • When the desire to know about self and God arises, the person is called a 'mumukshu'. Such a mumukshuta is really rare to attain in this world. Only after many many lives, a jiva becomes a mumukshu. Thus, such a mumukshuta is indeed rare. Many people in the world pass their entire lives without thinking who they are, what is this world all about and who is the creator as they are simply absorbed in the darkness of maya. Therefore, I congratulate you that such curiosity in you has arisen.

    In the Vedic time, the knowledge of atma and parmatma was not liberally given. The giver of knowledge used to see the 'paatrataa' (eligibility) of the person asking the query. But in this Kali-yuga, many great and merciful Acharayas have abolished such a system and liberally grant this divya gnan (divine knowledge) of atma-parmatma to all the jivas. They don't see the paatrataa or kupaatrataa. Even if it means going to hell, the merciful Acharya would still give this divya gnan to all the jivas. 

    Coming to the query, let us understand the swaroop or form of both 'atma' and 'parmatma'.

    As per our Vedic shastras, every jiva or a living entity has a soul, which resides in the body from the nail of toe to the tuft ' i.e the 'shikha' through its rays in the form of knowledge (‘chid’ or consciousness). It is atomic in size, akin to a spiritual spark and floats in the 'pranas' (five kinds of air) in the 'hridayakash' i.e a region within the heart. The Shweta-shva-taaraa Upanishad says that "When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.”

    This soul is eternal. It has no 'aadi' (start) or 'ant' (end). This soul has traversed many bodies since aeons. It is Sachchidanand i.e. it is 'sat' (eternal), 'chid' (full of knowledge and consciousness/chetana) and 'anand' (full of bliss). Although it is Sachchidanand, since it is part and parcel of God, it is minute and quantitatively insignificant as compared to God. That is why when it encounters maya, it succumbs to it. Inherently, it is faultless but when it encounters impure place, time, acts, company, mantra, scriptures, initiation and meditation, it comes under the ‘malin’ (impure) influence of maya and acts accordingly. But when it encounters pure place, time, acts, company, mantra, scriptures, initiation and meditation, it acts in a benign way. Thus, we should take care of quality of place, time etc.

    The soul is divine. It is neither male nor female. It is neither animal, bird or a human being but when it comes within these life forms, it thinks that I am this body and these bodily relatives are mine. This is the influence of maya.

    The soul is separate from three types of bodies. ‘Sthul sharira’  (physical body made up of skin, flesh, muscles, sense organs, blood, bones etc.), ‘Sukshma sharira’ (subtle and hence invisible body made up of invisible senses and antahakaran i.e mind, intelligence, chitt and ego. Panch-pranas are also a part of this type of body) and ‘karana sharira’ (a type of subtle body which stores our past and present karmas). Every life we get a new sthula and sukshma sharira but this karana sharira has been long with us since time immemorial. Only when a jiva performs intense and unalloyed Bhakti of Lord Krishna, does he get freed from this karana sharira and goes back to Godhead. In the abode of God, a soul gets a new spiritual body which resembles Lord Krishna.    

    This material body has flaws like lust, anger, greed etc. but the atma is bereft of any material faults. Thus, in order to overcome all flaws, one should think that I am not this body but an atma.

    A conditioned soul i.e a soul which is under the influence of maya is called a ‘Jiva’ or an embodied soul. It is not a kind of a special soul but it is a term used to define an embodied living entity. All embodied living entities have soul, which is pure, but due to impure circumstances, they come under their influence and forget their real nature, which is Sachchidanand.

    As per the Gaudiya philosophy, all the souls first lived in the abode of Krishna but due to enviousness towards Krishna, they were given this material world to live.

    Krishna, in its expansion, lives in every jiva as ‘Parmaatmaa’ (supersoul). He keeps tab of jivas’ karma and gives fruits accordingly. This Parmaatmaa has a divine form and resides within the atma with hands, legs etc. As per the Kathopnishad, “Both the Supersoul (Parmaatmaa) and the atomic soul (jivatmaa) are situated on the same tree of the body within the same heart of the living being, and only one who has become free from all material desires as well as lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme, understand the glories of the soul.”

    I have attached Bhagvad Gita as it is with this reply. Just go through it by searching key words ‘soul’ and supersoul’and you may get additional details.

    I hope that your doubts are clear now. In case of any further queries, please feel free to ask.


    Your servant,

    Veeral Gandhi






  • The words, 'Atma' and 'Jivatma' are both taken in a same breath in the shastras. But sometimes, the word 'jivatma' in the shastras signify the conditioned soul. So, these words should be understood in a proper context. 

  • Brain is the physical organ of 'buddhi'. Whereas, 'buddhi' is a part of subtle (invisible) body.

    Mind is also a part of subtle body. It resides in the 'manovahaa' naadi.

    Both physical body (sthul sharira) and subtle body (sukshma sharira) are aspects of this material body. 

    Atma or soul is seperate from the sthul and sukshma sharira. Atma is divine/spiritual whereas later is a part of Maya.

  • Hare Krishna..
    Here is the order.
    There are the sense objects(eyes, nose,ear,tongue etc) and above sense objects are the senses which control them.Above senses, it is the mind which controls the senses. And above mind, it is the intelligence which directs the mind.
    Consiousness is part of your intelligence. If you have good consiousness(like GOD consiousness), you will have good intelligence and since the intelligence controls the mind, it will always act according to what GOD had said. Coming to the soul and spirit, these are not two things. Within every being, there is ONE Spirit Soul which is called the Atma and there is  ONE Super soul which is called Paramatma. Both these reside in the heart, side by side. When your spirit soul(which represents you) turns towards the Supersoul(part of Supreme God), then you will act in GOD consciousness. It is told in our scriptures that the size of our spirit soul is one ten-thousandth of the tip of a single strand of our hair. So it is literally invisible, inconceivable and nothing can harm it. It doesnt have death and is eternal. That is the energy which is driving our bodies. And the source of that energy is our Lord Krishna. And once that spirit soul leaves the material body, it transmigrates into another material body as per the Karmas which it did in its previous life. If we remember the supreme Lord at the time of death, then we would reach the Supreme Lord and never come back into the material existence. This is called liberation from the cycle of life and death.
    Hope this answers your questions.




  • From the mind 'mann' thoughts arises.

    Intelligence ' buddhi' helps us to discriminate and judge. It also helps us to assemble our thoughts in a rational manner.

    Consciousness 'chetana' means 'knowledge'. The soul is full of consciousness. Consciousness is the power of atma 'soul'. Through this power, the soul holds the entire body as one from toe nails to the tuft (shikha). Through this power, the soul can feel the pains and pleasure of body. It is akin to rays emanating from the soul.

    Soul 'atma', is one of the 4 eternal tattvas of this universe. We are this soul. It is atomic in size. It is divine and without any mayic faults. It is different from this physical and subtle body. It works like a battery to this body. Within this soul resides supersoul 'parmatma'.    

    I hope that this answer satisfies your query. In case of any further query, please feel free to ask.

    Your servant,

    Veeral Gandhi 

This reply was deleted.