What is Atma / Soul

What is Atma or Soul

Atma is pronounced as ‘aatma’.
न यं रिपवो न रिषण्यवो गर्भे सन्तं रेज़णा रेषयन्ति ।
अन्धा अपश्यान दभन्नभिख्या नित्यास ई प्रेतारो अरक्षन ।।

Meaning : Atma or soul is Efernal; no enemies, no, designers of evil, no destroyers, no attacks, can damage . it. The blind and the ignorant hurt it not, they cannot . suppress it. Those who know, those who Jove, value and . cooperate, permanently protect and promote it. Every living being – human, animal, b r Atma. It is a living being only because of the presence of the Atma. When Atma leaves, it becomes a dead body.
Body is luminous only as long as Atma is present; after Atma’s departure, the body becomes unwanted. Atma in the body is like a lit candle in a room. The candle is at one place, but it lights the whole room. Similarly, Ahna is at one place in a body, but it impacts the whole body. Atna is finite, it cannot be seen with eyes, or even with the help of a biggest microscope. Atma by itself is not capable of doing anything. All its physical actions are done through the body. Anything and anybody who has awareness, makes efforts to survive, wants to quench thirst and satisfy hunger, has a survival instinct, feels happy at times and sad at other, have an Atma, hence is a living being. These are the attributes of an Atma, not of the body. A dead body lacks these attributes. A body grows only with the presence of an Atma. Even in the mother’s womb, the growth begins with the presence of the Atma – phenomenon called conception. No Atma, no growth. Atma is never born. It never dies. It always exists. It is eternal. Weapons cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot spoil it, and air cannot dry it. Atma is neither male nor female, nor even unisex. Its gender depends upon the body it gets. If it is in a male body, it is a male. If it is in a female body, it is a female. If it gets a unisex body it is said to be unisex. Although the body is male/female/unisex; yet it has mixed traits, hobbies and interests irrespective of Atma is ruled by the Law of Karma (as you sow, so shall you reap). Through Reincarnation’ Atma can be reborn as a human or other living being based on one’: own past karma. Your Atma is the only thing which is absolutely Your own and will be yours through eternity. One must make decisions for the betterment of the Atma; otherwise, consequences would be disastrous. Human life is precious and a golden opportunity to improve upon. It is a grave mistake to lose this opportunity for self-improvement. The key to betterment is true knowledge, good deeds and meditation (gyan, karma, upasna).

Soul is Immortal

वायुरनिलममृतमथेदं भस्मान्तँशरीरम् ।
ओ३म् क्रतो स्मर । कि्लबे स्मर। कृतँस्मर ।। YV-40.15

Meaning : End of the body is dust. The prana-vayu merges with the cosmic energy. This Atma is immortal. O Atma, remember Om, Supreme Atma (God) of Existence. Agent of Karma, remember your karma. Remember both these to realize your real form and potential.

Subtle Body
Atma possesses a subtle body comprised of
(a) Intellect (Budhi),
(b) Mind,
(c) 5 powers of senses (touch, taste. smell, hearing and seeing),
(d) 5 properties of elements (air, fire, water, earth and space)
(e) 5 Pranas (Prana_out breath, Apan-in breath, Saman _ digestive system, Vyan – circulatory system, Udaan _ food intake system)

Subtle body stays with Atma and it goes where ever Atma goes. Subtle body is what one has made of oneself through karma. Hence future depends upon it, therefore making progress in these areas by good karma is essential to craft a better future:

(a) Intellect is a decision maker called budhi, it includes thoughts receiver called chitta. Chitta is the screen, where thoughts from ahmkar (explained in next point) come and go, which are essential for budhi to make decisions. Gaining true knowledge is the key to improve intellect. In simple words wrong knowledge leads to wrong decisions and right knowledge to right decisions. Therefore, always gain intelligence and wisdom in a logical and rational manner. Blind faiths and beliefs make no sense in a rational mind and are pointless.

(b) Mind is comprised of a storehouse. Mind is called mana, and the store house is called ahmkar. Mana is a link through body and senses to the World. Ahmkar is storehouse where all happenings, thoughts and knowledge of past and present lives are stored. Also it will store all happenings, thoughts and knowledge from future lives as well. They come out off and on as memories or dreams. Truthfulness and righteousness purifies the mind. As a result pure thoughts, righteous actions true knowledge are stored in ahmkar .

(c) 5 senses are purified by their use in proper disciplined and controlled way, by not let them astray.

(d) 5 elements are redeemed by using the resources wisely.

(e) 5 prana become strong with yogic breathing exercises called pranayama.
Pranayam is a science to make the body and mind healthy, pure and strong.

There are five sub-Pranas _ ‘Naga, Kurma, Karikala, Devadatta nd Dhananjaya. Naga performs hiccup and excretion. Kurma performs blinking of the eyes. Karikala induces felling of hunger and thirst. Devadatta causes yawning. Dhananjaya causes fainting and snoring.

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