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Some of my Readers, having gone through my previous blog ‘,Inspired Knowledge’ contacted me by various means and requested that I may write some more Articles like that of appealing to spirituality or philosophy. Prof. Vinayak Raval, a friend of mine, was once of the same opinion after his review of this particular story. ‘Inspired Knowledge’ is written in a typical style as the debate of some philosophical issues; but, today, I am going to represent my study about ‘soul’ in the form of an essay in brief; rather it is like to fill an ocean into a very small earthen pot.
The supreme aim of human life is to know the God. Rabindranath Tagore has quoted, “The ultimate end of man is to find the One (God) which is in him, which is his truth, which is his soul, the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life, the heavenly kingdom.” Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS) also said, “Whoever knew his soul, knew his Lord.” The man has acquired knowledge in various sciences, but the profound philosophy of truth regarding God, soul, universe, life, death etc. has not yet ended with any concrete conclusions unanimously. Out of various topics mentioned here, the knowing of God is rather difficult due to the certain limitations of the human mind. Somebody has said, “In knowing Thee, O Wonder of the Cosmos, the mind is weakened all the while; Whenever my reason comes a span closer to Thee, it surely flees a mile.” A Gujarati poet has also said, “Man has overcome steam and electricity; but he could not overcome his mind. He reached the planets, but could not reach his inner soul.” Khalil Gibran’s quotation in this regard is also significant: “Say not, ‘I have found the truth’; but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.”
My preamble is over here and, now, I start to step further into my subject of soul, today. The very first basic belief about soul, in view of many scholars and also religions, is that it is a creation. Creation is always dependent of the Creator. Here, I put an example thought out myself to go further into the subject. The example is of a wooden chair, a creation; and the carpenter, its creator – better to say ‘maker’ of the chair. The chair came into existence (formation) with the workmanship of the carpenter. He designed it and gave the shape or mode of the chair using wood. This is simply an example and, by no way, the carpenter can take the place of the Creator and also the chair of the soul. All the four are quite different with their respective pairs.
Let us go further some deep into the illustration. The chair is dependent of the carpenter. It came into existence from the wood and the work of the carpenter. The Creator is eternally in existence and the rest other than Him came into existence from non-existence as His work. Thus, the Almighty God is on one part and all the rest visible or invisible in the universe are on the other part on our thinking platform. They are known as the Creator and the creations respectively. Soul is also the part and parcel of His creations. Everything including soul is from Him. The carpenter made the chair from the matter (wood); but soul is created by the Creator without any matter (object).
Further, we divide our hypothesis into two possibilities how the God has created soul. (1) Soul might have been created by his order, commandment or authority. Here it is not to be meant as any utterance of any words as we do, but His will is sufficient for anything He wishes to do. (2) Creation of soul would have been His work or task. Here also any workmanship or labor is not to be understood, but simply to say that soul is His work, a created thing and not at all self-existent.
Here, I would like to clarify that the opinions regarding the subject in discussion may vary wildly according to some religions and philosophies and also extremely contradictory. Some consider the soul as immaterial, while others consider the soul possibly having a material component. Dr. MacDougall has scientifically tried to establish that the soul has the weight of some ¾ of an ounce or 21.3 grams through his experiments on dying persons. The theory of the soul having material form and also weight has been discarded not only by religions bent people but also the scientists. Whatever the difference of opinion may be in this regard, but it is interesting that human has been trying to know the mystery of these philosophical issues for the numerous centuries or perhaps millenniums.
Now, we come to our track of the subject. Previously in my preface of ‘Inspired Knowledge’ I had put an equation to explain existence of Human with combination of body and soul. Here below, we will try to know about the functions of both body and soul specifically.
Let us take first body in debate. The properties (characteristics) of the body are mainly growth and decay. Body requires food and it is kept securely in stomach. Its next functions are digestion and removal of the waste through urine, stool, perspiration and air etc.. Food turns into blood which circulates in the body through veins. Thus the body exists living until death comes. Body is the house of the soul and when it falls down, the soul leaves it at once. Somebody has said in a poetic style, “Soul made intention of leaving. I said, ‘Do not leave’. It said, ‘What can I do? The house is falling apart’.” Now, where the soul goes is not our subject here and if God wishes we may perhaps discuss it separately later on.
Our discussion about body still continues. We tried to understand in general the internal system of body with functions of internal organs. Now, we shall see in brief the function of one more internal organ which is called brain in Anatomy. In terminology of spirituality it is called mind. Our brain (mind) is the assistant of our soul and the master of the body. This assistant may play a roll of either an angel (friend) or a devil (enemy) of our soul. Further to clarify, it can be said that the brain has five employees under it that can be named as eyes, ears, nose, tongue and finger tips. These are the media of sensations respectively; sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. When the brain experiences all these sensations, it can be said that the brain is in a state of animation or living; otherwise it is called as dead brain. Thus, the properties of the functions of brain are love and hate. My intelligent Readers can understand how our feelings of love and hatred lead us towards good or evil deeds.
Thinking, memory and knowledge are the vital functions of the brain. Immediately after these abilities of the brain, the two functions of soul start; and they are forbearance and dignity. These two positive virtues of soul work as the initial driving force to still superior advancement of spirituality which may be known as Divinity of the soul. It is named also the Tranquil soul and it is the highest stage of its perfection. This perfection can be acquired with good deeds. King Solomon has said, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, and it is destroyed when you are cruel.” Saint Tulsidas has also said in a verse,’ “Kindness is the root of Dharma (Religion).”
Let us go further. The soul of Divinity is now capable to have powers such as (1) To be immortal in morality (2) To get bliss in adversity (3) To find honor in disgrace (4) To be poor in riches; and (5) To have patience in woes. With these virtues, the soul achieves the most valuable state of faith as to accept the will of God and submit to His commands. This Tranquil soul conquers not only its worldly desires but also the desire of the paradise too. It becomes apart from temptation of Heaven and fear of Hell. In view of this Tranquil soul, the Heaven and Hell are also creations and its supreme goal is the Creator – to get His nearness and to have His mercy.
The theories invented by human minds regarding soul are many. Religions are many, but they all are unanimous in differentiating good deeds and evil deeds. The fundamental principles of all religions are the same. These common principles may make a new school of thought and behavior. This ideology may be named as ‘Humanity’. The motto of this ‘Humanity’ may be laid out as ‘Live and let live.’ The true followers of any religion are of the opinion of ‘self reform’. After the self reformation of own, they propagate for good and forbid to evil. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said in a tradition, “To overcome evil with good is good; to resist evil by evil is evil.” The uplifting of soul depends on uplifting of the character. We are now approaching a global economy, a global culture. Now let us globalize this mission of ‘Humanity’ to establish Universal Peace. Souls of individuals make the soul of a nation; and souls of the nations make the soul of the universe. To make the universe glorious, the individuals will have to promote their souls towards advancement and perfection.
Summing up, this Article is the collective work of my own ideas, a little bit my inspired knowledge, memory of my reading in past in the subject and also the support of recently referred book ‘Journey to the unseen world’.
May God unite all humans in their various complexions, nationalities, races and lineages.
Dtd.: 3rd August, 2007
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