“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.29)
Take the tip of a piece of hair. Now divide that tip into ten thousand parts. Choose one of the parts and you get an accurate representation of what is known as atma in Sanskrit. This is the individual spirit soul, which Shri Krishna reveals in the Bhagavad-gita to be amazing.
1. It can fit into an insect like a fly
At such a granular level, only a microscope could detect the presence. The naked eye probably wouldn’t notice; at least not without outside help. There are so many dust particles in the air, but they are not perceived at the microscopic level until sunlight pours into the room, and then only when there is contrast with darkness.
An easier way to notice the soul’s presence is to observe a living entity. A tiny one will suffice. Take an insect such as a fly. It moves around so quickly that human beings have difficulty catching it. There are objects called swatters to help. That fly is powered by the soul. The atma has no difficulty entering into such a tiny body.
2. It powers the large elephant
Insects are one kind of living entity. The modern scientific term is species. Another kind is the elephant. Much larger and easier to notice, an interesting truth is that the same kind of soul provides the power. That is to say the animating force within is no different.
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.18)
The elephant has different abilities compared to the fly. It is much slower. It is easier to touch from the human perspective. It can eat a lot more, and makes much louder sounds. The same soul in two instances as the input, but with different outputs.
3. It reveals amazing intelligence in the human being
Take the different species and know that the same minute subtle particle is the power source, so to speak. The species are nothing more than collections of material elements, gross and subtle. Earth, water, fire, air and ether are somewhat perceptible. The finer elements are mind, intelligence and ego. Finer still is the spirit soul.
The human being is a unique species because of the level of intelligence. Same kind of soul. No difference in that regard, but the intelligence is out of this world. The elephant is much larger and should thus strike fear in the smaller human being, and yet the more diminutive species has figured out a way to keep the elephants and other animals under control. This is due to intelligence.
4. It stays the same throughout the changes to the body
As the type of soul is identical throughout the various species, the lack of uniformity in appearance and ability is due to something else. Specifically, the exact constitutional makeup of material elements is different. The elements combine together to form what is known as the body.
As Shri Krishna also reveals in the Bhagavad-gita, that body is always changing. The shifts begin from the time in the womb. After emerging into the manifest world, youth eventually arrives, leading to adulthood and then old age.
The soul is the same the entire time. It is not affected by the changes. The wise person is not bewildered by this. They may not have known for a long time, since no one ever taught it to them, but since they are dhira, or sober in consciousness, they realize that the truth is logically sound.
We don’t suddenly change identity after our birthday. We may be allowed to do different things, like drive a car or consume adult beverages, but the age is merely a duration of time. Time is the same no matter the quantity it arrives in. That is to say change is the same whether the amount of time is one second or one day. Such and such number of years does not change who I am on the inside.
5. It is never killed
Here the soul is truly amazing. The body can be killed. The definition of death is the soul leaving the body that it previously inhabited. Science has yet to figure out the difference between a dead being and a living one. There is speculation as to the cause. Nature returning to equilibrium. The malfunctioning of organs. The shifting in cellular composition.
The simple, straightforward and honest answer is the exit of the soul, which is powering the body to begin with. Those cells and organs were there only because the soul allowed for the body to develop. That body is from nature, but without an external factor nature is not able to do anything. It is dull matter, after all.
The soul cannot be killed. Not at any time. It cannot be produced, either. This means that the birth of a child is actually the travel of an individual soul from a previous body into a new one. That repeating cycle is known as reincarnation.
That amazing soul has the chance to escape reincarnation. The determining factor is consciousness, which can be best sharpened while within the human body. Hence the real purpose of intelligence. The body and all its component parts are meant for facilitating this change in consciousness, which hopefully occurs in a single lifetime.
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.19)
It may take several lifetimes, but the destination is always the same. The individual soul that is conscious of the Supreme Lord, who is a person, who is the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita, who is the original soul of existence, who is the sum total of the spiritual energy and more, no longer has to worry about being known as amazing in comparison to material elements.
The soul as amazing known,
Proof in many ways shown.
How to live in body of fly,
Same in elephant standing high.
Persisting into future forever,
Not possible to be killed ever.
When into human form bound,
Best chance for liberation found.
Categories: the five