Sunday, March 23, 2014

Does soul really exist?

"Can you prove the existence of soul scientifically?" 

It is the most common question which I have heard people around me ask.  Having read a lot about rebirth I was convinced that we have a soul.  But to make others understand was not so easy.  That too, when they are sure about the nonexistence!

So, I had to keep my mouth shut.  This article is a humble attempt to clear the doubt about soul or spirit with few simple examples.  I am not trying to exhibit scientific proofs.  We can think of some common examples in a logical way.  

Who am I?

When we say, "I" what does we refer to?  Is it son of this particular father?  Is it our education?  Is it our job?  Is it our social status? 

When we do not have this social status, still this "I" is there?  What is that?  We may say that it is this body.  Is it so?  Do we refer to the body when we say "I"?  Just ponder over this for a while.  Meanwhile, we can discuss some other example.

When someone dies, we say "the person has left the body" or "he is no more".  The body may not be cremated.  Still we say that he has left his body.  Why do we say he is no more, when we have not even cremated the body.  The body is there.  Why do we not say that the person is lying there?

Existence of soul

So what has left the body?  It is the soul or the spirit.  It is because of the soul within our body that we are able to perform our duties.  Once the soul leaves the body there is no use of the body.  So when we say "I", we refer to the soul.  The real "I" is the soul or the spirit.

So the answer is "yes, the concept of existence of soul or spirit is real".

Why people disbelieve in the existence of soul?

If the real self is the soul, then why do people disbelieve in soul?  The common reason is "we have not seen it".  They don't believe in things which they have not seen with their eyes.  They do not know how the soul or the spirit looks like.  They are ready to believe only if they see the soul.  People need scientific evidence so as to believe in anything including existence of soul.

Have we seen all the things that we believe in?  "No".  Someone who has actually seen things or experienced will tell us .  We believe in those people.  Similarly, we need the help of learned people to know about whether the soul exist or not.

We have not gone to moon.  But we know about how it is in moon.  How do we believe that?  We did not see.  Only thing is somebody who went there told us.  Some person who had direct experience of the moon told us about it.  The person who had direct experience of moon is authorized to talk about it.  So we need an authorized person who can tell us about soul.

Scriptures about existence of soul.

 Spiritual scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita explains the existence of soul scientifically.  It is not written by man kind.  It was delivered to Arjuna by Lord Krishna himself.  So it is an authorized scripture.  Bhagavat Gita explains soul scientifically -Why should I read Bhagavad Gita? 

Think of our body.  We have a body, which changed from baby to kid and then to youth.  Do we have the same body which we had when we were babies?  Does the same cells exist now?  The answer is "No".  This has scientific evidences.  We no longer possess the same body, which we took birth in.  So, the body keeps on changing from baby, then kid, youth, old age and so on.  The soul remains in this body during this change, from baby to old age and then the soul enters another body in the same way it changed from baby to kid or from kid to youth.  That means the soul transmigrates from one body to another.  But the soul or spirit remains unchanged.

Characteristics of soul

1.Soul has no birth or death.

Bhagawad Gita 2.13 says

dehino smin yatha dehey
kaumaaram youvanam jaraa
thatha dehanthara prapthir
deeras thatra na muhyathi

As the soul passes from a kid to youth and then to old age, the soul takes a new body after going through the old age.  One who has this knowledge is not afraid of it.

2. Soul cannot be destroyed

nainam chinthanthi shastrani
nainam dahati paavaka
na chainam cleydayanthyapo 
na shoshayathi maarutha

Soul cannot be cut by weapons.  It cannot be destroyed by fire.  Soul cannot be destroyed by flood or by wind.

3. Soul is eternal

achchedyo yamadaahyo ya 
macledyo shoshya eva cha
nithya sarvagatha stanu
rachalo yam sanathana

Soul cannot be broken, burnt, diluted or dried.  It is eternal and above all changes.  Soul cannot be changed or destroyed.  It is all pervading.

4. Soul is infinitisimal

The Supreme Soul or paramatma is infinite.  While the jeevatma or the soul is infinitesimal.  The spirit or the soul has the size of 1/10000 of the tip of the soul.   Soul has same qualities as the Supreme Soul, but the quantity is different.

By all these slokas I would like to confirm that soul exist and it is eternal.  It is the soul which remains for ever, even after we leave this body. 

Hope, the explanation about soul was useful.  If you have any doubts, feel free to mention it.