Monday, July 30, 2007

What is Soul

Many of us have heard the word “Soul” or “Spirit” probably many a time in life.
I am sure that we have either embraced or ignored it. The reason being, either we understand it or do not know even know what it is.
Especially in the “Age of Experiments and proofs”, it becomes quite hard for us intellectuals to understand what is Soul.
Many people ask me, “What is Soul?, How can I find it?, Where do I look for it, Do I have to pray to find it, Is it defined clearly in Bhagavad Gita, or Bible or Quran?

Well, I had a tough time to figure a way to explain it. Because Soul is something that none of us have seen.
But still we keep hearing the word Soul everywhere, including a guy like me who is so obsessed with it, that he names his blog, “Song of Soul”.

Yes, it is hard for any common man like me to know what it means. I am sure Jesus, Krishna, Prophet had a tough time to figure it too.

Let us try something here to see if we can get to understand what "Soul" is.
We all know that there are at least 2 parts that exist in us, “Body” and “Mind”. How do we know?
We all know that there is a physical part that does some functions for us that we can touch and feel, that is called ”Body”, hands, legs, fingers, face and so on.

But, How do we know that there is Mind? We cannot see it, we cannot feel it, we cannot touch it?
Good question. OK Now, slow down, stop and sit at a place. When we are not doing anything and just sitting or lying down, we are still alive, right?
There is some thing that is still going on inside us, Right? There are some things called “Thoughts” that keep running in the background and whether we want to use the mouth to speak or not, they keep rolling in the backdrop.
We also say that these silent movements in our Mind (like a background score in a movie), are in the head, inside our brain, are responsible for these thoughts. Right!

So we were able to find that there exists a Body, and when we stop the body at a place and sit, and when the body physically is not moving, we can actually observe that there is another part called “Mind” that creates thoughts.

In the similar manner, when we slow down the Mind, and the thoughts take rest, we go to a next level, and this is the 'Soul or Empty Mind'. Somewhere between the resting body and resting mind is Soul.
Wow, that was easy, Isn’t it? OK, now I will not guarantee that. You have to try and see.

Well, many people might still have doubts whether this is true or not. Whether this soul exists or not?
OK, I am still with you on this. Let’s take out this mystic word “Soul” out of the picture here.
And let’s do an experiment, a small little trick in the laboratory called “Body and Mind”.

Let’s sit at a place, close our eyes, and sit for 30minutes. And simple pay all the attention on to our breath, Just notice where the breath is going inside and how it is going outside.
Any layman can do this, anyone who is alive, Right!
Just keep doing that, and for 30min close your eyes, all your attention on your breath, how it is going in and how it is coming out. That’s It, No Other Business.
Then you will feel something, some emptiness, some silence, some calmness, something that draws you deeper and deeper, and something that keeps expanding into silence.
You can give any name to that experience; people call it Soul, Light, Spirit, God, Peace or Real Self.
This process is called “Meditation”, by the modern world, you can call it anything you want, Soul Searching, Breathing exercise, Creating Gaps between thoughts, Creating Peace, Finding Balance.
Again, please do not think that the essence of this article is to justify the so called, overly used word, Meditation.
I am not obsessed with Meditation. But I am obsessed with that experience that happens when I sit for 30 min in silence and observe the breath.
Do that process every day and you will keep experiencing the subtle feeling. Yes, you will get zillions of thoughts initially, but your duty is to just pay attention to breath, not the thoughts. Some thoughts can be very strong. But we just simply try our best to ignore them. Like some one said, "Ignorance is Bliss", that is exactly what we are trying to do.

My dear buddies, what do we do, when we are tired with our body? We put it to rest. What do we do, to rest our mind? Sit in silence like what we have done.
Can we walk every day from the time we wake up till we rest in the night? NO. We do sit some times during the day, we lie down if we get a chance. Same way what are we doing, when we have too many thoughts running in the mind. Nothing.

Well, atleast we start doing this exercise from now. Call it Meditation or Soul Searching, or whatever name you want to call, but please do close your eyes for 30minutes in the morning after waking up and 30min before going to bed in the evening.

To go into a little more complex phenomenon, and if you wish to read further, All the problems in today’s world are caused by the Mind, except for the natural calamities that are caused by the Mind of the Universe (we will not worry about that now).
But the calamities that we face, like Anger, Frustration, Depression, Loneliness, Excess Desire for anything, Attachment that is obsessive, are because of what happens with the thoughts in our mind. Too many thoughts or too much attachment to throughts creates a vicious circle and we unknowingly tend to enter into the twister of emotions. These emotions causes turbulences.

Most of the crimes and atrocities in this world happen when there are too many thoughts in the mind, and the person gets tired mentally. Overlapping of thoughts takes place, clarity of thoughts is lost. Then Man adopts some repressing way of relieving these thoughts, by use of drugs, tranquilizers, alcohol, tobacco and Some people use purging ways of eliminating these thoughts in form of revenge towards what they think is the cause of chaos in form of abuse, violence, terrorism and crimes.

Unfortunately we were taught by parents and teachers, how to rest when body is tired, but never on how to give the rest to the mind.
Parents, Teachers, and My dear friends, please make this "Experience of Silence" part of all your life styles. Give that little rest to your churning minds and thoughts.
Listen to Silent Music of your Inner Minds. You can call this Finding A Soul, or Spirit or Atma or God, Or you define your own name for that experience, you do not have to follow the crowd.
At last, it is your own inner experience. You have the right to remain silent.