Journey of Soul from Human existence to the Absolute (Parmatma)
Director, Spiritual Awareness Program (SAP), Hyderabad, India
People understand that soul exists in human system and the same has to be understood. Because of ignorance, the concept of the soul remains unclear. An attempt is made to analyze the questions like how the soul looks like? How to understand the real nature of soul? Whether soul and ego are the same? How to have glimpse of soul? And how soul gets expanded? In addition, Different steps of Raj yoga for understanding the soul and ego, scientific analysis of meditation, the advantage of meditation, and the journey of soul towards absolute have also been explored. This article should be read along with article “Principle and Process of Soul and Ego” available in the given link.
1. Whether soul and ego are the same?
The Tattva Suddhi manuscript reveals that the impure soul resembles with ego. The manuscript also indicates that soul and ego are the two facets of same coin (existence or being). Then, question arises that when the ego get transformed into soul. Yoga Chudamani Upanishad reveals that when the people become divine, the ego (Ahamkara) of the person gets melted and the person becomes divine. At that time, the transformed ego as a soul exists at Bindu Visarga (the top back of the head). This chakra (Bindu Visarga) is also known as third ventricle in physical science.
1.1 Analogy of mental curtain and slit for understanding the soul
Let us recall the definition of soul given by Swami Vivekananda. The soul is having infinite circle (without any circumference) but nucleus at center. The same has to be perceived by human being with the help of analogy described in the image.
Soul is infinite. This is represented by bulb B as the soul is luminous (like milky light). The viewer will see the light of the soul depending on the curtain (impurities and extrovert nature of mind). The same is represented by A. For common people, the mind remains extrovert and influenced by Beta wave of the brain. By this way, mind becomes a curtain to hide the characteristics (luminous nature) of the soul. That is why; less evolved people remains ignorant about the soul.
The only way is to remove the polluted mind (as a curtain) between the bulb (representing soul) and the perceiver (meditator). This is possible by expanding the mind free from six temperaments and malnutrition’s of mind. When mind becomes pure and expanded, the same works like a slit or opening in the curtain which is represented by whole (shown in diagram as C). The size of slit depends on the purity of mind. When the mind gets transformed as large as Chitta or mind becomes the mind stuff (Chitta), the full opening of the slit is established. In other words, when the slit (C) in the curtain is enlarged; the intensity of light will be increased. The slit represents the expansion of mind.
2. How to understand the real nature of soul with the help of yogic practice?
Let us recall the question related to the size and shape of the soul. We understand that the soul does not have length, breadth, & depth and the same cannot be cut by means of weapons, can’t be drenched by water, cannot be burnt by fire and cannot be swept away by air. Then question arises that how to perceive the soul which is infinite, luminous and pervading nature. The analysis provides the methodology to unveil the ignorance related to soul.
2.1 Different steps of Raj yoga for understanding the soul and ego
To understand the soul and ego, different steps of Raj yoga helps. The best way is to have a dip in meditation. Before meditation, we must understand the principle and purpose of meditation which will be dealt elsewhere. The ideal condition for meditation has been summarized in the image “The Ideal condition for Meditation”.
The ideal condition for meditation depends on the harmoniously balanced function of parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system working in Ida and Pingla path. The function of Ida and Pingla corresponds with the function of SNS (Sympathetic nervous system) and PNS (parasympathetic Nervous System).The SNS (Pingla) and PNS (Ida) meet in the eyebrow centre and flow out through the nostrils. When the right nostril is flowing, Pingla is flowing and the physical or masculine aspect of man is functioning. The common characteristic of the physical aspect is action. For digestion, excretion, hard physical effort and rapid heartbeat, Pingla nadi gives best efficiency.
But at that moment, any attempt for meditation under these conditions is extremely difficult. On the other hand, when the left nostril is flowing, Ida is flowing, the female aspect of life is predominant and meditation or mental activities are preferred. This is because; the control of Ida path is done by the right hemisphere of the brain. When this hemisphere is pre dominant, there will be good atmosphere for the meditation. However, Ideal situation for the meditation is to have equal flow of the breath (slowly in and out), so that Sushumna gets opened up. Many techniques of meditation are available to achieve the ideal condition for deeper meditation. The understanding of Agna chakra is important before performing the meditation and the same has to be located.
3. Science endorses the achievement of Meditation
Normally people are functioning in Beta wave of the brain. This means that the frequency of Beta brain wave is about 14Hz–30Hz and the people are under internal stress. To minimize the same, the calm people achieve the Alpha brain wave about 8Hz–14Hz. During sleep we achieve Theta brain wave about 4Hz–8Hz and also during deep sleep we achieve Delta brain wave of about 0.5Hz–4Hz. The measurements of these brain waves have been obtained by scientific means and similar kind of measurements have been recorded when the instruments were placed on meditator. This in turn can be expressed that the Science endorses the achievement of Meditation. The image briefly describes some of the aspects of meditation.
In the process of measurement, scientific experiments proves that it is not coincidence but actual fact that some people who have a meditative mind or whose brain waves are predominantly Alfa can predict many unseen truth. They will have knowledge of outer and inner events which are beyond the reach of the senses. It is the experience of yogi that alpha phase of the brain wave is the creative mind and the same can be used by individual if he or she knows the technique of being in alpha phase during awakened or conscious state.
During very deep meditation, outer existence (events) can be connected to Individual, Cosmic and Absolute consciousness; whereas inner truth (events) is connected to indwelling consciousness. This means that outer events can approach from Beta to Theta phase of brain wave whereas inner core or event will rest at Delta phase of brain wave. During this moment, the unknown things will easily be revealed.
3.1 The advantage of Meditation
There are many advantages of meditation and the most prominent are described. The influence of meditation emitting alpha waves is to lower the heartbeat, decrease oxygen consumption by the body cells, reduce carbon dioxide elimination, slow down metabolism and relax the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
In addition, the adrenaline secretion of sympathetic nervous system will be reduced or minimized so that “Fight or Flight” mechanism of the system will be under control. If adrenaline secretion is high (normally this happens in busy schedule with cut throat competition), there will be development of internal stress and that will lead towards psycho somatic disease. In meditation, while emitting the Alfa wave, a process which opposes the mechanisms of the adrenaline secretary system comes about. This enables the body to operate in a less tense manner.
4. Existence of AGNA Chakra
The Pratyahara (withdrawal of mind) is an important step of meditation. Next step is to have concentration of mind at particular point or object (at Trikuti or center between two eyebrows). The image “Existence of Agna” describes in brief the functional aspects of Agna.
Later on, when the mind is concentrated at this juncture (below and around thalamus gland) where Ida, Pingala & Sushumna merge and flow as one stream to Sahasrara, transformation of individual happens. This juncture (pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus gland) is the existence of Agna chakra. Individual consciousness is brought about by the merging of the 3 great forces (Prana, Mind and Spirit).
But, when Ida and Pingla unite with Sushumna in Agna Chakra we lose ourselves completely. The individual awareness falls flat and we completely transcend the realm of duality. Therefore, Agna Chakra is a very important centre which we must experience in order to bring about purification of the mind.
Agna is spiritually, psychically and practically the most important chakra because of its overall effects on the psychic human personality. Agna is the place where divine knowledge and knowledge of the universe become known.
4.1How to have glimpse of soul?
By meditation, we can achieve the glimpse of soul (luminous nature). When we are well versed in meditation at Agna chakra (the junction of pituitary, hypothalamus and pineal gland), the glimpse of soul as luminous nature arises. The same has been briefed in image “Higher function of Agna and perseverance of light”.
The perseverance of soul is well achieved when Agna chakra along with its two connected links (hemispheres) is accomplished. This will also helps to develop the third eye (Shiva Netra) of the brain; by which the luminous nature of soul is perceived. In addition, by awakening Agna, the actual form of the astral bodies can be perceived. Telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience and intuition all function through this chakra. By meditation on Agna one gets the Siddhi to satisfy any desire and the command made through Agna must be fulfilled.
By obtaining maturity in third eye meditation along with Agna chakra, a meditator can reach to the zone of Absolute consciousness where the stability of soul is achieved at Bindu Visarga (third ventricle) or top back of the head. This point (Bindu Visarga) is also known as the stability of being divine.
At this point (Bindu Visarga), the white light of Agna is infinitely powerful. By force of will one can take one’s consciousness to distant places and thus obtain knowledge of other objects. This is the divine light through which religious seekers see visions of their god. Simultaneously, will arise from Chitta and enters the intellect and the desire for knowledge follows.
4.2 How soul gets expanded in Anandmaya Kosha?
Anandmaya Kosha is the domain of Absolute consciousness which exists at top back of the head (third ventricle). This is the launching pad for the soul to have its journey toward the supreme soul (Parmatma). This is also a launching pad to have the journey in the universe (micro with in the brain) and macro in the universe. This zone (absolute consciousness) also represents Anandmaya Kosha (bliss sheath) of Panch Kosha. The image “Function of Photon in Anandmaya Kosha” briefly describes the function of photon in super conscious domain starting from Anandmaya Kosha.
The luminous nature of the soul sustains because of being photon. In Anandmaya Kosha (the divine Causal body), the unknown message comes in photon of light. Each volume of information gets encapsulated by photon of light and same is embedded into super conscious.
Photon is free from atoms (Parmanu) which is supposed to be the characteristics of Parmatma or the Absolute or the truth. As the photon of light comes, soul (self) gets expanded more and more out of individual’s body.
Photon encapsulated knowledge (unknown information) belongs to the regime of transcendental domain and the same gets filtered to the memory through conscious mind during meditation. That is why; the same (unknown knowledge) is difficult to be described by an individual. Unknown information neither belongs to the intellect nor to the emotion. The information comes in the super conscious mind and later the same gets filtered into the memory.
5. The journey of soul towards absolute (transcendental domain)
Even evolved soul remains in the grip of nature (Prakriti). The same has to perform the journey to reach the transcendental domain (Sakshi Chaitanya or indwelling consciousness) which is beyond the nature (Prakriti). The characteristics of the Sakshi Chaitanya are summarized in image “The characteristics of the Absolute” in brief.
In transcendental domain, the Absolute (Parmatma or consciousness) is of Pervading, Infinite and Timeless. This can be experienced in terms of Love, Integrity with Godhood nature and Harmony they club to form Mercy, Compassion, Pity or Karuna and Truth. Unless the light (Sakshi Chaitanya) is not experienced, the journey towards the root is incomplete. The soul has to experience the Brahman after performing the journey through nature (Prakriti) and becoming “Prakriti Laya”. This means that the soul has to transcendent in the super conscious mind which is free from time, space and causation.
5.1 Understanding of Parmatma (the Absolute or Brahman) through Meditation
Brahman refers to the highest cosmic consciousness, which is that, all pervading awareness. The same is known as Sakshi Chaitanya or indwelling consciousness which is going to witness the activity of other three consciousness namely i) Individual consciousness ii) Cosmic consciousness and iii)Absolute consciousness. From this (Sakshi Chaitanya) also known as cosmic consciousness, all beings are evolving either consciously or unconsciously. That infinite all pervading consciousness (Absolute) exists within every being and everything.
Yoga practices and meditation are designed to raise man’s consciousness above the world so that he can transcend this objective universe and his mind can remain within his subtle spheres of consciousness. This means yoga helps to transcends individual consciousness, cosmic consciousness and absolute consciousness from the artificial intellectual domain to the indwelling consciousness existing in cosmic intellectual domain.