Prema Rasa Siddhanta
Prema Rasa SiddhantaLanguage :English
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Prema Rasa Madira (Vol. I - III)
Prema Rasa Madira (Vol. I - III)Language :English
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Who am I?
Part - 1

The entire world seeks to answer two questions. The first is, "What do we all want?" and the second is, "How will we attain it?" All knowledge in the world, from worldly knowledge to Vedic knowledge attempts to answer these two questions, "What do we want and how do we attain it?" How surprising it is that in countless lives we have not been able to answer either of them. The day we find the answer, our relationship with this material world will come to an end. With that, our wandering in the 8.4 million species of life, the five sorrows, i.e. joy and suffering, love and hate, fear of death, ignorance and ego (pride) and the five sheaths of maya will all come to an end. Let us take up the first question.  

What is it that we want? It is a very simple question and can only be answered when we understand who we are. We use the pronouns "I", "we" and "you".  What is this "I" that we refer to? Once we understand the true "I", we will automatically understand what "I" want. What is this "I"?
  
You have two things in your possession - one of them is conscious and the other is not. The body, the sense organs, the mind and the intellect are insentient, i.e. devoid of consciousness. You may disagree and say that they are conscious.  After all, your hands and feet do move, the eyes see and the ears listen. Every sense organ is working. The mind thinks and the intellect takes decisions. All of these appear to be conscious.

You can say that a chair or a table is not conscious. This statement is true. But, how can you say that the body, mind and intellect are not? Furthermore, if you stick a pin in your body, you experience pain, don't you? Yes! Well then, how can that which is not conscious experience pain?  


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti
Part - 2

So understand that the sense organs, the mind and the intellect are all included within the body. We are two: the body and the soul. We sometimes say, "My body is old; my body is ill; my body is fat; my body is thin." We say "my". My means, "that which belongs to me". This means that the body is "mine", and that "I" am not the body. Moreover, we observe our body daily, and we feel that it is conscious. After the entity referred to as "I" has left the body, do you call the body conscious or non-conscious? That body starts decomposing in twenty-four hours. What does this mean? It means that there is an "I" within the body. When this "I" leaves, the body loses its consciousness. In other words, it is the "I" that keeps the body conscious. The body itself is not conscious. The entity called "I" is responsible for keeping the body alive.  When the "I" leaves, the body returns to its original form.  The original form of the body is that it is a puppet made of the five gross elements.

The Vedas, Shastras and the Saints have given a name to the entity referred to as "I". They call it "soul". Soul means that which is alive and which keeps others alive as well. The soul has two functions - it remains alive by itself and it keeps others alive. It is conscious and as long as it remains within the body, it keeps the entire body conscious. Let us now understand the characteristics of the soul.  

The scriptures talk about two types of characteristics: svarupa and tatastha (marginal) characteristics. Svarupa means the natural characteristic of the soul. The soul is conscious; it is a power of God. At the same time, the Darshan Shastra as well as the Kena Upanishad points out that the entity called "I" is beyond the intellect, and as such it cannot be understood by the intellect. The "I" is beyond the grasp of the senses, the mind and the intellect since these are material and non-conscious. The Gita says the same. We will have to rely on the Vedas and the Shastras to understand what the soul is all about.  


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti
Part - 3

The scriptures say that the soul is a power of God. How many powers does God have? They are all unlimited. However, we can divide these countless powers of God into three. Veda Vyasa says in the Vishnu Purana that God has three main powers. The first is para shakti, the second is kshetrajna shakti (tatastha or marginal) and the third is maya. Para shakti is God's own personal power and it is also called svarupa shakti or yogamaya shakti. God's marginal power (tatashta) refers to the individual soul.  God's external power is called avidya, i.e. maya.  What function does avidya perform? It creates the world. Maya includes God's power maya as well as the world.  

So there are three powers - yogamaya, maya and the individual soul. The individual soul is a part of God and it is the marginal power of God (tatastha shakti). What is the marginal characteristic of the soul?  It is an eternal servant of God. Gauranga Mahaprabhu says, "The soul's true nature is God's servitude." The Puranas, Shastras and God-realised Saints say the same thing. The Vedas, the Shastras and the Saints say that there is a difference as well as a non-difference between God and the individual soul. It is a very unique relationship indeed; God is conscious and so are we. From this point of view, we are equal to God. But there are differences between God and the individual soul. 

God is unlimited consciousness and we possess limited consciousness. In other words, God's consciousness pervades everything, and our consciousness pervades only our own body. The soul pervades a small body; that of an ant and it pervades a big body, that of an elephant. There is no body bigger than that. So God is omnipresent; He is unlimited consciousness and the individual soul is so subtle and small. How small is the soul?


An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
© Radha Govind Samiti


to be continued next week...
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