Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Why did God separate souls from himself which should go back to him?

Q: Souls are not born, they are eternal. They must go to God to achieve salvation. But souls came from God...So if souls comes from God and it has to go back to God, why did God separate souls from himself to come back to him?
- Madhukar Singh

A: In Sanathan Dharma, the concept of 'Atma' cannot be equated with the 'soul' in Abrahamic religions. Neither is their concept of "god" same as that of Ishwara. Atma need not "go to Ishwara", because Atma is not at all separated from Brahman. 

There is an example of 'AkASa'(space) used in Vedanta to explain this concept. Imagine(you really need to imagine) an empty pot. Even though empty, it encloses space  ( = AkASa).  We may call this enclosed space, the pot-space (= GhatAkASa).This is not different from the universal space (= mahAkASa) which is outside the pot -- except that the pot-space is space  enclosed, conditioned by the material of the pot, whereas the universal space  is unconditioned (= nirupAdhita).  

Now fill up the pot to the brim with water.  The pot-space seems to have disappeared.  We only see water now but in the water we see the universal space reflected.  This reflection shows the sky, the stars or whatever there is in the sky or the space, like buildings, trees, clouds, etc. with all their different shades of colour. This reflected presentation of the outside space may be called water-space  ( = jalAkASa). 

Water-space shall not mean  'the space occupied by water' but shall mean the reflection, in the water, of the mahAkASa, which is everywhere.  

Now the water-space hides the real space, namely the pot-space within and projects a falsity of an outer space, inside. This is the grand delusion in which we are all in. The water-space corresponds to the jIva  (the individual soul - kshara purusha).  It hides the presence of the pot-space within.  The pot-space is the akshara purusha

Without the substratum of the pot-space there cannot be any water-space.  We in our delusion think that the water-space is all there is. We forget that there is a pot-space within and it is the real space and that the water-space is only a false projection of the reality.  Without the substratum of the imperishable purusha within, the jIva or the kshara purusha or what we think as our personality has no existence. The imperishable purusha is also called kUTastha, the immovable, or the immutable, that which remains like the unchanging iron-piece (anvil) on which the blacksmith does all his hammering.  

The water in the pot is the mind or intellect. It is the reflection in our intellect of the universal consciousness that generates the feeling, an individualised feeling, in us, of 'I' and 'mine'.

To conclude, let me tell you simply - the notion of 'soul' separate from Ishwara is itself an illusion, and to identify the reality of Atma is the goal of life. That is achieved though self-knowledge, from an authentic guru.


  1. Thanks a lot...It helped me in understanding that every soul is connected to God, what we need to do is, realize the connection of aatma with parmatma!