The Soul

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The soul, also called the antaratman, is a delegate of our real individual soul, the Jivatman, which is a still deeper reality behind the antaratman. When people talk of Jiva, the soul, they are referring to the Jivatman. Antaratman is that which is spread out in our body, life and mind, which is there within our heart, inside our heart. The Jivatman is still beyond it, it is the real individual centre of God himself. Let us now dwell upon this.

God himself is Universal, therefore He is called the cosmic self, He is spread out everywhere and there are experiences in which you feel so wide and so intimate with everything in the world that it all seems to be one united thing. All diversity is, as it were, simply the diversity of oneness. These are experiences of the cosmic self. The antaratman is mainly connected with the individual development. It can also open up to universality, but universality is not its constant experience. In the cosmic self, its experience is universal constantly. This cosmic self is an expansion; it is never ending. It is therefore called an expansion of God, the essence which is universal.

Now if you examine the idea of essence you will find that essence is always something that is the same, however it may manifest. For example, we may tell a story to indicate one basic truth, we may tell the story in ten different ways but the essence of the story remains the same. Expressions of essence can be small, can be wide, and can be widest, as wide as the whole of space, whole of time, so even if there is an expression of the essence as wide as the whole of time or the whole of space, but the essence itself still remains the same. This can happen only if the essence is more than space and time. Therefore it is said that God is spaceless and timeless, capable of infinite space and infinite time. Essence is called Sat, that which is. It is also called Transcendental, because it transcends all expressions, all that we can conceive. So God is transcendental and capable of universality, He can expand and manifest Himself. He is also capable of – it is a very special capacity of God – of containing himself fully in individual centres. This is one of the surprising capacities of God that He can concentrate the whole of Himself in many small individual centrations. It is somewhat like a poet writing a poem of seven lines, or fourteen lines, a sonnet and saying: 'all my message is contained in these fourteen lines'. All that he has thought, all that he has lived, all that he has experienced is contained in these fourteen lines. A great poet is capable of it. Similarly God can contain himself in a small centration of Himself and as you open out, it opens out itself to the whole cosmos and to the Transcendental. You might say that the centration of God is capable of universalisation and transcendence.

You might say that the centration of god is capable of universalisation and transcendence because it is itself a centration of the universal and of the transcendental. Therefore from this side also it can expand into infinity, into universality, into transcendence. Jivatman is God himself but in a finite centration. It always remains united with God. If you really discover your Jivatman you will find that it is all the time united with God. It does not have to make an effort to unite with God. This is why it is said that if you really want to see yourself truly, the best perception of it is given in the rasa lila of Sri Krishna. Sometimes in rare moments you can have this vision in which Krishna is dancing with gopis. Each gopi is a Jivatman and each one of us is one of them, already, whether we know it or not, each one of us is already engaged in the dance with Sri Krishna. We are constantly in play with Him, with God himself. This is our basic status, our only work. When we realise the self–knowledge, know ourselves truly we will find that we are constantly in play with the Lord, already. There is no division of the Jivatman from God, it is all knowing, and there is nothing, no knowledge that is denied to it. The antaratman or the delegate has knowledge but compared to that, the knowledge of the Jivatman is omniscient. The true Jivatman has all the knowledge and this Jivatman obeys God's decisions automatically, there is no disobedience.

Now I will tell you a story. A time came in the play of Sri Krishna, who is the symbol of the Lord Himself, when He decided to have a certain kind of play. He is capable of many kinds of play because there is nothing that is impossible for God, so He is also capable of a specific play. All the souls agreed to that play. He said, 'I would like you to forget yourselves.' But how does one forget? There is omniscience in which you cannot forget anything; all knowledge is present. God gave a kind of a process by which these individuals could forget themselves. Because of omniscience all around it had to be a gradual process. If you are living in the sea of knowledge, you cannot forget anything. In the first condition you are omniscient therefore you have got comprehensive knowledge. The faculty by which comprehensive knowledge can be obtained is what is called the faculty of truth consciousness. This is a Vedic word, called rita chit – rita means truth, chit means consciousness. All that is truth is known simultaneously without any effort in that faculty. It is quite different from mind, which has to labour and grope, whereas the Jivatman has the faculty of omniscience in which automatically everything that is true is known comprehensively. That rita chit is also called Supermind because it is a faculty of knowledge, which has to grope for nothing.

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