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Spiritual Meditations ( 25 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Journey of the Soul

By Yogi Ashwini

Apr 19, 2011

Soul is a unique pranic frequency. In unmanifested form it exists as part of Para Brahma just as salt exists in ocean. Only when it desires a certain experience or a set of experiences does it choose to go through the cycle of karmas, birth and death. The basic reason or the root cause of the soul separating from the source is ego that recognises one’s existence as an individual. The ancients called it “asmita”, or “I”. This was the first step we took when we separated ourselves from the Divine Consciousness, which is Sukshma-iti-Sukshma, subtlest of the subtle, the unmanifested.

Ego led the soul to realise that it is an individual and so came into existence the jeevatma. The individual consciousness combined with chitta forms jeevatma. Chitta or chetna is all pervading and resides in each one of us as buddhi. Buddhi is unlimited mind. It has the potential to become once again unlimited from the limited but it remains shadowed by manas the sheath, which blurs its vision, which provides logic to the mind and fetters it with the vrittis.

Together, buddhi and manas form the chitta. The jeevatma, chitta and vrittis unite with panchmahabhutas (five elements) to take form of a human being. As the soul separates itself from the source, the distance is directly proportional to the evolution of the soul. For example, a droplet of water when it leaves the clouds, is pure, but in its journey towards the Bhuloka, it gathers dust. Further it travels, more contaminated it gets, and finally when it touches the ground it becomes dirty. This phenomenon is similar to the journey of the soul. Now to go back it needs to do tapas, i.e. heat itself and get rid of the impurities. Only then would it covert into vapour and get rid of the bandhan of form, shape and ego.

The three states of chitta are conscious, unconscious and subconscious. They exist because of desires, the reason the soul chose to take the journey called life. These desires form a circular pattern like ripples in water and go on expanding and contracting, keeping the soul entangled in their movement. Till the time there are vrittis, the soul is tied up with the objects of the senses. It is through the senses that the vrittis operate and keep the chitta occupied with the desire of one object or the other. They operate at every level; the conscious, unconscious and subconscious. Therefore, complete consciousness is not achieved. It is only when the disturbances (vrittis) become still that complete consciousness is achieved and the soul realises its true self. This is the state of dhyan, achieved by the practices of yog. That is why yog is defined by sage Patanjali as “chitta vritti nirodh”: to stop the activities of the chitta, to still the thoughts emerging from desires so that the vision becomes clear.

Let us understand how, maya operates on the human mind through the senses and keeps the soul entangled in the web of karmas. Maya is said to be the most potent tool of Lord Vishnu, the energy responsible for preservation. The sole purpose is to keep the creation going, keep the soul indulging in karmas. A human being is all the time — when awake (conscious), sleeping (subconscious) or unconscious — running after one object, or the other, as the desires of the soul are fulfilled only through the five senses. Ayurved says that at any given point of time, one of our senses is always at work. That is to say, even if we think we are sitting and enjoying the pleasure of two or three senses, like watching TV, eating food, holding hands with our loved ones, we can experience only one of these pleasures. If you’re watching something, in that instance you can’t experience touch; and when you’re relishing the taste of a particular food you’re not watching. But the reason you’re feeling all of these together is because the senses alternate or juggle so fast that you don’t realise the time gap between these experiences.

A human being is running after the pleasure of the senses all the time. It is evident as even when you are sleeping your eyeballs are not still. Not many of us know that the most active muscles in the body are not the heart but the eye muscles. Eyes become still when complete consciousness is achieved, when the mind is still and the senses are not at play. This is the state of pratyahar, a state not possible without the practices of yog.

When the senses are still, the mind becomes still and a complete focus on dhyan is experienced. Dhyan is that state when the mind is completely still and visions disappear. What you experience is beyond the realm of senses — secrets of the universe are revealed to you. When this state prolongs and awareness expands, the fourth state of consciousness (after conscious, sub-conscious, unconscious) is achieved. It is called turaiya, where buddhi disintegrates and the three states are awakened and active. Therefore, complete consciousness is achieved and truth is revealed. You are given a glimpse of what you truly are — the ego dissolves, and the state of atma sakshatkar is achieved. The soul realises the true self.

The events of a person’s life are the experiences that the soul chooses to go through. When the soul as a result of the positive karmas of the past life meets the Guru, only then it chooses to go back to the state it came from. With the blessing of the Guru, it chooses the path of sadhana, the path of evolution and reaches the state of complete merger. The journey of the spirit gets completed there. This state is described by ancient rishis as “Aham Brahmasmi”, “I am like Brahma” — not Brahma but part of the unmanifested, or to say looking similar to Brahma, like salt in the ocean.

Source: The Asian Age