“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Modern-day science is advancing with great speed and is gaining better and better understanding of what the world around us is comprised of. However, it hasn’t delved too deep into knowing what the world inside us is comprised of, as yet. The essence of spiritual science, however, is to secure the awareness of one’s own Aatma (Soul), as the Soul is our real Self.
The Pure Soul is our real identity
Param Pujya Dadashri, the founder of Akram Vignan, who has known, seen, experienced and permanently lived in the state of the Self (Pure Soul), describes the Soul to be the most profound element in the Universe.
He explains, “Once we make you realize that you are a Pure Soul and that this Chandubhai (the reader may insert his own name here) is separate,… now even if Chandubhai ends up doing something very bad and condemnable, you should not lose the awareness of, ‘I am a Pure Soul’. Never should you believe that, ‘I am impure’ since You (as a Pure Soul) have never become impure.”
This highlights one of the characteristics of the Soul, which is that the Soul has always remained pure. However, it is covered with layers and layers of karma (the impurities), which is why we cannot realize the existence of our Soul and we remain ignorant of who we really are. This deluding karma gives rise to a wrong belief that, “I am this body; I am this name that is given to identify the body”.
It is only the living Gnani Purush (spiritual teacher), who can unravel this wrong belief!!!
That which can never be attained even over millions of lifetimes is made possible in less than an hour through the Gnani, the Enlightened One. This becomes possible because every Soul is pure by nature. And no other element has the same properties as the Soul. In Akram Vignan, the stepless path to Self-Realization, Gnani calls out the properties of the Soul and thereby separates the Self (Soul) and the non-Self (everything other than the Soul) within us, to help us attain Self-Realization.
The Pure Soul is a unique eternal element of the universe
A few of the main characteristics of a Pure Soul are:
- The Soul is full of infinite knowledge and vision. Hence, it can know and see everything. However, due to the deluding karmas sitting over the Soul, we are not able to grasp this infinite knowledge and vision until we attain Self-Realization. Param Pujya Dadashri says, the Pure Soul is in the form of light (of knowledge). On the basis of this light, the Soul is able to know the objects to be known. When all of its light is uncovered (i.e. if all the deluding karmas would be removed from over the Soul), we are able to know everything of the entire Universe i.e. we become Omniscient.
- It is full of infinite energy and strength.
- Further, it is the abode of infinite bliss i.e. permanent happiness. Those who have experienced the full state of the Self, feel constant happiness and joy radiating from within.
- It is detached (asanga).
- It cannot be tainted (nirlep; unsmaerable).
- It is invisible.
- It is formless (amurta).
- It is illuminating and indestructible.
- It is eternal i.e. permanent. The Soul is never born nor does it ever die. It is the physical body that dies and takes rebirth.
- It can expand and contract. For example, it expands in the elephant to the size of the elephant and contracts in an ant and becomes of the size of the ant’s body.
- It is due to Soul that one can feel. The Soul is present throughout the body. Wherever you feel any sensation e.g. the prick of a pin, it is because the Soul is present there.
- It is indivisible.
- It is immiscible. It never mixes with anything and loses its inherent properties. Its original properties always remain intact. For this reason, we are able to separate the Soul and the body and realize the Self.
Only when one understands the properties of the Soul, one can manifest and experience the Soul.
During the process of Self-Realization, we embark on our journey of understanding the properties of the Soul. As this understanding of various properties enhances, we are slowly able to separate the pure Self from the impure body complex; the impurities being in the form of anger, pride, deceit, and greed.
With this separation happening more and more frequently, we harness greater oneness with the real Self (the Pure Soul) and begin to experience its properties to some extent. For instance, you get an inkling of the property of infinite strength of the Soul when you are able to remain cool and untouched amidst adverse situations that are painful. You get the flavor of the detached, permanent and blissful state of the Soul when you observe how the worldly things that bring pain or pleasure in life, come and go away after some time, displaying their temporary nature.
Thus, after Self-Realization, as we remain more and more one with the Self, we slowly but surely begin to experience each characteristic of the Soul in greater degree. After Self-Realization, with the real vision gained from Gnani, as we start seeing the living beings around us as Pure Souls, our interactions with them start becoming pure. And simultaneously, our awareness of, ‘I am a Pure Soul’ also increases.