Who can see the Soul – Part 1
In the earlier blog, we have done the first part of the first line of a verse in Kathopanishada. Now let’s do the next part of the same line. It runs something like this –
जन्तोर्निहितो गुहायाम्, which means something to the effect: the soul is निहितो; hidden, in गुहायाम्; guhas, in जन्तो; beings. The word गुहा has multiple meanings, out of which three are applicable here.
One meaning is the heart. If that meaning is applied to the word, the line may mean that the soul is hidden at the heart of beings. Here arises a question: if the line itself declares the location of the soul, how can it refer to the same as निहितो; hidden? The reason can be clear while considering the second meaning.
Another meaning is a cave. If that meaning is applied to the word, the line may mean that the soul is hidden at a dark, mysterious place in beings: a cave is always something dark and mysterious. It is very difficult to locate the soul in the heart as it is very difficult to locate anything in a dark, mysterious cave. The soul is so subtle that even if an expert doctor scrutinizes the heart under a microscopic lens, he will not locate the same. As it is very difficult to locate the soul, the line refers to the same as निहितो, hidden.
The word also means the Supreme Being. If that meaning is applied to the word, the line may mean that the soul is hidden in the Supreme Being in beings, which means that the soul is a part of the Supreme Being. As it is very difficult to locate the Supreme being in beings, the soul is referred to as निहितो, hidden.
So the line suggests that it is very difficult to locate the soul. If things were otherwise, anybody could have easily seen the soul, but very few people are privileged to see it under the present circumstances.
The next line answers the question:
तमक्रतु: पश्यति वितशोको
It means something to the effect: a person who is अक्रतु: without desires, वितशोको, without sorrows, पश्यति, sees, महिमानमात्मन: the greatness of the soul, धातोप्रसादात्, at the grace of the dhatus. The line states the eligibility criteria for being able to see the soul in four points. Let’s consider the first point in the present blog and the rest in the next ones.
The first point is that the person should be able to ‘see’ the greatness of the soul rather than just ‘know’ it: the line says that the person पश्यति, sees the greatness of the soul, not just जानति, knows the same. It means that he should have ‘ आत्मसाक्षात्कारं ‘, a direct experience of the soul.No one can ‘see’ the greatness of the soul by reading books or listening to sermons about it. One may come to ‘know ‘ the greatness of the soul through it but no one ‘sees’ the same through it. So having a direct experience of the soul is necessary for being able to see it. Who can have such an experience? Only the one who has put in a sufficient amount of spiritual sadhana. So performing spiritual sadhana is essential on the part of everyone who wants to ‘see’ rather than just ‘know ‘.
Let’s perform spiritual sadhana under the able guidance of a proper guru and thereby ‘see’ the greatness of the soul.
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The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the epic poem Mahabharat written by Shri Ved Vyasa. Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Arjun and Shri