Most of my life I have been intrigued by the concept of the Soul. Every faith speaks of it,many scholars have written about it, both in the past and in what is called New Age literature. In common parlance too we refer to Soul so often. Yet it is the most ambiguous of concepts to truely comprehend. My curiosity led me to research what the different scriptures say about it – all refer to it. Later I sought to understand its metaphysical significance and reality and even experience its presence mystically through meditation, poetry, music and literature. This blog entitled SEARCH FOR THE SOUL therefore attempts to  share whatever I have gleaned from diverse sources on the subject and to invite feed back which could help to enlighten me further.

From childhood we are led to believe that we are more than the physical self represented by the body – that in fact our essence is spiritual. We are told that at our core there is a Soul. This core, most faiths hold, is constant, indestructable, immortal and eternal. Most faiths underline that this core, the soul, survives after the body perishes at death. Thus at funerals and at memorials we often hear people whisper ‘may his soul rest in peace’ or ‘may his soul ascend to heaven’ etc. When uttering such good wishes or blessings do we actually give any thought to what we may indeed be referring to?

While some faiths speak of the ascent of the soul to heaven or sometimes descent to hell, others speak of its reincarnation in future births in other bodies.

The soul goes by different names in different faiths, cultures and languages. Soul, for english speaking Christians, Atma for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains and Rooh for Muslims. For Christians and Muslims it is not the living person but his soul or Rooh that eventually stands before the Almighty for judgement. For Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, the Atma passes from one lifetime to another getting embodied again and again before its final release from compulsive embodiment. This release from rebirth is called Moksha, Nirvana or enlightenment.

These appear to be varied interpretations and explanations of the same essential truth, depending on the cultural backdrop and metaphysical dogmas of the concerned faiths. But unless we go deeper and explore such concepts and relate them to individual experiences, we can no more understand this universal concept of soul, than when we began. so let us then commence our journey of exploration to see if we understand the soul as anything more than a word in our language.

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