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Dharmik Symbol Om
Dharmik Symbol Om

Knowing that you are pure consciousness





Knowing that you are pure consciousness

What is soul? There is a lot of confusion among people about it. Different religions describe it differently. Our discussion here is limited to soul according to Hinduism. Truly speaking, in Hinduism we do not call a soul a soul but self. The Abrahamic soul has a name, form, gender, children, ancestors, and attributes in the afterlife, which last forever as if it is frozen in time, but the soul of Hinduism is formless, without permanent relationships and without distinguishing qualities. In this discussion for convenience we will use both soul and self interchangeably. According to Hinduism the souls are universal. Their number is uncertain. They are also uncreated and independent. Some schools hold that their number is fixed forever. However, some schools disagree. There is also a disagreement among various schools of Hinduism about whether souls are dependent or independent. Some believe that they are totally independent, while some hold that they are eternal, but dependent upon god. In some schools, the self is the highest and only reality and everything else is a projection or illusion. In the universe it is brahman, the supreme self, and in the beings it is atman, the individual soul. It is the same self that appears differently in different aspects of creation. Other schools consider them separate, although they may share many common features. The soul in a plant and that in a human being are exactly the same, with no difference whatsoever. If there is any difference between them it is in their embodiment, their degree of bondage, and how long they may continue in the mortal world. The souls are described in the vedas as eternal, indestructible, infinite, indescribable, ungraspable, invisible, formless, effulgent, all knowing, immutable, intelligent, and pure.

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