Someone asked me, ‘What does the soul contain? Where is the mind in our body? How do I know it is my higher self taking decisions in my day to day life happenings?’. Here are some points which you can think over if they make sense to you. Some of this is from standard books and some from my personal experiences and understanding.
‘What does the soul contain?’
Your Soul is your awareness, a spark of divine energy. There is an energy inside you which is aware, conscious, alert, intelligent. It is because of this awareness that you animate this ‘body’ (your ‘body’ has 5 layers, detailed post here). When the Soul’s aware energy exits the body, the body loses awareness ie dies. Your Soul is constant, unchangeable, eternal, indestructible. The body is obviously destructible. The body exists only for the sake of creating and enjoying/enduring karma and its repercussions. The horoscope can analyse just this 5-layered body. The horoscope cannot be used to analyse the Soul. The enveloping layers of the body are sometimes called ‘Maya’ ie the undefinable or ‘Deha-buddhi’ ie the intellect limited by the enveloping body. This geometric envelope obscures the light of the Soul. Thus your awareness is obscured, lowered and limited to only the body, you cannot perceive or experience your real nature. You are made to forget that you are pure awareness, pure Soul. It is like a fog drawn over your real Awareness. As you forget that you are the Soul, you start believing that you are the body.
Most of your clients will be in this category, they fully believe that they are the 5 layers of the body. Thus they create more karma, the impulses of their past karmas affect them deeply, they deeply laugh/cry and enjoy/endure Maya. You can chart out their life reasonably accurately using their own horoscope’s patterns. Your horoscope shows your Prarabdha karma ie how much karma have you have decided to go through in this life. The body will continue till this target is achieved then dissolve. And the horoscope also shows the possibility of Agami karma, ie how new karma will be created in this life. (Sanchita karma is your total karmic backlog)
Some people who have done practices to increase their ‘awareness’ understand that they are not the body but are the pure Soul. These people know this as a concept but they have not experienced this in the real sense as yet. They are working on it, doing their regular spiritual practice with intention. These people are somewhat immune to the ravages of karma on the body, but they are still influenced by it. You might see this happening to yourself if you are a spiritual aspirant. eg you are committed to your spiritual practice and in one critical transit of Saturn or Rahu/Ketu or Jupiter (slow planets), you lose all your focus. The material beckons you again, you want to go out with your girlfriend/ boyfriend or you suddenly feel that spiritual path is going well so now it is time to enjoy some material comforts. Your Deha-buddhi or Maya tries to assert itself and to pull you away from your pursuit of Awareness. These are testing times, if you lose focus now, you slip very badly.
As you advance deeper into your spiritual practice, as you increase your awareness levels, you get nearer to the pure Soul Experience. As you reach closer to your destination, the karmic impacts lessen but the karmic tests become even more subtle. If you cross all these and Realise the Soul, you are called a Jivan-mukt. At this stage, you are pure Soul, your awareness, consciousness, intelligence has reached the highest possible position, this is called the Advaita state. You experience yourself continually. You are aware of yourself all the time, in every state, in every condition of the body, you remain immersed in Intelligence, you Know you are the Soul. At this state your Soul has removed the envelope Maya, dissolved the Deha-buddhi and Seen itself forever. The fog has cleared and the light shines through. Now the Soul may remain in the body till its prarabdha karma is exhausted, ie till the physical dissolution of the body. But during this period its Awareness is Eternal. During this period from Realisation to the death of the physical body, the Soul is completely dissociated from the karma of the body. Whatever may happen to the body, You are not concerned in any way whatsoever. And you are Pure Awareness now, you do not create any more karma, ie no Agami karma is created and Sanchita karma is burnt the instant you See yourself.
So in short, Soul is Awareness. When you experience yourself as the Pure Awareness, the Nirvishesh Brahma, you attain Nirgun Moksh.
The soul is located ‘behind’ the Ajnya chakra in a dedicated ‘ashta-padma-dala-chakra, ‘eight-petalled Lotus’ chakra. This is a specialised chakra, ie the Brahmanadi within the Sushumna nadi loops around itself here and creates this specific energy vertex. These loops are in all possible dimensions. The Hamsa Upanishad describes this chakra in detail. The Soul resides here in an energy form called ‘Hamsa‘. (This Hamsa is composed of the energies of Agni, Soma Rudra, Rudrani, Kaal, Om and Bindu.)
The possible eight tendencies of this chakra are – 1. doing virtuous actions, 2. sleep, laziness etc, 3. doing cruel actions, 4. doing inauspicious deeds, 5. sensual gratification, 6. doing movement type of activities, 7. indulging in lust/sexual desires and 8. desire for accumulating material stuff. These eight tendencies are linked to the eight loops of the chakra. ie when Soul/awareness is linked to a particular loop, tendencies linked to it are activated in the body. When awareness exists ‘between’ these loops, there is indifference to material pleasures, an ascetic mindset. The three states of existence, waking state, dreaming state, deep sleep state are linked to the central axis of this ‘lotus’, at the ‘stamen’, ‘basal sepals’ and ‘innermost seed’ of this ‘lotus’. The fourth state, Turiya is possible when the Awareness leaves this chakra. And the final Turiya-teet, the beyond Turiya, ie Moksh is possible when this Awareness merges itself in the Eternal Non-dual. The Upanishad says that 1crore jaap/ repeats of the Hamsa mantra lead to Moksh.
Where is the mind in our body?
There are 5 layers of the body. Physical body is anna-mai-kosh. Subtle body is the three layers of pran-mai-kosh, mano-mai-kosh and vidnyan-mai-kosh. Causal body is the anand-mai-kosh. Then is the Soul within these multiple layers. This complex is called a Jiv-atma, the individual soul, as it is enveloped in this body/karmic baggage.
Mind is the Mano-mai-kosh, which is concerned with mental processes and emotions. Here emotions are on a relatively low level as the power of discrimination does not exist in this layer. ie all living animals who can understand pain have this layer active in their bodies. This layer is a part of the subtle body, sookshma sharir, controlled by the Moon in your horoscope. When you physically die, the outermost layer, physical body, anna-mai-kosh is discarded. So when you exist in the Pitr-lok, the dimension of the spirits, your soul is enveloped by a 4-layered body. Imprints stored in these 4 layers require several life-times to be rebalanced. This is why you can gauge your past lives from your horoscope especially in the Sudarshan chakra format.
‘How do I know it is my higher self taking decisions in my day to day life happenings?’
A personal example. Quite a few years ago, I was suffering because of an intense black ritual done by someone to damage me. A very deep damage on all levels. So I was doing healings, taking help from genuinely kind tantriks, ie using ‘white magic’. The pain was very intense, recovery was slow and I was really very scared. Someone I trusted, almost a brother, offered to do a secret ritual to help me, he did not give me the details. I asked my brother for his opinion. He in good faith said to give it a shot. So despite not being very convinced myself, I agreed and that person did the ritual. My conscience was in doubt but in the temptation of hastening my recovery, I agreed to get it done. But this was not the correct way, I actually got scolded badly by a very high level divinity. Then I suffered through these additional karmic repercussions. And it was a burden on my conscience. I had asked my brother for his opinion, the person who did it was genuine, they both wanted the best for me. But the final decision was mine, I had agreed despite the doubt raised by my conscience. Thus I suffered through the karma, I had regrets and felt very ashamed. So whoever might suggest something to you, however tempting it maybe, if your higher self/ Antaratma/ conscience is in doubt, it will come to a bad end. And it is your decision, so you alone are responsible for what happens to you.
The inner light of your Soul is your conscience, the Antar-atma. If you are doing spiritual practice, stilling your mind and emotions, the voice of your conscience is all the more audible.
Suppose you are in a situation and you have to choose between options. Naturally you will have evaluated the material aspects of both the options in depth. You know what will give you your desired material results. Now you put it to your conscience. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus between your eyebrows, look in your third eye. Do some Pranayam. Recite Soham (or any other mantra you prefer) a few times with your breath in your mind, manasik jaap. Still your emotions and your scattered thoughts. Then gently think about the option you propose to take. Do you feel right about it? What kind of visions are triggered by this thought? Do you see a flash of bright happy colors, bright lights or depressed dark colors, blackness? Does your heart feel lighter or heavier. You might have physical signs like hair standing on end or feeling cold or a constriction at your throat or something. Your conscience will find some way and give you a sign that the action you chose is appropriate or not. And it will give you very clear signals. Once you have your answer do not ask your question again and again. And once you are clear about your decision, do not listen to others who might try to sway or convince you to go against your conscience. However tempting it may be do not go against your inner voice. This voice comes from your Soul itself.
I do not advocate using horoscope, runes, cards or any divination tools for these conscience related decisions. These divination tools are more linked to the sub-conscious mind. Sometimes cards show you what you consciously want to see, I have seen this happen several times. Or you choose to see those meanings in them which you desire on the material front. So you deceive yourself, attracted by the temporary gains you think you see.
(Classic example, you get 4 of Cups ‘Luxury’ in the Thoth tarot, for a relationship question. This card can show a potentially emotionally nurturing relationship but there is a very deep imbalance in it. This card indicates that you desire deep emotional fulfilment, but this relationship under question is the wrong way to go about it. This card represents temporary superficial attractiveness with an undercurrent of deep stagnation. You have deep emotional needs but you are aggravating the imbalance by desiring things which you don’t really need! This relationship in question is a dead end and you need to focus on something else which gives you real and deep emotional satisfaction. Now which Tarot reader has read so much into the energies of the cards to give this sort of interpretation? And the name ‘Luxury’ can tempt you to get into the relationship and then into emotional trouble later.)
Your conscience goes deeper than the conscious or the sub-conscious mind. It is your actual Soul showing you its Light. For a brief moment the Light of the Soul pierces through the enveloping fog and shows you the direction most appropriate for you. And finally you are responsible for your decisions, whatever happens to you, happens by your choice.
So Choose well.