Faith

Body-soul connection

The Chandogya Upanishad explains how jivatmas unite with the Supreme One during deep sleep, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse. But this does not mean total union with Paramatma.

During deep sleep (sushupti), jivatmas are united with the Paramatma, which means they are not aware of themselves or of their resting in Paramatma. Once they wake up, they become aware of their identity, whatever that might be — a tiger, or a lion, or a wolf, or a fly or a mosquito. They are like honey collected by bees from different flowers. All the honey collected is stored in the beehive, and we cannot isolate the different sources of the honey because all the honey is now one whole collection, without any individual drops standing out. Rivers coming from different directions all enter the sea. Once they enter the sea, can you pinpoint where in the ocean the water from different rivers is located?

The jivatma resting in the Paramatma during the state of sushupti is different from the atma reaching the Supreme One, as a result of acquiring Brahma jnana. Jivatmas that unite with Paramatma in sushupti state rise again to continue with their samsaric life. Once asleep, they lose their identity. When they wake up, they are again fully conscious of who they are. Their losing their sense of identity during sushupti is as temporary as sleep itself. Brahman, which has all the jivas as body, is very subtle.

Terms like “Tat” and “Tvam” used in the Upanishad refer to Brahman. Uddalaka tells his son Svetaketu that Paramatma, which is the cause of all entities, is in Svetaketu too, for this Brahman has all jivatmas as His Sareera (body).

The statement “That Thou art” does not mean oneness of Jivatma with Paramatma, but indicates this body-soul connection of Jivatma and Paramatma.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 7, 2021 5:16:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/body-soul-connection/article18071995.ece

Next Story