What Is The Soul?
One of our visitors to the ISKCON centre, where I reside, offered to me a lift to anywhere I needed to go in the city, so I said, “Drop me off in Kensington Market. From there I’ll do some walking and eventually make my way back.”
Kensington is an interesting destination for free thinkers, curious browsers, where there are coffee shops, shops for neat trinkets, vintage clothes, sushi eateries and such. Of course I’m not really there to do any of those things, nor do I get ensnared by the Christmas hoopla, although I can appreciate the original spirit behind it. There was a buzz in the air with money turning over. Shoppers are busy, they are rocking, but souls are not necessarily rolling. The purchase of items which puts many shoppers into debt cannot provide the stimulation required to keep the inner self happy. There exists a basic ignorance of one’s true identity.
When I finally returned from a much needed walk and chant, I opened to a page from the Gita that offers so much in the department of knowing one’s self, and so here is 2.17, the verse and a portion of the purport:
“Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.”
“This verse more clearly explains the real nature of the soul which is spread all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body; it is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasures of the body in part or as a whole. This spreading of consciousness is limited within one’s own body. The pains and pleasures of one body are unknown to another, therefore each and every body is the embodiment of an individual soul and the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness.” -Srila Prabhupada