IVY Swadhyay - What is the soul?

The January 2016 IVY youth swadhyay taken by Brahmnishts Minalben and Vikrambhai focused on two topics – What is the soul? and Navdha Bhakti.

So, what is the Soul?

When the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, asked the above question; Krupalu Dev answered it in the letter number 530.

“Just like an earthen pot or a piece of cloth are material objects, the soul is a conscious object. Material objects are of ephemeral (short- lived) nature and cannot retain their form for very long. However, the soul remains unchanged forever. ‘Knowledge’ is that distinguishing characteristic of the soul which is absent in the transient, non-living objects.

Human beings have so many layers –expectations and disappointments, money and health issues, pre-judgments and desires, complicated relationships.  These layers create hindrances in our path to reach the pinnacle of eternal happiness. Added to that, we have reduced tolerance of any real or perceived shortcomings in other people, we also constantly trying to defend ourselves, we have joined this mad race to outdo one another, such that we are loosing our mental equilibrium and are trapped in this ‘misplaced blame game’, where we get angry and want to hurt or harm others. Actually, the one that is harmed here is our Soul, which accumulates layers of bad karma.

We face innumerable triggers throughout the day; sometimes something very trivial triggers a sharp reaction from us, which on reflection, we may regret.  To help young mumukshus overcome their shortcomings, various tasks were given:

  • Think before you Act
  • Reflect before you Respond
  • Be positive, Change Perception

Sadhanas were also given to the young aspirants:

  • I shall go to the Derasar everyday for darshan of the Lord
  • I shall repeat “Hu Atma Chhu” at least 5 times each day
  • I shall say the Kshmapana every night before going to sleep.

The second half of the swadhaya was the continuation of the discourse on ‘NAVDHA BHAKTI’ by Brahmnisht Vikrambhai.

If one introspects, one realizes that they are constantly mulling over past incidences or are preoccupied with the future.  This gives rise to needless fears and worries. Moreover, we get carried away by the emotions that arise with our thoughts, thus enslaving our soul.

We constantly use our mind to store and remember information, and rarely use our mind or thoughts for contemplating on Guru’s wisdom-filled words or His virtues?  Only when one is immersed in the Guru’s words or virtues, can he be blessed with bhakti-bhaav, which in turn is the cause of shedding bad karmas.

Who should we remember? The omnipresent LORD TIRTHANKARS

Why should we remember them? Because of their Great virtues

How should we remember them? By allowing the enlightened Guru to lead us on the path and help us understand the greatness of Lord Tirthankars.

When should one remember them? If possible – Every moment, or at least as often as possible

By immersing oneself in the virtues of the Lord and the Enlightened Masters, a spiritual bridge connects the Lord to his Disciple, and a holy connection is established.  The Lord and his wisdom will now become the focal point of our existence, thus divine thoughts will now replace the useless, trivial thoughts.  If we remember the Lord often, we would be able to comprehend His greatness and become eligible to adopt virtues in our lives