SOUL-The characteristic of the soul is Consciousness.We can not observe the soul from our senses.But its presence can be felt from Consciousness.Just as on a cloudy day,we are unable to see the Sun.However,due to the light of the sun,we are sure that it is a day time.Similarly,if there is Consciousness,there is presence of Soul.
This Consciousness is spread through out the body.Everyone is conscious about pain/pleasure of body in part or as a whole.But one’s pleasure/pain is unknown to another person.Hence,each body is an embodiment of an individual Soul.That means innumerable souls residing in different bodies of humans,insects,reptiles,birds,bacteria,etc.
The physical body of a living being undergoes changes over the period of time due to reactions of cells.For eg.A man grows from a child to a boy to an adult to old age & finally dies.However,the nature of soul is permanent.After the death of the body,Soul moves on to next body just as we retire old clothes & put on the new ones.
The Soul is imperishable,immeasurable,eternal,never born & can never die.
SUPREME SOUL-I love when I talk,write or read about the Supreme Soul because I’ve had my share of experience & thus I’m able to relate with it.
The best way to understand is this.Supreme soul is a whole while individual soul is its part.Although quality/nature of the two are same,that is both can never be created nor destroyed,both are eternal & so on but still an individual soul can never be equal to Supreme.For eg.
1 & infinity both are numbers.Although nature of both is same but 1 can never be equal to infinity.Infinity is a whole of which 1 itself is a part.
Supreme soul & Individual soul are compared to two friendly birds sitting on a tree.One of the birds(individual soul) is eating the fruits of tree & the other(Supreme) is simply watching his friend.The soul is struggling very hard on the material body of tree but as soon as he turns its face towards the Supreme,the soul becomes free from all lamentations.
The soul & Supreme soul resides in the heart of every living being.
The individual Soul is trapped under the endless cycle of birth & death.It is due to the forgetful nature of the soul with the Supreme which is the cause of its changing its position from one body to another.The Soul can only be liberated from this cycle if it can understand its relationship with Supreme.This can only be possible when the Soul is born in Human realm.Humans,alone have the ability to practice & teach Dharma & hence get enlightened to realize the Supreme ‘Self’.
Excerpt from Bhagvad Gita