Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O Lord! Does the jeeva abide in the body of beings or is born in it? Why is it called jeeva? What is its true nature? Pray, tell me.
Where does it go when the mortal coil is shed? Where does it stay after leaving the body? How does it go into another body? Or, does it not get back at all? Please tell me.”
Shri Bhagawan uvācha, “O illustrious One! You have asked about the most guarded secret. It is exceedingly hard to be understood even by the gods, Indra and others and the sages.
O Raghunandana! This should not be revealed even by Me to any person. But I will tell you as I am very pleased with your devotion. Listen carefully.
This jeeva is the reality, Consciousness, infinity, the very embodiment of bliss, Supreme Self, the ultimate Light, unmanifest and the cause of the manifest world, the maya.
Eternal am I, pure, the Self of all, unattached, actionless, devoid of any kind of attributes and qualities and difficult to comprehend even by the mind.
I am not understood by any sense organs. I am the knower of everything. I am the knower of the entire world. There is no one who knows Me.
I am beyond the reach of all dynamic changes and atomic models.
Having known Me as the Brahman of the nature of bliss which is beyond words, expression and description, one does not fear anyone.
One who clearly sees all beings as abiding in Me only and Me in all beings does not hate or like or dislike anymore.
There is no delusion or sorrow for one who has understood, realized and experienced everything to be the very Self and who sees oneness of all.
The subtlest of the subtle Self does not makes itself known to beings. But it is seen by the astute and wise whose intellect has been trained and become subtle.
Associated with the beginningless ignorance, I am the creator of the world and its Supreme Lord with the world as yet undifferentiated into name and form. I am though the imperishable One.
Just as in pure Consciousness, all the three worlds are seen in the dream, so also this world seen, exists and is dissolved in Me.
I live with the nature of the jeeva associated with the multitude of ignorance with the five instruments of action, five instruments of knowledge and four internal functions of the mind, intellect, egoity and memory.
The combination of the five vital airs with the aforementioned attains the nature of the subtle body.
The Consciousness associated with ignorance is reflected in that. It is the actual individual known as the knower of this dynamic matrix of creation and the jeeva.
The jeeva is the enjoyer of the fruits of virtue and vice that are beginningless. It goes from here to the heavenly worlds and back to earth. It is also the experiencer of the states of dream and waking.
Just as a face will look dirty if the mirror is covered with black dirt, similarly the Self looks to be the enjoyer and doer due to ignorance and lack of discrimination and defects of the internal organ.
Because of the identification and superimposition of the Self and the mind and the notion of oneness, the Self appears to experience sorrow.
The rays of the sun at noon are seen by the desperate traveller in the desert as water.
Likewise, the untainted and unattached Self is seen by the deluded through the mind as having attributes of action, joy, sorrow and others due to their own ignorance.
The jeeva is located in the heart of the body made up of food that pervades up to the nails. Listen carefully to this. This body that is a lump of flesh gets the notion of I and mine because of false identification of the Self.
There is a heart in the middle of the body above the navel and below the neck that is pervaded by the vital airs that resembles a lotus stalk.
There is the heart lotus facing downwards with the subtle sacred opening. The jeeva called daharākāsha is located here.
The jeeva is to be understood to be subtle comparable to one hundredth of the tip of a hair divided into hundred parts. It is at the same time considered to be infinite and indivisible.
The nādis spread out from the heart everywhere like the filaments bound together in the flowers. The body is pervaded by these nādis.
The nādis are called hita because they give strength. They are believed to be 72,000 in number as per Yogins.
The nādis spread out from the heart like the rays from the sun. 101 of these are important spreading out in every direction.
Just as the rivers carry the water, similarly the nādis carry the fruits of one’s deeds both good and bad. The 101th nādi namely the suṣumnā bestows infinite good and carries the jeeva upwards straight to the pinnacle of the body.
The nādis move through their ten respective objects through the ten senses of knowledge and action for enjoyment of their results in dream, waking and others because of being the cause of pleasure, pain and others.
Passing through the nādi called suṣumnā, one gets liberated. The Consciousness conditioned by that is deemed to be the jeeva by the sages.
Just as Rahu though invisible is seen when it eclipses the moon, similarly the Self though all-pervasive is perceived by the subtle body.
Just as ether limited by the pot is seen when the pot is seen, similarly the Self is seen when governed by the subtle body.
Though static and wholesome, it is imagined to be moving just as the reflections of the Consciousness makes the body move towards the objects during the waking state and becomes manifested by the functions of the sensory organs and its objects.
The actionless Self pervades everything like the sun pervades the ten directions. The ways of the mind born of the subtle body go towards the objects through the nādis.
This body known as the subtle body does not perish till it undergoes the experiences of waking life in accordance with the past deeds. It attains release thereafter.
When ignorance in the embodiment is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self, that state of abiding in one’s own Self is called mukti.
Just as space attains the form of the pot that is filled with ether when the pot is shaped and just as space stays in its own form when the pot is destroyed, similarly, when the past deeds that result in the experiences of the waking state are exhausted, the enjoyment through dreams is ushered in by counteracting the experiences of the waking state based on the body.
The individual enters into the state of dream that is an uprising of mental imprints, a result of past deeds as ordained by God’s will. The dream world is created by the Lord, the Magician, by His maya.
The objects of experience in the dream and the instruments of knowing like the intellect and other beings produced by the past deeds have their focal point in the witness that is Consciousness in the form of mere residual impressions.
The self-luminous witness abides manifesting the above.
For the internal organs, there is the character of residual mental imprints brought on by memories of objects and experiences. Hence, the nature of the Supreme Self is of being a witness to those impressions.
The dream world induced by the past deeds of the jeeva is seen as merely the indentation of the residual mental imprints. It is also the form of the doer, object and action, just as the waking state.
The witness that is the Self is self-luminous with the intellect falling into sleep without remainder. Being a witness of mere residual impressions alone is said to be sleep.
Due to the impact of the dispositions of the past deeds, a person as a new born experiences residual mental imprints for the first few years due to their proximity.
In the youth, impelled by the sense organs, one sees dreams clearly due to the impact of their past deeds and their remainder.
When the time for departing to the next world arrives, one dreams about the forebodings of the next birth due to past deeds and experiences.
Just as the falcon becomes tired after a long flight in the sky and yearns to get back to its abode for rest and starts its homeward journey closing its wings, likewise the jeeva after moving about in the waking and dream states gets tired and attains union with Brahman, the Supreme Cause with all its tendencies lulled.
The intelligent jeeva merges in the Brahman in the heart while sleeping, taking everything with it including the actions of ignorance, residual mental imprints, objects and functions of the sensory organs and sensory organs by pulling them through the paths of the nādis.
The union of the entire world for the jeeva takes place in sleep in the unmanifest cause of the world called Ishwara in such a manner that it is full of bliss.
Just as the bliss experienced in the union with one’s dear wife is pure joy with no awareness of what is happening outside or inside, the spiritual experience is just as similar.
Attaining the state of Prājñā is not yet free from differences or its supplementaries; as is in the case of Vijñānā and Kāranā. Yet, the jeeva is said to be the same Consciousness.
When the jeeva experiences the bliss due to the subtle state of ignorance, it enables one to say that “I slept blissfully. I was not aware of anything.”
The ignorance is manifested by the witness alone. Hence, the recognition and understanding on waking that one is unaware springs forth.
These states of waking, dream and sleep are common to the beings in this earthly world as well as the gods in the heavenly worlds. After sleep, the residual mental imprints, impressions of past deeds and others arise due to ignorance like sparks from fire.
Just as a pot full of sea water immersed in the sea carries the water from the same sea while appearing different, the intelligent jeeva is also not different from the birthless Brahman.
Brahman, the cause appears as the intelligent jeeva. When the ignorance and its tendencies are dominant, the difference between Brahman and jeeva is seen and experienced. When these are dissolved, the differences too vanish.
Just as the one sun in the sky appears to be innumerable when reflected in various water bodies, similarly, the changeless Supreme Person appears to be coming and going.
O son of Dasaratha! Because of the defect of the mere delusion alone, every distortion is comprehensible in IT, which in its own nature transcends the body and others, is self-luminous and therefore, the Supreme Truth. You have now been told about the true nature of the jeeva.
[Siva Gita – Chapter 10 – Description of the true nature of the Soul – Slokas 1 – Slokas 62, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana]