The Soul is like the sun.

September 27, 2011

Coming from a Jain family, Jainism has played a very significant role in my spiritual journey and has influenced me greatly. To me, this religion makes sense.

The main topic that comes up when it comes to Jainism is, the Soul.  According to Jainism, we are all Souls – we are not our bodies, not our possessions, not our emotions – we are Souls. The Soul is characterized as perfect and pure with infinite knowledge, infinite bliss and infinite perception. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten some great small lessons about this very topic and would love to share!

Most Jains will tell you that understanding the true nature of the Soul is the most difficult task when practicing Jainism. It’s the most important part and the most difficult part! This is why you can never get enough lessons on it.

Two weeks ago, I went to visit my family in NJ and was fortunate enough to revisit this topic. We are always searching for happiness and are always thinking about our miseries. The Soul is whole and complete as it is. It is full of happiness. It is not sad, mad, lonely, bored, unhappy, anxious, etc. It is difficult to think about it that way but, for me, it helps put life into perspective and helps me be peaceful and non-resistant to the momentary miseries/discomforts I may face. When I notice myself getting irritated or worrisome or sad, I try to bring myself back to the moment and remember that my soul is none of these things. This is very challenging and hard to apply to my life but I can only try to be more conscious.

So what did I learn in NJ to help me follow this? I got a very brilliant analogy: The Soul is like the sun. Just like the Soul, the sun is whole, complete, bright, powerful, everlasting, and perfect. Just like a Soul, the nature of the sun never changes – a few clouds may cover it for a while but, behind the clouds, lies a perfect and pure sun. Similarly, behind all the sadness, greed, anger, jealousy, etc., lies a perfect and pure Soul who feels none of these things. To get even deeper, all of these feelings have caused us to accumulate more and more karmas which, in turn, blurry our vision and keep us from seeing our true souls,  just as the clouds do to the sun.

So then, I was having breakfast with my mom this morning and she gave me another powerful analogy: The Soul is like the ocean. To keep it simple, if you think about the ocean for second, there is so much commotion and noise close to the shore but in the middle of the ocean, there is nothing but peace and purity. Similarly, our souls are peaceful and pure within but there is so much commotion outside of us which makes it harder for us to see and feel the peace and purity within us.

It’s hard to keep the conversation of the Soul short but that is all for now! These analogies help this challenging (understatement) topic get a little clearer for me – maybe it will for you, as well. Thanks for reading 😉 Jai Jinendra.

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