Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Understanding - Me, Mind, Body, Soul, Consciousness, Life and God.

If you’re into philosophy or spirituality, you would have often come across these seven terms:

  1. Mind
  2. Body
  3. Soul
  4. Consciousness
  5. Life
  6. God
  7. Me/I

Now most people, get confused in at least 2 of the above 7 concepts. I am going to try to explain (to the best of my ability) the difference by taking a small but simple example, which of-course, is just an example, nevertheless people can get a basic idea of what exactly this difference is.

Imagine a bucket filled with water. It has been placed in a room such that the sunlight falls directly on the bucket, and hence on the water. Now, you can see the image of the sun in the bucket. At the same time, the water will reflect the light that falls on it.

Now here, Sun is the original source, whose image can be seen in the bucket containing water. So the Sun is the “Paramatma” – the God. The reflected image is the “Atma” – the soul. The Bucket is the body. The water is the consciousness, and the activity on the surface is the mind. The consciousness is us/me/I/you. The activity on the surface of the water is the mind.

So then what is Life? Life is the unification of Mind, Body and Consciousness.

Let me give you a few examples to explain further. When a person is un-conscious, you hit him with water (splash water on his face) – the water represents the consciousness. It has no form of its own. It will take the shape of the bucket (body in this case) it is in. It will become dirty if the dust particles enter through the surface (bad thoughts enter through the mind).

Similarly, when a person dies, the bucket (body) is still there. The consciousness is gone, and hence the mind with it. Same thing happens when the consciousness is gone for a while – we call that person unconscious.
People like GuruNanak Dev, Prophet Mohammed, Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Shri Ram & Shri Krishna (Water) they all reflect that same light they receive from the Sun (God), thus illuminating the world. People start worshiping them, because they are only able to see the reflection, which almost looks like the Sun, and are illuminating the room (the world) they live in. The only difference would be, in case of Buddha, the water is yellow, so the illumination is yellow. In case of Jesus Christ, the water is White, so is the illumination, in case of Prophet Mohammed the illumination is Green, in case of Shri Ram or Shri Krishna, the illumination is Saffron.

But what happens if there is Mud or Greece in the bucket instead of Water? Then you get Osama-bin-Laden, Ajmal Kasab, Hitler and others like them. The problem you see, is not with the Sun. The problem is with the liquid inside the bucket.

Sometimes, it also happens that, the surface of water has oil in it – or some other liquid. In this case too, the reflection/image and the illumination is not perfect. This is what happens with you and me. So to get a perfect image, you need knowledge. Now you can’t do it yourself, because you’re the water mixed with oil. Someone else has to do it for you. This person is called – “Guru” or “mentor” who cleanses you, you takes the oil out of the water.

In principle, we always talk about the reflection but not the Sun. Once you have seen the Sun, and understood this concept, you will continue to respect the image/reflection, but will not confuse it with the source.


Again, this is just a simple example, so as to make it easier to understand. But for the basic level, it clarifies a lot of doubt. I mean, it did for me. Did it do for you too?

The above post is dedicated to my Guruji, from whom I learnt whatever I wrote above.

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