Existence of Soul - A truth or Myth
येsयं प्रेते बिचि कित् सा मनुष्येsस्तोत्येके नायस्तीकि चैके ।
एकद् विध्यमानुशिषृस्त्वथहि वराणामेषवरस्तृतीयः ।।
---- कठ उपनिषद
MEANS - There is no doubt when man dies some say that he is gone forever, that he dos not exist while others hold that he still lives; which of this is true?
The physics, philosophy, metaphysics and even religion are on their way to solve this question. Some believe it is to be true and some are trying to supress this question, say its false. These athestic agonistic people are known as Charvaka according to whom "The soul is not separate; it lives and dies with the body". So as long as the body is one, one must take the pleasures of life. According to them people believing in the existence of the soul are ignorant and superstitious fools moving blindly behind a false perception carried from generation to generation.
Be it saints, sinners, kings, beggars, men, women; amongst all common question regarding the existence of the soul always arises. Specially when there is a sudden encounter with death, the time for all of us stops and we really ask ourselves “What next?”. But truly speaking, need of the time asks for a scientific and physiological and psychological explanation to this question. Now materialistically one body is formed by the another body (of the parents as it is being said as per the science and DNA theories) i.e. one combination of the matter forms the other combination of the matter which further produces thoughts or intelligence; even mind and soul that are the functions of the brain. So it is the brain that brings the consciousness and death by its metabolic activities. Hence there arises no question of the existence of the soul, as the soul is the secretion of the brain. Once brain is dead then the soul cannot exist. Thus materialistic believe that the matter are the combinations are responsible for the creation of the mind and the ideas. That is the physical forces are metamorphosed into the soul; but for the agonistics how this metamorphosis takes place is a mystery.
Consciousness is not a single thing; it is a stream of the complex feelings. According to the Vedanta philosophy half of the universe is of the matter and rest half is that of soul or mind. Some of the agonistics try to find the soul, by dissecting the brain. If we say the soul exist, it entirely means we also do not exist after death. Now, this is not at all easy to believe that our individuality is lost forever after death.
There are many instances, that prove that the soul exists. I would like to give some practical examples; some times we are alone and tensed which engages us in our own ideas and thoughts; at that time we do not want to talk to anyone; at that point of time we someone like us, in ourselves who gives us the solution to all the problems. Then we talk, we talk truly with this person to relieve our pains and sorrows.
There are many instances like person appearing to his friends or family members after death. Which to some extent proves that the individuality of a person is not lost when he dies, which means soul exists somehow? But does this mean, soul also has its own individuality after it leaves a body? If we read Vedas, Epics, Quran, Bible; all say something about the soul, and the common thing that is said is that the soul is immortal, eternal, deathless and even birthless.
The Bhagvad says:
नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि
नैने दहति पावकः
न नैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो
न शोषयमिमारुहः ।।
MEANS: The soul of the man is un-destructible, it cant be pierced by sword; fire cant burn it, it cant be dried by the air and nor can water moisten it.
In almost every religion the funeral processions are carried out with the enchantment of the prayers and good thoughts for the place and solace of the departed soul. Even we do believe in heaven or hell, places where the soul can rest after death. There are many philosophies regarding the soul returning back to the world where from it departed, most famous example is mummification of the bodies by Egyptians. Christains and Muslims also believe in resurrection of the corpse, thus they burry the bodies. Hindus believe in external nature of the soul, the Panch Tatvas – Air, Water, Fire, Sky and Ether, thus burn the bodies so that these Tatvas can amalgamate in nature.
Thus the existence of the soul is not a subject matter of discussion it is the cause of life itself.