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Evolution of Soul..

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thebigthinkg

Active member
I had an interesting, thought provoking discussion with Sashank Sriram on my Vedic studies blog. I thought of presenting it for a larger discussion. While I may sound like dismissive of many spiritual practices, I just want to clarify that I am not. I am just presenting an alternative, rational approach which I believe was the approach of Rishis who were indeed scientists of their age, in my understanding.

Sashank Sriram

Hi,

I just read your blog on Vedic Studies and it is very interesting. You described the purpose of existence as the expansion and evolution of the Supreme Soul. I just have some questions in mind and I would really like it if you answer it to me.


If the purpose of the soul is to evolve continuously, until it reaches a state of absolute knowledge, then I understand that the soul was immature at the beginning of the universe. Is that what you meant..? What was in existence before the creation of the universe?

My Answer


Very good and great question


Sashank Sriram,


Thanks.... :)


My Answer


In my understanding, Nasadiya suktam says the soul wanted to evolve and realize itself.. It 'self'..


Our universe is a result of that expansion/evolution of that supreme consciousness. The Atman or Supreme Consciousness, evolves into quantum world, force fields, thermodynamics, biological life etc wherein consciousness level evolves one after another.. As biological beings evolve with more knowledge and intelligence, it is more and more closer to that realization of the Self.


As consciousness level rises and rises and builds more and more, we move farther away from our starting point. For eg., we have more knowledge, but less instincts than tribes that lived centuries ago, as we move far away from nature.

But when we go deeper and deeper and have more understanding, we convert more of that instincts into higher level knowledge that can be analyzed and processed. Thus we are in the process of realizing our-selves.

Will the evolving 'Intelligence' of this Universe reach that goal of 'Self' realization..? I don't know..

So its like, you want to realize yourself.. You are not immature.. You want to know your 'self' because you are inquistive or just have a lot of time at hand, not worrying about day to day living... You follow some rituals (say yajnas) rules procedures to attain that realization.. This is what is happening with that Supreme consciousness, in my view.

That Supreme consciousness is performing this Yajna. This Universe is a result of Yajna, a sacrifice, where one is sacrificed to build another and more complex beings. There are laws (dharma) and Order (Rta) that guides this Yajna. The result of this Yajna is our Universe.

Thus Atman, the Supreme Soul or Supreme consciousness, when it expands becomes brAhman (evolutionary soul).

Nasadiya suktam says what was behind these or before these cannot be known or only partly known.. Once we get into quantum world, this 'partly known' is the way of life. For eg, when we measure velocity or momentum of a particle in quantum world its position cannot be known at all.. It is because position does not exist, when we look at momentum.. If position is known, then momentum does not exist..

When we analyze matter, consciousness does not exist. When we analyze consciousness, matter does not exist.

Sashank Sriram


Thanks.........I would also like to know, because we cannot do everything in 100 years of lifetime, how is it possible to achieve that transcendental state? We are also not going to remember our past births, taking into consideration that reincarnation is true


My Answer


Our desire to realize our 'Self' derives from the desire of the Supreme Self to realize itself. The desire of the Supreme Self resulted in our Universe being converted from a bundle of energy or consciousness (or whatever that was) into bundle of fermions and bosons and evolving further.

The same desire manifests in us and takes us through different methods like meditation, Penance etc.

DhyAnam as a procedure makes our brain and body better and prepare ourselves to gain more knowledge. It is a wholesome exercise.
Tapas is 'heat' or 'thermal energy' is a measure huge 'motion or movement or hard-work of particles'. Tapas on anything is working hard to achieve it, exhibiting that energy.

I think people have mis-understood these and created a big 'halo' out of them.. :) - that is my view.

Transcendental meditation helps. But a transcendental state helps only so far as it sharpens our intellect. It is not true realization.

Vedic philosophy is not giving up or achieving a state of 'Nirvana'. It is seeking more and more. It is evolving newer deeper knowledge in everything around us.

In my view we need to be like Rishis. Rishis were indeed doing what scientists are doing now. That is to 'observe' and develop knowledge. They did not give up anything. They were acquiring more and more in a sustainable way.

We need to acquire more and more knowledge. More science more technology that helps us to understand nature better, use nature but does not destroy it.

If our seeking knowledge destroys nature then we will also be destroyed. So we need to evolve knowledge in a balanced way.


Universe is about grow or perish. Growing or evolving or expanding is Brahman. If there is no Brahman we perish. If there are wrong moves by us in that evolutionary path that stops the evolution, nature will destroy us and start afresh again.

Even our evolution is the same. Grow or Perish. We will perish if we are static. We will perish if we grow unsustainably. There is no other way except to grow but to grow/evolve sustainably.


Sashank Sriram


Are there other routes to accomplish this realization, in this highly complicated diverse world?


My Answer


In my understanding till now, Vedas see biological beings and their consciousness as an evolution of the Supreme Consciousness.


This is almost pretty much what modern science says except that science does not understand consciousness as it tries to identify or locate consciousness as a finite item. As I explained previously, Consciousness is more a 'quantum' item which cannot be found at all, when the matter aspect is seen.


So the question is, to evolve sustainably to higher intelligence levels (real higher intelligence) is just science enough..?


While science is purely materialistic, vedas by describing this process as a process of evolution of consciousness, brings a balancing perspective to it..

I would say we need to explore more and understand our vedic roots, which gives us the perspective that we are a product of that consciousness and it is our responsibility to evolve sustainably as otherwise we will get destroyed. We need to figure out the ways to evolve sustainably.

There are several practices that people developed like tantric, substance abuse, agnosticism (of naga sadhus who do not abhor anything) etc in search of that 'Self' realization. But these were developed because people thought they can realize the Supreme consciousness within them..

When we are the thoughts of that supreme consciousness, it is simply impossible for us to realize our 'brain' or our 'supreme conscsiouness' by abusing our brain that was made of few pounds of protein and fat.. We can at the most 'fake' it. We need to understand that we are the embodiment of that consciousness.


As Nasadiya suktam says one cannot understand what is behind all this fully. So we need to respect that 'will' of that evolution and keep evolving ourselves.. That is the way. This is my view of what the original vedic seers taught..


Sashank Sriram


Thank you very much for allocating your time to clear my doubts. Bye


Me


Welcome.


-TBT
 
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Consciousness is neither evolved nor diminished.It is subjective existence according to the body in which we are born. Like the way sun's reflection is not properly reflected in dirty,drainage water, our consciousness will not get its full exposure in lesser living beings.It is not getting evolved but our understanding is according to the evolution of ourselves from single cell to superior intelligent organisms :pray:
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member

My Answer


In my understanding, Nasadiya suktam says the soul wanted to evolve and realize itself.. It 'self'..



-TBT


Firstly...very very informative to start with.


I have a few questions though..would present it one by one.

I do agree with the Evolution of Consciousness Theory as it seems to be the "missing link" that Science is searching for in the Theory of Evolution.

My first question is related to the line you wrote:

In my understanding, Nasadiya suktam says the soul wanted to evolve and realize itself.. It 'self'..


1)Was it really the soul that wanted to evolve and realize itself or was it the mind that wanted to evolve and realize what lies beyond?

'wanted to evolve" is technically a desire....does a soul have the faculty to have a desire or is it the mind that has the faculty for desire?


In fact Verse 4 of the Nasadiya Sukta mentions about desire and the seed born from the mind कामस्तदग्रे समवर्तताधि मनसो रेतः प्रथमं यदासीत्

There is no mention of the soul wanting to evolve.

Please clear my doubts.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

The mind may have the desire to evolve. It is one reality. The greater truth is that it is the jivatma which evolves. When it evolves, the mind also evolves because mind is more a reflection of the jivatma.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Consciousness is neither evolved nor diminished.It is subjective existence according to the body in which we are born. Like the way sun's reflection is not properly reflected in dirty,drainage water, our consciousness will not get its full exposure in lesser living beings.It is not getting evolved but our understanding is according to the evolution of ourselves from single cell to superior intelligent organisms :pray:

Well written..makes 100% sense.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Renuka,

The mind may have the desire to evolve. It is one reality. The greater truth is that it is the jivatma which evolves. When it evolves, the mind also evolves because mind is more a reflection of the jivatma.

Dear Sravna,


I have a feeling we do not really fully understand the true meaning of Consciousness.

To a great extent we are very much dependent on the mind for almost everything.

Its mostly a bundle of thoughts that even gives rise to an idea of Consciousness.

I would not entirely agree that the mind is more of a reflection of Jeevatma.

Going by any concept of Jeevatma....Jeevatma animates the body...its gives the body the needed power supply to function.

It makes the mind think...but it does not think..it makes the eyes see but it does not see..it makes the ears hear but it does not hear..each sense organ/faculty functions becos of the presence of the background Jeevatma yet Jeevatma is not responsible for any of the actions of the mind and sense organs.

Its just like the electric supply to a lap top...it activates the lap top but it is not responsible for the text we type on line.

Therefore the mind can not be a reflection of Jeevatma.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Sravna,


I have a feeling we do not really fully understand the true meaning of Consciousness.

To a great extent we are very much dependent on the mind for almost everything.

Its mostly a bundle of thoughts that even gives rise to an idea of Consciousness.

I would not entirely agree that the mind is more of a reflection of Jeevatma.

Going by any concept of Jeevatma....Jeevatma animates the body...its gives the body the needed power supply to function.

It makes the mind think...but it does not think..it makes the eyes see but it does not see..it makes the ears hear but it does not hear..each sense organ/faculty functions becos of the presence of the background Jeevatma yet Jeevatma is not responsible for any of the actions of the mind and sense organs.

Its just like the electric supply to a lap top...it activates the lap top but it is not responsible for the text we type on line.

Therefore the mind can not be a reflection of Jeevatma.

Dear Renuka,

By reflection I mean the lower reality of jivatma. Lower realities are charcterized by changes. Thoughts are constantly produced in a mind and actions constantly happen in a body. The higher reality which is the jivatma is more stable. In my view it changes or evolves between births. This is reflected in the minds characteristics in the subsequent birth.
 

auh

New member
I tend to agree partly with the line of thinking presented in the OP, but with a difference.

There is, and can never be any true realization. IMO, there is no differentiation between soul and brahman (or consciousness). There is a core (call it brahman or whatever) that probably evolves in an effort (or accident), from a latent stage, to idetify and explore itself. The different forms - sentient and non-sentient - are all various modes of evolution for the core to experience itself. The experience is what counts, and the progression will continue, probably to a stage of advanced life form that would be able to bend the laws of nature as we know it now.

Forget about karma and dharma ! Evolution is but an identity crisis :)
 

sravna

Well-known member
Forget about karma and dharma !
Fortunately or Unfortunately you can't.

There is no way you can bend the laws of nature. It is taken care of by the timeless aspect of nature. If you think you are bending the laws of nature it is only an illusion of bending.
 
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thebigthinkg

Active member
Consciousness is neither evolved nor diminished.It is subjective existence according to the body in which we are born. Like the way sun's reflection is not properly reflected in dirty,drainage water, our consciousness will not get its full exposure in lesser living beings.It is not getting evolved but our understanding is according to the evolution of ourselves from single cell to superior intelligent organisms :pray:

I slightly differ.

I wrote 'consciousness level' evolves in us. All matter and beings have the same 'amount' of consciousness. The level is not about high or low. The level is also not about exposure to that Supreme Consciousness.

Net-net all matter and beings may have the same 'amount' of consciousness. They may have the same exposure. A stone, a tree, a snake, a neanderthal, a homo-sapien all have the same exposure to the Supreme Consciousness, net-net. They are equally intelligent, net-net.

I would say this Consciousness manifests in matter and beings as 'in-born' instincts and a higher level knowledge.

What I call as 'instincts' is what science calls as a 'Chance' element. One in a million or so does not obey a particular law or a mistake happens. That is the 'Chance'. That's an instinct. This Chance or what I call as Instinct has driven the evolution of Universe at all stages.

As consciousness level evolves in us, we are traveling away from the root, we lose our instincts, but evolve knowledge that can analyze the information around us and get to similar results our instincts provide.

This means that an atom has huge instincts and nil/little knowledge, a biological compound has high instincts and low knowledge and a modern human being has lesser instincts than knowledge.

This evolution of 'Self- Realization' is going on and on.

We can't say a tree is less 'intelligent' than us or has lesser consciousness exposure than us.

I think all matter and beings are ONE family. It is just the ratio of instincts to knowledge that is different across matter and beings. 'Vasu-deva Kudumbakam..'

-TBT
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
I tend to agree partly with the line of thinking presented in the OP, but with a difference.

There is, and can never be any true realization. IMO, there is no differentiation between soul and brahman (or consciousness). There is a core (call it brahman or whatever) that probably evolves in an effort (or accident), from a latent stage, to idetify and explore itself. The different forms - sentient and non-sentient - are all various modes of evolution for the core to experience itself. The experience is what counts, and the progression will continue, probably to a stage of advanced life form that would be able to bend the laws of nature as we know it now.

Forget about karma and dharma ! Evolution is but an identity crisis :)

I agree with your post. It is well written. Thanks.

Our desire to realize our 'Self' derives from the desire of the Supreme Self to realize itself.
If Supreme self is all knowing who made the "Self" to have the "Ignorance". Where did the ignorance come from to be done away with "Knowledge".
If the water was pure and calm the image of the sun too will be clear, there has to be an external agent to "Muddy up" the water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avidya_(Hinduism)
The effect of avidya is to suppress the real nature of things and present something else in its place. In effect it is not different from Maya or illusion. Avidya relates to the individual Self (Ātman), while Maya is an adjunct of the cosmic Self (Brahman). In both cases it connotes the principle of differentiation of an experienced reality into the subject ('I') and an object, as is implicit in human thinking. Avidya stands for that delusion which breaks up the original unity (refer: nonduality) of what is real and presents it as subject and object and as doer and result of the deed. What keeps humanity captive in Samsara is this avidya. This ignorance,"the ignorance veiling our true self and the truth of the world", is not lack of erudition; it is ignorance about the nature of 'Being' (Sat). It is a limitation that is natural to human sensory or intellectual apparatus. This is responsible for all the misery of humanity. Advaita Vedanta holds that the eradication of it should be humanity's only goal and that will automatically mean realisation of the Self (Ātman).
 
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renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
'Vasu-deva Kudumbakam..'

-TBT

I hope you don't mind the correction here.

Many a times I see this word written as above and many people think its Vasudeva.

The actual word is Vasudhaiva...which is made up of the following words due to Sandhi rules of Sanskrit.

Vasudha(the world/earth) +Eva(Verily is) = Vasudhaiva.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member

My Answer


Our desire to realize our 'Self' derives from the desire of the Supreme Self to realize itself. The desire of the Supreme Self resulted in our Universe being converted from a bundle of energy or consciousness (or whatever that was) into bundle of fermions and bosons and evolving further.


If the Supreme Self needs to "realize' itself...no wonder the last verse of the Nasadiya Sukta goes as:

इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न ।
यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो अङ्ग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥७॥

Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.[SUP][

[/SUP]

So no one including the Supreme Self ever "knows" I guess!
 

tbs

Well-known member
If the Supreme Self needs to "realize' itself...no wonder the last verse of the Nasadiya Sukta goes as:

इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न ।
यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो अङ्ग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥७॥

Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.[SUP][

[/SUP]

So no one including the Supreme Self ever "knows" I guess!

hi renuka mam,

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यः ......न मेधया......न स्रुथेन....
 
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thebigthinkg

Active member
I hope you don't mind the correction here.

Many a times I see this word written as above and many people think its Vasudeva.

The actual word is Vasudhaiva...which is made up of the following words due to Sandhi rules of Sanskrit.

Vasudha(the world/earth) +Eva(Verily is) = Vasudhaiva.

You are absolutely right. I put up a very colloquial comment there.

However I see Vasu as 'Nucleus of atom', as I write in my Aditya hrdayam series. Vasudha is the provider of Vasu. All matter and beings made of atomic nucleus are one family. The entire Universe is one family.

And the quesiton on Nasadiya Suktam, I will address that too. I wanted to explain the sloka and my translation with some background. Hence not taking it up now.
 
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thebigthinkg

Active member
I agree with your post. It is well written. Thanks.


If Supreme self is all knowing who made the "Self" to have the "Ignorance". Where did the ignorance come from to be done away with "Knowledge".
If the water was pure and calm the image of the sun too will be clear, there has to be an external agent to "Muddy up" the water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avidya_(Hinduism)

My two cents..

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad says "द्वे भाव ब्रह्मणो " - Brahman manifests dually. It goes onto say form and formless, mortal and immortal etc.. I see particle and wave in that light.

I also see vidya and avidya in that light. Vidya is learning. Avidya is unlearning. Evolution of knowledge happens through learning and unlearning. I do not see avidya as ignorance.

Isha Upanishad says
"andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti ye'vidyāmupāsate |
tato bhūya iva te tamo ya u vidyāyāṃ ratāḥ ||"

They enter into darkness by avidya/unlearning. Into darkness those that delight in learning".

anyadevāhurvidyayā anyadāhuravidyayā |
iti śuśruma dhīrāṇāṃ yenastadvicacakṣire ||

One time by learning, one time by unlearning, thus it's clearly seen by the revered wise ones

vidyāṃ cāvidyāṃ ca yastadvedobhya saha |
avidyayā mṛtyuṃ tīrtvā'mṛtamaśnute ||

Whom/which Learn and unlearn together conquer/subdue (tIrtvA) the un-dying un learning consuming the amrtam/nectar.

Learning alone cannot progress the evolution. Learning and Unlearning progresses it. All matter and beings that evolve exhibit this vidya and avidya.

-TBT
 
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