Section CCIII - Understanding the Nature of the Soul: Insights from Manu

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CCIII including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
Manu explains that the mind, when connected with the senses, recalls past impressions, but in a state of suspended senses, the Soul exists in its true form, detached from external influences. The Soul, as the Witness, is aware of the contradictory pleasures and pains experienced in different states of consciousness. The Soul is omniscient and perceives all things, even though it cannot be directly sensed by the physical senses. Through intelligence and wisdom, individuals can perceive the formless nature of the Soul and its presence in all living beings.

The Soul is compared to the moon, which may be hidden at times but reemerges, symbolizing the Soul's continuity despite changes in physical form. Just as the moon's disappearance and reappearance are observable phenomena, the Soul's transition between bodies is invisible and mysterious. The Soul is only perceivable when connected to a physical body, and once liberated, it transcends physical perception. The Soul carries the effects of past actions even after transitioning from one body to another, highlighting its continuity beyond physical existence.

The analogy of Rahu and its connection to the sun or moon illustrates how the Soul's visibility is tied to its association with a physical form, and once separated from the body, it becomes imperceptible. Despite this invisibility, the Soul remains connected to the consequences of its past deeds. Just as the moon is not abandoned by the stars even when hidden, the Soul retains its karmic imprints even after exiting the physical realm, emphasizing its enduring presence beyond the material world. This philosophical explanation sheds light on the eternal nature of the Soul and its relationship with the transient physical body.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CCIII - Understanding the Nature of the Soul: Insights from Manu, have a look at the following articles:

Section CCIII, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

Read this and other chapters online.

Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

Buy the latest edition:

FAQ of Mahabharata, Section CCIII:

Can the senses apprehend the form of the Soul?

The senses cannot apprehend the form of the Soul, but it can be understood through the aid of Srutis and wise instructions. The Soul is omniscient and beholds all things.

How can one apprehend the Soul?

The Soul can be apprehended through the principle of knowledge and intelligence. Just like fishermen catch fish with nets, the Soul can be understood using the means of knowledge.

What happens to the Soul when it is liberated from the body?

When liberated from the body, the Soul can no longer be seen. It obtains a new body and begins to manifest itself again. The Soul is not deserted by the fruits of the acts achieved in that body.

Daily life: Understanding the Nature of the Soul: Insights from Manu:

This story illustrates the profound concept that our true self, or Soul, exists beyond the sensations and perceptions of our senses. It conveys the idea that by transcending the constant stimulation of our senses, we can connect with a deeper, more genuine part of ourselves. In daily life, this can be implemented by regularly taking time to meditate or engage in quiet reflection, allowing ourselves to detach from the distractions and noise of our external environment. Through such practices, we can cultivate an awareness that our essence is separate from and unaffected by our physical experiences and emotional responses.

By recognizing the states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep as different aspects of our being, we can understand that our true self is a constant observer, unaffected by these states. This realization can lead to a more peaceful and centered life, as we learn not to be overly identified with our thoughts, emotions, or the roles we play in the world. Instead, we become witnesses to our experiences, gaining a sense of stability and clarity no matter what life throws our way. This approach helps us to see beyond the immediate circumstances of our lives, understanding that our true nature is unchanging and eternal, much like the Soul's journey illustrated in the story.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: