Shiva Gita (study and summary)

by K. V. Anantharaman | 2010 | 35,332 words

Shiva-gita Chapter 10 (English summary), entitled “description of the true nature of the soul (jiva-svarupa-kathana)” as included in the critical study by K. V. Anantharaman. The Shiva-gita is a philosophical text from the Padma-purana in the form of a dialogue between Lord Shiva and Shri Rama. It deals with topics such as Advaita metaphysics and Bhakti and consists of 768 verses.

Chapter 10 - Description of the True Nature of the Soul (jīva-svarūpa-kathana)

10.1 More queries from Rāma.

Interrupting the Lord, Rāma wanted to know whether the Soul abides in the body of beings or is born in it, why is it called Jīva and its true nature and the most controversial subject of knowing where the soul goes after passing away of the body and where does it stay after departing the body and does it enter another body or do nothing at all.[1] cf. Kaṭhopaniṣad

10.2 Secret of all secrets.

The Lord was very happy at the inquisitive questions and described its answer Abhijñāna Śākuntala the secret of all secrets.[2] It is exceedingly hard to be understood even by the Gods and sages. This is not revealed but Abhijñāna Śākuntala Rāma’s devotion was par excellent, God called for his full attention to hear the reply.

10.3 Empirical individuals.

This soul is the only reality and consciousness, infinity, the very embodiment of bliss, the supreme self, the ultimate light, unmanifest and cause of the entire manifest. The Lord equated Brahman with the soul and declares it beyond the reach of all evolutionary changes and atomic configurations. Having known the Lord Abhijñāna Śākuntala Brahman of the nature of bliss from which words recoil powerless to reach, one does not have to fear from any one.[3] cf. Kaṭhopaniṣad . Who clearly sees all the beings Abhijñāna Śākuntala abiding in the Lord only and Lord in all the beings, does not hate any more. The subtle self does not make itself evident to beings, but is seen by the astute observers by their trained and subtle intellect. Associated with the beginningless nescience Lord is the creator and its Supreme commander with the world Abhijñāna Śākuntala yet undifferentiated into name and form. Yet the Lord is imperishable. The five elements, five organs of knowledge and action, the five vital airs along with mind, intellect, egoity and memory attains the nature of subtle body. In that is reflected the consciousness associated with nescience. It is the empirical individual known Abhijñāna Śākuntala Kṣetrajña and Puruṣa. The empirical individuals are the result of the reflection of self or consciousness in the body-mind complex.

10.4 Soul—only experiencer.

The soul alone is the enjoyer of virtue and vice which are beginningless. It goes from here to heaven and back. It also is the experiencer of the states of dream and waking life.

10.5 Daharākāśa.

Above the navel and below the neck, in the region ever pervaded by vital airs, there is the heart in the middle of that, like a lotus stalk. There the heart is facing downwards with subtle and sacred hole. In that the soul called daharākāśa (small ether) is situate. The soul is to be understood Abhijñāna Śākuntala one hundredth of the tip of hair divided into a hundred parts. It is yet considered at the same time infinite.[4] cf. Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad verse 9

10.6 Release.

Nāḍis start from here and pervade the entire body and they are 72,000 in number. Passing through the nāḍi called Suṣuṃṇā, one gets released.[5] cf. Ch U. This subtle body occupies the gross one to go through the experiences of waking life in accordance with the past deeds, does not perish till release. When ignorance in the embodiment is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self, that state of staying in one’s own self is called release.[6]

10.7 Soul and Brahman.

The states of waking, dream and deep sleep are common to both the beings of this world and the world of gods. After the sleep due to force of past deeds, the mind, intellect etc. arise again from nescience, their cause, like spark from fire. Just Abhijñāna Śākuntala a pot filled with sea water immersed in the sea carries only the water from the same sea, so also the intelligent soul from the birthless Brahman.[7] Brahman, the cause, verily appears Abhijñāna Śākuntala the intelligent soul. When the ignorance (ajñāna) and its effect are present, the world of difference Abhijñāna Śākuntala between Brahman and the soul is experienced. When they are dissolved, the differences too disappear.[8]

10.8 Supreme person.

Just Abhijñāna Śākuntala one sun appears many when reflected in various water spots like ponds and wells, similarly the changeless and supreme person appears to be coming and going.

10.9 Nature of true Soul.

God drives into Rāma that because of the defect of the mere delusion alone, every distortion is intelligible in It (Brahman) which in its own nature transcends the body etc. and is self luminous. Thus was told Rāma, the true nature of the soul.

The tenth chapter of Śiva Gītā ends here.

Footnotes and references:


Vide Kaṭhopaniṣad Vallī I verse 20 Naciketas to Lord Yama


Vide Śiva Gītā X-3


Ibid X-9;—Cf. Kaṭhopaniṣad Vallī-VI verse 12;—(That Ātman) can never be reached by speech, or by eyes, or even by mind. How can it be realized otherwise than those who say it exists?


Vide Śiva Gītā X-26;—Cf. Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad verse -9 verbatim same.


Cf Vide Chāndogya Upaniṣad VIII-6.6


Vide Śiva Gītā X-38


Ibid X-59


Ibid X-60

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