Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Parabrahma Sutras


115. Characteristics of items are bound by the order of God

स्वरूपलक्षणान्यपि तदाज्ञावशानि।११५।
svarūpalakṣaṇānyapi tadājñāvaśāni|115|

Even the characteristics of items are bound by the order of the God only.


In this creation, every item has some inherent characteristic by which the item is identified. Fire is identified by heat and water by its coolness. These are inherent characteristics of the items. But even these items and their inherent characteristics, are associated with each other only by the order of God. It is only due to the will of God, that fire is hot and water is cool. If God wishes, fire can become cool and water can become hot. Thus, the association of a particular characteristic with its corresponding specific item is only due to the will of Lord. Hence, the process of thinking, which is the inherent characteristic of the soul, is also due to the will of God. If the Lord wishes, a non-living item can start thinking and a living item can stop thinking like an inert item.


Soul means awareness. What is the characteristic of awareness?

The characteristic of the soul is to think; to know. Here the entity or item is awareness and its characteristic is thinking. Both these are separately created by God. Both are independent. It is only by the wish of God that both these are associated together. Suppose the Lord wishes, an inert stone can start thinking, and a living man can stop thinking. If He wishes, we will stop thinking; we will become just an inert stone and an inert stone can start thinking.

An entity and its characteristics or properties are associated only due to the will of God. It is not an inherent association. The characteristic of awareness is to think, but it is not an inherent characteristic, it is only given by God. The Lord wished to let the soul start thinking, so the soul started thinking. He wished to let water become cool, so water became cool. He wised to let fire become hot, so fire became hot. Thus the entity and the property are associated only due to the will of God. Both are separately created by the Lord, and both are associated together by the will of Lord.

Isn’t the process of thinking linked to the mind and not to the soul?

There is no difference between the soul and mind. It is one part of life. We can use the word ‘soul’ for the four anthakarnas:[1] mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi), ego (ahamkara), and the mental storing capacity (chitta). What is the soul? It is nothing but awareness. Mind does one of the functions of awareness. So there is not much difference; it is the same entity doing different functions. Mind is does the function of sankalpa and vikalpa i.e. it proposes something and rejects it[2]. Intelligence is determination or decision. These mental faculties are only different functions of the process of thinking, which is called as awareness. That awareness itself is the soul. Science does not accept the soul. Scientists simply understand it as the nervous system and the process of thinking.

[1] ‘Antahkarana’ means an internal instrument or mental faculty. There are four mental faculties viz. mind, intellelligence/intellect, ego and memory.

[2] Manas or mind is the wavering mental faculty that allows us to consider various ideas and options.

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