Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Parabrahma Sutras


237. Jiva and Atman are both modifications of food alone

अन्नभवः प्राचुर्यविकारसमन्वयो भागो जीवात्मा।२३७।
annabhavaḥ prācuryavikārasamanvayo bhāgo jīvātmā|237|

The Jiva and Atman are modifications of matter or food only forming a part of creation only and the senses of plenty and modification can be correlated.


The inert energy devoid of all qualities of life is the soul (Atman), which is Nirgunam. This inert energy in association of nervous system is transformed into a special type of work or awareness by which the transportation of information to the brain through nerves takes place. The chip storing the essential information running for the past millions of births is called as Jiva or individual soul. When the food is taken, it is converted into inert energy with the help of oxygen and this inert energy is converted into awareness or work in the nervous system. The capability of transportation of knowledge depends on the available inert energy. The information existing in the chip is also transported to the brain and this strong information influences the brain to develop certain fixed and rigid attitudes (Samskaras). This information itself is kinetic energy or work and is a modification of inert energy in the nervous system, which was accumulated from several past births. The general awareness, which is the potency of work in the nervous system that resulted from the digestion and oxidation of food, is essentially the same stored information. The food is modified into awareness and thus food is the source of the soul or inert energy directly and this inert energy is modified into work or awareness. Hence, food is the source of awareness as said in Veda (Annaat purushah..). Another Vedic statement also says that the awareness is a modification of food (Sa vaa esha purushonnarasamayah..). Some argue that the general awareness, which is the modification of food, surrounds the Jiva or individual awareness in plenty and hence the ‘maya’ in the Vedic statement denotes the sense of plenty (Prachurya) and not the sense of modification (Vikara). By this, they try to distinguish Jiva from the food. Such an attempt is not correct because the first Vedic statement says that food is the source of Jiva. Moreover, the sense of plenty can be also correlated with the sense of modification without any contradiction. For example, if you imagine a piece of ice floating in plenty of water, the ice separately exists from water but at the same time, the ice is also a modification of water only in the past. Similarly, Jiva, the bundle of accumulated information for the past several births was also the modification of past food only and today Jiva is existing separately from the general awareness generated by present food like piece of ice existing separately from water. Hence, both these senses can be correlated without any contradiction. The final conclusion is that Jiva is a modification of food only and hence Jiva is a part of creation only. Similarly, Atman or inert energy is a modification of inert matter like food and hence Atman is also a part of creation only.

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