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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Swami QnA 2007 > Human nature and the Soul

Title: Human nature and the Soul

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-12 15:54:19


Dear Swami Gaurangapada

Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna dandavats


There is a heavy emphasis these days amongst most of the population of self realisation and self knowledge. Most people believe they have an inner self, a true self and phrases such as being yourself, acting naturally, being true to yourself, are commonplace.


I see people who find a way of being that they feel is themselves and they stick to that if it gets them somewhere, if it helps them fit in , if it is pleasing to others, which is cool and good, but what I am wondering is that in terms of human nature and the soul, does any one person really have any one fixed nature? Or are peoples natures very much more complex than just adopting one type of character.


When we are told that we are part and parcel of the Lord, that indicates to me that just as the Lord is so multifarious in his personalities, in his characters and incarnations, that also as his parts and parcels, shouldnt we accept that we are not fixed to one standard character that can be judged and pigeon holed and identified with.


If the Lord can be Nrsinghadeva and also Vrajendra Nandana Krishna, it would seem to me that a personality is not so limited in its nature as may be expected by modern ideas of finding oneself etc.


When we judge people acording to their behaviours, are we really judging their nature, or are we judging very external factors?


Do you think that people generally are actually hiding many aspects of their personalities beneath the exterior , outward display that they choose to adopt and do you think that this is a good thing or do you think that the world would be a better place, less judgemental and less divided, if everyone of all races and religions and cultures accepted, that whatever their outward behaviour and appearance is, that essentialy the same capacity exists within us all, as parts and parcels of the Lord.


Does chanting bring out many hidden aspects of our personalities to show us the multifariousness of the Lord in the knowledge that all we are is his parts and parcels? - Chandrika


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! One possesses many complicated varieties of nature, thought patterns, characteristics etc. on the material platform of the material subtle body which comprises of the mind, intelligence and false ego. This is due to the infinite karmic material impressions which have been carved on our material mind, intelligence and false ego for the past zillions of material births we have taken in this material world. All these factors determine our external and subtle material natures which actually have no relevance in Bhakti Yoga or Nama Yoga since they are temporary and not connected with the soul. These are the natures of the coverings of the soul not the soul itself.


Real Spirituality or Bhakti Yoga through Chanting of the Holy Names awakens and reveals the multifarious and variegated characteristics of the soul's nature and that of our spiritual body, mind and intellience in the spiritual world not of the gross and subtle nature of our mundane gross and subtle bodies. These spiritual characteristics are totally different and unrelated to the mundane characteristics and we can only have a very faint glimpse of them in the beginning stages of chanting but the realization increases more and more as our chanting progress to higher levels of meditation on the Holy Names.


In the neophyte stage, it is very easy to confuse the temporary subtle mundane characteristics of our mind and intelligence with the permanently characteristics of the soul because even the temporary material natures of the mind and intelligence are quite subtle so we don't understand the difference.


So the only way to separate the two is to become deeply abosrbed in the chanting of the spiritual sound vibration of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna which will separate the milk from the water.