Episode # 86 – Our “Atman” distinctively different from physical body? Sage Kapilaachaarya explains!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the last two important characteristics of those people who have absolute control of the mind in whatever they do in life. With this, we’ve completed the discussion on the ten characterisitics of a person who has wrested control of his / her mind totally, according to Sage Kapilaachaarya. As we culminate this discussion, we now have the full list of ten characteristics and we shall start analyzing ourselves from here on. It is now time for us to check how many of these characteristics have been achieved by us till date. If we feel that we’ve achieved all of the ten, it is imperative that we have complete control over our mind! I really do not know at this stage as to how many of us would fall into this “unique” category! J We should be very honest to ourselves here – We should take a true feedback about ourselves and only then we would be able to work towards betterment. If we’re rather untrue to ourselves, we would never be able to progress any further. Thus, I would take this opportunity to urge all of us to make a thorough and a true self-analysis and start working on ways how to control our mind. It should be remembered that Sage Kapilaachaarya has also spoken exclusively about the ways through which we can achieve complete control of our mind, which we’ve discussed in the previous episodes. Readers can browse through and get to understand things better.

Now moving on further, Sage Kapilaachaarya is explaining the difference between our “Atman” and our “Physical body”, otherwise called “Deham”. This is called as “Prakriti-Purusha-Viveka-Gnyaana”. This is a fundamental spiritual concept that all of us need to understand properly. Only if we understand this, we would be able to make speedy spiritual progress, to obtain the true knowledge. Sage Kapilaachaarya explains thus:

“Tavyaakrithithve gunataha vyakthisthaatma yeva cha!

Tejastvam tejasah saadhvi roopamaatrasya kinchit!!

Ahankriya vimohaatma karthaamih thyabhimanyate!!”

Now what Sage Kapilaachaarya is going to say here, might send shock waves to all of us! He says that for whatever actions that our body does in this world, our Atman is not responsible. In other words, it is not the Atman that makes us do whatever activities we’re doing with our physical body (through our hands, legs, sensory organs, etc.)! The Atman is like a mute spectator, which is watching all of our actions done by our physical body every day. Now the question comes – If our Atman is not involved in whatever we do, why and how does our physical body do what it keeps doing every day? It is only because of our past “Karma” (Actions) and our “Vaasanas” (Tendencies) that we’ve carried all along with us over the past infinite number of births. It should be remembered here that our “Vaasanas” are extremely tough to get rid of (If they’re bad in nature). We’ve spoken about this before also! These “Vaasanas” are the “driving forces” which thus makes our body and mind act in a particular way, either good or bad. This “good” or “bad” depends on the nature of our previous “Karma” (Actions). All of these actions are being mutely witnessed by our Atman!

Another question might arise here – Our Atman is within us isn’t it? The Atman is carried by the body only. How can we say that the Atman is not responsible for what the body does? It should be clearly understood that the Atman does not have the capacity to execute any tangible action in this world. Only the physical body has all the possible ways and means to execute something that can be considered as a tangible output. Our Atman might give us directions as to what to do, or what not to do, and in some cases, the Atman acts as an agent of discrimination. However having said thus, the function of the Atman stops here. The execution of the discriminated action is done only by the physical body.

This might be a little confusing and ambiguous to start with, but readers should be very clear here. Our physical body and Atman are way different from each other in terms of their functions. The Atman has the “thinking” and “Analyzing” capacity and the physical body has the “execution” capacity. These ttwo functions of “thinking” and “execution” cannot be swapped between the physical body and Atman. It is because, the physical body does not have the capability to think and analyze. Similarly the Atman does not have the capacity to execute any tangible or credible action on the ground. This should be understood very clearly.

To illustrate this important distinction, Sage Kapilaachaarya is going to narrate a beautiful story. We shall witness the story in the next episode, as it might be a bit lengthy to fit into today’s episode. So for today, let us ponder over this important point and understand this distinction between the Atman and the physical body clearly. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the beautiful illustration that Sage Kapilaachaarya is going to give. Stay tuned! 🙂




Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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