Sri Chinmoy: In the Western world, we use the term “salvation of the soul,” which has its own truth. Now, in our Eastern world, we use the words “illumination,” “liberation,” “realisation” and so forth. When we use the term “the soul,” we mean the Atman, the representative of the Supreme in the individual body.
Very often, in the West we use the term “the soul” for a human being: “He is a nice soul.” That means his personality and individuality are nice. We observe his personality and individuality and we say that he has a nice soul. That means his outer being is nice, kind and affectionate. But, if we use the term “salvation of the soul,” we refer to the real inner soul, and we have to be really wise in our usage. The soul has already achieved its salvation. According to our Eastern understanding, right from the beginning, the soul, which is the representative of the Supreme here on earth, has already achieved salvation. So now what is it doing?
It has the outer body, this body. The soul is the deity and the body is the temple. The soul wants to offer its realisation, as you term it, its “salvation,” to our earthbound, limited consciousness. So the soul, through many incarnations in the process of evolution, is offering this salvation to our outer being, our outer consciousness. But the soul, the real soul, has already achieved the highest possible salvation. What it requires now is the revelation of its Divinity — light, peace, bliss and power — here on earth. And the medium is the human being. Through our earthly human consciousness, the soul is trying to reveal its inner Divinity. First, it reveals. Then, revelation is not enough, the soul feels that manifestation is necessary. You have something. You can reveal it to me, but if you do not manifest it here on earth, then I cannot get it. You have a dollar and you just reveal it to me; but if you put it here, then I can have it. Finally, the soul wants to manifest its Divinity here on earth.