Questions and answers on the soul

AUM 1329-1337. Selections from Sri Chinmoy's book, Eternity's Soul-Bird, Part I

Question: Why did God introduce the soul into the body? Was it to punish some souls that were malevolent?

Sri Chinmoy: God did not send the soul into the body to punish it. It is we who like ignorance more than we like light. When I say ‘we’, I am referring to the unconscious body, not the soul. This unconscious, unaspiring physical body is in darkness and it likes darkness. If we love ignorance and darkness more than we love light, then naturally we will quarrel and fight. It is not that God has brought our souls into the world to destroy them or punish them.

When the soul enters into the body, rest assured that God also enters. The soul is a conscious portion of God, the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. We can definitely say that it is a conscious representative of God. It has the ability to communicate with the Highest, with the Absolute, at any time, and it has permission from the Highest to play its part on earth.

God’s original purpose in uniting the soul and body is very clear. The body is the shrine and the soul is the deity. The body is the fort, the spiritual temple, and inside the body the soul resides. The soul is a flood of light and this flood of light will eventually illumine the teeming ignorance in the physical body. When we aspire, when we go deep within, we actually see the physical existence, the physical body inside the soul. The soul is in touch with the Highest, the Absolute, the All-Pervading, but the physical right now is not; the physical is limited, very limited. When we remain in the limited consciousness, we feel that the soul is inside the body and the soul is very tiny. Our Indian scriptures say that the soul is smaller than the smallest and, at the same time, vaster than the vastest. There are many different conceptions of the soul. On the strength of our oneness with the highest Truth, we can see the soul either with form or in the formless state.

The purpose of uniting the soul and the body is to fulfil both the inner and the outer. Inside is the soul and outside is the body. If there were no soul, then the body would act blindly. Again, without the body, the soul would be helpless; it would be unable to function at all. God’s purpose in uniting the soul and the body is to enjoy Himself divinely, both within and without. Otherwise, He will never be perfect, for perfection must be in every realm of existence.