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<nettime-ann> re-sent March 2010: Dr Harish Chandra's article in SpiritMag Sep 2007



SpiritMag September '07


Vol. II No. 1


 IV.    Body, Mind and Soul


Last month we discussed that our body must be inhabited by a non-material point-like singularity that has the inherent property of consciousness. Now a question arises: how the two connect to each other. The body is gross and huge but the soul is infinitesimally small. The body is made of matter but the soul is non-matter. The body goes through changes or manifestations but the soul remains unchanged. These two things being so diverse, they need to be connected by a connecting domain of mind that must have intermediate characteristics. It must be made of matter so that it can connect to the body and it must be made of smallest sub-atomic particles that it can connect to the soul too. [It should be noted that the brain is a part of the body and the mind is a still more subtle domain within the core of our brain that is not visible because it's made of sub-atomic particles. Suffice it to say that the mind is different from the body though it is within the body. We will discuss the structure of mind in one of the later articles.] Thus, we become a bundle of body, mind and soul where the soul is our true spirit. So we use the terms soul and spirit interchangeably. We are a composite of body, mind and soul, or so to say, body, mind and spirit. The word spirit for soul gives rise to the branch of study, called spiritual sciences. The inner sciences we intend to develop will include spiritual sciences and other issues related to the domains of body and mind too.


Thanks to the present scientific spirit, it has become very common to hear nowadays that we are a composite of body, mind and soul. The educated people are increasingly accepting that they are a composite of body, mind and soul. Many people don't accept these words at merely their face value; they even sit for meditation for several minutes a day to explore what exists within them beyond the mind. For this purpose, they attempt to gain so much control on the functions of the mind that they can subdue them for some time. When the mind is subdued from all its functions, modifications and perturbations then one achieves the state of meditation. That is the definition of Yoga:




Patanjali, the author of the original treatise on Yoga, called Yoga-Sutra gives the above definition in its beginning (1.2). He says, Yoga is to bring all functions, activities, modifications, perturbations, etc. – voluntary or non-voluntary [vrtti ] – of the mind domain [citta] thoroughly subdued [nirodhah]. Even if one does not have spiritual interests, in attempting to make the mind functions subdued during meditation, one gains the following advantages:

  1. Better Concentration: Greater control over the mind functions for better concentration in the day-to-day functions.
  2. Better Sleep: The modern times have led our mind hyperactive that even when we go to sleep, it continues to function. This gives rise to poor quality of sleep that includes dreams. A regular practice of meditation will further our mind to a more calm, composed and cool state resulting in better quality of sleep.
  3. Mental Relaxation for Stress-free Living: Meditation gives some moments of inactivity to the mind domain, thereby, giving relaxation to the mind by dissipating its mental fatigue. If mental fatigue is not dissipated then it may give rise to a stressful mind in the long run. For this reason, meditation based on true Yoga practices (as stated in Patanjali's Yoga-Sutra) is increasingly becoming a successful strategy to lead a stress-free life.

Let us now discuss some aspects of connectivity between the body and soul that is provided by the mind domain. It must be positioned between the body and soul, and hence, we always talk in terms of body, mind and soul – in this particular order. This order has an important consequence. The body gets its consciousness from the soul through the mind only. In other words, body and mind are connected to the soul in series. The body can function (we mean, voluntary functions – the involuntary functions take place naturally, such as, breathing, blood circulation, digestion of food, etc.) only if the mind functions, such as, when we are awake. However, it can happen that the mind functions but the body does not, such as, when we dream.


When we talk in terms of the body, mind and soul then we declare that we are not an ordinary being. We are truly the spirit of ours – the soul. My soul is my true consciousness and that is my true identity. Being non-material, neither it takes birth and nor it will ever die. I live in the world with the body and mind as my instruments. The body and mind are my means to achieve something more in life. They are like other means I have gathered in my life, such as, a house, car, computer, etc. though the body and mind are the closest and most sophisticated ones. I do want to take their good care but do not want to limit myself to their needs and wants only. I will definitely meet their basic needs but then I want to explore greater objectives of life and utilize them to achieve them. This will give rise to an optimum mix in my life that I will care for the material things for the body, such as, food, home, etc. Beyond the body needs, I will care for the emotional, mental and intellectual needs for my mind domain. And, further beyond, I will seek to know the spiritual needs of my soul and attempt to meet them. Thus, I will lead a more balanced, complete and meaningful life.


Next month, we will discuss if other living beings, such as, animals, birds, reptiles, fishes, and other marine species, etc. are a composite of body, mind and soul too. If it is so then what should be our outlook towards them.


-         Dr. Harish Chandra

B. Tech. (IIT Kanpur, India)

Ph. D. (Princeton, USA)

  CIS News

1. Google Group: We are pleased to send the September 2007 article of SpiritMag as we transfer our mailing list to this new Google group.
2. Old Articles: Dr Harish Chandra's previous SpiritMag articles may be seen at http://groups.google.com/group/spiritmag?lnk=srg

3. Mar 2010 Events in the UK: We are pleased to announce the following sessions that would be conducted in the UK:

a) Science of Yoga - Patanjali Meditation, Every Tuesday 7:30 to 9:00 pm at 1 Norman Road, Smethwick, Birmingham B67 5PP, contact 0121 429 9783 (begins 20th April)

b) Vedic Meditation - Every Thursday, 6:00 to 7:45 pm at 253 Edge Lane, Liverpool, L7 2PH

c) Science of Yoga - Patanjali Meditation, Every Saturday, 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Smithdown Room, Greenbank Sports Academy, Greenbank Lane, Liverpool, L17 1AG, Tel: 0151 280 7757

4. Calgary, Canada, April 9-11: Dr Harish Chandra will deliver lectures, talks and workshops at Calgary, Canada April 9-11, 2010. Contact Mike (403) 541-1485

5. Ishopanishad: His talks on Ishopanishad (40th chapter of Yajurveda) have been condensed into brief articles at www.arya-samaj.org

6. Articles: His many articles have been uploaded on http://www.aryanlife.com/ebooks/index.php

7. CIS website:

Our website www.centerforinnersciences.org is currently being redesigned.
Thanking you,

SpiritMag Team

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