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Indus Script Deciphered 24

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24. Mind and soul in the Indus texts

No one can draw the invisible mind which evolves thoughts but is untraceable in the body. Mind is the master of physical existence of man and the root cause of all evils and desires because of its quickness and instability. The soul or the consciousness is also invisible and therefore beyond observation by modern science, yet it is the master to maintain the activities and responses of this body of flesh and bones. But the strength of body is easily suppressed by the strength of mind. Commanding the mind one rules the outer as well as the inner world while commanding one’s own mind one rises spiritually to every height. The Indus artists have drawn both these vital features very successfully in their seals. The mind is shown as a fly and the soul is shown as a flying bird. Let us see how: both of these presentations surprisingly are exactly similar within the Jain interpretation.

A. The mind is described in Jain scriptures as a bhramar (a big black bee). Wise people fix their mind to control it. To do this is shown very simply by the Indus artist by fixing the bhramar on a pole in most seals.

Mind depicted as a bhramar in these seals:

ISD 24 1 jpg

The first seal here shows a bhramar in the Dhai Dweep of human habitation, while a yaksha is seen on this seal as the field animal. In the second seal a ‘fish’ (ascetic) is shown holding his mind, depicted by eight symbols as a compound sign in his right hand and a chaturadhana in his left hand. In the third seal the knowledge of the three anuyogas, not of the fourth, is depicted. The other seals show the mind fixed on a pole by the ascetics. Further seals show how wise men are controlling their minds by fixing it and preventing it from flying, and then they exercise withdrawal of themselves from the outer world – which is symbolized by a spear, withdrawing their right hand partly going through the body. Just notice these signs carefully: ISD 24 2 jpg. A spear held by an ascetic (‘fish’) or seen separately signifies self-control as seen in the first two seals below in the next figure. Seals # 111 and 101 (here below) show an ascetic spearing himself, denoting that he is a self-controlled person. Further this is shown in the majority of seals as a symbol of self-restraint and austerity, also shown with the own self-controlled man having fixed his mind in seal # 529 shown as the last below right:

ISD 24 3 jpg

B. The soul in the Indus culture is displayed as a lonely bird flying in a dark circle. It is depicted as totally different from the mind. Though both are imperceptible for the eye, yet these both are is very well shown in the Indus seals. In the first seal the Sumeru (the three-tired mountain of spirituality, represented by the three separate beads on top of the rosary) is shown to guide the right way to an aspirant by keeping the right approach by means of right view, right conduct and right knowledge – as is done by a wise man. In the other seal a flying bird is shown instead, as the lonely soul in the world experiencing sufferings and happiness in an unknown future.

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The seals reproduced above seem to be identical, but differ concerning very important information given at the top right corner as a second sign, where in seal # 677 a bird is shown flying in the dark denoting the soul as a lonely bird flying in an unknown dark future to find its way out to the light. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita defines soul as atma, a reflection of Paramatma. Vishnu, another name of the soul himself is eternal. The Rigveda, the oldest Hindu scripture, declares that all three deities of the Hindu trimurti, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadev or Shiva are also Paramahamsa, Nagna and Keshi, names of Rishabha, the soul. Death for every being is compared to abandoning an old cloth and taking on another at a new birth. A body is a temporary cloth of the eternal soul in each being, and abandoning of that cloth is death. In one same life one sees a sequence of several body forms appear with growth of age. The soul loiters in the world, changing embodiments like changing chariots.

The soul, according to the Bhagavad Gita, is eternal, omnipresent, consciousness and indivisible, nondestructive, unaffected by fire or water, and residing in utter happiness between lives, and goes from life to life till it merges back into Vishnu who knows no death and no birth. Krishna advices Arjuna to do karma or his duty without caring about the results this may have for himself. Krishna is the embodiment or awatara of Lord Vishnu (the all-pervader) to care for the dharma or religion, which is considered the duty of each human being. Vishnu, even though a liberated soul, comes back as an awatara in embodiments to protect the world from suffering and sin according to the Hindu belief. (The Bhagavad Gita contains information also found in the Vedic Upanishads (= Vedanta: concluding summaries) and is itself usually regarded as an Upanishad, though inserted in the Mahabharata in stead of the Vedas. The philosophy of the believers in Vishnu carries a partial influence of the Jina Philosophy, but considers this universe as the creation of Vishnu, whereas in Jain philosophy no creator is recognized because the universe is eternal. It is a dramatic creation personified through the epic Mahabharata written by a sage named Vyasa, and is based on the narration in the Jain Mahapuran, like the epic of Ramayan written by Valmiki on basis of the earlier Ramayan in the Jain Padmapuran to guide people to live a moralistic life)

This analysis of the soul concept differs in the Jain view, where the soul is not a fraction but an independent eternal, indivisible complete unit of consciousness or vital energy with or without worldly phenomena the last when it attains liberation. In Jainism, paramatma is the virtuousness which any Soul can attain through self efforts until reaching salvation (nirwana), and this is achieved only when the soul becomes free of the clouds of karma attached to him during cyclic existence. Salvation is not achieved by every soul unless it so efforts by protecting itself from Kashayas or passions and from misconception or illusion causing tension to the soul and, as a result, entrapment by karma. This leads not only the rebirths but also to every event of life – which is but the fruition of karma against which even God or pure consciousness cannot help. The world of non-liberated living beings survives and continues only on basis of these karma-entrapped souls. Not the soul, but the body is mortal, hence life is nothing but an illusion of charms resulting from karma. The truth of Jainism is that the six eternal components – among which two, the soul/ chetan (consciousness) and matter/ achetan (non-consciousness) are the causes of the existence of the world of the living. The Indus belief shows these same six components repeatedly in some seals in accord with Jain metaphysics shown here below.

These six eternal components are: jiva (life, soul, consciousness), ajiva (non-life, non-soul (=matter), non-consciousness (achetan)), space, medium of motion, medium of rest, and time, but there is no creator of the universe. Only two of these six, the soul/ chetan and matter/ achetan are responsible for existence of life in the Universe, all the eternal components being independent and not interfering with each other. Only the soul for its own restlessness or vibrations attracts the corresponding matter fragments as karma to face their fruition and loiter in the four realms of existence occupying visible or to us invisible body forms to live.

 ISD 24 6 jpg

Next issue: 25. The omniscients are not Aliens