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31

 

The Goal:

 

In the third stage, the “full consciousness” of the soul is drawn even still further inwards (i.e., towards itself), and it ceases to identify itself even with the mental body. Thus, in the third and the last stage, (which is the goal), the soul CEASES TO IDENTIFY ITSELF WITH ANY OF THE THREE BODIES (mental, subtle and gross), which it had to develop for evolving full consciousness; and now it not only knows itself to be formless and beyond all the bodies and worlds, but also realizes, with full consciousness, its own unity with the Oversoul, which is One, Indivisible, Real and Infinite. And in this realization of the Truth, it enjoys “Infinite Bliss, Peace, Power and Knowledge,” which is the real state of the Over-soul.

 

Summary:

 

In the beginning, the soul was unconscious of its identity with the Over-soul, and hence, though a part and parcel of the Over-soul, it could not realize its own identity with it, or experience Infinite Peace, Bliss, Power and Knowledge, because it had not evolved consciousness. Even after the evolution of consciousness, it cannot realize the state of the Oversoul (although it is all the time in and with the Over-soul), because its consciousness is confined to the phenomenal world owing to the sanskaras connected with the evolution of consciousness. And even on the Path, the soul is not conscious of itself, but it is conscious only of the gross, subtle and mental worlds, which are its own “illusory shadows. ” But at the end of the Path, the soul frees itself from all sanskaras and desires connected with the gross, subtle and mental worlds; and it becomes possible for it to free itself from the illusion of being finite, which comes into existence owing to its identification with the gross, subtle and mental bodies. At this stage, the soul completely transcends the phenomenal world and becomes SELF. CONSCIOUS AND SELF-REALISED. For attaining this goal, the soul must retain its “full consciousness,” and at the same time know itself to be different from the Sharira (gross body), Prana (subtle body, which is the vehicle of desires and vital forces) and Manas (mental body, which is the seat of the mind); and also as being beyond the gross, subtle and mental worlds.

 

It follows, therefore, that the soul has to gradually emancipate itself from the illusion of being finite by (1) liberating itself from the bondage of the sanskaras,

 

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