Hindus/soul

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Question
Is there individual soul? Are they infinite in number? Is the world infinite?Who is managing this universe? What is the purpose of all this happening in our life ?

Answer
Dear Aman,

Thank you for your questions.

We do not speak of "soul" in the Christian sense in Vedanta philosophy. What appears to us as different, separate individuals is the jivataman, a dynamic pattern of composite elements including body, mind, senses, intellect, and ego, illuminated from within by the Atman or Self. Although jivas are many, there is only one Self.

We say jivas are infinite meaning the absolute number is unknown. We say the world or universe is infinite because we do not know its end.

When you ask the purpose of the world, the "why" question, the only answer Hindu philosophers have given is "Lila," play, sport. All this happens as entertainment for the Supreme Self that assumes all these forms of the universe and plays as and through them.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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