Soul, buddhi, et al.

Msr msr at REDDY20.TAMU.EDU
Mon Apr 28 13:33:05 CDT 1997


The word "soul" is often used loosely as "aatman", but it
does not mean that way typically to many. The meaning that
is often conveyed by the word "soul" can be closely
approximated as suukshma shariram (subtle body or astral
body) which carries the notion of individuality and
vaasanaas (latent tendencies).  The person who pointed out
this problem to me, advised that as for as possible
sa.nskR^itaM words should be used to avoid such confusion.
With a word, lot of associated ideas also go with. There is
a potential chance that people may be using the same word to
mean a different things, hence a possible miscommunication!
[Soul may undergo journeys, but aatman does not ;-))  ]

In fact the word "mind" is often used a lot
to convey manas, chitta and buddhi. The verse in yoga (I.2)

yogashchittavR^ittinirodhaH  ||2||

Here the word "chitta" is often translated as mind. What is mind?  Is
it manas, chitta, buddhi or ahaMkaara? This verse Barbara Stoler
Miller(*) raises this issue and translates it as "Yoga is cessation of
turnings of thought", Which is normally translated as "suppression of
modifications of the mind". In fact Miller gives an argument why she
translated so.

This issue was pointed out to me last Saturday. What do you think?
Should we use saMskR^itam words (with a close English translation in
parentheses) during our discussion and avoid words like soul, mind and
so on? Also please correct me if I am wrong.


* Barabara Stoler Miller
  Yoga: Discipline of Freedom
  University of California Press
  Berkely, CA., 1995

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