Bhavesh: Poojya Swamiji, Namaste! I have 3 questions: (i) Is it clearly mentioned in the Vedas exactly where the Soul resides in the human body – in which ‘hridayam’- in head or in chest region? If yes, please give reference and meaning in brief. (ii) There must be clear cut mention of this important point about soul in our Vedic shastras, means in Darshans & Upanishads. Why it is not so? (iii) Swami Dayananda has mentioned in Rigvedadibhashyabumika (in Hindi part, not in Sanskrit part) that the soul resides in chest region. But many Arya samaji scholars say that this being in Hindi part should not be considered authoritative. Your views on this please.
Swami Ramswarup: Namaste, please. In this connection, I paste my article below-

Soul has three places to reside in the human body. While awake, it remains in left eye. During dreams, in throat and while taking sound sleep, soul resides in heart, please. These stages have been named- Jagrat, Swapan and Sushupt respectively.

QUALITIES OF SOULS (JEEVATAMA)

Soul is alive. Soul has to face the result of his deeds. Soul takes body of human beings, animals, birds, trees etc., according to deeds of past lives. Soul feels sorrow, happiness etc., through body. When soul leaves body, it feels nothing but carries all karma to be faced in next birth through his chitta’s (chitta) vritti (vritti).

Souls are innumerable but are constant in number having similar qualities like being pure, immortal, alive etc. Soul is infinitesimally small, is invisible. The bodies of all living beings contain souls.

Not God but soul has desire, hatred/malice, merriment, sufferings, attachment etc. While attracting itself towards materialistic articles made of prakriti soul forgets his original form. As a result, soul recognizes himself as body. This is the stage of soul being unwise.

“NA TAM VIDATH YA IMA JAJAANANYUDYUSHMAKAMANTARAM BABHOOVA,

NEEHAREINN PRAVRITA JALAPYA CHASUTRIP UKTHASHASCHARANTI.”

(RIGVEDA MANTRA 10/82/7)

(TAM) that God (NA) not ( VIDATH) known (YAH) who (EMA) all worlds (JAJANN) creates and (YAT) from you (ANYAT) separate from other souls(YUSHMAKAM) from you (ANTARAM) with in all (BABHOOVA) is (NIHAREINN) fog like smoke (YAT) that God (PRAVARITAHA) covered (JALAPYAHA) baseless discussion (ASUTRIPAHA) satisfied only in Prann [breathing system] (UKTHASHASAHA) only paying lip service (CHARANTI) deals or behaves.

Meaning: Like an invisible matter which is covered with fog similarly dealing in only lip service and indulging in baseless discussion and are satisfied in their breathing system, Oh! Man-woman, you do not know the God who creates the five matters/universe and the God who is separate from other souls and who is within all.

Atma means jeevatma i.e., soul. Autobiography of soul is not written, please. Yog shastra sutra 1/2 states- “Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodhaha” i.e., when an aspirant does hard practice of ashtang yoga philosophy mentioned in vedas under the guidance of learned acharya of ashtang yoga and vedas philosophy then one day he becomes capable of destroying his previous as well as present life’s deeds. Then Yog shastra sutra 1/3 states “Tada Drashtu Swarupevasthanum” i.e., then soul gets situated in his form i.e., soul knows himself.

In the absence of the said worship, soul does not recognize himself. Soul being indulged in illusion, forgets his form. His form is that soul is pure i.e., never indulges in illusion. Actually, through five senses, mind and intellect, soul is attracted towards materialistic articles of world and hence, illusion effects him. So, soul is originally pure, immortal, alive, learned, eternal matter who neither takes birth nor meets with death. So, the said qualities can be stated as biography of soul. So, soul cannot be hurt or killed. Therefore, the question of self-defense does not arise. Defense is needed for human-body only wherein soul resides. Soul is pure (shudh) in his original form and can never be made or purified so its shuddhi is not required.

Atm- sakshi means self-realization. Soul has eternal, original, divine qualities amongst which some have been described above. So, sanskar of soul is not required. Sanskars get imprinted on chitta only.

R: I have started giving a tithe of 10% of my income. Where I live the Hindu temple is frequented by wealthy Indians and is very elaborate. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to give my full 10% to the temple because of this and donate a section of the 10% to charities. This month I donated part of the 10% to a charity feeding vegetarian food to starving people in Haiti and to a animal protection group. The rest I donated to mandirs. Is this okay? Do I need to donate the full 10% to religious institutions or is helping the poor and the environment an acceptable way to donate your money to dharma also?

Swami Ramswarup: This is your hard earned money and can be donated anywhere, please. However, I would like to paste following articles:-

Donation

About donation all four Vedas give preach. Rigveda mandal 10 Sukta 117 mostly says about donation. Mantra 1 of the said sukta says — it is not only hungry who meet with the death but he who is rich and has all kinds of food also faces death. So, one has to leave this body definitely one day.

We can take with us only the result of pious deeds like donation and mantra says— he who donates food, money etc., then his donation never goes in vain and his assets do not even decrease. But those who do not donate, they never get satisfaction, peace and never realize God.

In the next mantra too it is said— those who are rich having food, money etc., but do not donate to the needy, poor and hungry etc., they never get peace and never realize God. In the next mantra 3 it is said that— one should always donate to the poor, needy persons. In the next mantra 4 it is said that— the richest must help the others. The next mantra 5 says— the assets never remain to one person only. Assets ever go hither and thither like a bullock cart. So one should donate.

Next mantra 6— says that the money and food etc., must be respectfully donated to a spiritual learned of Vedas and Ashtang yoga philosophy, true saints otherwise if rich utilize their property for their own sake and eat for their own self, then they will be called sinner and they eat sins. The next mantra 7 says— a farmer if cultivates with plough then he gets crops. But that farmer who has facility of plough etc., and does not plough then he cannot get crops and thus he is not wise. If one has the facility of cart/cars etc., then he uses them otherwise he cannot.

A learned of Vedas and Ashtang yoga philosophy who preaches is superior to those learned saints who do not deliver preach, similarly those who are rich with all foods, wealth etc., and donate are superior to those who are richest and do not donate. So one should always donate . Mantra 9 says— A man has two arms but both arms do not discharge equal duties. If a baby is being nursed by two wet nurses (dhaiyan in Hindi) then they do not feed the baby with equal quantities of milk. Twins have no equal strength. Two rich members of a family do not feed with food and money to an authorized person equally. Therefore, the donation must not be based on competition etc., but it should always be based on faith.

Samveda is an Upasana kand i.e., preaches about worship. Main worship is Yajyen and Ashtang yoga philosophy. Yajyen means devpooja, sangtikarann daneshu (daneshu means donation). Yaj dhatu makes the word Yajyenwhcih gives sense of devpooja, sangtikarann, dan. All four Vedas like Yajurveda mantra 2/23 states if any matter is not used in Yajyen for the welfare of human beings then the same is used by culprits. Yajyen spreads all the matters equally to all. Secondly in Yajyen Yajmaan donates to his Acharya as well as to the followers. That is why above Rigveda mantra 10/117/6 states that he who utilizes his assets or food for his own sake, it means he eats sin i.e., he is indulged in sins. So donation is must.

All four Vedas explain the importance and glory of donation. Rigveda Mantra 10/117/1 states-

“NA VA U DEVAHA KSHUDHMIDVADHAM DADAURUTASHITMUP GACHHANTI MRITYAVAHA,

UTO RAYIHI PRINNTO NOP DESYATYUTAPRINNAN MARDITARAM NA VINDATE.”

The idea of the mantra is that not only poor die of starvation but even richest persons meet with death. Hence, death is inevitable. Similarly, donation of donor neither goes in vain nor does he face shortage of money/assets. On the contrary, those who never donate to a right donee, as per Vedas, they can never attain spiritual bliss/merriment. Further Rigveda Mantra 10/117/6 is:-

“MOGHAMANNAM VINDATE APRACHETAHA SATYAM BRAVEEMI VADH ITSA TASYA,

NARYAMANNAM PUSHYATI NO SAKHAYAM KEVALAGHO BHAVTI KEVALADI.”

Idea:- Those who, after attaining wealth/assets, do not donate to an Acharya in Yajyen then that wealth itself becomes fatal for them. If such people utilize that wealth for their own selfishness then they commit sin and invite problems and early death etc.

So donation to right donee and needy, as per Vedas, pleases the Almighty God, being a part of Yajyen and greatest pious deed.

Rigveda mantra 10/117/5 about the donor and donation as follows-

“PRINNEEYADINNADHMANAYE TAVYAAN DRAGHEEYANSAMANU PASHYET PANTHAM,

O HI VARTANTE RATHYEV CHAKRANYAMANYAMUP TISHTHANT RAYAHA”.

The above mantra states (RAYAHA) money/assets (RATHYA CHAKRA IV) are like the wheels of chariot, (AAVARTANTE UU HI) which move at number of different places. God states in this mantra that a chariot, car, plane or any vehicle moves from one place to another. The same fact is applicable to wealth, assets etc., which never remain stable at one place but keep on moving.

God knows when a pauper turns into rich person and rich becomes poor. God says (ANYAM ANYAM UPTISHTHANTE) money takes shelter from one place to another so, (TAVYAAN) the richest/prosperous people (PRINNEEYAT) must satisfy, through wealth, food etc., (NADH MANAYE) those who are entitled and deserving and try (ANUPASHYET) to see/understand (DRAGHEEYANSAN) the vast and kindest (PANTHAM) the path.

The idea is that a very rich person who is capable to donate his money in right way must understand the longest , kind, eternal path of donation which is to be given to entitled and deserving person.

In Vedas the right person is Rishi-Muni, Tapasvi and the needy, poor persons. The most appropriate place is where Yajyen is performed and the said dignitary i.e., Rishi-Muni perform the Yajyen with Ved-mantras and deliver preach about ashtang Yoga Philosophy, Yajyen, etc.

TRUE DONEE

Idea of Yajurveda mantra 18/56 is that donation is given to the learned acharya and he is the right Brahmin to donate, (donee) who has attained the complete knowledge of four Vedas wherein three educations i.e., Gyan Kand (knowledge of universal matters) , Karma Kand (knowledge of pious deeds /moral duties) and Upasana Kand (knowledge of eternal and true worship) have been preached. Such learned person is a philosopher of ashtang yoga mentioned in Vedas. He always preaches and has adopted the knowledge of Vedas and Ashtang Yoga Philosophy and performs daily Yagya/hawan, which is an eternal Vedas’ philosophy. Next mantra 18/57 states that the public must serve the said learned acharya and must provide him with all food materials and essential necessities because he by preaching and practising the daily Yagya , Yoga Philosophy and other Vedas’ knowledge makes the people healthy, wealthy and wise. Similarly all four Vedas state that without serving such learned acharyas, nobody will be happy in the life. Rigveda states “SHASTRANNI CHA RATNANI VRIKT PADESHU” i.e., several valuable assets must be donated to such learned acharya. In addition please also study page number 34 (donation) of my book named – Vedas A divine Light.

One must donate the food etc., to those who are needy for the same and to those who have come to our door with a thin/weak body and are hungry, says Rigveda mantra 10/117/3. The donor then gets everything i.e., pious things when he needs. One must give food and other essential commodities to the person who serves him and he must also help an honest, true friend, says Rigveda mantra 10/117/4.

He who is capable to donate, he must satisfy the needy with food, money etc. One must have a deep thinking that the wealth gained by any person is not his permanent property. It rotates like a wheel i.e., it keeps on moving from one hand to another automatically. So donation must be made, says Rigveda mantra 10/117/5.

According to Yajurveda mantra 19/30 Deeksha means to maintain Brahmcharya, to study and gain the knowledge of four Vedas and to practise Ashtang Yoga Philosophy and to control five perceptions, five senses and mind. Such learned acharya i.e., Brahmin is really authentic dignitary to be served and to whom donation should be given by all people. Because he preaches the public well and makes a nation strong, says Atharvaveda mantra 19/43/1.

Otherwise Rigveda mantra 10/117/6 states “KEVAL AGAHA BHAVATI KEVAL AADI” i.e., he who uses his food, comforts and assets alone, he consumes sins.

Now, people mostly are not aware of words and meanings of Ved mantras and hence problems arise.

I would also like to advise you to read my book Vedas- A Divine Light part – I in English worth Rs. 80/- excluding postal charges.