Sample Philosophy Term Paper Summary on the Concept of the Soul in Hinduism

The Concept of the Soul in Hinduism

The soul of man is considered to be different from God in the Hindu religion. The religion accepts the existence of the soul but clearly explains that the human soul exists in a form that is different from God himself. The Human soul according to the Hindu tradition is ensnared within the sinful desires of the flesh once a human being is alive. The concept of the soul cannot be understood by human capability due to the complexity of its nature. However, not only humans but all forms of life on earth have souls. This makes the plants as well as other animals to have souls in them. One the holder of the soul passes on, the soul within the body is liberated (Jayaram, par. 5). The soul is referred to as Jiva but is not similar to a liberated soul. When one dies, the soul is liberated from the snares of the world.

In the normal human life, awareness of the soul is impossible as people are ensnared through their humanly senses. The only way to aware of one’s soul is therefore to be detached from worldly senses. Following death, the Hindus believe that the soul may take different paths depending on their specific deeds while alive. This has led to the belief that souls are also reincarnate through a series of lives and deaths. The path taken by the most devoted souls is the devayana, which refers to the way of the gods. The fathers’ ways describe the paths taken by the charitable and those who lived in austerity. This path is referred to as the Pitriyana. Other paths include the hell bound path for the extremely wicked and the reincarnation for others (Firth 683).




Work Cited

Firth, Shirley. “End-of-life: a Hindu view.” Lancet 2005, 366 (2005): 682-686.

Jayaram V. “Description of the Soul or self in the Bhagavad-Gita.” Hindu Website. undefined. . 8 March 2013. <>.


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