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Jyothi Ramalinga Swamigal Teachings

An important teaching of  Jyothi Ramalinga Swamigal

Think of a bullock-cart. The bullock is a conscious animal. The cart is an inert object. The two are yoked by the ‘driver’ (resident of the cart) for reasons known only to himself. How does he ‘yoke’ them? By passing the bridle-rope through the bullock’s nose, and holding it himself, and also passing a rope through its neck and linking it with the frontal portion of the cart. And then it is the driver who is making the cart go; the bullock doesn’t know when the journey will end.

This is exactly the situation of the Jiva. It is ‘yoked’ to this body by the Universal Director (Driver) who decides when to start the journey of the Jiva in this body; and at that precise moment he ‘passes the bridle-rope through the nose’ by providing life-giving breath to this Jiva-body bondage and makes them go. He, and no one else, knows when the journey will end! The cart is jada. The bullock is the chit. This is the chit jada granthi.


The concept ‘jiva is ‘yoked’ to this body by the Universal Director (Driver) who decides when to start the journey of the Jiva in this body’ is deeply rooted in various philosophical and religious traditions, particularly in Hinduism and certain schools of thought within Buddhism and Jainism. Let's expand on this idea:

Jiva: In Hindu philosophy, Jiva refers to the individual soul or consciousness, often described as the eternal essence that reincarnates from one body to another through the cycle of birth and death (samsara). It carries the accumulated karma from past lives and undergoes various experiences in different incarnations until it achieves liberation (moksha) from this cycle.

Yoked to the Body: The term "yoked" implies a connection or union. According to the philosophical worldview, the Jiva becomes associated or connected with a physical body upon birth. This connection is not random but is governed by cosmic laws and the will of the Divine.

Universal Director or Driver: In Hinduism, this role is often attributed to Ishvara, the supreme cosmic power or divine controller who oversees the workings of the universe, including the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Ishvara is believed to be responsible for the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the cosmos, as well as for the administration of karma.

Start of the Journey: The beginning of the Jiva's journey in a particular body is believed to be determined by cosmic timing and the intricate interplay of various factors, including karma, divine will, and the soul's evolutionary journey. The circumstances and conditions of each individual's life are thought to be shaped by past actions and spiritual progress.

Purpose and Lessons: Within this framework, each incarnation serves a purpose in the soul's evolution. It provides opportunities for learning, growth, and the resolution of karmic debts. The experiences encountered in a given lifetime are believed to be tailored to the individual soul's needs for spiritual advancement.

Freedom and Destiny: While there's acknowledgment of a cosmic plan and divine orchestration, there's also the concept of free will within certain philosophical interpretations. Although the Jiva is yoked to the body and subject to the universal laws of karma, it's believed to have the capacity to make choices and influence its destiny through actions and intentions.

Spiritual Practices and Liberation: The ultimate goal within this framework is for the Jiva to attain liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death. This liberation involves transcending the limitations of individual identity and realizing one's inherent unity with the divine or the ultimate reality (Brahman).

In summary, the concept of the Jiva being yoked to the body by a Universal Director who initiates its journey encapsulates profound philosophical ideas about the nature of existence, divine governance, karma, and the soul's quest for ultimate liberation.