How can the spiritual soul taste or enjoy a material sweet?
Transcription by – Sesa Vishnu Das
Edited by – Sesa Vishnu Das
Question : if the soul is spiritual then how can it enjoy or taste a sweet which is material?
Answer: By misidentification. Just as when we watch a movie let say the hero bashes up the villain and that time we feel some joy. Why is that? Actually what is happening in the movie has nothing to do with us. we misidentify with the hero and we think that I am the hero, I am the good guy and the villain is the bad one and the bad guy deserves to be beaten up. So by misidentification we can actually feel emotions which are not directly connected with us. same way the soul is spiritual, its true. But just because it is spiritual doesn’t mean that the soul can’t have anything to do with matter. Now the soul can by misidentification experience emotions connected with matter. Now the tasting and enjoying are two different things. Krishna explains in BG 13.21 that actually “ karya karana kartutva” the changes in the material nature happen with the material nature as the cause. But whether those changes are pleasure or pain that is determined by the soul’s enjoying mentality. Bhoktrutve hetu uchyate- because of the desire of the soul to enjoy. Now moving onwards what this means practically is actually the ability of the soul to taste something material that is not something which the soul can create. That is actually created by God, the supersoul who is present in the heart. Just like for us to experience what is happening in the movie we can’t do it ourselves. There is a whole system by which the movie is projected on the screen and also before that there is a whole system by which the movie is produced and then projected before us. The point is that the misidentification takes place, there is the fundamental misidentification and there is a specific misidentification. The fundamental misidentification is to identify with the character in the movie and the set up for that we don’t need. That is actually made by God. God has made the body, he has created the mind which link the soul tot the body. The mind acts like a screen on which whatever is happening in the material world is displayed and projected so that the soul can see and respond. So the capacity of the soul to interact with matter (Interaction of spirit with matter) is not present in the soul itself. But that system is created by the supreme Lord in order to facilitate the soul’s desire to enjoy matter to try to enjoy a life separate from him. Now within those general desires after creating those generic misidentification then with the specific forms of enjoyment, that will depend on the specific individual. So for example a soul which is in a Bengali body may find Sag (spinach) delicious and a soul that is in a gujurati body may find say khakhra delicious or a south indian body may find masala dosa delicious. Although taste is not limited to these items but the point that I am trying to make is that one soul may find one thing enjoyable and another soul may find something else enjoyable and the variations are because of the impressions that are stored in the mind based on past experiences of enjoyment and suffering of taste and distaste. In that way through first of all the soul’s desire to enjoy separate from God and then by the arrangement of the system of the soul interacting with the matter and then the soul’s specific inclination based on the previous impressions all these determine how the soul which is spiritual is able to enjoy a sweet which is material. Thank you.