“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.” Bhagavad-gita 2.29
We should regularly breathe this verse. By breathe I mean to stand in awe, as we would when seeing a sunset or a blossoming tree in spring. To pause from the minutiae of everyday lists on the screens of our lives and acknowledge the soul.
In his purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada says, “The fact that the atomic soul is within the body of a gigantic animal, in the body of a gigantic banyan tree, and also in the microbic germs, millions and billions of which occupy only an inch of space, is certainly very amazing.”
He also goes on to say that understanding the soul is not easy, and especially understanding the difference in magnitude between the soul and the Supersoul (Krishna). Those with ‘a poor fund of knowledge’ and who are ‘not austere cannot understand the wonders of the individual atomic spark of spirit.’
Books like the Gita help us get to work on knowing our soul, our self. We are also helped by great teachers. They dig deep into the teachings and shine lights upon the words on the pages. Here are Baladev Vidyabhusana’s (a learned guru from the 18th Century) insights on the amazing verse.
Taking the first line ‘Some look on the soul as amazing’ the word amazing modifies the soul, the object. Using the word amazing to modify the subject and verb of the sentence, ‘some people’ and ‘look’, we then have the following: “Some people, who are amazing, look upon the soul.”
And “Some people look—amazingly—at the soul.”
Isn’t that amazing? Amazing people, look amazingly at the amazing soul! It’s a bit of a tongue twister but what it really does is allow us to see not only the soul, but to appreciate others who are soul seekers, and to invite us to be regularly amazed (experience feelings of wonder and joy) as we search for the beating heart of life and the deepest and highest experience of love.
Be amazed, people! The pettiness of life will surely dull us if we are not conscious and intentional about being amazed by the notion and ultimate understanding of our soul.