Question 169: How bodies get flesh and bones?

flesh and bones
Since everything is Atma, how is it that bodies are flesh and bones? The young Rama sits at the feet of the Sage and listens.

jiva: individual soul embodied as a person. Soul with a body.

samsar Hin. samsara San. m. ‘that which flows and changes’ – the round of existence, the passage of the soul in the cycle of life, death and rebirth; life in the world, caught in illusion. Samsara is the ephemeral world, impermanent and unreal, which enthralls the senses and gives rise to desire. ‘To free oneself from the ‘wheel of samsara’, awareness of the unborn undying Self which is one’s own reality is the only method available to man.’ The paradox: ‘It is out of ignorance that man is caught in the cycle of birth and death. Birth and death are caused by the will of God.’ (Pronounced sansara); manifest universe;

sankalpa: ideation; modification of chitta or consciousness; idea, resolve, volition (will);


Question 169: Sir, since all jivas are aspects of Atma, how do they get bodies of flesh and bones ?

Answer: Ramji, I have explained to you repeatedly that all insentient and sentient beings which are cognised in the universe are illusory and akin to the objects of a dream. All that is seen with names and forms is a dream of a long duration and is cognised due to our firm faith; in reality, all these are illusory. When you are firmly established in Atmic discipline, then the universe of names and forms will be liquidated; you will realise its dream character, and will cognise nothing but Atma. The universe that you experience (samsara) is the result of imaginations. When with spiritual discipline the belief in the universe is erased, the manifest universe vanishes and it is experienced in its true state. When the mind is directed away from Atma, it ideates the forms in the universe. These forms are manifested in a flash like lightning, and are merely ideations of the mind. Abandoning looking outwards, when the mind becomes introvert and is engaged in spiritual discipline ie., it meditates on the true state, then the universe is dissolved and only Atma is cognised.

Ramji, all jivas and creations that are cognised will, in due course, resolve back to their true form. Their creation, existence, bondage and dissolution are all illusory. Just as a potter gives the shape of jar to a lump of clay on a revolving wheel, so does the mind create bodies by its ideation. All these exist in the ideation of mind, hence the universe is said to be just an ideation (sankalpa). When the ideation (sankalpa) is a non-entity, how can the universe be in existence? It shows that the manifest universe with names and forms is an illusion of an ideation of mind and that nothing has been created. Even Brahma, who first arose in the lotus and created everything with his ideation (sankalpa), is himself illusory. All these cognitions are the result of maya (cosmic illusion).


It is said, ‘Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma’ (The creation is entirely Brahma alone.)

Ancient man was so pure that when he touched any object, the object would get stuck to him! Such was the extent of Divine powers that pulsated through his body from head to toe. As desires gradually multiplied, these Divine powers in him started to decrease. You need not think so deeply to understand this concept. You can test this idea now itself. You have several desires. Let us say that you have ten such desires that are to be fulfilled. Out of the ten, eliminate three completely. You can easily feel the difference in the energy flowing through the body! Your memory too increases. The sages of yore could easily recount from memory incidents that had happened long ago and recite things learnt a long time ago. This was because they had minimal desires in them.

They glorified God as the embodiment of eight essential features. These eight names are Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyothirmayi, Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Sreemayi (God is the embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, supreme majesty, delusion and wealth). (Showers, 2002)


flesh and bones
the human body: flesh and bones or maya, illusion?


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”