The concept of Soul has been depicted in varied ways in all the religious doctrines. The perception that “One’s individuality” is soul and not the human body can be seen in old Sumerian and Egyptian myths.
The concept of soul is bound to be confusing since it is out of the domain of “Mind” and hence “Experience”. Buddhism suggests the doctrine of “Anatta or Impermanence” wherein Soul and Self are both negated.
Persians believe that the soul is divided in two parts. One of the part is called “Fravashi” while the other part is called “Urvan”. Fravashi is the “Elemental Soul” while Urvan is the “Gross Soul”. The elemental soul is free of any virtue but the gross soul is completely effected by the human acts during the life-time.
At Ghadir Khumm, Prophet Muhammad explained a celestial lake where 4 cups would be served. Two cups would be made of Gold while remaining two cups would be made of Silver. Silver is representation of Soul whereas Gold is representation of Wisdom. Each of the two cups represent the Elemental and Gross portion of Soul and Wisdom. The two components of soul are called Ruh and Nafs. Similar to Fravashi and Urvan, Ruh determines the fate of Nafs.
In epic of Mahabharata, Bhism is representation of Gross Soul while Ganga is representation of Elemental Soul. In the epic, Bhism is born due to copulation between Shantanu and Ganga, which necessarily means that Individual or Gross soul is produce Elemental Soul and a character called Shantanu.
Shantanu comprises of two Sanskrit word “Shaant” and “Anu” wherein Shaant means peaceful and Anu is the smallest unit of a living organism. In this sense, Shantanu is a life force which keeps the inner environment of the Cell peaceful when subjected to adverse external stimuli. Battle of Kurukshetra is all about liberation of Bhism. As God Krishna stood by the side of Bhism during his death, if Ahura Mazda stands by an Urvan, the urvan or the “Gross Soul” amalgamates with Fravashi.
In our book, we shall deal with subject of Soul in great detail.