|THE relationship of the individual Soul
to the Supreme Spirit on the one hand and to the material body on the other is to be
gathered from the verses taken up for study now. The Supreme Spirit may be said to dwell
within the individual Soul and to irradiate it as even the latter dwells within and
illumines the material body. We read in the previous chapter that the Soul successively
takes various visible forms and "becomes" man, bird, beast or plant. The Supreme
Spirit may be said similarly to "become" or "transform" itself into
numerous souls at the same time.
The individual Soul may also be looked upon
as a fragment of the Universal Spirit, but the transcendental nature of the original is
such that fragmentation does not affect its integrity. Further attempts at exact
definition of the relationship of the individual Soul to the Supreme Spirit will take us
into the learned controversies of Dwaita, Adwaita and Visishtadvaita philosophies.
Bhagavad-Gita does not discuss this question but, like the Upanishads, lends itself as
authority to all these schools of thought. All the three schools accept the doctrine of
Karma, the law that governs the individual Soul.