Recently, I was asked the difference between soul and spirit and did not really know the answer. On exploring further, I found that all spiritual traditions explore it in their own ways but convey the same meaning.
As far as Hinduism is concerned, soul is the core-self and is defined by Shankaracharya as chit anand rupa shivoham shivoham. Thus soul is consciousness which is a continuum filled with bliss and is pure.
This is surrounded by five koshas while one is alive and one identifies oneself with these koshas by ignorance of self. We are not these panchkoshas (annamaya, pranmay, dnyanmay, vidnyanmay or anandmay), we are beyond these.
Soul is beyond these, while what we call as spirit as something that leaves body at the time of death has to be deprived of anna and prana and thus remaining three KOSHAs with soul is the remaining spirit. These three remaining KOSHAs preserve knowledge to reconstruct another body and partial knowledge.
Shankaracharya also referred to Jivatma that we can consider a human being or spirit and Paramatma that is about the soul or Universal Consciousness.
Thus, soul is a central core of our being, while spirit consists of soul and three KOSHAs with an ability to reconstruct body and this reenters suitable body and be reborn.
In Christianity, many rarely don’t know the difference between soul and spirit you know in our life we can carry our soul to where ever we are going because the soul is with the men and in you, your heart can be say your soul, hence, spirit in given by God no man can give spirit and the spirit is with your soul they move together as one and the work together as well. A spirit is a soul that does not inhabit a physical body at this time. We exist in subconscious mind, which is the soul, while not in a body. Our Spirit represent our true self, the spark of light, the Living Force, somehow we trapped into this material world via this body we use it now, and according to our desire and by the direction of Supreme Spirit (God) we utilize this body until it comes to an end.
Islam says the difference between the rûh and the nafs – that can be translated as “soul” or “spirit” – is a question whose full answer depends upon having knowledge of the soul, which is something that is beyond the power of human knowledge.
As for the word rûh, it comes with the meaning of the divine infusion by which life takes place.
By a little study, we can ascertain that the word nafs is more general in meaning than the word rûh and it just means sprit. The word rûh is restricted in meaning to the divine infusion of life that we consider soul.
As far as I know, the word ‘ruh’ is used often in urdu shayari and poetry to convey meeting of soul mates.
The fact is we all need to realize we are more than just the body, whether we can soul or spirit. Nomenclature apart, all that we need to realize is that whether we call it soul or spirit, we are part of a higher power and consciousness. .
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