This is part of an ongoing series of posts regarding specific concepts related to theosophy.

Other Resources: Evolution, Karma, Reincarnation

The intention of these posts are to create a resource for inquiring students, so we'll approach it a little differently than we would a normal discussion.

Please read below for the intended format of this project.

Here's how we do this:

  • Members are invited and encouraged to post their favorite quotes along with links to websites for further reading. If the quote is long (i.e. an entire chapter of a book), please select a couple sentences that stand out and then provide a link to the full chapter online (or if the book is not available online, please provide the title and author name). Anonymous quotes will be deleted, so be sure to source your info...
  • Members are also invited and encouraged to share their own thoughts/interpretations on the concept. However, no rebuttals or counter arguments are to be made in regards to any member posts. As this will be a resource for students interested in learning about a topic, we're not looking for debates on its validity, but instead are looking for sincere attempts at interpretation of its meaning (whether by Plato, Buddha, Blavatsky or Mr. Average Joe Smith!).
  • Each member will be allowed only ONE post of their own interpretation, but are encouraged to post as many quotes and links to other sources as they wish. So think carefully and take your time composing your own thoughts on the subject - there's no rush and no deadlines!
  • Let's also set a 500 word maximum for any post (whether of a quote or member interpretation).


The main idea here is that when you come across something while reading and think to yourself: "wow, what a beautiful description of such and such!", you can come here and post the quote and/or link so that we may all share in the discovery! As this resource builds, when we say to ourselves: "Oh, now where did I hear that quote again? I know it was somewhere!?", we can come to Theosophy.Net, run a quick search, and viola! find the quote/link we were looking for!



Here we will post quotes, thoughts and links on the concept of Soul(s), whether singular or plural and stemming from any tradition or viewpoint.

I hope everyone will feel free to add to this ongoing resource. Don't be shy... share away! This is a "no debate zone". :)

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There is a very interesting, some may find anti-theosophical sentence on page 19 of the book 'A Life Sketch of UG Krishnamurti', who was a contemporary of J Krishnamurti and like him was also a lecturer for the Theosophical Society for a while:

There is no soul, no atman, only the body, and the body is immortal. It is an acausal state of ‘not-knowing’, of wonder.

 Thanks for the link, Anand!!! I've read this book with pleasure!!! :-)  (I'm not commenting because the rules of this thread don't allow it ;-)

Buddhists would like the first part of this statement, "There is no soul, no atman," but not the second part, "only the body, and the body is immortal."

Lokayatas, also called Charvakas, would like the first part of this statement and part of the second part of this statement, "only the body," but not the rest, "and the body is immortal." They deny the existence of a soul, and say that there is only the perishable body. They are the so-called materialist school of ancient India, and no longer exist as such. I say "as such," because their philosophy is much like that of many people in the modern world today. For this reason, their teachings have attracted interest among some scholars. Their teachings have been reconstructed from critiques of their position by the other ancient schools of Indian philosophy. Two major books on this are:

Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism, by Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya. New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1959.

Carvaka/Lokayata: An Anthology of Source Materials and Some Recent Studies, by Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya. New Delhi, 1990.

Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya has also written a smaller book on this: In Defence of Materialism in Ancient India: A Study in Carvaka/Lokayata, 1989. Like his first book, this book was also published by the People's Publishing House, a publisher of books for the Communist Party in India. According to the author, the Lokayata or Carvaka philosophy harmonizes with that of Communism.

Its own texts were all thought to be lost. A brief Brihaspati-sutra was discovered in the early 1900s and at first thought to be a lost text of the Lokayata/Carvaka school. But this has been doubted. Then a text called the Tattvopaplavasimha surfaced, which is regarded by some as giving the views of this school. At least, it gives similar views, but views that could also be simply those of a cynic who was not part of this school. This text has been translated into English by Eli Franco as Perception, Knowledge, and Disbelief: A Study of Jayarasi's Scepticism, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1994.

From what can be gleaned about the Lokayatas or Charvakas, we can say that for this defunct but perhaps resurrected school, there is no soul.

Thanks David. That materialist school in India existed and was respected only goes to show how freedom of thought helped develop those different knowledge systems.

I believe, UG Krishnamurti explained his views on "Body is immortal". I believe he tied the statement to the DNA. Even if the body gets cremated, and the ashes dispersed, some organism will consume the DNA from those ash particles. And whether that DNA goes into a fish in the river or into a grain of wheat, it will come back to another human at some point in time. Soon another human with the previous body will be born.

Although directly in conflict with the famous teaching of Bhagvad-Gita, I believe it should be investigated. I had no clue that it could be linked to Carvaka school.I will try to learn about it from the references you have so kindly provided.

 I think that Alice A. Bailey's books provide really useful information on this subject, in theory and practice, especially the first two volumes of  "A treatise on the Seven Rays" ,which deal with esoteric psychology. These books can be freely downloaded from this site:   The main language of the web is Italian, so you must click on "Testi Bailey in inglese" in a box at the upper left hand of the screen. Yes, they're difficult stuff, but in my opinion, it's worth the effort.

 Have fun today, people!!! :-)


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