SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
dvāv imau puruṣau loke
kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni
kūṭa-stho ’kṣara ucyate
‘Twofold are the souls in the world, the Kshara and the Akshara; the Kshara is the sum of all (bound) beings, Akshara is the Constant.’
Two kinds of souls are known in this world, the Kshara (Perishable) and the Akshara (Imperishable).
The soul designated by the term kshara is that which may be called Jīva or the sum of matter-tied creatures from Brahmā down to the blade of grass, all of momentarily enduring existences. The singular term ‘soul’ is to denote the totality of all creatures by the fact of all of them being subjected to the one common condition of being matter-wedded.
By the term Akshara, the Constant, the Imperishable or the freed soul, as detached from matter’s connections and as found in its own essential nature is denoted. It is called Constant (kūtastha) inasmuch as when it is exempted from matter no connection with such bodies as those of Brahmā etc, —which are but modifications of matter-stuff— is formed. The singular case of this term also, viz., kūtastha is because it is a collective term denoting the totality of all those souls whose one common characteristic has come to be that of being matter-free. It does not therefore mean that there is but a single liberated (mukta) soul; for that of such there are innumerable, declare such passages as: ‘Many are they who purified by wisdom-meditation, have come to My state.’ (Gi: IV-10). ‘(They) are neither born at creation nor suffer at dissolution’ (Gi: XIV-2).
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