What is the id of the soul? How to identify it? As body , mind nothing is permanent how we can define a soul? Ex: How to identify the soul of Karnan?

It is said that, karma will follow each births right? How karma is applied to particular soul? When soul can't be differentiated from another!

How Abraham Lincoln's soul is different from William Shakespeare?

How Swami Vivekanandar's soul is different from thiruvalluvar?

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Aug 1, 2023 at 12:23
  • My question is how to identify a soul? As soul doesn't have name ,body , religion, country, etc etc ! Aug 1, 2023 at 12:25
  • Yama must keep track of them to be able to maintain an account-book of their karmas and decide their next birth @AndroidManifester
    – S K
    Aug 2, 2023 at 11:16
  • soul inherits its own inherent swabhava or jiva swaropa swabaha and also some swabhava is inherited due to environment. to put it simple seed of tree e.g. a mongo seed doesnt grow tamarind tree.. like this swabhava is attached to soul and from its karma its get added to soul BG. 15. 8
    – Prasanna R
    Aug 3, 2023 at 8:55
  • Brahma Sutras says the Lord only is the dispenser of karma. You might as well be asking 'how does the infinite all- knowing Godhead know how to dispense karma?' Know God first, and ask Him directly yourself. Aug 5, 2023 at 11:08

3 Answers 3


The ahamkara (ego sense, it's me) ,

is a component of antahkarana ( chitta+budhi+manas+ahamkara) superimposed by consciousness principle(Kshetrajna) ,

causes the sense of doership and enjoyership. ..
The experience of identity sense , it's me is due to the manifestation of this component.

Transmigrating Soul is also a Shariira = (sukshma together with karana shariira) in Hinduism

Shiiryate iti Shariira (that which is perishable).. Sharira traya is ever changing..Gross body undergoes several vikaras(changes) say from a child to old man etc. yet ahamkara(it's me) does not fail for the lack of an id..It is not about any association with unique Id , (like a primary key or SSN) imagined to be vested with the ever-changing Shariira traya.

Sukshma perishes upon pralaya/realisation, Karana Shariira perishes only upon self realisation

All Shariiras are Jada(inert) , thus it includes ahamkara also ( like how a computer is inert without electricity). There is only One Kshetrajna (consciousness principle) that operates all the shariiras. As how a person who sees through microscope would not identify him/her self with the microscope, .. a wise would not l identity h-self with inert the body/soul but with that One Consciousness principle, the Kshetrajna one who actually sees , or is the real doer.So there is truly just One Id.

PS : A Yogi may be able to identify with another soul by the principle of samyama, the basis of how etc., could be referred from Patanjali yoga sutras .

Panchadasi.1.23 and 1.24.The five organs of sense, the five organs of action, the five praaNas, mind and intellect, these seventeen together form the subtle body. In some of the Upanishads ahamkaara and chittam are also counted separately, and the number of constituents is stated as nineteen,( Sri SN Saastri )

Being the reason for transmigration, it is called karana shariira , contains the unmanifest(latent) vasanaas(impression s) is the part of the soul together with sukshma Shariira

DNA of no two species are known to be same.. yet , some portion of it could be similar, owing to common ancestory.but one can't demand there should be unique id imbued in fingerprint or DNA , without which an identification is impossible ( the complex structure of DNA or fingerprint itself attributes to its unique Ness).. Likewise No two causal/subtle bodies could be the same (say like DNA). (Although they evolve through samskaras ,capable of change, ie nonfixed unlike a finger print)

A Yogi knows it by the samyama by concentration(dhyana/dharana/samadhi) upon that object. Sadhak Sanjeevani Gita 4.5 , commentary says , Yukta Yogi knows past present future of all the species , whereas Yunjana yogi knows about His own past and future ... To my knowledge there is no mention of an ID for soul in scriptures.


soul inherits its own inherent swabhava or jiva swaropa swabaha and also some swabhava is inherited due to environment. to put it simple seed of tree e.g. a mongo seed doesnt grow tamarind tree.. like this swabhava is attached to soul and from its karma its get added to soul

Lord Shri Krishna states BG. 15. 8

शरीरं यदवाप्नोति यच्चाप्युत्क्रामतीश्वर: | गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति वायुर्गन्धानिवाशयात् || 8||

śharīraṁ yad avāpnoti yach chāpy utkrāmatīśhvaraḥ gṛihītvaitāni sanyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśhayāt

As the air carries fragrance from place to place, so does the embodied soul carry the mind and senses with it, when it leaves an old body and enters a new one.

  • I've not yet received the answer for how to identify a soul. You mean swami vivekananda's soul can be identified by its swabava? Sep 29, 2023 at 17:40
  • First of all your assumption that all souls are same is wrong every soul is unique, when it enters new body based on its vasanas it tend to do the same karma related to its previous birth. or more inclined to do the similar type of karma, but until unles the jiva himself or herself self realized and say that im X and Y in my previous birth nobody is correctly say that. Raghavendra swamigal was vyas thitha in his previous birth and prahalad maharaj. even now in his final resting place he is given so many miracles to people from all walks of life
    – Prasanna R
    Oct 9, 2023 at 12:39

Every human and probably every living thing has three kinds of body, not one.

Every one has multiple koshas or sheaths which form three different kinds of body.

  1. Annamaya Kosha or Food sheath
  2. Pranmaya Kosha or Energy sheath
  3. Manomaya Kosha or Mental sheath
  4. Vijnanamaya Kosha or Wisdom and Consciousness sheath
  5. Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss sheath


1.Annamaya Kosha forms the Sthula Shareera or Gross physical body.

2.Manomaya, 3.Pranamaya and 4.Vijnanamaya kosha forms Sukshma Shareera or Subtle body.

5.Anandamaya kosha forms Karana Shareera or Causal body.

Now when a person dies, they only lose gross body, but they still have their subtle and causal body, it is not destroyed. They still have memory, intelligence, feelings, likes, dislikes etc. They can move from one place to another. And again take up a body and will be born again. Subtle body is also a physical body, it is finer which ordinary humans cannot see. So as long as a soul is not liberated and achieved Moksha, it still has subtle and causal body which differentiates it from other souls.

But what happens on Moksha? As all the three kinds of bodies are gone?

Here different philosophies give different answers. I will list some of which I know.

  1. Advaita: Nothing remains, there is no that soul and this soul, there is only one soul, when all the three bodies are destroyed, there is simply no one trapped inside any more, infact the soul was just watching, there was no one trapped inside, this is the illusion. So once the upadhis, that is body mind complex is gone, there's no differentiation, there's only one soul and that is Brahman and hence Advaita. Source

  2. Vishistadvaita/Dvaitha: Here interestingly Anandamaya Kosha is not considered a part of human body, it is considered as God. Now in these philosophies the soul has almost a physcial subtle presence, it is an atom like minute object which has consciousness. Just like one particle is different from another particle, one soul is different from another soul. Dvaitha says every soul has its own quality and Vishistadvaita says all the souls are same and parts of God but behave differently based on their karma. On Moksha they are liberated from all kinds of bodies and karmas and dwell with God. Source

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