The Online Etymological Dictionary claims that the origins of this word are unknown. The Old English word Sawol is listed and then the Proto-Germanic Saiwalo which then relates to the old Norse Sala, the Old Frisian Sele, the Middle Dutch Siele, the Dutch Ziel, Old High German Seula, German Seele, and finally the Gothic Saiwala. The highly dubious Wikipedia adds to the list Sele as a secondary form of the Old High German, the Old Saxon Seola, Old Low Franconian Sela and Sila and the Lithuanian Siela.
These terms are very important for our discussion although it may seem a bit dry to those not interested in language history and linguistic evolution. The most important submission is the final Lithuanian Siela. This is because Lithuanian is one of the European languages that is truest to its Sanskrit roots; this is easily verified online. All the above languages are Sanskrit root languages. Did you know even English is a dialect of Sanskrit? So are French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German and Russian rooted in the great grandmother language of Sanskrit.
The reason that the Lithuanian Siela is so important is that it reveals to us all the true source of the word soul. I have talked personally with many Theravada Monastics and Vaishnavas about this and the ones that have studied Pali and or Sanskrit know the answer. Pali is a Sanskrit dialect that was spoken in India during the reign and empire of King Ashoka. They explain that the word soul comes from the Pali root Sila or the Hindu root word Shila. In terms of phonemes, the sound of words, this makes sense. Often dictionaries define soul by cross referencing it to the Sanskrit word Atman which does not sound like soul at all.
If you tell Wikipedia or the OED or Webster’s Dictionary’ scholars that Sila or Shila is the root for the word soul, they will not listen. They refuse to link Christian mysticism to India in an ethnocentric denialism that refuses to listen. The term Atman is the proper term for soul and yet it is understood to mean something far different from what Abrahamic traditions of Christianity and Islam teach.
What is Sila or Shila? It is the honor derived from one’s conduct. Buddha used the term when he listed the Ten Paramitas (Sanskrit) or Paramis (Pali.) This makes sense because the Christian and Muslim religions are enmeshed with the ideas of soul being connected to conduct, honor, judgement and ultimately the final destiny of heaven or hell. The true meaning of Shila or Sila is not a spiritual concept but a civic concept, like a knight in shining armor’s honor. After the Avatar Parashurama exiled through battle many warrior clans from India, they migrated to the Middle East to Russia and eventually Europe carrying with them the warrior caste notion of Shila and their incorrect interpretations of early Vedic culture which got them exiled. This is the origin of Celtic, Tartar and ancient Babylonian cultures which evolved Shila into a notion of a spiritual ‘soul’ concept over thousands and thousands of years especially through the advent of Abrahamic traditions.
Is our honor based on vegan conduct? Is our honor vegan in nature? Is there an eternal nature to our vegan conduct and vegan honor? I think the answer is obvious; yes, of course.
How can one claim to have proper conduct and honor if they kill unarmed herbivores, if they eat the bloody dead carcasses of tortured and murdered animals or drink the mammary secretions of other species?
Only a vegan lifestyle offers the foundation of honor and correct conduct which must then be coupled with strong morality and a true spiritual practice. Then, one may safely assume, that all Shila or rather all Souls are vegan in their truest natures and must cultivate vegan lifestyles for normalcy, good health and spiritual evolution.
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