In the course of the process of our spiritual evolution we acquire the ability of going within and gaining access to the Bliss (Ānand) from our soul (ātmā). Every one of us is at different stages of spiritual evolution. The quality and quantity as well as the duration of the experience of the Bliss are directly proportional to the stage of our spiritual evolution.
When we look in the mirror every morning, we are so used to seeing the image of ourselves. But have you ever wondered what you would look like if you could see an image of your soul?
We call it embodied Soul according to the science of spirituality as it has lost cognizance of itself as the 'Soul' and thinks of itself in terms of the five senses, mind and intellect instead. The Soul of the subtle body (i.e. minus the physical body after one dies) is also known as the embodied Soul or jiva.
This is an internal image of how a common man in today’s world looks like.
We can have the most brilliant of lights within us, that is the soul, but even the brightest of lights if covered with thick blankets would be hidden from view. This darkness that surrounds our soul is the ‘spiritual ignorance’ of our true state that is Bliss. This spiritual ignorance refers to our inability to see beyond our five senses, mind and intellect and perceive the soul within. When we (the embodied soul) undertake/do spiritual practice then gradually the darkness reduces and we are able to perceive the soul and experience the Bliss from it. Externally, we clean our homes and bathe our bodies daily because the dirt outside us is easily visible. However internal spiritual cleansing is another matter and is rarely undertaken.
As we get regular with our spiritual practice we begin to get flashes of the wondrous experiences of the Divine which are known as spiritual experiences. We will describe some of these experiences further on.
The final state is of Shivdashā (i.e. a state of oneness with God or constant communion with God). This final state comes when the covering has completely dissolved and the pure soul can shine through with no filters of ‘spiritual ignorance’ to block its radiance.