Athato Brahma jignyasaa ! ..

Tatva Bhodha 5 !

Sarira Traya !! ....

With Sanskrit text in Devanagari , Telugu and Kannada

Tatvabhodha 5

In explaining Self or Atma , it is explained that the self is other than three forms of the bodies namely Sthula , Sukshma and karana Sarira. Now the question is about what are these three forms of the body ! This lesson covers the three forms of the body. While explaining the Sthula sarira and Sukshma Sarira a few more words crop up like gyanendriyah and karmendriyah. They also get elaborated !!.

So the text of "Tatvabhodha 5" continues. !!

(1) स्ठूल शरीरं किम् ?

What is the Gross body ?

पंचीकृत पंच महाभूतैः कृतं सत्कर्म जन्यं
सुखदुःखादि भोगायतनं शरीरम्
अस्ति जायते वर्धते विपरिणमते अपक्षीयते विनस्यतीति
षड्विकारवदेतत् स्थूल शरीरम् ।

That which is made up of five great elements that have undergone the process of panchikarana, born as a result of good actions of the past , the counter of experiences like joy, sorrow etc., and subject to the six modifications namely , to exist , to be born, to grow, to mature, to decay and to die is the gross body !

The five great elements are space, air, fire, water, and earth. They form the five basic elements of the body when go through the process of panchikarana. All elements of this universe are constituted by a combination of these five elements. Body being part of this , it is also similarly made of these five elements. It is perceived by senses, so it is called Sthula. Body is also a thing that disintegrates with time - 'Siryamaanatvaat Sariram' , hence it is called Sariram .

It is born as a result of past actions. Being born in a human form is a result of past good actions. It is a form which experiences happiness and sorrow ( Sukha duhkha ).

It goes through the six stages of existence ( Asthi ), birth ( Jayate ) , growth ( Vardhate) , maturity ( Viparinamate) , decay ( Apakshiyate) and death ( Vinasyati) . When the body disintegrates with death it is called 'panchatvam apuh' . It becomes one with the five elements

(2) सूक्ष्म शरीरं किम् ?

अपंचीकृत पंच महाभूतैः कृतं सत्कर्मजन्यं ।
सुखदुःखादिभोग साधनं पंचज्ञानेंद्रियाणि पंचकर्मेंद्रियाणि
पंच प्राणादयः मनस्चैकं बुद्धिश्चैका एवं सप्तदसकलाभीः सह
यत्तिष्ठति तत् सूक्ष्मशरीरम् ।


What is the subtle body ?

That which is composed of the five great elements which have not undergone grossification, born of good actions of the past, the instrument for the experience of joy, sorrow and so on is the subtle body . Subtle body is constituted of seventeen elements , namely , the five sense organs of action, the five pranas, the mind and the intellect.

The subtle body also consist of the five elements in their basic form , not in the gross form ( panchikruta) as made up of the body . So here the five elements are said to be in their basic form ( Apanchikruta) .

Like the Sthula Sarira , the Sukshma Sarira too is born of good actions of the past.

The Sukshma sarira is the instrument through which the mind actually experiences the joys and sorrows etc.

The Sukshma sarira consists of seventeen elements - namely five sense organs , five organs of action, five pranas and the mind (manas) and the intellect (buddhi) . The mind is the seat of all mental activity based on the five sense organs and five organs of action. The intellect is the one which recognizes , discriminates and prompts action. Thus the subtle body is the cause of all actions.

The discussion on these two types of Sarira namely Sthula Sarira and the Sukshma sarira , brought up two known words pancha gyanendriyaani - pancha karmendriyaani.

Though they are seemingly understood - here is a explanation of what is meant by those two words namely pancha gyanendriyaani - pancha karmendriyaani.

So that follows next.

Pancha gyanendriyaani :

श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षुः रसना घ्राणं इति पंच ज्ञानेंद्रियाणि ।
श्रोत्रस्य दिक् देवता ।
त्वचो वायुः ।
चक्षुः सूर्यः ।
रसनाय वरुणः।
घ्राणस्य अस्विनौ ।
इति ज्ञानेंद्रिय देवताः ।
श्रोत्रस्य विषयः शब्द ग्रहणम् ।
त्वचो विषयः स्पर्श ग्रहणं ।
चक्षुषो विषयः रूप ग्रहणम्।
रसनाया विषयः रसग्रहणम् ।
घ्राणस्य विषयः गंधग्रहणम् इति ।

The five organs of perception are the ears , skin, eyes, tongue, and nose , The presiding deities of the organs are Space of the ears, Air of the Skin, Water of the tongue, Asvini kumaras of the nose.The field of experience of the organs are cognition of the sound for the ears, cognition of the touch for the skin, cognition of the form for the eyes, cognition of the taste for the tongue, cognition of the smell for the nose.

These five sense organs provide us the capacity to hear, feel. see, taste and smell. They also provide us the means of gaining knowledge directly . Hence they are called Gyanendriyaha.

The next to be elaborated are the karmendriyaaha!!


वाक्पाणिपादपायूपस्थानीति पंच कर्मेंद्रियाणि ।
वाचो देवता वह्निः ।
हस्तयोः इंद्रः ।
पादयोः विष्णुः ।
पायोः मृत्युः ।
उपस्थस्य प्रजापतिः ।
इति कर्मेंद्रियाणि देवताः ।
वाचो विषयः भाषणम् ।
पाण्योः विषयः वस्तु ग्रहणम् ।
पादयोः विषयः गमनम् ।
पायोः विषयः मलत्यागः ।
उपस्थस्य विषयः आनंद इति ।

The five organs of action are speech, the hands, the legs , the anus, and the genitals. The presiding deities of the organs of action are Agni of speech, Indra of hand, Vishnu of the legs, Yama of the anus, and Prajapathi of the genitals. The function of speech is to speak, the function of the hands is to grasp things, the function of the legs is to move, the function of anus is to eliminate the waste and the function of the genitals is pleasure.

The five organs of action are clear and there is no ambiguity .

(3) कारण शरीरं किम्?
अनिर्वाच्यानाद्यविद्यारूपं शरीरद्वयस्य कारणमात्रं सत्स्वरूपाज्ञानं ।
निर्विकल्पकरूपम् यदस्ति तत् कारण शरीरम् ॥

That which is inexplicable, beginning less , in the form of ignorance, the sole cause of the two bodies ( namely the gross and the subtle), ignorant of one's own true nature , free from duality is the casual body.

While explaining the Atma or self which is other than these three bodies, it is stated that Karana Sarira, the casual body , is the seat of all our inherent tendencies. The good bad and everything ! I The same is explained here.

The Karana Sarira is described below :

It is anirvachaniya, indescribable. It is Anaadi without beginning. It is of the form of ignorance, Avidyarupam . It is the sole cause of the two bodies ( Sukshma and Sthula ). It is ignorant of its own true form.

Thus the three forms of the body Sarira- traya are explained .

om tat sat !!