Thursday, January 11, 2007


Tattvabodha - 11

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

SthoolaShareeram Kim?
What is Sthula Sareeram (Gross Body)?
Pancheekrithapanchamahabhoothaihi Kritham Satkarmajanyam
SukhaDukhaadhibhogaayathanam Sareeram, Asthi Jaayathae
Vardhathae Viparinamathae Apaksheeyathae Vinashyatheethi
That which is composed of five elements after they have undergone the process called Panchikarana, born as result of good actions of the past, acts as an hutment to enjoy the happiness and sorrow which has got Existence, birth, growth, maturity, decay and death. This is gross body

In the previous sloka where he gave the definition of Atman, he first negated the three bodies which are gross, subtle and the causal body as not Self. To understand that these three bodies are not atman we have to know what these three bodies are, what are its nature, so that we can clearly understand that statement "sthoolasukshmakaarana shareeraadh vyathirikthah". Here Shankara gives the explanation of Gross body.

The gross body is the external physical body which is visible to others and us. Here Shankara gives two ways of the creation of this gross body. One is the generic way and other is the specific way. Generic way is generic to all the gross bodies of the world, gross body is the product of the 5 basic elements or Pancha mahabhoothas. The 5 elements are Space, air, fire, water and earth. These 5 elements undergo a process of grossification called Panchikara and thus forms the body. The process of Panchikara is later explained by Shankara. The specific way is gross body of human is because of good action (satkarma janyam) done in the previous births. Human birth is considered to be more sacred than the birth as any other species. The body is used to experience the pleasure and pain (sukha dukhaadhi bhogaayathanam shareeram).

Nature of gross body:
The nature of gross body is that the body is subjected to continuous changes. There are six changes or six ways of disintegration
1. Asti: The body stays in the foetus of the mother in the potential form before being born
2. Jayathe: The body the comes out from mothers womb and it is born
3. Vardhathe: The body grows from childhood to manhood.
4. Viparinamathe: The body matures.
5. apaksheeyathe: The body then starts decaying
6. Vinashyathi: Finally the body perishes.

The body thus goes through these six modifications or shadvikaaraas. Next Shankara explains about Subtle body which we will see tomorrow.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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