Saturday, January 20, 2007


Tattvabodha - 12

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Sookshma Sareeram Kim?
What is Sookshma Sareeram (Subtle body)?

Apancheekrithapanchamahaboothaihi kritham Satkarmajanyam
SukkhaDukkhaadhibhogasaadhanam PanchaJnaanendriyani Pancha
Karmendriyani Panchapranadayaha Manaschaekam Bhudhischaeka
Evam Sapthadashakalaabhihi saha yaththistathi tatsookshmasareeram
That which is composed of five elements before undergoing the process called Pancheekaranam, which is born out of good action, which is the instrument to experience the pleasure and pain, and which contains 5 sense organs, 5 organs of action, 5 pranas (prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana), mind and the intellect with the total of 17. This is subtle body.

"Self alone is Real and all others (non-Self) are unreal", this is enquiry into the Truth. To enquire into the Self, we need to know what is Self and what is non-Self. Shankara when explaining about what is Atman, he first mentions the Anatman and then gives the nature of the Self. So the first definition of Atman which Shankara gave was Self is not Gross body, Self is not Subtle body and Self is not Causal body. In the previous mail we saw Shankara explanation on Gross body. Now here, Shankara explains about the Subtle body.

Sthoola shareeram or Gross body is formed by the grossfication of the 5 basic elements by a process called Panchikaranam, but Sookshma shareeram or subtle body is formed before this process of Pancheekaranam. Subtle body is the instrument through which pleasure or pain is experienced. The Subtle body consists of seventeen components, they are 5 organs of Perception (Pancha Jnana Indriyaani), 5 organs of action (Pancha Karma Indriyaani), 5 vital air (Pancha Pranah), Mind (Manas) and Intellect (Bhudhih). These seventeen constitute the Subtle body.

Now Shankara then goes on the explain each of the components of the Subtle body.
Srothram Tvak Chakshuhu Rasanaa Graanam ithi Pancha Jnaanendriyaani
Ear, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose are the 5 Jnaana indriyaas (organs of perception).
Srothrasya Digdevathaa
The presiding deity of ear is Space
Tvacho Vaayuhu
Of the skin the Air
Chakshushaha Suryaha
Of the eyes the Sun
Rasanaaya varunaha
Of the tongue the Water
Graanasya Ashwinao
Of the nose the Aswini
Ithi Jnaanendriya Devathaaha
Thus are the presiding deities of the organs of perception

The five organs of Knowledge are Ear (Srothram), skin (Tvak), Eyes (Chakshushah), Tongue (Rasanaa), Nose (Graanam), these above constitue the 5 organs of Perception. Each of the organs of perception has a presiding deity. The presiding deity of ear is Space, of skin is Air, of Eye is Sun, of Toungue is Water and of Nose is Aswini Kumars. We will learn the field of experience of each of the organs of Perception tomorrow.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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