[Advaita-l] Tattvabodha of Adi Sankaracharya - 9

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 15 19:20:55 EST 2020

(Continued from previous post)
2.2 The Subtle Body: sUkshma SarIra
sUkShmasharIra.n kim? What is sUkshma SarIra?
sUkshmam means subtle - not visible to
  apa~nchIkR^itapa~nchamahAbhUtaiH kR^ita.n satkarmajanya.n
  sukhaduHkhAdibhogasAdhanaM pa~nchaj~nAnendriyANi
  pa~nchakarmendriyANi pa~nchaprANAdayaH manashchaikaM
  buddhishchaikA eva.n saptadashAkalAbhiH saha yattiShThati
  tatsUkShmasharIram .
It is composed of the five elements (mahA bhUtas),
before the process of pancIkaraNam; is born out
of good deeds; is the instrument for the experi-
ence of pleasure and pain; comprises of seven-
teen items, namely, the five sense organs
(jnAnendriyas), five organs of action
(karmendriyas), five prANas (prANa, apAna,
vyAna, udAna and samAna), the mind and the
a) What is it made of? pa~nchamahAbhUtaiH kR^ita.n - of the
five great elements - space, air, fire, water
and earth, born before the process of
pancIkaraNam. They are known as
b) How  is  the  subtle  body  acquired?
satkarma janyam.h - out of sat karma - good deeds
in the past.
c) What is its function? sukhaduHkhAdibhogAyatana.n -
the instrument for experiencing pleasure
pain etc. (as against gross body which is
the house for experiencing) Since there are
varieties of experiences, there should be
varieties of instruments also!
d) How many are there? evaM saptadashAkalAbhiH -
seventeen are listed as follows:
  pa~nchakarmendriyANi - Five sense organs
  pa~nchakarmendriyANi - Five organs of action
  pa~nchaprANAdayaH - the five prANas
  manaH - the mind, and
  buddhiH - the intellect.
These are subtle and are known as indriyas as
supposed to their gross counterparts - known
as goLakas. (For example the physical ear lobe
is the gross version and the power of hearing
is the subtle counterpart). The subtle body
varies from one jiva to another and so every
jiva is unique!
saha yattiShThati tatsUkShmasharIram - Along with these
seventeen, is called sUkshma SarIram.
The following table summarizes the differences
between the gross body and the subtle body:
sthUla SarIram - sUkShma SarIram
Gross - Subtle
Visible - Invisible
Is the locus of Experience - Is the instrument of Experience
Ayatanam.h - sAdhanam.h
The author then proceeds to the discussion of
each component of the subtle body.
(Continued in next post)

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