Asuddha Tattva

Definition - What does Asuddha Tattva mean?

Asuddha tattva are impure realities or truths, according to Shaivism, one of the classic schools of Hinduism. Tattva are principles of reality used to explain the structure of the universe, divided into three categories: suddha (pure), suddhasuddha (pure-impure) and asuddha (impure). There are twenty-four ashudda tattva in total, each one representing an aspect of the universe or physical body.

Yogapedia explains Asuddha Tattva

The twenty-four ashuddha tattva are divided into the following five categories:

Four Inner Organs

  • Manas - Mind or lower mind (as opposed to the intellect or higher mind)
  • Buddhi - Intuition or discernment
  • Ahamkara - Ego, identity or personality
  • Pradhana - Energy of the soul, also known as Prakrti

These four tattva are collectively known as Antahkarana or "inner organs".

Five Sense Organs

  • ghrana - nose/sense of smell
  • rasana - tongue/taste
  • chakshu - eyes/sight
  • tvak - skin/touch
  • srotra - ears/hearing

These five tattva are collectively known as Jnanendriya, and are considered to be sattvic extensions of the lower mind or manas

Five Motor Organs

  • vak - voice/speech
  • pani - hand/grasping
  • pada - foot/walking
  • payu - anus/excretion
  • upastha - sexual organ/procreation

These four tattva are collectively known as Karmendriya, representing the way in which the soul interacts with the universe around it. They each correspond to a sense organ, and are rajasic functions of manas.

Five Subtle Elements

  • gandha - smell
  • rasa - taste
  • rupa - form
  • sparsa - touch
  • sabda - sound

These five tattva are collectively known as tanmatra, forming the tamasic elements of manas.

Five Gross Elements

  • prithvi - earth
  • jala - water
  • tejas - fire
  • vayu - air
  • akasa - ether

These five tattva are collectively known as mahabhuta, and are the basis for the manifestation of the physical world.

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