Karana Sharira

Definition - What does Karana Sharira mean?

Karana sharira is the causal body within Hinduism's three-body philosophy, and is considered the most complex. From Sanskrit, karana translates to “causing,” “making” or “muscle”; and sharira means “body.” Karana sharira is thought to be the portal to entering higher consciousness, as well as the cause of the existence of the gross and subtle bodies. It connects both the individual and cosmic consciousness together, and is believed to store information from past lives.

Within a spiritual yoga practice, individuals seek to balance the three bodies through pranayama, meditation, and asana.

Yogapedia explains Karana Sharira

In Hinduism, an individual is considered to be composed of three bodies: the karana sharira, linga sharira (subtle body), and karya sharira (gross body). These three bodies are connected and a person functions best when the bodies are in harmony with one another.

The karana sharira is what continues on after the other bodies are gone, and is the “seed” for a new life in a new body. In some Hinduism schools of thought, the karana sharira is considered the atman, while opposing schools consider the atman separate from the causal body.

The three-body concept is an important core belief in Indian philosophy and in yoga. Yogis seek to balance the bodies through their practice. If a body is imbalanced or unconnected, it can cause negative effects such as disease and/or confusion.

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