Karya Sharira

Definition - What does Karya Sharira mean?

Karya sharira is the gross (physical) body within Hinduism's three-body philosophy, and is the vehicle for both the subtle (linga/sukshma) and causal (karana) bodies. From Sanskrit, karya translates to “function” or “origin,” and sharira means “body.”

Within a spiritual yoga practice, yogis seek to balance the three bodies through pranayama, meditation, asana, Ayurveda and keeping a healthy diet (such as a sattvic diet).

Yogapedia explains Karya Sharira

The karya sharira is made up of the five elements (air, fire, water, ether and earth) and goes through multiple changes throughout life (birth, growth, maturity/wisdom, aging/decay and death). The karya sharira ceases to exist after an individual dies, although the subtle and causal bodies may live on in reincarnation. As such, the karya sharira may also be referred to as the anatman because it is nonspiritual and ceases after death.

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 disease and/or confusion.

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