Sukshma Sharira

Last Updated: July 20, 2016

Definition - What does Sukshma Sharira mean?

Sukshma sharira is the subtle body within Hinduism's three-body philosophy. This body is considered to contain all vital functions and keeps the physical (gross) body alive. It is believed to exist after an individual dies and operates as a medium for reincarnation.

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

Yogapedia explains Sukshma Sharira

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

The sukshma sharira is made up of the pranamaya kosha (vital life breath), manomaya kosha (mind) and vijnanamaya kosha (intellect). It includes the five organs of sense, the organs of action (genitals, anus, hands, legs and speech), the five vital breaths, as well as wisdom and intellect.

The three-body concept is an important core belief in Indian philosophy and in yoga. If these three bodies become unbalanced, it can cause negative effects such as disease and/or confusion.

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