Friday, August 10, 2012

The human body

In the Nath Tradition the human body called vyashti-pinda or prakriti-pinda. The term "vyaṣṭi" means the  individuality, a part of the whole. The word "piṇḍa" means a sphere, an aggregation of something that forms a one mass. It's like a system consists of many different parts all of which are important and connected to each other. The human body as individual body is described by Gorakshanath as a pinda consisting of various parts:

  • bhuta-pinda or physical body, composed of five elements (bhuta) - earth (pṛthvī), water (apas/jala), fire (agni), air (vāyu) and ether (ākāśa)
  • antahkarana or mental body. Antahkarana is the inner instrument of Atman for the self-knowledge and it's consists of manas (empirical mind, receiving the information from the sense organs), ahamkara (ego, that identify itself with actor, personality), buddhi (differentiating mind that can take a decision) and, in the philosophy of Gorakhnath, chitta and chaitanya (that means intellect/memory and consciousness respectively)
  • three gunas - tamas, rajas, sattva that pervade our entire being and determine our qualities and character
  • time (sense of time and sense of sequence, also chaotic thinking)
  • Jiva or Jivatman - the Atman (our soul or spirit), who exists in the body and experienced in various states. In general the five main states are recognized : jagrat (wakeful state), svapna (dream), sushupti (deep sleep), turya (fourth state, beyond the ordinary states), turyatita (ultimate unity with the Supreme Soul)
  • five types of vak (speech): para (transcendental sound), pashyanti (sound that we can perceive as images and ideas), madhyama (sound as a mental activity, thinking), vaikhari (audible speech), matrika (letters)
  • karma - the results of the past and present actions, and as consequence the samskaras in our mind
  • kriya (our activities), iccha (our will, our intention to do something), kama (the nature of sexual instinct)
  • Sun, Moon and Fire as the reflections of the Cosmic Powers in the human body. 

So as we can see our body - vyashti-pinda -  is a very complicated system, more then only the physical body with mind, that fully reflects the Cosmic System (or Cosmic Body). And in my opinion in the process of yoga-sadhana we should consider the influence of it on all these aspects of the vyashti-pinda, gradually realizing the identity of it with a Cosmic Body (also called the samashti-pinda).

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