what is a Body?
The Lord himself explains us about the body. He calls it Kshetra in Bhagavadgita.
BUDHHIRAVYAKTAM EVA CA
INDRIYANI DASAIKAM CA
PANCA CA INDRIYA GOCARAH
ICCHA DVESHAM SUKHAM DUHKHAM
SANGHATAS CETANA DHRUTIH
ETAT KSHETRAM SAMASENA SAVIKARAN
The main elements are the false ego,intelligence,the unmanifested material nature,the ten senses and the mind, and the five objects of the senses, desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the gross body, consciousness and determination-all these elements that are described here are considered to be the Kshetra/Body.
According to vedanta every individual has three bodies. They are sthula sariram(Gross body), Sukshma sariram(Subtle body), karana sariram(Causal body).
Sthula sariram:This is the Physical body visible to others as well as us. It has all the gross elements like head, arms, legs,etc.it has limited life. It goes through six types of changes(shad vikarah)-origination, existence,growth, alteration, decay & death.This body has experiences from the external world.
STHULABHUTANI TU PANCIKRUTANI
The gross elements are all compounded.
At the time of creation the five elements remain in all uncompounded state.As such they cannot produce the phenomenal objects of the universe.Afterwards these elements combine with one another in a certain ratio, viz., half of itself plus one-eighth of each of the other forms.
Sukshma sariram:This is the subtle body which serves as a medium of interaction with this universe.It is not visible externally but can be experienced by us.It is the only power behind the physical organs.during the death of an individual this sukshma sariram dissassociates with the sthula sariram and gets into some other sthula sariram for rebirth. The data about all the experiences, punyams and papams are stored in subtle body in the form of vasanas. This body is made up of five sense organs of knowledge (pancajnanendriyani), intellect and mind(buddhi and manas),memory(cittam) and ego(ahankara) 4 inner organs, and five sense organs of action(pancakarmendriyani), and five physiological systems(panca prana)
AVAYAVASTU JNANENDRIYA PANCAKAM BUDDHIRMANASEE KARMENDRIYA PANCAKAM VAYU PANCAKAM CETI
PANCA:JNANENDRIYANI SHROTRA TVAK CAKSHUH JIHVA GHRANAAKHYANI
ear, skin, eyes, tongue and nose-these are the five senses of knowledge.
All the worldly experiences are enjoyed only with these 5 organs and thereby these organs become the primary medium of material knowledge.
PANCA KARMENDRIYANI VAK PANI PADA PAYU UPASTHAAKHYANI
speech, the hands, the feet, and the organs of the evacuation and generation.
VAYAVAH PRAN APANA VYANA UDANA SAMANAH
The respiratory system, The excretory system, The circulatory system, The reversal system(sneezing when dust enters the nose) and the digestive system are the five Physiological systems /the five vital forces in our body.
KARANA SARIRAM:The Causal body is one which is made of the most subtlest matter.It is in the unmanifest form.This body is obviously not visible to anybody and not experienced by either self or anybody. All the gross and subtle bodies resolve into causal body at the time of Mahapralaya.
Something regarded as being within it a divine presence is a temple.
Narayana suktam describes Narayana manifesting himself in the ether of the heart which is comparable to an inverted bud of the lotus flower-"PADMAKOSHA PRATEEKASHAM HRIDAYAM CAPYADHOMUKHAM"
below the Adam's Apple, at the distace of span, and above the navel(i.e., the heart which is the relative seat of the manifestation of the pure consciousness in the human being), effulges the Great Abode of the universe, as if adorned with garlands of flames. Surrounded on all sides by nerve currents(arteries), the lotus bud of the heart is suspended in an inverted position. In it is a subtle space(the sushumna nadi), and therein is to be found the substratum of all things. In that space within the heart resides the Great Flaming Fire, undecaying, all knowing, with tongue spread out in all directions,with faces turned everywhere, consuming all food presented before it, and assimilating it into itself. His rays spreading all round, sideways as well as above and below, warm up the whole body from head to foot.In the centre of That(Flame)abides the Tongue of Fire as the topmost among all subtle things. Brilliant like a streak of lightning set in the midst of the blue rain-bearing clouds, yellow in colour,in subtlety comparable to the minute atom, (this Tongue of Fire) glows splendid. In the middle of that Flame, the Supreme Self dwells."TASYAH SHIKHAYAH MADHYE PARAMATMA VYAVASTHITAH"
This Self is Brahma(the Creator), Siva(the Destroyer), Hari(the Protector), Indra(the Ruler), the Imperishable, the Absolute, the Autonomous Being
SA BRAHMAH SA SIVAH SA HARIH SENDRAH SOAKSHARAH PARAMAH SVARAT