Human Body According to Vedas | What is the Hindu View of the Body?

Human Body-Co-ordinates Of The Universe

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Man is a microcosm (क्षुद्र ब्रह्मांड Kshudra Brahmanda). The outer world is just a reflection of what exists within human consciousness. The human consciousness consists of Tattvas (तत्व) or principles of Truth or consciousness, the domains or spaces of experience and then the Self which is Siva-Sakti (शिव-शक्ति), the Supreme Being. There are two main sections of the human body namely the head and the trunk, being the first section and the second section comprising the legs. The center of the body lies between these two sections of the human physiological system. This center is essentially the base of the spine. The trunk and the entire body has the spinal cord as the connector. This forms the axis of the body or the center line, just as Mount Meru, is mentioned in the scriptures as the very axis of Earth. Thus the spinal cord represents the “Meru Danda” or the (मेरुदंड) “axis representing mount Meru”. The legs and feet have lesser consciousness spread around them as compared to the spinal cord and the rest of the body. The body and legs below the centre are the seven lower or nether worlds upheld by the sustaining Sakti or Powers of the universe. Thus the area below the spine, below the container of the Kundalini represents the lower Lokas (लोक) or worlds.

Consciousness manifests more freely through the spinal and cerebral centers. Here there are seven upper Lokas or worlds of experience, if one is to enter into a meditative state focusing on the heart center and upwards to the brain. These Lokas or worlds have their reflection on the outer experience of man as a result of the Karmic cycle. The upper regions are Bhuh (भूः), Bhuvah (भुवः), Svah (स्वः), Tapa (महः), Jana (जनः), Maha (तपः) and Satya (सत्यम्) Lokas corresponding with the six centres; five in the trunk, the sixth in the lower cerebral centre; and the seventh in the upper brain or Satyaloka, the abode of the Supreme Siva-Sakti. The six centres are: the Muladhara or root-support situated at the base of the spinal column in a position midway in the perineum between the root of the genitals and the anus; above it, in the region of the genitals, abdomen, heart, chest and throat, and in the forehead between the two eyes, are the Svadhishthana, Manipuraka, Anahata, Visuddha and Ajna Chakras or lotuses respectively. These are the chief centres, though some texts speak of others such as the Lalana (ललन मनस) Manas and Soma Chakras (सोम चक्र). The seventh region beyond the Chakras is the upper brain, the highest centre of manifestation of consciousness in the body and therefore, the abode of the Supreme Siva-Sakti.

When it is said to be the “abode”, it is not meant that the Supreme is there placed in the sense of our “placing”, namely, it is there and not elsewhere! The Supreme is never localized, whilst its manifestations are. It is everywhere both within and without the body, but it is said to be in the Sahasra, because it is there that the Supreme Siva-Sakti is realized. And, this must be so, because consciousness is realized by entering in and passing through the higher manifestation of mind, the intellect, above and beyond which is Chit (चित्त) and Chidrupini Saktis (चिद्रूपिणि शक्ति) or the capacities of the mind which includes various energy and life forces enlivened by the mind. From their Siva-Sakti Tattva aspect are evolved Mind in its form as Buddhi (बुद्धि) or the Intellect, Ahamkara (अहंकार) or the Ego, Manas (मनस) which includes memory and associated thoughts, senses (इंद्रियां Indriyas) the centre of which is above the Ajna Chakra and below the Sahasra. From Ahamkara proceed the Tanmatras (तंमात्र), or generals of the sense-particulars, which evolve the five forms of sensible matter (भूत Bhuta), namely, Akasa (आकाश ether), Vayu (वायु air), Agni (अग्नि fire), Apah (आप: water) and Prithvi (पृथ्वी earth). The English translation given does not imply that the Bhutas are the same as the English elements of air, fire, water, earth. The terms indicate varying degrees of matter from the ethereal to the solid. Thus Prithvi or earth is any matter in the Prithvi state; that is, which may be sensed by the Indriyas or sense perception of smell. Mind and matter pervade the whole body. But there are centres therein in which they are predominant. Thus Ajna is the centre of mind, and the five lower Chakras are the centres of the five Bhutas or the five senses; Visuddha of Akasa, Anahata of Vayu, Manipuraka of Agni, Svadhishthana of Apah, and Muladhara of Prithvi.