The overlords of our actions

The science of being is spelt out in detail in oceans of literature in Sanatana Dharma or the eternal way of life.

Published: 11th November 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2017 10:40 PM   |  A+A-

The science of being is spelt out in detail in oceans of literature in Sanatana Dharma or the eternal way of life. In the Tatwabodha, which is a drop of this literature, Bhagavan Adi Sankaracharya spells out the different sense organs of action in the human body, their specific duties and the presiding deities.
The five organs that perform actions in our body are the mouth or the organ of speech, the two hands, the two feet, the organ of excretion and the sense organ of reproduction. They are together called Karmendriyas. Devata means god in our understanding.

However, Devata is from the word Dyotana, which means to illumine or shine. There is no specific light that emerges from these sense organs, but there is a subtle conscious feeling or a sense of perception that is manifest through these sense organs. They are forms of consciousness and are called Devatas or gods. The god of speech is Agni or fire.

If we analyse our common expressions for speech—fiery speech, heated debate or hot arguments—even the English language has this underlying understanding. Indra, the king of all the gods, is the overlord of the hands. Hands are an extension of the heart and so hands are the sense organs of action connected with feeling. The presiding deity of the feet is Vishnu, the lord who took big strides to measure just three paces of land in the incarnation of Vamana.

The deity or force of consciousness that governs our organ of excretion is Mrithyu or god of death. Excretion represents the end of experience when the waste matter leaves the precincts of the body. Mrithyu represents death or the end of something. The overlord of the organ of reproduction is Prajapathi or the master of well-manifested beings on this planet.

Here the specific functions are also mentioned in precise Sanskrit. The object of the sense organ of speech is talking. The object of the two hands is to grasp things. The object of the feet is to walk. The object of the organ of excretion is to eliminate waste and interestingly, the object of the organ of reproduction the experience of pleasure through procreation.

These sense organs of perception and action are parts of the subtle body. The reason for the existence of the subtle and gross bodies is the causal body. The student asks the Master about it and the reply is strange. He says it cannot be expressed in words. It has no beginning. Its form is ignorance or, “I don’t know”. It is not aware of the true existence. It is homogenous in nature. Whatever exists in us in this manner is called Karana Shareeram or the causal body.

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