The physical body is the first we put on and the last we put off, writes RUBY LILAOWALA.
In today’s world, there is so much emphasis on the physical body. Open any newspaper or magazine and you’ll find beauty columns, make-up advertisements, fashion news and worthless articles on dieting. Where is the body? It’s just a piece of cloth to cover the soul for one lifetime. This cloth is to be used, to be worn out and finally to be thrown away. We’re talking here of man’s physical body. His mental body, however, lasts longer-through the whole of a life period in the three worlds, from the beginning of one’s decent into the physical world, to the leaving of the heaven world, to one’s next re-incarnation. The mental-body is the first we put on and the last we put off.
Next comes the emotional body. Man puts it on in passing through the world of emotion and drops the coarser part of it when he dies out of that world into the mental or heaven world (devakhand). Last but not the least comes his karma-body or physical body, beginning with the moment of conception when he enters the womb (at the beginning of an incarnation) of a good or bad mother, according to his karmic link with the mother’ soul. He drops this body at physical death to enter the emotion world on the way back to the heaven world.
Thus, man has three types of bodies. The first, inseparable from the immortal Spirit during the cycles of reincarnations (or transmigrations), the second separable, being born and dying and going after death into the general reservoirs of matter in their several worlds, to be worked up again into aggregations of matter – mineral, vegetable, animal or human.
Man thus has only a life-lease of his bodies and even during the life-lease of each, the particles of the matter which compose it are always in a state of flux, where infectious diseases and health, infectious panics and heroisms, infectious superstitions and noble thoughts abide side by side.
Radiations from the three bodies are constantly passing out from one person to another, and each one of us is responsible for the health-giving or disease-giving radiation that we are forever spraying out. It is for this reason that our grandmothers used to forbid us to touch the kitchen-fire or even the diya during the menstruation period, when negative vibrations spray out of a woman’s body.
The matter particles congruous with high thoughts, noble emotions and coupled
with a pure and clean body make for an atmosphere of mental, moral and physical health, whereas those congruous with base thoughts, low emotions with an impure and filthy body, create a disease-filled atmosphere loaded with the poison-germs of illness, leading to mental or physical disease ; since there are mental, moral and physical disease-bacilli too.
Consciousness has been divided into three states by psychologists. The first is the common every state of consciousness, aware of and contacting the physical world, which is called “waking” (or jagrat) consciousness. The second state is natural sleep or trance, where you are unaware of the physical world, but aware of and contacting the emotional world. The third state is deep sleep or trance induced by meditation. Hence we see that the human body, karma and consciousness is all linked and cannot be observed or studied in isolation. One has to study these matters in totality.
Consciousness is most keenly aware of the world to which its attention is focussed, for example, for most of us, during the day, its focus is the physical world, like what to wear, where to go and what to eat. But quite apart from any deliberate practice of Yoga the consciousness of an artist or philosopher may be so intensely concentrated on a mental or emotional point that he forgets the physical world, he “day dreams” and is absorbed in some creative thought.
Moreover, western psychologists today acknowledge what eastern philosophy always knew—-the human consciousness is a far greater thing than the physical brain, and the ‘ subconscious’ explains the most inexplicable phenomena, in which thought results are produced without any activity of the brain. This is the super-consciousness we just spoke about, which touches the brain in flashes but doesn’t work through, example, E.S.P. or automatic writing or hypnosis.
The consciousness the physical body, using the brain as an organ, but is not produced by it. In eastern philosophy, emphasis is always on the mind. This is so because consciousness has always been recognised as
existing apart from the physical body.