A living being commonly has three bodies – physical (audarik) body, tejas body and Karma body. The physical body can be sensed but the other two bodies, tejas and Karma, are invisible. The physical body is the subject of science and has been studied in great detail. The Karma body contains Karma as we now know. The tejas body has two important functions to perform: (1) Management of the body systems, and (2) To support and provide control on the physical body. These functions are discharged with the help of prana energy and other systems as described below. This life force has been called as pranamaya kosha by Yogacharyas and as vital body or bioelectric plasma by scientists: The tejas body receives prana energy through breathing. Obstruction in the inflow of prana energy stops functioning of the body systems resulting in death.
The Karma body and the tejas body never depart and both of them are always in union with the soul. This union is maintained till the soul attains the state of emancipation. The Karma body and tejas body together are referred to as subtle body (Suksma Sarira). The liberation of the soul is, in fact getting freedom from the imprisonment by these two bodies. The subtle body is not visible to the eyes but it has been photographed by Kirlian photography. This special kind of photography has shown that a luminous body leaves the physical body at the time of death. This luminous thing is the subtle body.
Besides the above three kinds of bodies there are also two other bodies – the vaikriyaka body and aharaka body. The aharaka body is employed by yogis in very special cases for some specific purpose. This body is also luminous in nature.
Figure 2 shows the schematic arrangement of the three bodies and the connections between them. The soul is at the centre of existence. Its consciousness transcends and manifests in all the three bodies. The soul vibrates under the influence of passion. The soul is completely surrounded by the Karma body and the vibrations have to pass through it. In this process the vibrations are “colored” by the Karma present in the Karma body. This means that the vibrations coming out of Karma body, known as adhyvasaya, possess the characteristics of the Karma which are acting at that instant. Thus the vibrations of the soul are coloured by the qualities of Karma.
FIG.2. The three body system
The adhyasaya waves now enterthe tejas body. On interaction with the tejas body the adhyavasaya are transformed into another kind of waves called lesya. The lesya are color sensitive and produce bhava or feelings in us. Some of the adhyvasaya bypass the tejas body and directly enter the brain in the physical body. The interaction of adhyavasaya with the brain produces citta which is the physical imprint of all our past memories and impressions.
The adhyvasaya themselves form the subtle citta and comprise of the following four divisions (1) Non-righteousness or perversity (mithyatva) (2) Non- restraint (avirati), (3) Non-vigilance (pramada) and (4) Passions (kasaya). These adhyavasayas make up our personality. The non-righteousness develops distorted vision so that we are not able to see the things in the right perspective. The non- restraint character develops desires in us which produce greed and greed based habits. The non- vigilance aspect of the citta develops attachment or delusion. These are all our internal creations and have no relationship with our physical body, brain or mind. These characteristics originate from adhyasaya or Karma and manifest in the physical citta or the brain. The mind now works in accordance with this citta. The mind is not the source of our thoughts but is only a mouthpiece of the subtle citta.
Adhyasaya are present in all living organism. The mind is developed in human beings and some other five -sensed beings. The adhyasaya dischange the functions of mind in rest of the living organisms. Adhyasaya are the means of harvesting the knowledge of the soul. The body cells, according to science are the source of knowledge in living organism who do not have brain or mind. This implies that adhyavasaya present in the body cells are the source of knowledge. These adhvasaya may be pure or impure. In case of impure adhyasaya the organisms without brain or mind can also have bondage of Karma. This happens in some plants and in organisms having one, two, three or four senses.
The lesyas produce feeling which interact with the endocrine glands and influence the secretion of hormones. The hormones mix with the blood and reach the nervous system and the brain which manage and control our, emotions, thoughts, speech, conduct and behaviour. Thus the Karma acting through lesya and hormones determine our personality and traits. The endocrine glands provide a transformer that establishes connection between the subtle body and the physical system. These glands thus convert the signals of the soul into chemicals which finally control the body and mind.
Our feelings and emotions are products of adhyvasaya. Our thoughts are based on our feelings and emotions and do not have independent existence. Thoughts rise and subside with feelings. We can exercise control on our body, mind and speech but the feeling are beyond our control. The bhava, in fact, need purification and refinement, once purified there will be no need of control.
Lesya provide connection between the subtle body and the physical body. They work in both directions. They pick up the signals from the soul through adhyvasaya and produce our feelings and through it transmit the message to the mind and body. On the other hand whatever is performed by mind, speech and body is communicated by lesya to the Karma body. Thus the entire communication between the subtle body and the physical body is through lesya.
The lesya are of two kinds – dravya (physical) lesya and bhava (non-physical) lesya. The physical lesya are waves and the bhava lesya are aberrations of the soul. The physical lesya in the form of waves have colors and are classified on that basis. There are six main kinds of lesya.
Krishna lesya – Color is dull blackish
Neel Lesya – Color is dark blue
Kapot lesya – It has pigeon like color.
Tejo Lesya – Color is bright red.
Padma Lesya – Color is bright yellow.
Shukla Lesya – Whitish bright color.
Each kind of lesya represents some specific qualities in a person. The first three types are the malevolent lesyas and indicate negative qualities. The last three types are benevolent lesyas indicating positive qualities in a person. A person can have different lesya at different times depending on his current bhava but only one lesya is present at any time. Human beings and animals can have all the six lesya. Hellish beings have only malevolent lesya and celestial beings have only benevolent lesya.
Lesya are influenced by colors. Colors have a profound effect on our feelings and thoughts. Psychologists can assess the characteristics of a person based on his liking for color.