Gita Rahasya -Tilak 195

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


Nevertheless, as the Gross Body is destroyed after death, it is quite clear that this union cannot continue to be with Matter composed of the five gross primordial elements. But it is not that Matter- consists only of the five gross primordial elements. There are in all twenty-three elements which arise out of Matter, and the five gross primordial elements are the last five out of them. When these last five elements (the five primordial elements) are subtracted from the twenty-three, eighteen elements remain, It, therefore, follows as a natural conclusion that though a man, who dies without having acquired Self-Realisation escapes from the Gross Body made up of the five gross primordial elements, that is to say, from the last five elements, yet, his death does not absolve him from his union with the remaining eighteen elements arising out of Matter. Reason (Mahan) Indi- viduation, Mind, the ten organs, and the five Fine Elements are these eighteen elements. (See the Geneological tree of the Cosmos given at page 243). All these elements are subtle. Therefore, that Body which is formed as a result of the continued union of Spirit ( purusa ) with them is called the 'Subtle Body', or the 'Linga-sarira' as the opposite of the Gross Body or 'Sthula- sarira'[1]. If any person dies without having acquired Self -Realisation, this his Subtle Body, made up of the eighteen elements of Matter, leaves his Gross Body on his death along with the Atman, and compels him to take birth after birth. To this, an objection is raised by some persons to- the following effect : when a man dies, one can actually see that the activities of Reason, Individuation, Mind, and the ten organs come to an end in his Gross Body along with life ; therefore, these thirteen elements may rightly be included in the Subtle Body ; but there is no reason for including the five Fine Elements in the Subtle Body along with these thirteen elements. To this the reply of the Samkhya philosophers is, that the thirteen elements, pure Reason, pure Individuation, the Mind and the ten organs are only qualities of Matter, and in the same way as a shadow requires the support of some substance or other, or as a picture requires the support of the wall or of paper, so also must these thirteen elements, which are only qualities, have the support of some substance in order that they should stick together. Out of these, the Atman (purusa), being itself qualityless and inactive, cannot by itself become the support for any quality. When the man is alive, the five gross primordial elements in his body form the support for these thirteen elements. But after his death, that is, after the destruction of the Gross Body, this support in the shape of the five primordial elements ceases to exist.


References And Context

  1. (Sam. Ka. 40)