The Table below summarises the three Sareerems which are the instruments of Athma. They are analysed for their Condition, Cause, Function, Nature and Constituents.

Stula (Gross) Sukshma (Subtle) Karana (Causal)
Condition Perceptible – Gross Perceptible to owner but not to others- Subtle Non Perceptible to owner as well
General (Equally applicable to all bodies) Five fundamental Elements (Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Apa, Prithivi) Five fundamental Subtle Elements (Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Apa, Prithivi) This being the cause of other bodies doesn’t have a cause.
Specific Poorva Janma Karma
Papam & Punyam
(fruits of Karma)
Poorva Janma Karma
Papam & Punyam
(fruits of Karma)
It manifests only before creation or after destruction.
Function Jeeva’s Temporary residence to interact with the world Instrument to contact external world and experience the pleasure or pain. Serves as seed for other two bodies to originate.
Nature Subject to constant change. Shad Vikaras. Gets destroyed in every birth. Also subject to constant change and destruction but has longer life than the Gross Body. Destruction is only with Pralaya. It is eternal. Continues even after Pralaya, which will be the seed for the next creation. The only way of destruction is by liberation (parantha kala).
Constituents Parts of Body – Head, Trunk, Internal Organs etc., Five Gnanendria, Five Karmendria, Five Pranas, Mind and Intellect. Undefined form. Constituents are not manifested.
Chitta (Mind) and Ahamkara (EGO) are also considered as components of Sukshma Sareeram by some authors
Manifestation to un manifestation is pralaya. Un manisfestaion to Manifestation is Shrishti. This is the same principle in Science that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.

Creation is the process by which the world in the causal form gets manifested to the gross form. While Gross and Subtle body are the instruments to transact in the world, Causal body remains the unmanifest form of Gross and Subtle body. The seed manifests itself into a very big tree. Seed by itself cannot manifest into a tree without a power within that aids the manifestation. Atma, which is different from all the three bodies, is the power behind. Consciousness is the ultimate source of energy. Thus the entire creation and destruction are mere manifestation and un manifestation of the consciousness.

Constituents of Sukshma Sareera

Name/ Golakam Indriya Devata
Organ Individual Power Total Power in the Cosmos
Gnanendriya (Sense Organs taking inputs from world) EarPower of HearingDik Devatha – God of Direction
SkinPower of TouchVayu Devatha – Wind God
EyePower of SightSurya Devatha – Sun God
TonguePower of TastingVaruna Devatha – Rain God
NosePower of SmellingAshvini Kumaras
Karmendriya (Sense Organs for delivering) Mouth (Vak)Power of SpeechVak Devatha – Agni
Hands (Pani)Power of HoldingIndra
Legs (Pada)Power of MovementVishnu
Excretion (Payuhu)Power of ExcretionMrithyu Devatha - Yama
Procreation (Upasthaha)Power of ReproductionPrajapathi - Brahma
Pranas (Physiological systems) PranahaRespiratory System
ApanahaEvacuating System
VyanahaCirculatory System
SamanahaDigestive System
UdhanahaReflex System
Mind Manaha Emotion/ Doubting Faculty Chandra
Intellect Buddhi Rationale Faculty Brahma
Chitta and Ahamkara are also considered as components of Sukshma Sareeram by some authors

The organs what we see outwardly are mere physical shapes and are called as Golakams. They do not have the real power of the senses. They aid the senses to perform by their form. Shape of the ear facilitates collection of the sound. The Power that process these sounds and makes a sense are the real sense organs termed as Indriya. They are the power with in the body which are represented by a total power in the universe represented by a deity. For Example – the Organ Ear is associated with the Individual Power or Hearing which is represented by the God of Direction. This implies that the individual powers are infact a part of the total power like the waves are part of the sea. The individual identity gets resolved within the totality.

As Individuals the physical body changes for every birth and Subtle body changes for every creation. Subtle body takes new physical body to continue its journey till self realization, when the need for action is resolved and hence the need for a new body. But for this realization the journey continues. Even at the end of the current creation, it gets into a cold store as causal body and comes back in the new creation. Karmas bundle with subtle body as vasanas and carries over from birth to birth. This is why some are with in born talent and qualities.

Having discussed about the Sareera Thrayam, let us move on to the Three States of Experience in the next Article.