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Types of bodies (from Tamil Siddhar Marabu- Dr. T.N.

Ganapathy) The Siddhas, unlike the other schools of Indian philosophy, consider the body as a vehicle for spiritual evolution and not as a hindrance. According to them, the material body which is prone to disease, aging and destruction should be transformed into a deathless body. Tirumular in this Tirumandiram explains this as follow: Before, I thought the body was a shame I saw the entity within the body, I saw that the Supreme One has taken residence within the body, I am nurturing the body while remaining in it. (725). The Siddhas consider the body as the residence of the Divine and hence should be treated with respect. Tantric works call the body a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm or the universe. The Tamil Siddhas refer to the body as a threshold between human existence and divine presence. They say that instead of wasting ones time visiting various spiritual places and bathing in sacred waters one should seek these sacred places within one own body. Before we delve deep into the Tamil Siddhas view on the body, let us see what the other Indian traditional schools say about the. Buddhism identifies three types of bodies. They are nirmaana kaya- material body, sambogha kaya or bodhisattva body- blissful subtle body which is capable of entering bodies where it can impart important knowledge and dharma kaya- the body with supreme consciousness. Upanishads talk about five types of bodies, the annamaya kosam (material body), pranamaya kosam (body of vital breath), manomaya kosam (body created by the mind), vijnanamaya kosam (body created by discrimination) and anandamaya kosam (body of bliss). These five bodies or sheaths are present one over the other with the outermost being the annamaya kosam). Adivaita classifies body into three types, the sthula sareera (gross), sukshma or linga sareera (subtle) and kaarana sareera (causal body). The gross body is made up of matter or five elements. This is the annamaya kosam. The sukshma body is made up of the five tanmaatra or subtle elements. Pranamaya kosam, manomaya kosam and vijnanamaya kosam belong to this category. The causal body is like the anandamaya sareeram or body of bliss. In Siddha works we read about sthula deha, yoga deha, siddha deha, pranava deha or mantra deha and jnana deha or divya deha. The process of converting the sthula deha into divya deha is called kayasiddhi. The Siddha alchemy also refers to this process only. Yoga bijam classifies body into pakkva and apakkva deha. The apakkva deha has to be turned into pakkva deha by processing it in the fire of the kundalini. Kaya kalpam is the process of turning the material body into divya deha. This process is achieved by using mani, mantra and audadam or medicinal preparation. Mani is the process of transforming the body through

chemical means. Mantra is transformation through kundalini yoga and audadham or aushadam is using medicinal method for transformation. Ramalinga adigalar talks about siddha deha, pranava deha and jnana deha. The Siddhas did not believe in attaining moksha after death. There is no guarantee that one will actually achieve it also! They believe that the body should be used properly as a moksha sadhana. Gross or material body: The material body is also called maanushi tanu, nava sutra veedu (house of nine principles). It is made up of the twenty four principles- five elements, five subtle qualities, five senses of knowledge, five senses of action, manas, chittam, buddhi and ahamkaram. This body is made up of seven types of dhatus or materials. They are rasa, raktha, maamsa, majjai, asthi or bones, seminal fluid or suklam and medas or fat. It possesses the three faults or dosha namely vata(vali), pittha(azhal) and kapha (aiyam). It undergoes five types of modifications, aging, getting white hair, diminishing sight, disease and death. Such a body made up of the seven dhatus should be turned into yoga sareera by lighting the fire of kundalini. It is the material body that binds a soul to a particular place, time and situation. Yoga deha: Hata yoga strengthens the material body and removes the screen between the body and the mind. It removes the duality of body and mind. Isha Upanishad states that one who controls the body along with the mind attains deathless state. Tirumandiram recommends ashtanga yoga or the yoga with the eight components of yama, niyama, aasana, pranayama, dhaarana, dhyana and Samadhi. Siddha literature calls the process of attaining yoga deha as deha siddhi. Siddha deha: When one attains the yoga deha further yogic practices raise the kundalini sakti. When the power of kundalini pierces the six cakra, the yogi attains special powers. The power that emerges from muladhara grants strength of the body and mind. The power that emerges from the svadishtana grants health. Power from manipuraka cakra grants a natural immunity. Power from anahata grants internal and external beauty. Senses become sharp. Power from visuddhi cakra makes the body firm like a diamond. The body of the siddha that attains special powers becomes like a multicolored rainbow that can disappear without a trace. Achieving this rainbow body is a big step in the transformation. A material body is visible because of its color. When the yogi erases the color of the body it becomes invisible. A yogi who has attained a siddha deha is not controlled by time, space and external causes. He take any form anywhere at any time. He does not depend on his senses for cognition. Mandira meni or mantra deha:

Converting the siddha deha into mantra deha is the next step. Tantra sastras say that Siva and Sakti are present in the sahasrara and muladhara respectively. They are present in the right and left part of the body. The apana vayu that flows through the pingala nadi in the right side of the body is considered as the flow of Siva. The prana that flows through the ida in the left part of the body is called as flow of sakti. When the aspirant practices breath regulation he changes the direction of the breath and makes it flow through the sushumna instead of the ida and pingala thus bringing the left and the right part of the body into an equilibrium. This is called union of siva and sakti, samarasa. Then the sound, om occurs within the yogis body and his siddha deha becomes pranava deha. The letters a, u and m of the pranava represent the soorya, Chandra and agni or pingala,ida and sushumna nadi respectively. Tirumular calls the mantra tanu as sukshma panchakshara and Sivakaayam. As the pranava is called the unspoken mantra, Konkanar calls the transformation of the material body into mantra deha as the silent letter became the body. The body is called oomai deham or silent body. It is also called the pillar of omkara.

Jivan muktha: A yogin who possesses the pranava deha is a jivan muktha. They are souls who have attained liberation while still in the body form. A yogin who possesses the pranava deha is a jivan muktha. They are souls who have attained liberation while still in the body form. Even when their senses are engaged with the external world their consciousness is constantly immersed in self-awareness enjoying the bliss. They are not affected by the I-sense. They remain as a witness. Jivan mukthi is different from videha mukhti in that videha mukthi is attained only after the death of the person. In fact the Siddhas do not believe in videha mukhti at all. A jivan mukthas body is deathless. His gross body becomes effulgent divya deha. He attains para mukthi with that divya deha. He goes beyond time and remains as an embodiment of sivam. It is believed that jivan mukthas are still remaining in this world. Divya deha: Divya deha is called chinmayam, baindhava sareeram, jnana deha. It is a body made of space. Those with divya deha have merged with the supreme space. In this state every hair shaft in their body glistens and glows. Kakapujandar and Kambalichattai munivar call this body Kailaya deha. Sivavakiyar calls this body sorgaloka veli. He says that in the limitless sorgaveli the supreme truth remains as a mixture of white and red. In the sahasrara which is depicted as the thousand petal lotus, the yogin experiences white and red. The white indicates the prakasha aspect of the Divine and the red indicates the vimarsha aspect of the Divine. Laya:

The process of reaching the divya deha from the yoga deha or the siddha deha is called laya. Laya is the process of merging of all the principles with each other and ultimately with Sivam. This is also called apancheekaranam or reverse manifestation. When kundalini unfolds from its dormant state and ascends through the cakras it starts absorbing the element that each cakra represents. Thus, it absorbs the twenty four principles into itself. When it reaches the ajna cakra the yogins body becomes siddha deha. The twenty four principles do not affect the siddha deha as it is not made of them. A siddha deha is made of the Siva Sakti principle. When kundalini goes beyond the ajna,to the other cakras, the sense of duality ceases to exist. When it reaches the sahasrara the yogin attain the divya deha. He consumes the divine nectar that flows down. His body becomes deathless. This body is called the golden body or ponnaar meni. The kechari mudra helps the yogin consume the divine nectar. The yogi attains kayasiddhi. Methods to attain a deathless body: Siddhas recommend three methods to attain a deathless body. They are alchemy, kundalini yoga and ulta sadhana. Alchemy: Alchemy is a chemical process where the almost unchangeable chemical principles in the body are changed with the help of chemicals such as mercury, phosphorus and mica. Even the rishi of the Vedic times have used this method to transform their body. The soma rasa that the rishis consumed in the soma yoga is based on this alchemical principle only. Tantric Buddhists are reported to have consumed a drink, Vaarunee to attain deathless state. Rasavada hrudayam is a book that prescribes methods for this transmutation. Alchemy recommends use of salt, mercury and phosphorus to change the nature of the body. However, these chemical are not the general chemicals that we use in our daily life. Mercury refers to consciousness, phosphorus is the soul and salt is the body. These three chemicals are called muppu or triple salts. Those who practice alchemy use either plant extracts or pure chemicals for their chemical transformation. The body transformed through alchemy is called rasamayee tanu. Nargarjuna, one of the most popular Buddhist gurus was an expert of alchemy. It is said that he possessed extraordinary powers through the practice of alchemy. Kundalini yoga: In this method instead of using chemicals for transformation the secretion from the sahasrara is used to transform the body. Through yoga, the impure aspects of the body are made to dry up first. Using the divine nectar they are purified and revived thus granting a divine body .

Tirumular calls this process the true yaga. The body is strengthened and becomes an instrument to attain moksha. It becomes a boat that carries the soul present on one bank, this world, to the other bank, the supreme space. Ulta sadhana or reverse practice: This is an entirely new method of transformation where the normal functioning of the body is completely reversed. The breath, the blood flow, the digestive system etc are brought under control. The semen of the life force that normally flows down is reversed in its direction and made to flow upwards. This method is called paravriddhi. This is possible through yoga. It is said that one who loses the semen during a sexual intercourse is an animal and one who arrests its flow is divine. Agatthiyar jnanam and Tirumandiram talk about this process. There are parallels between this method and alchemy. The most fluid principle in the human body is the sexual fluid. This fluid is hardened which is like turning a base metal into the most unreactive gold. These two methods are the indirect and direct techniques of kaya sadhana. Upanishads state that the yogin who reverses the flow of the semen will have a fragrant body. The natha siddhas practice this method of transformation. They use a special language, the sandhya bhasha to refer to this esoteric process. Thus, the Siddha, instead of fighting with the body and its natural tendencies transform it using the same principles into a supreme vehicle that carries them towards liberation.