subtle form

What is Sookshma Shareera (also known as Subtle Body, Astral Body, Light Body)

Gross Body - Sthoola Shareera

Gross Body – Sthoola Shareera

“Everyone in this world has four types of bodies – Sthoola Shareera – the physical body; Sookshma Shareera – the subtle body; Ati Sookshma Shareera – the higher subtle body; and Para Sookshma Shareera – the omnipresent supersubtle body.

Sthoola Shareera is the physical body which anyone can see. Right now, I am not in my physical body, but in the Sookshma Shareera (subtle body) which is beyond the physical.

In My Sookshma Shareera, I can move to any part of the world without taking any time. In My Ati Sookshma Shareera, I enter the dreams and meditations of people and guide them. In Para Sookshma Shareera, I am present in every atom. At this point of time, you are in your physical body and if you are in a room, you cannot

Subtle Body - Sookshma Shareera

Subtle Body – Sookshma Shareera

see what is outside, since there is a wall in between. But Sookshma Shareera is not bound by Desha, Kala and Paristhiti (space, time and circumstances) and therefore cannot be seen with physical eyes.”

Swami revealed this to Madhusudhan “I will be in this Subtle Form, which is just like the physical form, without flesh and bones.” He declared that “My mission is not yet over, Keep yourself selfless and pure so I may use you all as my instruments, I do not have a body but I shall use your bodies to do My work. Your hands shall be My hands, your feet shall be My feet, your words shall be My words and your actions shall be My actions. Be selfless. Glorious times are ahead when the whole world will become Saimayam (filled with Sai). Soon I will be back in another Physical form as Prema Sai who will further guide you all and continue the work.”  Download PDF


“One has to understand the implications of oneness with the Divine. One desires to merge in God and achieve liberation. How is this to be secured? God is formless. He is the source of all energy. He is effulgent. Eight kinds of potencies have been attributed to God. He is the source of all sound, all motion, all light, all speech, all bliss, all excellence, all illusion, and all prosperity. How is one to realize such an omnipotent Divinity? Water can integrate with water. Air can combine with air. Fire can merge with fire. As God is formless, to become one with God we have to become formless. What does this imply? It means that we have to get rid of the attachment to the body. This is achieved through meditation. While retaining attachment to the body one cannot hope to achieve oneness with God merely by praying for it. You have to become formless to realize the formless Divine.” – SS August 1997 P 199

Source: quote from A Compendium of the Teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Swami has already answered some of these spiritual questions put forth to him by earnest seekers in the form of Q&A Series known as Sathya Sai Baba Prashnottara Vahini


Q. Instead of considering this human body, constituted in this manner by the elements as a single unit, the Vedanthins say there are many units in it! Is that true?
A. There are not “many”, but three. Some say, there are four!

Q. Oh! What are they? What are they called? The third and the fourth?
A. Sthula deha (the gross body), Sukshma deha (the subtle body) and Kaarana deha (the causal body). Some aver that there is a fourth called, Maha Kaaranadeha (the Super-Causal Body) also.

Q. What exactly is meant by Sthula deha, the gross body?
A. It means the body constituted of the 25 elemental principles mentioned by me already.

Q. What then is the Sukshma body?
A. The 5 Jnanendriyas, the 5 Than-Maathras, the 5 Praanas, the Manas and the Buddhi – these 17 categories combine to constitute the subtle body.

Q. Is this called Sukshma deha only or has it any other appellation too?
A. Why should it not have? It has. It is known also as Thaijasa.

Q. And is it marked off as belonging to any state or Avastha?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. And what is the name of that?
A. The Dream State.

Q. Do you mean to say that the Gross Body has no state assigned to it?
A. Of course, it has.

Q. Tell me the name of that state.
A. That is the wakeful state, the Jaagrath.

Q. What is the Causal, the Kaarana deha?
A. There, the Chiththam or Consciousness is in association with the Knower, the Knowing Principle, the Jnaatha.

Q. What is it known as?
A. The Praajna.

Q. And the state?
A. The state is Sushupthi, Deep Sleep.

Q. Tell me also, what they mean by the Super-Causal Body, the fourth.
A. The Pure Consciousness unmixed with any Thathwa or elemental principle, the Witness Eternal, the Self Luminous. They refer to it as the Maha Kaarana Deha.

Q. Has it a name, like the rest?
A. It is known as Hiranyagarbha.

Q. And the state?
A. It is stateless, it is beyond all states of consciousness and so it is described as A-kshara Purusha.


Source: http://askbaba.helloyou.ch/prasnottaravahini/prasnottara01.html

Wisdom

Consciousness does not conform to scientific principles or human perceptions of physical space, time and matter.

The external world termed as Prapancha is made of five elements e.g. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sound (in order from gross to subtle) and cognised by the five human senses comprising of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. Sookshma Prapancha termed as ‘subtle world’ or ‘subtle dimension’ is beyond the understanding of the five senses, mind and intellect. In my humble opinion, Swami gave us a hint to think and grow beyond physical dimension by changing the universal Vedic prayer from ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu‘ to ‘Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu‘ some time back. No one questioned Swami (including those who doubt the Subtle form now) about why we are praying for those Lokas (other planes of existence) which can’t be seen with our physical eyes.

Just as we need to tune in our TV antenna to receive both audio and video, we need to tune in our inner faculties through meditation and other spiritual practices to develop our receptiveness (often described as sixth sense, the creative faculty of the mind dealing with intuition).

Tuning into God

Tuning into God

Lot of people question that how come we believe the subtle form, when it is only seen by one person or possibly a few individuals occasionally? When Krishna saved Draupadi from the humiliation of being disrobed, no one saw Krishna’s physical form. All everyone present there could watch and marvel at, was the endless supply of Sarees. When Krishna showed his Viraat Swaroopa to Arjuna in the battlefield, only Arjuna and Sanjaya were given the Divya Drishti (divine vision) to visualise that form. Do we question this incidents and call Veda Vyasa a liar? Most people who ask these questions do not listen with the intent to understand; They listen with the intent to counter it with another question in order to defend their chosen belief. This is why Swami says that too much mind is not good for spirituality. Seva (Selfless Service) and Prema (Selfless Love) is the only way to feel the presence of Sai in our heart.

The conceit that one knows everything. Doubt whether it is or is not.These are the two chief enemies of the Sadhaka – Prema Vahini

Virat Swaroopa - Para Sookshma Shareera


You cannot see Me, but I am the Light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, but I am the Sound you hear by.
You cannot know Me, but I am the Truth by which you live. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Hope you enjoyed this article. Please subscribe to the blog to receive email notification of new blog post. Please feel free to post your comments on the facebook page associated with the blog.  Om Sri Sairam.

Why Swami chose Muddenahalli as his residence

Swami had a special affinity to this place which he called as Tapobhumi (land of penance), inhabited by the Tyagajeevies (Selfless individuals) who took a vow of celibacy (to free themselves from the encumbrances of marriage and family life) to serve the humanity.

Sri Narsimha Murthy spoke in an informal interview about the direct instructions, he received from Swami about preparing this place as his future residence. Swami himself laid the foundation stone of his future residence in “Sai Anandam”. Many past devotees confirmed the fact that Swami mentioned about living on a hilltop abode in the last remaining years of his avatarhood.

Watch this presentation from Radiosai to learn and appreciate, how a little seed planted a few years ago by our beloved Lord has grown into a fully blossomed tree now.


Bhagavan has declared that He has incarnated on earth for Dharma Rakshana and Veda Poshana (protection of Dharma and fostering of the Vedas). Bhagavan has therefore been promoting the teaching of the Vedas and exhorting mankind to adhere to truth, love, righteousness and honesty in life which will certainly reinforce Sanathana Dharma, raise the consciousness of man and restore balance, harmony and equilibrium of the universe.

Sanathana Dharma is, in fact, the most precious gift to man by the Supreme Being who is called by different names, like God, Allah, Bhagwan, Paramatma, Brahman or Ishwar by different people of the world. Bhagavan has incarnated to fulfil His Divine Mission of protection of Dharma and redemption of mankind.

He has emphatically declared: “The calamity that has come upon mankind will be averted. A new Golden Age will recur. I shall not fail. It is not the nature of Avatars to fail.”

To further emphasise His point, Bhagavan has declared on numerous occasions
that He has come with full glory of God to accomplish the mission He has undertaken.

To quote His words: “In My present Avatar, I have come armed with fullness of the power of Formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people on the path of truth, righteousness, peace and love, leading to Divinity”.

There are millions of people from all parts of the world who have witnessed the effulgence of Divine Glory embodied in the human form of Bhagavan and have experienced the truth of His Divinity which He has been manifesting since His childhood.

– Sanathana Sarathi Nov. 2005 Editorial Page 4 (download link below)


Sanathana Sarathi Nov. 2005  (Read about Muddenahalli Campus report from Page 63)


Sai's Message

Thus spake the Lord

  • Swami is reflected in a pure and equanimous mind. For example, if you want to see the reflection of the sky in a lake, two conditions have to be met. First, the water should be pure; because in muddy water, you will not be able to see even your own reflection. Second, water should be still and calm. Otherwise disturbed water with ripples will pervert the reflection of sky.”
  • “Everyone in this world has four types of bodies – Sthoola Shareera – the physical body; Sookshma Shareera – the subtle body; Ati Sookshma Shareera – the higher subtle body; and Para Sookshma Shareera – the omnipresent super subtle body. Sthoola Shareera is the physical body which anyone can see. Right now, I am not in my physical body, but in the Sookshma Shareera (subtle body) which is beyond the physical. In My Sookshma Shareera, I can move to any part of the world without taking any time. In My Ati Sookshma Shareera, I enter the dreams and meditations of people and guide them. In Para Sookshma Shareera, I am present in every atom. At this point of time, you are in your physical body and if you are in a room, you cannot see what is outside, since there is a wall in between. But Sookshma Shareera is not bound by desha, Kala and paristhiti (space, time and circumstances) and therefore cannot be seen with physical eyes”
  • “Though butter is present in the milk, one cannot see it. To make it visible, milk must be boiled, curdled and churned. Thus, to manifest butter physically, the milk must undergo a process of refinement (PariShuddhi). Swami has always existed. He exists now and will continue to exist in future. He takes various forms just like the water vapour transforms into water and further transforms into ice. The divinity materialises in various forms so that man can touch, feel and experience it.”
  • “Earlier, I was in the Physical Body. Now, I am in the Subtle Body. It was easy to believe when I was in the Physical Body. Now it requires greater purity to perceive and believe Me in the Subtle Body. Here is an example: when children are in the First Standard, the teacher tells them, ‘The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.’ The children believe it, and they can also see it happening every morning and evening. This makes it easy to believe what their teacher says. When the same children go to the Sixth Standard, their teacher tells them, ‘The sun neither rises nor sets. The sun is stationary and the Earth rotates on its own axis and revolves round the sun, which causes day and night to occur.’ The children will believe that also, even though they cannot see what the teacher says. You believed Me when I was in the physical body; then you were in the First Standard. Now, you have to grow up to the level of the Sixth Standard students to believe in Me in the Subtle Body.”
  • “In the next ten years, many important events will take place all over the world. Swami will manifest Himself in many ways in many places, simultaneously. This is happening right now. All around the globe, there are people who are experiencing Swami. Not outside, but within. The days of interview are over. It is time now for the inner view! It is time now for the inner net, not internet. As long as you have purity of heart, you can always feel My presence.
  • “The proof of divinity is the joy in your heart. The proof of rain is the wetness of the soil. When the soil is wet, you know that it must have rained. When the heart is filled with love and joy, then you know that God is very much there. Tears of Joy well up in your eyes when you feel the presence of Divinity. A dry heart and dry mind full of logic will never be able to experience that. You need the right instrument for the right dish to eat. Is it possible to eat daal with fork? It is not possible. You need a spoon to eat daal. Similarly, the mind is not the instrument to understand Divinity. It is in the pure heart that the reflection of God can bee seen.”
  • Someone asked this in a Q&A session – “Swami why is it that you are seen only to a select few and not others”. He replied- “For 85 years I undertook the task of teaching you all the simple rules of life, some followed but a large majority forgot the message and got stuck to the form. Now I have the supreme task of making sure that each one of you follow my message. If each one of you start following my message then I will manifest in front of you”.
  • Answering another question –  “Where do these schools and hospitals fit in in this process of making man a divine being?”  Swami said “I am spending crores of rupees on these institutions not to spread education or heal people, its just to give you all an opportunity to come and light the lamps of love and spread that light to a thousand other lamps.”
  • My mission is not just education. Mission is transformation. The students and teachers should remember that we have to learn here not only Apara Vidya – material education, but also Para Vidya – spiritual education, which grants Self Realisation.
  • When someone asked ” Which mantra will help us calm our minds and get closer to God?”. Swami replied ” This is not Dr Pillay’s clinic, where I can give you a tablet for you to swallow and make you healthy! I have never given mantras and will never do so. Seva (service) and Prema (love) are like the two wings of a bird, which can help it to fly high. Similarly, these two can help you spiritually by purifying and calming your mind and take you closer to God.
  • “If one spits at the sky, the spit will fall on his own face and nothing will happen to the sky. I am untouched by praise or blame; or by pleasure and pain; because, I am beyond all attributes!”

– Quotes from Subtle Body Discourses published in book form as “Sri Sathya Sai Uvacha‘ by Sri Sathya Sai Premamruta Prakashana, Mandya, Karnataka India

Swami's Subtle Body Visit to Australia

Subtle Body Experience in Australia

For many of us Sai devotees, who have been shocked and saddened by the the sudden and premature departure of our beloved Lord, it was a great relief to know that Swami has chosen to continue his mission in the subtle form from Muddenahalli. I heard of this place when I visited Prashanthi for Shivarathri celebrations in 2014. My travel agent kept telling me that lot of miracles are happening at Muddenahalli and I should go and visit the place. Somehow I felt at that time that once you come to Prashanti, there is no need to go anywhere else hence I politely declined the offer. It just so happened that couple of us had an opportunity to attend the retreat in Murwillumbah Australia during the New Year’s Eve (30th Dec 14 -1st Jan 15) when Swami spoke through one of his student Madhusudhan.
As soon as Madhusudhan started speaking, we immediately knew in our hearts that our beloved Swami is speaking through him. As the sweet nectarine words from Swami started flowing, we were mesmerized, captivated and almost felt like being teleported to another dimension. Most of us experienced the same bliss in his divine presence, when he was in his physical form. Some felt the smell of Vibhuti, others who had an opportunity to interact with the subtle body were asked questions relating to matters which no one knew other than Swami.
Each one had their own personal experience but most of us rejoiced like a little anxious and frightened child would rejoice when he sees his loving mother’s reassuring presence again after a long interval when she hides from him playfully.

It was not easy for many of us to accept that Swami would use Madhusudhan as his instrument to carry out his mission after leaving his physical form however after reading the book ‘Sri Sathya Sai Uvacha‘ (published in 2014 by Sathya Sai Saraswathi Education Trust) which contains earlier subtle body discourses and personal experiences of many past devotees, most of those lingering doubts were put to rest. Finally it all made sense even though it was hard to believe at first. Our hearts were filled with gratitude for getting an opportunity to witness and feel his presence in our hearts as firsthand experience.

I would like to mention couple of things about his talk. Swami spoke through Madhusudhan in English instead of Telegu without any interpreter to embellish his words or add their own wisdom. He spoke fluently in English with a very clear diction. Also surprising was the unmoderated Q&A session after the discourse where he encouraged everyone present to ask questions and answered them directly without sitting on the fence or mincing any words.

Someone asked him to differentiate between Sai Schools in Muddenahalli and Murwillumbah, he replied “Once a drunk person who was seeing two of everything went to see a doctor. The doctor was also drunk and seeing two of everything. The doctor asked the person, I fully understand and sympathise with your problem but you have to tell me which one of the two, you want me to remove?” What he meant was that people are seeing two out of duality when there is only one. Swami’s mission does not change whether he is in physical body or subtle body. When someone raised the question of Sai Organisation in Australia not supporting the retreat, He said that “Sai organisation is because of Sai and not the other way around”.

Even now it would be very hard for many past devotees to believe that Swami has indeed come back again in subtle body just as it was very hard for many Shirdi Sai baba devotees to believe that Shirdi Sai baba has taken another body in the form on Parthi Sai. I believe that if we genuinely and sincerely pray to Swami, he would grant us the vision to experience his omnipresence. After all we do pray to him as remover of all doubts while reciting the 108 names of Sathya Sai.
 
Om Sri Sai Sakala Samshaya Haraya Namaha. 
We surrender to Sai Who removes all doubts.

Hope you liked this article. Please subscribe to the blog to receive email notification of new blog post. Please feel free to post your comments on the facebook page associated with the blog.  Om Sri Sairam.