Body: 1 definition


Body means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

The Conception of the Body in medieval India and the Netratantra.—The body (in Sanskrit: deha) was vulnerable to demons and reliant on deities for its continued existence. [...] For the Tantric practitioner, the divinized body is part of a psychophysical organism. Through practice, the Mantrin moves from the gross (sthūla) body to the subtle (sūkṣma) though breath practices and consciousness until he reaches its highest manifestation (para).

The body is less important than form (rūpa or svarūpa). Form includes the physical body as only a small part of the individual. A person's form includes their sthūla, sūkṣma, and para manifestations as well as their social bodies, including caste and name. The protective rites of the Netratantra reveal that the name of an individual overcome with illness works as a ritual substitute for that person. This is not to say that the physical body of the person is not important. The body is central to ritual practice. When the Mantrin places the mantra upon the body (nyāsa), he creates a Tantric body that itself becomes a ritual tool. The body and the mantra become fused. This allows the mantra to heal the body.

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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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