Author: Rami Sivan
Date: Jan 6th 2020
All beings jīvas in samsāra have three bodies:–
sthūla śarīra – gross physical bodies comprised of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus etc.
sukṣma śarīra – the subtle body comprised of consciousness and its specific content.
kāraṇa śarīra – the causal body which is the depository of all one’s saṁskāras – subliminal activators in a latent form.
So in the physical world in which we exist – we all have the three bodies.
In the metaphysical world we all retain the subtle and causal bodies.
In the ultimate state all three bodies dissolve and the ātman alone remains – beyond name and conceptual form (nāma-rūpa)
The Devas like Indra, Agni, Yama, etc are all saṁṣāric beings like us – they all retain śarīras due to karmic compulsion.
The Mahādevas like Viṣṇu, Śiva, Brahmā, Lakṣmī, Sarasvatī, Pārvati et all have subtle bodies (sūkṣma śarīras) but they are voluntary acquisitions and are not subjected to Karmic imperative.