Aprākṛta-śarira

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Aprakrta-sarira, AprAkRta-Zarira, Apraakrrita-sharira


Aprākṛta-śarira literally means ‘non-material body’.

According to most of the theistic systems of philosophy, prakṛti or insentient nature (sometimes called aparā- prakṛti also) is one of the fundamental constituents of the universe. It comprises the three guṇas as follows :

  1. Sattva
  2. Rajas
  3. Tamas

Not only the inanimate creation but also the bodies of living beings, are made out of this prakṛti. Hence, these bodies are called prākṛta-śarīras or ‘material bodies’. However, as opposed to this, the bodies of God in his aspects of vyuha (emanations), vibhava (incarnations) and area (manifestation in worship), are aprākṛta-śarīras non-material bodies.

The bodies of the nityas (eternal beings) and the muktas (liberated souls) are also made of the same stuff. This non-material substance is also known as śuddhasattva and is the stuff of the ‘mtyavibhuti,’ the non-material infinite domain beyond prakṛti and its three guṇas.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore