By Swami Harshananda
Sthulaśarira literally means ‘the gross body’.
Classification of Śarira
According to the Vedānta, the jīva or the individual soul, is enveloped in three śarīras or bodies. They are:
- Sthulaśarira - gross or physical body
- Sukṣmaśarīra - subtle body, also called liṅgaśarīra
- Kāraṇaśarīra - causal body
Significance of Sthulaśarira
The sthulaśarīra is given by the parents and nourished by food. It is subjected to ṣaḍvikāras or six changes. They are:
Karma or the results of the actions of previous lives is an important factor in shaping this body.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore