• Indriyam – n. The word can be derived in three ways. 1. indrasyātmano liṅgamanumāpakam (The liṅga = aid to inference of Indra = the self) 2. indraṇeśvareṇa sṛṣṭam (Created by Indra = the Lord) 3. indreṇātmanā mama cakṣurmama śrotramityādi krameṇa jñātam (Known by Indra = the self, as ‘my eyes, my ears’ etc.). Grammatically the word is derived as indra+ghac by nipātana in the senses like ‘sacrificed by Indra’, etc. It has three different meanings as per the lexica. 1. The instrument of knowledge and action. In this sense, its synonyms are 2. hṛṣīkam 3. viṣayī – Amara 3. akṣam 4. karaṇam 5. grahaṇam - Rājanirghaṇṭa Among these, the jñānendriya-s (organs of knowledge) are five – 1. karṇaḥ (Ear), 2. Tvak (Skin), 3. cakṣuh (Eye), 4. Jihvā (Tongue), 5. Nāsikā (Nose). Karmendriya-s (Organs of action) are five – 1. Vāk (Organ of Speech – the larynx), 2. pāṇiḥ (Hand), 3. pādaḥ (Foot) 4. Pāyuḥ (Anus) 5. Upasthā (Organ of generation). The internal organs are four – 1. Manaḥ (Mind), 2. Buddhiḥ (Intellect), 3. Ahaṅkāraḥ (Ego), 4. Cittam (Reasoning faculty). Mind is the controller of all organs. Fourteen deities govern the fourteen organs. 1. dik (Direction, governs the Ear), 2. vāyuḥ (Wind, governs the skin), 3. sūryyaḥ (Sun, governs the Eye), 4. pracetāḥ (Varuṇa, governs the tongue), 5. Aśvinau (The twin Aśvinis, govern the Nose), 6. vahniḥ (Fire, governs speech), 7. indraḥ (Indra, governs the hand), 8. Viṣṇuḥ (Viṣṇu, governs the foot), 9. Mitraḥ (Mitra, governs the anus), 10. Prajāpatiḥ (Prajāpati, governs the generative organ) 11. Candraḥ (Moon, governs the mind) 12. Caturmukhaḥ (Brahman, governs the intellect) 13. śaṅkaraḥ (śaṅkara, governs the ego) 14. acyutaḥ (Acyuta, governs reason). This is according to vedānta. According to Nyāya, Nose is the organ of Prithivī (Earth), Tongue is the organ of Jala (Water), Eye is the organ of Tejas (fire), Skin is the organ of Vāyu (Wind), Ear is the organ of ākāśa (Space). Suśruta says, Trans. Now, of the intellect, Brahman. Of the ego, īśvara. Of the mind, candra. Of the ear, diś. Of the skin, vāyu. Of the eyes, Sūrya. Of the tongue, Varuṇa. Of the nose, Prithivī. Of speech, Fire. Of the hands, Indra. Of the feet, Viṣṇu. Of the anus, Mitra. Of the generative organ, Prajāpati.
2. Wisdom 3. Semen virile – Amara. In the sense of sense-organs, Manu 2|88 Trans. “As the sense-objects capture the wandering organs…” In the sense of wisdom, ṛgveda 1|111|2 Trans. “So that we may live (surrounded by) vigorous descendents, such wisdom do you confer upon us for our benefit”. Indriya is vijñāna (wisdom), says the commentary of Dayānanda. • Notes by the editor: The most popular usage of the word indriya is in the sense of ‘sense- organs’. As against English, where the word sense-organ refers only to organs of sensation, the word ‘indriya’ has a wider range of meaning, covering the organs of knowledge, action and decision. There are a total of fourteen indriyas – five organs of knowledge (jñānendriya-s, including the Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin), five organs of action (karmendriya-s, including the hands, legs, speech-organ, anus and generative organ) and four internal organs (mind, intellect, ego and reason). Mind is said to control all other indriya-s.