By Swami Harshananda
Karmendriyas literally means ‘organs of action’.
Every human being is endowed with eleven indriyas or sense-organs. These organs are five jñānendriyas, five karmendriyas and a mind.
The five karmendriyas or organs of action are:
- Vāk - speech
- Pāṇi - hands
- Pāda - feet
- Pāyu - excretory organ
- Upastha - organ of reproduction
These have been called ‘karmendriyas’ because they are the indriyas or sense organs responsible for karma or action.
Root of Karmendriyas
- Ākāśa or ether or space gives rise to vāk.
- Vāyu or air gives rise to pāṇi.
- Agni or fire gives rise to pāda.
- Āpas or water gives rise to pāyu.
- Pṛthvī or earth gives rise to upastha.
- Tanmātras are the subtle elements.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore