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Preksha Dhyana: Perception Of Psychic Colours: [1] Psychic Colours (Leśyā): Philosophical Version

Published: 24.02.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015

Microcosm of Psychic Action

A living organism is a compound of two elements - a non-material conscious element called 'Psyche' or soul, and a material element called body. This is the view of spiritualistic philosophy. On the other hand, the non-spiritualists or the materialists do not accept the separate independent exist­ence of soul. The spiritualists believe in fundamentally separate existence of the two elements, and in particular, the eternal and indestructible nature of the soul.

To comprehend the spiritualists' view, one has to go far beyond the gross physical body. Whereas the materialists' comprehension of the organism is circumscribed by the limits of the gross body, sense-organs and brain, the spiritualists' view extends further and adds a subtle taijasa śarīra, a more subtle karma śarīra, conscious mind (citta), psychical expression (adhyavasāya) and finally the psyche or the soul itself as the constituents of the living organism. Thus, according to them, the soul itself i.e. conscious substance (dravya ātmā)[1] forms the nucleus of the organism. It is surrounded by an envelope of contaminating field producing malevolence (kaṣāya) created by karma śarīra. The latter not only circumscribes the soul, but also governs the psychic activity. Transcendentally the soul is the supreme ruler, but actually the authority of kaṣāya is so powerful that the 'ruler' is unable to act independently. The soul radiates the psychic energy, but the radiations have to pass through the domain of kaṣāya. During their passage, they interact with kaṣāya and form a new field called the domain of adhyavasāya i.e. the primal psychical expression. Further, it intermingles with the other subtle body (taijasa śarīra), and the resultant effect proceeds further in biochemical and bioelectrical forms. The cerebral activity is to follow much later. Spiritualists give more importance to adhyavasāya as compared to cerebral activity. This field of primal psychic activity (adhyavasāya) is the psychic expression without association of the gross physical body. This, therefore, is the demarcation between physical and psychical.

Brain and Adhyavasāya

The invertebrates (i.e. the organisms without backbone) do not possess spinal cord or brain. Only those who are vertebrates and are high up on the ladder of evolution possess a central nervous system (i.e. brain and spinal cord). But all living beings posses adhyavasāya. Highly developed as we are, we give more importance to mental and intellectual activity than adhyavasāya which is really the primary instrument of conscious activity.

Starting with the nucleus, the conscious substance is at the centre. Surrounding it, is the field of kaṣāya, and thereafter comes the field of adhyavasāya. So far, there is neither mental function, nor a function of gross physical body. Everything up till now is controlled by karma śarīra and taijasa śarīra. The latter surrounds the field of adhyavasāya which has to pass through it before reaching the gross physical body. These two subtle bodies [2] have no organ, such as brain, spinal cord, limbs etc. This is the border-line between non-physical and physical functioning. When the psychic radiations cross this border, they enter the area of the gross body. There, the first function is to create 'citta' which will control all the subsequent mental, vocal and muscular activity. Thus the psychic expression which originated from the soul at the centre, manifests itself through triple activities of thought, speech or bodily movement in the gross body.


Radiations of conscious expressions continue their journey in several directions. When they encounter citta, the chief psychical executive of physical sovereignty, they bifurcate into two groups: one of these is the field of urges and impulses (bhāva) which will later produce feelings and emotions [3].

This branch of psychic expression which is susceptible to the action of electromagnetic waves now enters the domain of leśyā, interacts with it and produces instincts and impulses. All impulses, good and bad, originate here, and are later on converted into emotions and feelings.

The domain of leśyā is created by the forces of the fruition of past actions, which are fully recorded in the karma-śarīra. Now, the adhyavasāya in the form of ultramicro-waves interact with the endocrine system. The compulsive forces produced by the interaction of adhyavasāya and leśyā finally reach the physical body. First of all they affect the endocrine system and its output in the form of chemical messengers. Then they become the agency to execute the orders of the karma śarīra. In other words, the release and distribution of various hormones take place in accordance with the fruition of past karmas. The chemical messengers use blood circulation as their transport, and interact with the brain and nervous system. Together they constitute an integral coordinating system now called the neuro-endocrine system. This system controls and regulates not only every bodily function but also profoundly influences mental states, emotions, thought, speech and behavioural patterns of the individual. Thus, the endocrines act as transformers between the most subtle spiritual self and gross physical body. They are gross as compared to the domain of adhyavasāya, but subtle when compared to the gross constituents, viz. muscles, blood and other bodily organs. This, then, is the inter-communicating mechanism within the gross body which translates the code of intangible and imperceptible code of adhyavasāya into a form crude enough to function through flesh and bones.

Thought, speech and muscular action together con­stitute the domain of yoga [4] or bodily activity. It is not the domain of knowledge but that of action. The domain of knowledge extends as far as dita and then ends, while the domain of emotion ends at leśyā. From there onwards they manifest themselves through the three subordinate instruments of thinking, vocal equipment and the muscular system. The functions of the mental faculty are thinking, planning (for the future), and memorizing (the past). It is not an instrument of knowledge. It is subordinate to citta and leśyā, and carries out their orders. Prior to this, it does not exist.

To recapitulate the organizational chart, we have psyche or soul at the centre, surrounded by the contaminat­ing envelope of kaṣāya (created by the karma-śarīra). The psyche expresses itself by radiations which have to pass through the domain of kaṣāya, which they cross to become adhyavasāya. These interact with leśyā and produce the emotions and feelings. Next conies the domain of action (yoga). It has three divisions—thought, speech and muscular activity. Between the domain of leśyā and the field of action there are two intermediate communicators, viz. endocrine system and nervous system [5].

Functions of Leśyā

Basically leśyā acts as a liaison between the spiritual self and the physical self of a living organism. It is the built-in mechanism within the organism through which the spiritual self can exercise its power and authority and control the functioning of the bodily organs. It deciphers the code of intangible psychic expression (adhyavasāya) into a form which is tangible and crude enough to control and function through such gross elements as flesh and bone. Of course, leśyā derives much assistance from endocrine system in its function of intercommunication.

Leśyā functions in both directions centripetally, i.e. from periphery towards centre, as well as centrifugally i.e. from centre to periphery. Contaminating material is continuously attracted and collected from the external environment by three-fold activities of the gross or physical body viz., thought, speech and muscular action. This must be delivered to the sphere of kaṣāya at the centre in an acceptable subtle form. Similary, whatever is radiated outwards from the subtle karma śarīra at the center is delivered to the gross physical body by leśyā. Let us apply the analogy of a complex industrial organisation to leśyā. The contaminating matter collected from the external environment is the raw material received by leśyā for delivering to karma śarīra. The raw material is initially very crude and must be processed first to make it much more subtle; then coded into signals which are acceptable to the karma-śarīra. It must be remembered that bodily activities might be either good or evil, and accordingly, the leśyā that would process the incoming matter would be benevolent or malevolent. The processed raw material will undergo the manufacturing process by the karma-śarīra and will re-emerge in due course as a finished product i.e. adhyavasāya when the fruition occurs. Once again the department of leśyā becomes active, this time to receive goods from the centre and to deliver them outside to the domain of physical self. The action plan of leśyā starts with the receipt of bulk-supply of adhyavasāya from the central authority. After proper sorting process, these are adequately packed and then despatched to the distributing organisation headed by the neuro-endocrine system. Lastly, entire production is distributed to the selling outlets in the physical body. Thus the representing-cum selling organisation of leśyā in the physical self is the neuro-endocrine system, which is the integrated form of the endocrine system and the nervous system. The endocrines—ductless glands—secrete and distribute hormones which affect various bodily organs, stimulating or inhibiting their functions. Each endocrine is known to secrete a number of different hormones. The nature and amount of the product of each gland will be decided by the impetus it receives from leśyā as described above. These chemical messengers have profound influence upon the mental tendencies, attitude and behaviour of an individual. The entire development of various personality factors depends upon them.

Leśyā—Organisation of Colour

Deep at the centre of the organism is the domain of kaṣāya [6]. Whatever passes through this domain becomes coloured, and therefore whatever emerges from it, is necessarily colourful. Whenever one indulges in violence, falsehood, cruelty, haughtiness, deceit or other evil activities, he attracts and collects contaminating matter of dark and gloomy black and blue colours. This is despatched to the domain of kaṣāya by the organisation of leśyā. There it will be processed and coloured, and in due course will remerge in endocrine agency of leśyā. Thereafter it will reach various endocrine glands and, through their chemical messengers, produce various urges and impulses. Ultimately these will manifest in the form of evil thoughts, speech and action, thus completing the circuit. Both ways the liaison work is done by leśyā organisation.

One's thought, attitude and behaviour are greatly influenced by the colour of the contaminating stuff attracted from the external environment. A colourless quartz crystal will appear red, blue, etc., when seen through coloured screens. In the same way the original psychic expressions are colourless, being non-material, but will assume the colour of the contaminating matter.

Two divisions of Leśyā

There are two categories of leśyādravya or physical leśyā and bhāva or psychic leśyā. Colour, smell, taste and touch are the characteristic qualities of all material objects. Hence, dravya leśyā is also endowed with these four qualities. Colour of kṛṣṇa leśyā is dark black, that of nīla leśyā is dark blue, and that of kāpota leśyā is dark grey or smoky. Colours of taijasa, padma, and śukla leśyā are bright red, yellow and white respectively. Smell, taste and touch of the former three malevolent leśyās are unpleasant, while those of the latter three are pleasant. Out of the four qualities mentioned above, colour has the maximum effect on the health and behaviour of a living being. Colour plays a very important role in the entire life of an individual. Recently psychologists and scientists have established, by experiments, that of all the environmental inputs, colour has the maximum influence on the conscious and subconscious mind and emotions of an individual. Colour influences not only the life, but the death and also the life after-death of a person.

Origin of Impulsive Forces

The activator or motivating principle of all urges, impulses and habits is the powerful domain of leśyā. That is why, to change one's perverted habits, it is essential to sanctify this domain by thorough cleansing. Before understanding the process of cleansing. It is necessary to trace the source of pollution and its modus operandi. Once there is adequate knowledge about this, it will be easier to understand and operate cleansing process.

Basically the trinity of malevolent leśyākṛṣṇa, nīla and kāpota—is the origin of all that is evil. Cruelty, desire to kill, desire to lie, fraud, deceit, cheating, lust, dereliction, laziness etc.—all these vices are produced by this trinity. In the gross body, certain organs are the associates of these leśyā. Adrenals and gonads—these two endocrine glands—work in close alliance with this trinity. It is the malevolent trinity of leśyā, which produces the impulsive forces, which, in turn, stimulate its associates in the gross body by appropriate endocrine action which, ultimately, expresses itself in the form of the vicious emotions and passions.

Let us consider this matter' from three different disciplines viz. science, philosophy of Yoga and doctrine of leśyā and compare the findings.

According to modern science, the sex-impulse is produced by the action of sex hormones secreted by the gonads. Fear, hate, cruelty, and other irrational feelings are produced by the secretion of the adrenals.

According to the philosophy of Yoga, all urges and impulses are produced in three cakrassvādhiṣṭhāna, maṇipūra and anāhata. Thus, these cakras are at par with gonads and adrenals.

According to the doctrine of leśyā, sensual desires, meanness, cruelty and lack of self-control are produced by kṛṣṇa leśyā; jealousy, obstinacy, delusion, deceit, shamelessness, sex-impulses and bellingerence are produced by nīla leśyā. Crookedness, mentality to conceal one's faults, hoarding, perverted belief, betrayl and harshness (of speech) are produced by kāpota leśyā.

When we compare the above three view-points, we find that the concepts of the three leśyās in the doctrine of lesya, three cakras in Yoga philosophy and the two endocrine glands in science concur with one another. It is clear from the above discussion that the site of origin of all evil impulses in the gross body is the lower and upper abdomen. This part of the body is, therefore, the source of pollution. Once this fact is known to anyone, it will become easier for him to grasp the cleansing process.

Mental States, Leśyā and Aura [7]

A living organism is neither a pure psyche (soul) nor pure matter. It is a compound of both—the conscious sub­stance (soul) and matter (body). Conscious activity is the characteristic of soul. Colour, smell, taste and touch are characteristic of matter. Aura of a living organism is an amalgam of radiations of two energies—radiations of prāṇa energy from conscious substance and those of electromagnetic energy from the material body. One's mental states constitute the impelling force of radiation of prāṇa-energy. Though mental states are conscious functions and aura is material, there is an intimate relationship between the two. In fact, aura is a true image of one's mental state. From this, it is reasonable to conclude that mental states can be inferred from aura and vice versa.

Aura is not made up of a single colour, but is a mixture of several ones, because it is created by the multiplicity of leśyā, and the colour of leśyā is in accordance with one's mental states. The colour of leśyā will correspond to the predominant emotion at any given moment. Thus, colours of all leśyā would be reflected in the aura. Virtuous emotions would produce bright colours and evil ones would produce gloomy ones. Emotions of a person keep constantly changing and so would the colours of his aura. Photographs of one's aura would, therefore, reveal one's changing moods. Aura is a means of knowing not only the psychical changes, but psychological and physiological ones also. Whatever is impending to happen in the physical body, first occurs in the subtle body, and is reflected in the aura. By studying the aura's photograph, one could predict accurately what may happen in the future.

Citta is a link between the innermost consciousness (from which it receives its directives) on the one hand, and the external aura on the other. Citta and aura reflect each other, i.e. when citta is pure, aura is also pure and when citta is contaminated, aura is also contaminated.

Our attitude on one side, and our thoughts, physical postures and gestures on the other, mutually affect each other.

For instance, scowl is a sign of anger. Now, if a person who is in a peaceful state, starts scowling, anger will be induced in him. On the other hand, adoption of a smiling face is likely to drive away the anger.

Aura of Saintly Persons

Age, sex, caste or creed of a person do not seem to have any significant effect on his aura. In other words, auras of all normal and healthy people of different ages etc. are almost identical. But the auras of ascetics and saintly persons are significantly different from those of ordinary people. They are brighter. The character of a person can be deduced from his aura. The aura of a person with high moral character is bright and powerful. It will remain unaffected by external forces. Such a person will remain well protected by his aura from the assault of the various external factors. Evil radiations cannot penetrate his aura. Such a person will not be perturbed or agitated by an external invasion. If anything invades him, it will be repulsed and made to retreat. It will be prevented from entering. Such a person would not suffer the evil effects of a curse. A person with a powerful and pure aura will always be successful in his ventures.


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Published by:
Jain Vishva Bharati
Ladnun-341 306 (Rajasthan)

Edited by: Muni Mahendra Kumar © Jain Vishva Bharati

Thoughtfully wishing the century point of the auspicious life of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna, who, with his versatile creativity having rare equal in the history, is being felicitated on the 247th day of eightythird year on 16th February, 2003

Budhmal Surender Kumar Duggar, Ratangarh- Kolkata

Edition: January, 2003

Printed by:
S.M. Printers
Uldhanpur, Delhi-32

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adhyavasāya
  2. Anger
  3. Aura
  4. Bhāva
  5. Body
  6. Brain
  7. Cakras
  8. Citta
  9. Concept of Soul
  10. Consciousness
  11. Deceit
  12. Dravya
  13. Dravya Leśyā
  14. Dravya Ātmā
  15. Endocrine System
  16. Environment
  17. Fear
  18. Gonads
  19. Jīva
  20. Karma
  21. Karma śarīra
  22. Karma-śarīra
  23. Karmas
  24. Kaṣāya
  25. Kṛṣṇa
  26. Lesya
  27. Leśyā
  28. Nīla
  29. Prāṇa
  30. Prāṇāyāma
  31. Samudghāta
  32. Science
  33. Soul
  34. Taijasa Śarīra
  35. Taijasa śarīra
  36. Violence
  37. Yoga
  38. Āsana
  39. Ātmā
  40. āsana
  41. Śarīra
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