Archives for posts with tag: Subtle body






The incarnated soul is covered by the gross, subtle and causal sheaths.  The gross sheath is our physical body of senses. After death the subtle body of  consciousness and feelings  made up of light adheres to the soul on the astral plane. Further evolution of the subtle body raises it from the astral plane to the causal plane which is a blissful realm of ideas. When the astral body is shed there remains the causal body which is a mould of thought. The causal body feasts only on knowledge and is in a state of bliss. When the causal sheath is finally shed in the evolutionary process the soul which so far was individualized consciousness merges with cosmic consciousness.

Auric phenomena are evidence of  our physical body being enveloped by a subtle body. The Aura consists of electro-magnetic energies radiating from our physical, etheric, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. The auric energy suspended around the body is in the shape of an oval 2 to 3 feet on all sides extending above the head and below the feet. Above the inner auric egg floats another auric egg to about 50 feet above it. This is the higher auric body.

While most of us fail to see the aura, some have the ability to see it. One such remarkable person Joseph Ostrom  had the ability to see auras in vivid detail around humans, animals, trees, rocks and objects from earliest childhood. He was unaware that his gift was special and did not know that people generally were unable to see the aura. Later in life he went on to research the phenomenon and write a book on the aura ( ‘You and your Aura – The Aquarian press Northhamptonshire 1987 ). The aura which Ostrom saw in nature, surrounding humans and gathering over performances at music concerts were not simple glowing lights but composed of varied shimmering colours of the rainbow. He also developed the ability to interpret the colours in the aura to indicate whether there was an inherent disease in the subject and to define the personality and circumstances of an individual’s life. He also undertook to draw auric portraits of subjects and to analyse them for their benefit.


Joseph Ostrom’s Auric Portrait showing upper and lower auric bodies, rays and Guide spheres in the colours he saw

He reveals that the lower auric body has five distinct bands. the first three together constitute the health aura. The next two are concerned with the emotional and mental states of a person. While the three inner bands are dense the two outer ones are subtle and therefore more difficult to see with the naked eye even by adept metaphysicians.


The five inner auric bodies and the Higher Auric body seen as a crescent – lower part of the upper ovoid

The first auric band appears as a white bluish field clinging all around the contours of the physical body. The emanations from this aura reflect a person’s physical health, motivations and personality.. This is the physical aura. The next is the etheric aura and the third is the vital auric body. According to Ostrom if medical personnel were trained to view and interpret these fields, very serious diseases could be diagnosed and treated before they fully manifest.  For beginners the first auric field is most easily seen around the fingers. It appears as a a colourless gap surrounding the body. When in good health this band is clear and uniform but bulges at the point of ill health near the affected part of the body. The bulge of the physical auric body will push aside the next auric band the etheric creating a hole and entering the third, the vital auric body.

The subtle body also called the etheric double is an exact replica of its physical counterpart our body. It is a matrix created out of energies from the non-physical realm and upon it is based the shape and form of the physical body. Without this matrix the physical body would disintegrate. At the moment of death it is this etheric double with its auric emanations that carry the soul to other levels in the non-physical world. Emanations from this matrix constitute the Etheric Auric Body, the second auric band around our body. This Etheric Auric Body extends some 4 inches in all directions from our physical body. It appears as a light blue or greyish smoky emanation around the body. In diagnosing disease this auric band plays an important role.

The third auric band is the Vital Auric Body extending some 6 inches from the second band and appears as  radiant fingers of light extending outwards in all directions. It radiates energy outwards but also draws energy from the sun and the environment inwards to nourish the physical body. When illness affects a region the Vital Auric Body’s radiance shrinks.

The next auric band, the fourth is the Astral Auric Body and is the largest. It can be two feet wide extending from the Vital Auric Body. It is in the shape of an ovoid around the body. Emanations from the subtle body create the Astral Auric body which we use in the course of our current life for our further spiritual evolution. The subtle body is the repository of our past Karmas and is the entity that survives death carrying the soul forward to its next incarnation. The Astral Auric body in individuals who are frank, open and uninhibited can appear to be brighter than the visible inner auric bodies, though this is rarely so. This is also called the emotional aura.

Negative experiences create negative thought forms that lodge in Chakras and auric bands creating disharmony, unease and disease. Those who can view the aura are able to see the negative thought forms as irregular sharp edged shapes disrupting the normal aura. Negative thought forms can lodge in the Astral Auric Body for a brief moment, years or even life times. When negative thought forms disrupt the fourth Chakra a person tends to overeat to protect the Chakra , temporarily resulting in accumulation of fat on the belly. When in good health the Astral Auric Body appears to have a bright sky blue sheen. This represents the ideal emotional state.

In a public gathering auras in a balanced mode infiltrate the auras of those in whose company they are and have a calming influence on disturbed individuals. In large groups the phenomenon of infiltration is more pronounced. An agitated and angry rally will infiltrate your Astral Auric body and produce the same sentiments as thought forms get lodged in your aura. Likewise positive energy emanating from a crowd can infiltrate your aura and produce positive effects.

Ostrom perceives anger manifesting as small angular chips of red near the heart Chakra interfering with the flow of energy, producing coldness and hardness of attitude. Depression appears as black clouds spreading over a large part of the Astral Auric Body. Just prior to a suicide the Astral Auric body would turn black with little residue of energy.

The last of the five bands of the lower auric body is what Ostrom calls the Lower Mental Auric Body which reflects a person’s abilities on the conscious and intellectual level.  In the ideal state this band is bright and about 8 inches wide near the region of the head. It appears as a bright yellow band pushing outwards.

The higher auric bodies constitute a second ovoid above the head. The more spiritually evolved a person is , the closer the higher auric ovoid is to the persons head. It can range therefore from a few inches to 50 feet above the head. In case of saints, prophets, Gurus and enlightened people the higher auric body actually enters the lower auric body. The higher auric body is a powerful centre of stored energy. The outer contours of the higher aura are violet and its inner portion is dark blue.

The higher auric body consists of the higher Mental Auric Body and the Spiritual Auric body. The Higher Mental Auric body has energies which facilitate our higher mental activity. It is our link with the source of universal knowledge. At the core of the ovoid is the Spiritual Auric body radiant with white light. It is the place where our soul resides. The highest form of energy is manifested here and may be called our link with God. All the energy we use has its source here. From the crown Chakra this energy percolates down to the various Chakras in the body energizing them and their related organs.

Ostrom when studying the auras of his clients also found that there are other elements within the auric field such as incoming rays, spheres of Guide energies and thought forms.  These energized rays come from friends, teachers, spouses, people who care for us and entities who exist at other etheric levels such as Guides and Masters. they can also originate from beings who have known us in this and other life times.. The rays enter the aura and rejuvinate our Chakras with enhanced health, healing, intellectual attainments and evolution of the soul.  Vivid greens are healing rays and violet rays represent spiritual enhancement.. From a study of the colours of the rays Ostrom could deduce the nature of the help the clients were receiving. When the rays were distinct and straight  it meant that the client  was accepting the help; when meandering it meant that the support had not been absorbed and accepted. 


incoming rays, straight and meandering and Guide and Master spheres in the auric bodies

Guide and Master energies manifest as spheres of brilliant violet, gold and white light in the concerned band of the aura when sought consciously or unconsciously through prayer for support and healing. The location of a sphere near a Chakra is an  indication of the type of help being sought. Most of us have several such energies at work for our evolution.

Negative thought forms also lodge in our auras and have muddy hues and sharp edges. they arrive usually in childhood when there is trauma from frequent condemnation or criticism. they are the cause of disease and ailments and can be eradicated with constant influence of positive attitudes.. Positive thought forms also manifest temporarily when we have a sense of elation and lighten up the aura like fireworks, appearing and disappearing.

In his auric viewing Ostrom was also able to view the seven Chakras. Disturbance of the auric field near any Chakra were indication of special problems and issues related to those Chakras and the organs in their spheres of influence.

The analysis of different colours in the aura were an important element in Ostrom’s diagnosis of ailments and problems in the clients he studied. He also speaks of the importance of colour therapy to address ailments. The presence of green in the aura was indicative of healthy growth and healing activity; yellow indicated intellectual activity; orange, balance and harmony and recovery from illness; violet and indigo were evidence of intuition, spirituality and unlimited knowledge; red reflected negative elements active in the aura such as passion, lust anger and materialism; pink was evidence of love; gold and silver in rays and spheres showed presence of Guide energies at work to cleanse, heal and protect; brown was indicative of industry and organizational skills but was mainly negative reflecting selfish, hedonistic and materialistic traits; grey was again negative indicating a conventional mind set, closed personality, lacking in imagination and spirituality and evidence of depression; black also showed depression and white the cleansing radiance of Masters and Guides. At impending death the aura disappeared.

According to Ostrom there are minor Chakras in the hands also which can be used for ‘healing and sealing’ wounds after surgery. Surgery, physical traumas or disease will show as disruptions in the aura. Such holes in the aura will permit entry of infections in areas of injury. Placing hands over auric layers adjacent to a wound  enhances the healing process. Likewise crystals can also be used to focus energies on areas of the aura where wounds or disease are present. This has to be done with love being directed to the spot. Ostrom undertook numerous healing exercises in which doctors and medical personnel evinced great interest to learn more about the aura. Ostrom feels that one day the use of the aura in diagnosis and healing will be an inseparable part of the medical profession.


healing with hand Chakras

Ostrom concluded his book with a word on the ‘protective aura’ that one can create around oneself to ensure peace and avoid all intrusions of negativity in public and work places where one is most vulnerable. Place all your negative thoughts in an imaginary paper bag and toss it into a corner of the room. Inhale and say to the bag Time Out. Inhale again and after counting five let go all the remaining tension and relax. With your next inhalation  imagine your body is covered by a metallic gold foil which fills up like a balloon surrounding the outer edges of your aura. Its protective metallic sheen prevents any negativity from entering your aura. Fill the interior of the cocoon with effervescent rainbow light of positivity. Inhale this and relax. You are now protected from external negativity. This exercise can be done anywhere, at office, on a walk or in the car. If a negative thought should suddenly arrive from within to disrupt the cocoon, start again and rebuild it. Eventually you will retain it and be relieved of all negativity in your safe aural cocoon.


The protective aura


Reincarnation - RebirthCredit ISKCON

Reincarnation – Rebirth


We now arrive at the theory of reincarnation. Though Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cosmologies are entirely different from one another, the common denominator in all three faiths is the belief in rebirth. Here of course we shall solely be examining the concept of reincarnation in the Hindu context and more particularly as expounded by the Gita.

Let us begin by asking, whose rebirth? When we say ‘your’ rebirth we do not mean rebirth only of the personality-ego complex which represent you in your subtle body, now modified for the next lifetime at the moment of rebirth. What is also meant is the rebirth of the entrapped soul force within you, the ‘indweller’, the one who during the lifetime was shrouded by your body, ego and personality. The eternal soul now sheds the deceased body/personality and assumes a new one. Here let us see what the Gita has to say:

”It (the soul) is neither born nor does it die. Coming into being and ceasing to be, do not take place in it. Unborn, eternal, constant and ancient, it is not killed when the body is slain.”

”As a man casting off worn out garments puts on new ones, so the embodied one (the soul), casting off worn out bodies, enters others that are new.”

The analogy is aptly one of  shedding an old garment and wearing a new one. But the new garment, to extend the analogy further, is not one which the soul can choose. It cannot demand an exquisite garment from a designer shop. On the contrary it lies before the soul, tailor-made according to Karmic specifications. The traces, effects and ‘odours’ registered in the Subtle Body ( discussed in an earlier post – The subtle body and the law of Karma) determine the kind of new garment the soul is obliged to ‘wear’ – the new body/personality which will embody the soul for the next lifetime. Thus rebirth takes place with a new modified entity as the host of the soul.

Reincarnation - RebirthCredit: ISKCON

Reincarnation – Rebirth
Credit: ISKCON



We learnt that it is the Ego and not the soul that dictates to the physical self what it needs to do to survive in the world of senses. The actions that the physical self performs to satisfy the ego’s demands produce Karmic effects. Here the law of Karma comes into play. The nature of actions, good, bad or indifferent create Karmic results and effects which inexorably get registered as marks, scars, or odours ( called Sanskars in Sanskrit) left by previous and present actions, inclinations, desires and acquired potential. Where are these marks registered? This brings us to the nature of the physical self as understood by Indian philosophical traditions.

These traditions hold that the physical ‘body’ is not merely what appears to the eye. What is visible is merely the gross body. but enveloping it are other layers of physicality, even though not visible to the naked eye of an ordinary person. That is what in the West has been termed as Auric phenomenon.Subtle body These are pulsating fields of energy   falling within the defination of the physical, which hover around the gross body and are an integral part of that body. We  need not here go into details but briefly these sheaths are those of the vital force ( Prana- the harmonized bodily functions that allow the body to function in good health ), the mind and the understanding. Even though the other sheaths are not clearly manifest and tangible, like the gross body is, they are essentially a physical category as opposed to the spiritual one and are known in India and elsewhere in mystical circles as the subtle body.

It is in this subtle body that the ‘History’ of every act and its effects are registered indelibly (much like in present day Personal Computers) and which sets in motion the dynamics of the Law of Karmic effects – ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’. While the subtle body is marked by all the traces and effects and ‘odours’, its ‘Indweller’, the soul is not.

English: Illustrative image showing the Soul B...




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