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...