Psychology in the Rig Veda & Yajur Veda mantras

Prof. R.L. Kashyap

Every human being has a complex inner structure of which the physical body is only one aspect, the other aspects being those beyond the pale of the senses. In the modern language used by the tantriks, every human being is endowed with several bodies which are termed as subtle to distinguish them from the gross physical body. The subtle body is indicated by the word sadana, sadma, yoni, etc., in many verses. Each body is associated with a distinct psychological principle. There is an intimate connection between the subtle bodies associated with a human being and the various worlds of the cosmos of the Rig Veda. The outermost sheath is the sheath of matter, derived from the world of matter. Next s/he has the sheath of life-energy which deals with ambitions, emotions, higher levels, feelings, both noble and petty, goals, urge to dominate, drives, desires to possess, anger, urge for progression, the power of love, faith, sincerity, humility, aspirations, equality, peace, generosity, goodness, emotion, passion and love. The mental sheath deals with our thoughts, understanding, control of senses, intelligence, reason, intuition, ability to make decisions and implement them, control of the organs of actions like speech, hands, legs etc., and the powers of meditation, contemplation and concentration. Typically in an advanced person the sheath of prana or the vital should be under the control of the mind. Often it is the reverse, the vital overpowers the mental and orders the power of reasoning to come up with reasons for doing the action, which may have no support of our secret inner being.

Email the author: "Prof. R.L. Kashyap" <>

This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002