Karana-Sharira (the causal body)
It has no other function than being the seed of the subtle and the gross body. It is Nirvikalpa-rupam («undifferentiated form»). It originates with Avidhya («ignorance», «nescience») of the real identity of the Atman, instead giving birth to the notion of Jiva.
The causal body is «beginningless ignorance that is indescribable», characterized by «emptiness», «ignorance», and «darkness». In the search for the «I am», this is a state where there is nothing to hold on to anymore.
At this stage that consummation of the Atman with the Paramatman is reached and the search for the highest Purusa (Ishvara) ends. The causal body is not the Atman, because it also has a beginning and an end and is subject to modification.
Suksma-Sharira (the subtle body)
2. Suksma-Sharira (the subtle body) is the body of the mind and the vital energies, which keep the physical body alive. Together with the causal body it is the transmigrating Jiva (soul), separating from the gross body upon death.
- Sravanadi-Panchakam — the five organs of perception: eyes, ears, skin, tongue and nose;
- Vagadi-Panchakam — the five organs of action: speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals;
- Prana-Panchakam — the five-fold vital breath: Prana (respiration), Apana (evacuation of waste from the body), Vyana (blood circulation), Udana (actions like sneezing, crying, vomiting etc), Samana (digestion);
- Buddhyadicatustayam (Buddhi, Manas, Ahamkrti, Citta);
- Avidya (Adhyasa, «super-imposition»);
- Kama (desire);
- Karma (action of the nature of Dharma and Adharma).
The «dream state» is a distinct state of the subtle body, where the Buddhi shines itself owing to memory of deeds done in the waking state. It is the indispensable operative cause of all the activities of the individual Self.
3. Sthula-Sharira (gross body, Rūpa) is the material physical mortal body that eats, breathes and moves (acts). It is composed of many diverse components, produced by one’s Karmas (actions) in past life out of the elements which have undergone Panchi Karana (i.e. combining of the five primordial subtle elements).
- Sthula-Sharira (the Gross body) also called the Annamaya-Kosha;
- Suksma-Sharira (the Subtle body) composed of:
- Karana-Sharira (the Causal body) = the Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss).
If four bodies are meant, then including Turiya (the «Great-Causal Body») is a fourth body. Here resides the knowledge of «I am» that cannot be described, the state before Ignorance and Knowledge — Turiya state. http://vedavrat.org