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"If you understand that you are Ten Bodies, and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole universe will be in balance with you." ~ Yogi Bhajan

In Kundalini Yoga, we are taught that we are made up of 10 bodies. 1 and 0 make 10 to make the one. As it is important to keep the chakras in balance for optimum health and balance in every aspect of ourselves, it is also vital to keep the 10 bodies in balance and harmony. The chakras are the pathways and connections through the 10 bodies which we are made up of. The 10 bodies are:

  1. The Soul Body
  2. The Negative Mind
  3. The Positive Mind
  4. The Neutral Mind
  5. The Physical Body
  6. The Arcline
  7. The Aura
  8. The Pranic Body
  9. The Subtle Body
  10. The Radiant Body

What are the ten bodies?

You can visualise your various bodies as layers of clothing, the physical body being the overcoat you wear for your human lifetime. We know we have a physical body; we can see it, touch it, and feel it. We also have other bodies that are equally real, but more ethereal.

As humans living on Earth we are made up of ten bodies: the physical body, three mental bodies, and six energy bodies.

The eleventh body is known as the embodiment and is when all ten bodies are under your direction. When this happens it produces a pure state of consciousness and enlightenment and you will have the ability to see and feel part of everything. 

Characteristics of the ten bodies
First Body: Soul Body

  • The most real, deepest, immortal and infinite part of you. The part in you connected to the Infinite. Your inner infinity.
  • Humility, Creativity.
  • Key Phrase: “Heart over Head.”
  • If strong: You will be able to come from a place of great humility, and have the ability to see God and beauty in all. You will easily live in the universal flow. Your creations and actions will come from the deepest part of you - your soul and therefore from the central source of all creation and just cannot go or be wrong.
  • If weak: You will come from the head instead of the heart; you will feel stuck and disconnected and not able to access your purpose and creative flow. Everything you do will come from the mental and emotional levels which have been clouded by the mind, which may cause you to take actions you may later regret.
  • Key to Balancing: Raise the Kundalini. Clear the chakras and pathways for energy to flow and balance the other bodies and chakras. Open the Heart.

The Three Mental Bodies:
Second Body: Negative (Protective) Mind

  • Identifies possible dangers or shortcomings in a situation. Necessary for protection.
  • Containment, Obedience.
  • Key Phrase: “Longing to Belong.”
  • If strong: it will give a balanced warning of potential danger and help the neutral mind to take actions and feel emotions which are in line with the Soul Body, and therefore cannot go wrong.
  • If weak: We can get into inappropriate, self-destructive relationships. We may be over-influenced by others and be insecure and negative. We may be always fearful of everything and therefore fail to see the potential and good in a situation and therefore always allow everything to be clouded by judgement made by a dominant, but weak negative mind.
  • Key to Balancing: Value your discipline. Develop conscious relationships of integrity. Strengthen the Positive Mind if the Negative Mind is overdeveloped.

Third Body: Positive (Expansive) Mind

  • Inspires you by showing the best possible results in any situation.
  • Equality, Positivity.
  • Key Phrase: “Devil or Divine.”
  • If strong: You will be empowered and have a strong presence, will and spirit, which you will be able to access and use easily and with humility. You will be joyous and optimistic and able to make constructive decisions by feeding the neutral mind with balanced information. You will have a good sense of humour, fun and will be able to communicate directly.
  • If weak: You will be overwhelmed by the input of the Negative Mind, which can be depressing and paralysing. You may feel angry and intolerant, with a lack of self control, or hesitant to use your own power because of being afraid of the responsibility. You may be unable to see the danger in a situation or action.
  • Key to Balancing: Strengthen the Navel Point (Third Chakra). Use positive affirmations. Strengthen the Negative Mind if the Positive Mind is overdeveloped.

Fourth Body: Neutral (Meditative) Mind

  • This part of us takes the information from both Negative and Positive Minds and decides on the best course of action using unbiased, intuitive knowledge.
  • Service, Compassion, Integration.
  • Key Phrase: “Cup of Prayer.”
  • If strong: You will have the ability to see things clearly and act from the heart and soul rather than the mind and ego, which will be balanced and in line with the infinite and used only as tools. You will be the master of you mind rather than the slave.
  • If weak: You will procrastinate and find it difficult to make decisions. You may feel victimised, depressed or alone and may find it hard to see the creative possibilities and potentials of life.
  • Key to Balancing: Meditate.

Fifth Body: Physical Body

  • The vehicle through which you participate fully on earth.
  • Sacrifice, Balance, Teacher.
  • Key Phrase: “Teacher, Balance.”
  • If strong: You will feel confident in your abilities as a human being, teacher and leader or team player. You will feel fit, strong and healthy in every aspect of yourself and your life.
  • If weak: You may feel weak, disconnected, lack passion, creativity and self control, angry, jealous, greedy, competitive, ungrateful, unloving, unforgiving, lack communication skills or intuition and a feeling of not belonging, or any other negativity which will make you feel unhappy and discontented. You may feel constantly ill, tired and depressed or any other imbalance in one or more of you chakras.
  • Key to Balancing: Exercise regularly. Take charge of your life. Eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water. Be proactive and productive in everything you say and do.

Sixth Body: Arcline

  • The arcline extends from ear to ear, across the hairline and brow. (Women have an extra one from nipple to nipple). It’s your halo, the nucleus of the aura.
  • Associated with the pituitary gland, regulates the nervous system and glandular balance.
  • Justice, Protection, Projection.
  • Key Phrase “Person at Prayer.”
  •  Balance between physical and cosmic realms.
  • If strong: You will have the ability to focus, to concentrate, to meditate. Use the intuition of the Sixth Body to protect yourself from life’s stresses and avoid shutting down your heart.
  • If weak: You may be overprotective and easily influenced. You may have glandular imbalances leading to inconsistency in moods and behaviour. You may be unfocused and unable to manifest prayers, to connect, to be intuitive and see things clearly, such as your dhama or purpose.
  • Key to Balancing: Awaken the pituitary gland (6th chakra) by prayer, fasting, meditating and exercises which strengthen the pelvis as well as awaken the 6th chakra.

Seventh Body: Auric Body

  • The aura is the electromagnetic field that surrounds your body. It acts as a container for your life force, bringing confidence and security.
  • Mercy, Security, Love.
  • Key Phrase: “Platform of Elevation.”
  • If strong: You will have the ability to manifest your dreams by attracting positivity and repel negativity. It can act like a shield. Illness cannot penetrate to your physical body. The universe reflects back to you what you project out-  it is like a mirror. A strong aura gives you a sense of security and allows an uplifting presence and you will treat others with mercy, love, kindness, compassion and grace. Wherever you go – healing happens and people want to be around you as you exude that strong and positive presence.
  • If weak: You may feel weak, lack lustre and paranoid. You will lack presence and find difficulty in manifesting you dreams and negativity will be able to penetrate into the psyche and physical body.
  • Key to Balancing: Meditate. Wear white, bight and colourful clothing made of natural fibres. Balance all your chakras.

Eighth Body: Pranic Body

  • Through the breath, the Pranic Body continuously brings the life force and energy into your system.
  • Purity, Energy, Fearlessness, Self-initiation.
  • Key Phrase: “Finite to Infinite.”
  • If strong: You will be totally balanced, fearless, fully alive and at one with all creation. Nothing can bother you and you will be full of life, energy and self-motivation.
  • If weak: You will have a constant low-level of energy and possibly suffer from anxiety and chronic fatigue. You may look to food or stimulants for energy and strength.
  • Key to Balancing: All pranayam – breathing exercises.

Ninth Body: Subtle Body

  • The Subtle Body helps you see beyond the immediate realities of life – time and space - to the sublime universal play that lies beyond.
  • It is the computer chip inside you, (which encapsulates the soul at the moment it leaves the body at the time of physical death) which collects, records and stores all data - every thought, feeling and action you ever feel or do will be recorded here for future posterity.
  • Calmness, Subtlety, Mastery.
  • Key Phrase: “Mastery or Mystery.”
  • If strong: You will have great finesse and a powerful calmness to learn quickly and master situations easily. You will be able to walk into a room and intuitively know what’s going on.
  • If weak: You may be naïve and easily fooled, unintentionally crude or rough in speech or behaviour and restless. You may come across as having a lack of intelligence and understanding and be perceived as being ignorant.
  • Key to Balancing: Do any meditation or kriya for 1,000 days. Strengthen all chakras and other bodies. Be conscious and mindful at all times of your thoughts and deeds and try to act with kindness and integrity at all times.

Tenth Body: Radiant Body

  • The Radiant Body gives spiritual royalty and radiance.
  • Royal Courage, Radiance, Nobility.
  • Key Phrase: “All or Nothing.”
  • If strong: You will be regal, noble and courageous in the face of adversity. You will have a strong and magnetic presence and command the respect of all who know you.
  • If weak: You will be afraid of conflict as you will be unable to express yourself with dignity and self control. You may shy away from people’s attention and feel ineffective and unable to cope with life.
  • Key to Balancing: Show commitment, creativity, dignity, humility and grace in all you say and do.

Eleventh embodiment
Eleven represents the sound current, the source of Infinity from which all mantras originate. In this state you can direct the play of all Ten Bodies; eleven contains all. You can direct all parts of your being from an impersonal, expansive space that allows Infinity to flow through you at all times.

You do not judge, you do not see the other person as separate to you, you do not see the polarities of duality. You only see the oneness and beauty that we all are.

As Yogi Bhajan explained, “When the God in you and the human in you are in parallel unison, then you are an 11. You have no duality, you have divine vision, and the truth flows from you. You don’t have to find anything outside of you. The jewels are all in you – you are rich inside, you have satisfaction and contentment.”

The 10 bodies allow us to understand the science of numerology. Good books to read are

    • Let The Numbers Guide You – the spiritual science of numerology by Shiv Charan Singh
    • Waves of Healing – listening to the voice of your soul- featuring kriyas for the ten bodies by Siri Atma S. Khalsa MD
    • The 10 Light Bodies of Consciousness by Nirvair Singh Khalsa