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Karmendriya

A Sanskrit term referring to a power (indriya) of action (karma). They are identified as speech (vak), grasping or holding (pani), locomotion or walking (pada), excretion (payu), and reproduction or generation (uspatha). They are focused, respectively, in the larynx, hands, feet, anus, and generative organ. They are commonly referred to as “organs of action,” but the term indriya literally means “of or belonging to [the god] Indra,” hence implies a power, not an organ. In other words, one may still have the power (presumably at a non-physical level of one’s being) to walk, for example, even if the physical locus (feet) happen to be paralyzed. Their parallels are the jñanendriyas or powers of knowledge.

R.W.B.

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