The Science of Living Beings

In our universe, we have a large variety of living beings. Humans, animals, fishes, ants, insects, etc. You can also include plants in this category. There is no doubt that there is an amazing variety and range of living beings. A question to be asked is, is there any similarity among these living beings? On the face of it, each living being looks so different, so how can they be similar? Some living beings are born from seeds, some from eggs, while others are born from a mother’s womb. Living beings may be born by different methods, but is the makeup of all living beings the same? Is the structure of all living beings the same? This is definitely an interesting question. Science will tell you that all living beings are built of the same subatomic particles. In this way, all living beings are similar—all are made up of subatomic particles. Unfortunately, this scientific analysis does not give the complete picture behind the makeup and structure of living beings.

In this essay, we will discuss a different and unique perspective on the science of living beings. The findings from this analysis will give us fresh insights and perspectives on many different aspects of living beings. So, let us get the ball rolling.   

The Makeup of Living Beings

If you are a student of Vedanta, you will learn that the makeup of all living beings is similar. Vedanta teaches us that all living beings in the universe are made up of the following three bodies:

  1. Seed Body
  2. Subtle Body
  3. Gross Body

The Seed Body creates a Subtle Body. Then the Subtle Body is the source of the Gross or Physical Body. 

First we need to understand the Seed Body. We are all familiar with seeds of plants like flowers and trees. Isn’t it mysterious how a plant comes out of such a tiny seed? It does seem that a potential plant or a blueprint of that plant is already stored within its seed. When the seed germinates, all aspects of the plant come out. If the seed is of a rose, only a rose will grow and nothing else. This is what the blueprint tells the seed—a rose plant from a rose seed. If this is true for plants, then why not for all living beings in the universe? This is only logical. This is what Vedanta teaches us. Yes, there is a Seed Body for all living beings. You have a Seed Body, I have a Seed Body, every living being has a Seed Body. All living beings germinate from their seed, just like a rose plant comes from a rose seed.

When the Seed Body starts to germinate, the Subtle Body is created. The Subtle Body is nothing but the mind. The mind is the Subtle Body. The Subtle Body or mind is made up of vrittis or waveforms. These waveforms represent all the different objects in the universe. Right from the smallest object to the largest object, all objects have a subtle version of waveforms or vrittis.

These object waveforms, in the presence of the Observer or Atma, become gross objects. These are the gross objects we see in the universe “out there.”

It seems that the makeup of all living beings is the same; they are made up of the three bodies—Seed, Subtle, and Gross. We are all aware of the Gross or Physical Body. Yes, we can see and touch the Gross Body. We can investigate the Physical Body and find out its key properties, etc. This is not possible of the Subtle Body and Seed Body. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing”—it does become difficult to grasp the concept of Subtle and Seed Body. As mentioned earlier, the Subtle Body is the mind. We know the mind does exist. This fact cannot be denied. All thoughts, feelings, and perceptions happen in the mind.

The Seed Body is even subtler than the mind. Any investigation of the Seed Body is difficult. But the fact is that it must exist. Just like a plant must have a seed, in the same way every living being must have a Seed Body. It is the starting point for any living being. It is the source of the Subtle Body and Gross Body. You have a Seed Body, I have a Seed Body, and every living being has a Seed Body.

Understanding the Seed Body for Human Beings

Every living being must have a Seed Body. It is therefore important to understand this Seed Body. To start with, let us focus on the Seed Body for human beings. Once we have a better understanding of the Seed Body for human beings, we can then apply that understanding to all other living beings.

If you take the time to analyze our inner structure, you will reach the conclusion that each human being has the following three components:

  1. Ego
  2. Mind
  3. Body

Each human being is made up of these three components. Our essence is these three components. If you try and compare these three components with the three bodies just discussed, you will see a direct correlation among them. Our body is the Gross Body—there can be no confusion about this. As mentioned earlier, the mind is the Subtle Body. The only other body is the Seed Body. From this it does seem that the ego represents the Seed Body. Yes, the ego is the representative, but it is only part of our Seed Body. We will see shortly that our soul or Atma is our Seed Body, and the ego is part of this Seed Body.

Logically, we would expect that each individual has only one Seed Body and that everything grows and blossoms out of this Seed Body. But, in reality, our ego–body–mind complex is made up of two different Seed Bodies and not one Seed Body. When we are born, these two Seed Bodies merge to function as a single unit. All our life, we think we have one Seed Body—but we have the following two Seed Bodies:

  1. Ego Seed Body
  2. Genetic Seed Body

Each of these Seed Bodies starts to germinate, and they play out their own independent blueprint. Not surprisingly, these Seed Bodies have their own agendas. We will see how these two Seed Bodies work for and against each other. This will give us good insight into the functioning and nature of human beings.

Ego Seed Body: The Seed Body is a new concept for most people, and the question can arise—where do we find the Ego Seed Body within us? How do we look for our Seed Body? If you think about it, you will conclude that the Seed Body is the soul. The soul is the starting point of our existence; everything blossoms from the soul. Your soul and your Ego Seed Body are synonymous.

Ego Seed Body = Soul

Your Ego Seed Body or your soul is like your resume; it contains your history, your skill set, your personality profile. This Seed Body travels with you, and, on every rebirth, it attaches to a new body. Each individual’s Ego Seed Body has a blueprint which is based on its history. Some of the information contained in each Seed Body is as follows:  

  • Ego—the feeling of “I-ness”
  • Past history
  • Personality traits or vasanas
  • Pending karmas, which still needs to fructify.

The Ego Seed Body is your essential nature, and it belongs to you. It is your passport which you carry with you. Another important aspect is that the Seed Body is not static; it is dynamic. It is continuously updated. All experiences are recorded in the Seed Body as grooves. If the same experience is repeated often, the grooves become deeper. The deeper grooves can modify the personality trait of the Seed Body. For example, if a person practices music, tennis, or meditation with great intensity and dedication, that skill set will make a deep impression on the soul. That skill set is then carried forward to future births.

Genetic Seed Body: As we have just discussed, the Ego Seed Body belongs to you; it is your passport to future births. In that respect, the Genetic Seed Body takes a very different path, and it is quite independent from the Ego Seed Body. A simple question: what is the source of your Physical Body? The simple answer is that your parents are the source of your Physical Body. A tiny cell is formed by combining the chromosomes from the parents. This tiny cell is the Seed Body—the Genetic Seed Body. It represents the genetics from the two parents. This tiny cell grows in the mother’s womb. All the different body parts, both internal and external, grow from this tiny Genetic Seed Body. It is simply amazing how this happens—the magic of Nature.

Did you notice that the Ego Seed Body has no connection with the Genetic Seed Body? The Genetic Seed Body grows within the womb, but the Ego Seed Body is elsewhere. Most likely the Ego Seed Body waits its turn for a Physical Body in heaven. Without the Ego Seed Body, the Physical Body in the womb is incomplete. It is just like another internal body part. So, the question can be asked: when does the Ego Seed Body combine with the Genetic Seed Body? When does the soul enter the Physical Body in the womb? Obviously, there is no scientific data or proof, but the Garbha Upanishad deals with this subject. This Upanishad gives a detailed timetable of when the different body parts show up in the womb. This Upanishad indicates that the soul enters the Physical Body in the seventh month. This timetable may be correct or incorrect. No one can be sure. However, it is logical to expect that the Genetic Seed Body is already available in the mother womb when the soul enters the Physical Body. Only when the Ego Seed Body merges with the Genetic Seed Body is the person complete. This does indicate that the Ego Seed Body and Genetic Seed Body are separate entities.

The Physical Body grows from the Genetic Seed Body. All the body parts, personality traits, and characteristics come from the Genetic Seed Body. The Genetic Seed Body has many features; let us discuss a few key ones. 

DNA Code: Scientists describe deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as the building block of any living being. DNA carries genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth, and reproduction of all known organisms. This DNA is the Genetic Seed Body.

Genetic Seed Body = DNA Code

Human beings have around three trillion cells, and each cell carries within it the DNA code. The personality traits for the human body are present within each DNA cell. The personality traits come from the genetics of the parents. The skills and personality traits therefore pass on to the human body from the parents. It is important to understand that these traits belong to the body; they do not belong to you. They do not belong to the Ego Seed Body. The Ego Seed Body has its own collection of personality traits which belong to you, while the personality traits of the Genetic Seed Body come from your parents and ancestors. Agreed, this may seem complicated, but the key takeaway point is the separation between the Ego Seed Body and the Genetic Seed Body.         

Procreation: Procreation is one of the key functions of the human body—in fact, of any living being. Perpetuation of the species is the goal. This tendency is inbuilt in the Genetic Seed Body. Sexual attraction to the opposite sex is an ingredient of the Genetic Seed Body. Without sexual attraction there can be no procreation. Therefore, this characteristic is part and parcel of the Physical Body and not really of the soul.

Sense Organs: Human beings have five sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. The connection to the external world is through these five senses. These five senses, which are part of the human body, grow out of the Genetic Seed Body. These five sense organs are powerful; they have their own desires and needs. The eyes want to see beautiful objects and avoid seeing unpleasant objects. The ears want to listen to soothing sounds and avoid loud and irritating noise. In the same way, all the sense organs want pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant experiences. These characteristics come from the Genetic Seed Body. These sense organs are their own power base; they have the capacity to run amok and manipulate the Physical Body to achieve its goals. We will soon look at some examples of this.

Survival Instinct: All living beings have a survival instinct. If there is danger, they will do everything they can to protect the body. If they are hungry, they will hunt for food. This instinct is programmed in the Genetic Seed Body.  

Working of the Ego Seed Body and Genetic Seed Body

When the Ego Seed Body combines with the Genetic Seed Body in the womb, magic happens. The soul, which is the Ego Seed Body, brings the Power of Awareness along with it. The power of the subject, the power of the object, and the power of intelligence enters the Physical Body through the soul. This power creates the mind and activates all the functions. The body–mind complex becomes operational.

The Ego Seed Body or the soul by itself is nonfunctional. The ego cannot function without a body. It needs a body to operate. In a way, the ego or soul is desperate to find a body. So, when the soul enters the Physical Body, the Ego Seed Body and the Genetic Seed Body combine to form a single unit. The ego closely associates itself with the Physical Body and now says “I am this body.” Although they are separate units, the ego now completely identifies with the Physical Body. It associates itself with all the plus and minus points of the Physical Body.

As mentioned earlier, the sense organs of the Physical Body are quite powerful and have their own desires and needs. In the same way, the ego or the soul also is a self-centered power. It has its own desires and needs. It is almost like two rulers who want to rule over the body–mind complex. Each wants to dominate the other. Sometimes they do cooperate, and sometimes they fight each other. This tussle between the ego and the Physical Body has many repercussions. Vedanta teaches us that the ego–body–mind complex has the following three gunas or qualities. The gunas or qualities come about because of the interaction between the Ego Seed Body and Genetic Seed Body. Whenever we act, one of the three gunas is needed to complete the action. Sometimes one of the gunas will dominate, while at other times the other gunas will take over.  

  1. Rajas Guna
  2. Tamas Guna
  3. Sattva Guna

Rajas Guna: In the rajas guna, the ego dominates and wants continuous action. The ego has many strong desires—to be rich, to be famous, to be successful. It uses the five sense organs to interact with the external world to try and fulfill these desires. When one desire is satisfied, it will go after another desire. This is a never-ending cycle. The ego is restless, and it uses the sense organs to achieve its goals. During rajas action, the ego is the boss and the body–mind complex plays a supporting role.

Tamas Guna: There are many times when the ego is lazy and lethargic. The ego is depressed, and it is not interested in action. During such times, the five sense organs can control and manage the ego. If care is not taken, the sense organs can dominate, and the ego can lose control of the actions it undertakes. When the ego is not in control and the sense organs dominate, chances of non-dharmic actions increase dramatically. These are tamasic actions. This can happen in a wide variety of situations, from simple to major actions.   

  • The doctor has told you that sweets are not good for your health. However, when you see a tasty sweet on the table, your taste buds take over and direct your hand to pick up and put the sweet in your mouth. The ego seems helpless, and the sense organ takes over to undertake an action which is tamasic in nature.
  • The ego is depressed and lethargic. The ego is vulnerable and, under these circumstances, the sense organs take over and find immense pleasure and satisfaction in drinking. The ego does not resist, and you become an alcoholic.

Sattva Guna: Here the ego is strong, and it realizes that it will never find satisfaction and happiness with external objects. The ego avoids the sense organs and directs its focus inward to find its true source of happiness. Such action does lead to radical change. Compassion, goodness, forgiveness, and other positive qualities will come forward.

So, we can see that there is continuous interaction between the ego and the body–mind complex. This interplay continues throughout one’s life. When one dies, the soul or Ego Seed Body disengages from the Genetic Seed Body. The Ego Seed Body no longer has access to the body–mind complex. The Ego Seed Body is once again isolated and once again waits for a new body so that it can once again resume its actions.  

Seed Body and Other Living Beings

We have just seen that human beings have two seed bodies—Ego Seed Body and Genetic Seed Body. Does that mean all living beings have these two Seed Bodies? This is not an easy question to answer. My guess is that most living beings other than human beings have only Genetic Seed Bodies. They do not have an Ego Seed Body. These living beings do not have the feeling of “I-ness”; they do not have the power of thinking and rationalization. These living beings operate through the Genetic Seed Body alone. They use their survival instinct to eat, keep away from danger, and procreate. As mentioned earlier, these characteristics belong to the Genetic Seed Body and not the Ego Seed Body. All these living beings seem to function instinctively, and they do not have the Ego Seed Body. Only human beings have the Ego Seed Body; the other living being do not have one. Some of the more evolved living beings may have better organizational skills, but these come from the Genetic Seed Body and not the Ego Seed Body.

21 thoughts on “The Science of Living Beings”

  1. Very interesting article.If senses carry vasanas the they come from Ego not genetic seed body.Ego entering womb at 7 months is a belief .It is believed that it enters at the time of conception .Even this can be questioned!Thanks for sharing this.Regards.

  2. Senses do not have vasanas like ego. This characteristics of like and dislike is built in the DNA of the five senses. It is a proven that a single cell will be attracted to sugar while it will be repealed by vinegar. The five senses in the same way want pleasant experiences only.

    Agreed, the soul entering the physical body in the seventh month or on conception is a belief system. What is clear is that the genetic seed body must be present for the soul to enter. Whatever the time table, the genetic seed body comes first and then the soul or the ego seed body.

    1. Here when we assume that genetic seed body comes first, is it not that ego seed body should preexist and then only it can enter the genetic seed body ?
      In Vedantic parlance, can we not equate ego seed body with the Sukshma and Karana Sareeras together searching for Upadhi after leaving the previous body’s death ??

      1. Ego Seed Body is your soul. And your soul is the Karana Sareera only. The Sukshma Sareera (your mind) is created only when the soul gets a physical body.

  3. I wonder
    1. Where does concept of Soul Mates fit in the narrative
    2. Similarly for LGBTQ Concept ?
    3. Seances or channeling is it real
    4. Past life recall is it real ?
    5. Is Moksh possible or in other words can Soul shed its existential load ?
    Is Moksh ordained or is it only a bait for permanence of infinite lives ; if so by whom !

  4. A very intriguing thoughts penned. About the ego seed body and other living beings, i feel these ego seed bodies also have a degree of maturity, that means the highest evolved seed bodies enter human bodies, followed by higher order animals like Cows, Dogs, Lions, some birds etc and like wise to lower insects and then come the plants which might have either not fully grown ego seed bodies or no ego seed body but just genetic seed body.

    1. If I recollect, many spiritual texts do mention that these higher order animals only pay down their karmas during their lifetime, they do not accumulate any new karmas. Only ego can acquire new karmas. This does indicate that these animals do not have any ego.
      These animals do have emotions, but do these animals know that they are sad or happy. Can they manage these emotions like humans. My guess is that they cannot undertake this task.

      All this is an educated guess only.

  5. sir can we extend your paper on the above subject by saying ” To achieve peace in both body and mind we need to discipline both mental DNA and Physical DNA with the help of two observers i.e observer of physical objects and observer of mental images/mental objects. These two observers has cability to convert mental DNA to physical DNA and Physical DNA to mental DNA as per Quantum mechanics principle. In this process human beings suffer. Hence mindfull meditation helps us to observe only passively all potential negative traits of both DNA so that only positive traits of both DNA can be maintained. Does my comment has any logic, I seek your opinion. Regards Somanath

    1. There cannot be two observers. There is only ONE observer – the Sakshi or witness within you. Your ego is NOT an observer. However the ego does attach itself to Sakshi to claim I am a witness.
      To get peace of mind, it is important for the ego to discipline the five senses.

  6. Good analysis by dividing seed body into 2 parts. My doubt is this. If Ego seed body is entering the womb only in 7th month after conception, then when is Prana, (which is a part of subtle body as per Vedanta ) entering the Genetic body since prana only induces Chaitanya that is considered to be Rajasic attribute to provide mobility to the Jada or inert genetic body at the time of conception . It cannot be just belief.

    1. Before Ego Seed Body enters the physical body, the mothers’ prana is available to the fetus in the womb. Once the soul enters, the mind is created, and its prana takes over and activates all body parts.

  7. In addition, the genetic body cannot be produced by parental intercourse as male chromosomes in the sperm are considered to be Rajasic and hence mobile while entering and merging with one female chromosome to form the genetic seed body as per your hypothesis.

  8. Here when we assume that genetic seed body comes first, is it not that ego seed body should preexist and then only it can enter the genetic seed body ?
    In Vedantic parlance, can we not equate ego seed body with the Sukshma and Karana Sareeras together searching for Upadhi after leaving the previous body’s death ??

  9. Jayantjee, I tend to disagree with you that only human beings have ego seed bodies. Since after the completion of prarabdha karma phala in one birth, both the Sukshma-Karana body leave the genetic body or gross body in search of another Upadhi or genetic body carrying with it the Sanchita karmas and associated Vasanas. New upadhi is decided by omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Paramatma which can be either human or any other being including animals, birds or even trees to suffer or enjoy a part of Sanchita karma doled out as PrarabdaKarma for that Upadhi or genetic body.

    1. If I recollect, many spiritual texts do mention that these higher order animals only pay down their karmas during their lifetime, they do not accumulate any new karmas. Only ego can acquire new karmas. This does indicate that these animals do not have any ego.

      All this is speculation, no one is sure.

      1. Jayantjee. Yes, all other living species excluding human beings ( maanava or nara rupa) belong to ‘ thiryak’ category who won’t/can’t add any more ‘ agami’ or fresh karmas in their lifetime and only suffer/enjoy the fruits/phalas of PrarabdaKarma alloted at the time of birth. Scripts also say ” jantunam narajanma durlabham” which clearly puts human beings on the highest pedestal. This is not belief but shastra sammatam.

  10. Its a well written essay which gives clear distinction between humans and other living beings. At the same time it also gives role clarity on ego seed and genetic seed body. I however have few questions. Going by your logic it seems that ego seed body is responsible for action (Kartutva) and this elevates one’s status in present life! Is there something called destiny? If yes who shapes it? Can ego seed body alter it’s destiny?

    1. Yes, Ego Seed Body has free will, it can change its destiny. Ego can do action only if it has free will.

  11. Detailed explaination of seed body. I have pondered too about them. As I could perceive frm your essay that genetic seed body leads to manifestation of physical body and ego seed body leads to development of mind . The mind takes hold of a particular kind of body and then runs it according to its whims and fancies and gather experiences
    According to upanishads the waves that are not different from the ocean exist independently for a limited prriod and then dissolve in it. They are responsible for the various activivites the ocean does for sustainment of life . So the living entity though one with the absolute seem to engage in activities that propagate life .The absolute is just there and does nothing in fact . It is an autonomous process .
    The absolute is swaraat ( fully independent) and abhigya ( fully cognizant -all knowing) and eternal .
    Why do we need to have a personalised God ? In bhakti yog there is a great significance of knowing the absolute through devotion.
    Scientifically we have proof that things are happening around but we have no proof of a personal God. It exists on the subtle level. Krishna is the manifestion of absolute in the personal form all knowing and independent . Here the theory become abstract

    1. Please read my article on Bhakti Marga. I have analyzed how God is created. Personal God is there only because of our ignorance. If there was no ignorance, only SatChitAnanda would be present.

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