Pancha Kosha-5 Koshas Of Body
Yoga and yogic philosophy are very vast fields. It is composed of various teaching, learning, and knowledge. Among the various philosophy and teachings, there is the teaching and philosophy of Pancha Kosha. Pancha Kosha are the five layers that cover the soul of an individual.
Pancha Kosha is composed of two words Pancha and Kosha. Pancha means five and Kosha means sheath in Sanskrit. This philosophy says that our soul is covered by five sheaths in total. They are all the level of awareness by which every experience of the individual is filtered.
The center of Pancha Kosha is the soul which is the center of existence itself. The five sheaths enclose the soul. Let us look at the five of those sheaths in detail.
The five sheaths of Pancha Kosha are as follows:
It is also called the food sheath and is the outermost layer of the Pancha Kosha. It is believed that the happening of the physical body can impact this Kosha, due to this very reason it is believed that this is the most vulnerable of the Pancha kosha. When imbalances in the body occur, this will directly affect this Kosha. Food is the vital element for this Kosha as it is for the physical body.
Our Physical body is very much dependent on the food we take. If we eat healthy food our physical body will be at the peak of physical self with good exercise and it will, in turn, make Annamaya Kosha very healthy, balanced, and strong. Aside from the food, good sleep, exercise, yoga practices, also aids to balance the Annamaya Kosha.
This is the sheath that lies inside of the Annamaya Kosha and is the second Pancha Kosha. This is the layer of vital life force and energy. Lifeforce is the vital cosmic energy that flows as life in all living beings. When the life force is present in a body the body is alive and when it drains and goes away from the body, the body dies.
Pranamaya Kosha is closely connected to Annamaya Kosha and performs the activity of animating the physical body. Pranamaya is connected to the life force in the body directly. When the life force is strong and thriving this layer of Pancha Kosha also thrives while if the life force diminishes so will the pranamaya Kosha.
Pranayam is the exercise of breath to enhance the life force within the body. It is composed of various techniques and exercises which will enhance the efficiency of breath and make the air element in the body very active. This will enhance the Pranamaya Kosha.
Manomaya Kosha is the third of the Pancha Kosha and is inside of the Pranayama Kosha. This is the level of the mental and psychological sheath. The mind and psychology are deeply related to perception.
Every human is unique to other humans, and it is not a matter of physical appearance but a matter of perception and mind. It is your thinking, mentality, way of life that makes you unique and not the material factors.
Your mental aspect is a very important part of your being, and this layer reflects your mental state. As you walk along with your life and have a better perception and strong mentality this layer strengthens. There are also various ways one can make it better immediately, like doing meditation, yoga, and other things which make your mind and will stronger.
This is one of the innermost sheaths of the Pancha Kosha only second to the Anandamaya Kosha. This is the level of intellect. Intellect is not something you are born with but is something one has to work on continuously for a long period. It can be said that it is the collection of the experience one has had with the world for a long period. This Pancha Kosha is directly connected with inner wisdom as well as the deeper states of consciousness.
Consciousness is a very important aspect of oneself, it is who we are and what makes and defines us. This kosha of Pancha Kosha is especially important for inner growth and defines one’s awareness.
One can strengthen one’s consciousness by various yoga and meditation as well as similar activities.
This is the final of the Pancha Kosha and is the closest to the human soul. This is the sheath of bliss that gives eternal peace and satisfaction. The closer the sheath grows the closer it will be to the soul and the more spiritual the sheath becomes. This sheath is beyond logic, mind, consciousness, and the materials of the world. This sheath provides the eternal bliss which no material in the world provides and satisfies the soul completely.
This of the Pancha Kosha being closest and connected with the soul of the individual is capable of connecting with the universal consciousness. One can use this connection to achieve enlightenment also. One needs to walk the path of meditation, yoga, and similar things to achieve universal consciousness.