Monday, February 9, 2015

669. Pancha Koshas and Evolution.

Gurus from Vedanta tradition advise a seeker in search of Self to practice “Neti, Neti” contemplation (“not this” “not this”). If we look in to what they want us to negate we will have to know about the Pancha Koshas (The Five Sheath). 

The Pancha Koshas are described as five layers encasing the Self. Annamaya Kosha (Physical), Pranamaya Kosha (Vital Breath), Manomaya Kosha (Mental), Vigyanamaya Kosha (Intellect) and Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss). These are described as five doors successive opening of which leads the Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) towards Paramatma (Absolute Consciousness) in other words from all bondage and ultimate merger with its Divine source. It is a routine to relate our Self with the Body, Mind and Intellect but the true identity is beyond all these.

All the creations (both living and non living) posses the first layer, the Annamaya Kosha, which is the symbol of existent stage of evolution.

Then next the layer is Pranamaya Kosha, the vital energy. It is connected with the breath, but also with the processes of digestion and growth and is related to the plant stage of evolution.

Then next is made up of feelings, thoughts and emotions as well as memory and imagination, comprising both faculties of Manas (Mind) and Chitta (Memory). The Manomaya Kosha is related to the animal stage of evolution.

The next Vigyanamaya Kosha is what sets human beings apart from animals. Though animals may also have feelings, emotions, thoughts and memory just like us, but only human beings have the faculty of discrimination between right and wrong, real and illusory. Many a times we confuse “trained mind” and “adoptable mind” to intellect. 

After watching Animal Planet and NGC we think animals are intelligent but they are not they have either got trained mind or have adoptable mind. Also we sometimes tell he is intelligent to have made money and built a palatial house it is not intelligence it is well trained mind. A weaver bird is in fact a best architect and builder both. Intelligence is only a discriminating faculty which is there in all of us, we are not aware or not using it. This Kosha also has an ego, a sense of identity or “I-Am-ness” (ahamkara) and stage of human evolution.

Last and final Anandamaya Kosha is the finest veil covering the Self. On this level, there is a strong awareness about the oneness of the individual and the Absolute. However, there is still some separation and unless this covering is transcended, individual existence and therefore rebirth, will continue. This Kosha contain the essence of that Jeevatma which has the experiences of countless lifetimes and stage of spiritual evolution.

After negation of all the Koshas, encased yet untouched by them and as clear as crystal, is the Self which is pure spirit and which is not different from the Absolute Reality (Brahman).

1 comment:

  1. From the gross to the subtlest of the subtle...and beyond, which intelligence can ever fathom, evolution is an enigmatic continuum...Yet the fragrance of that essence has a pervading presence in every aspect of the phenomenon in it's pristine glory, which is the beauty of His creation.
    From the microcosm to the macrocosm, we share that common bond...The Only-One...Parambrahman...We verily are That...