Five Layers and Your Divinity [BR]by Prof. K S Iyer
If we look back into the human evolution, we see that it was the first jivatma, the living force (we may call it Atman), it is our understanding that this in combination with Panchamahabhutas evolved into living body, with basic animal instincts; and each of these Panchamahabhutas has its own characteristics; with the passage of time these living body acquiring the power of perception became human beings, the perceptions gave the human being to differentiate between the thoughts or emotions and wisdom or maturity. The faculty that governs thoughts & emotions is called the mind and the faculty that governs wisdom is called the intellect. The persons when become aware of these two aspects we call them normal persons and those who are capable of changing their way of living as per wisdom without succumbing to the effects of thoughts or emotions we may call them the great human beings. Those, who are able to overcome effects of mind or its fluctuations, may be called as super human beings. These super humans are able to feel the supreme power within them and when they are in yoga with that supreme power we call them divine and finally when they assimilate themselves with that supreme power they become cosmic personalities. There are various theories explaining the elements and their effects on human living. Basically we have to understand our present level then if we want might like to change our way of living to enhance our human level. This would be possible only when we are able to understand what is happening in our mind and how we respond to those triggers. For this one has to understand his or her own self its compositions, here the age old science of Pancha koshas would come to great help. What are these Pancha Koshas, these five layers of our existence, crossing these five layers we may be able to make ourselves divine person.
The five layers, the koshas
, which means sheaths
are: Physical Layer - Annamaya kosha, Energy Layer - Pranamaya kosha, Mental Layer - Manamaya kosha, Wisdom Layer - Vijnanamaya kosha and Bliss Layer - Anandamaya kosha.
Beyond these layers is the Self – the Atman. Kosha, i.e., the sheath
, is cover preventing us to feel or realize our self. These layers are illusions, the Maya
which appears to be true, or like mirage as if something appears
to be one way, but is really another.
Annamaya kosha (
sheath of food): Anna
all of the physical aspects of life come and go, and are consumed by another aspect of external reality. This is the outermost of the koshas.
The next kosha is Pranamaya kosha. Prana
. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body.
The next kosha is Manamaya kosha. Mana or manas
. It is the level of processing thoughts and emotions. It is in direct control of the operation, through the prana, of the physical body and senses.
The next of the koshas is Vijnanamaya kosha. Vijnana
means science or knowing
. It is the sheath of wisdom that is underneath the processing, thinking aspect of mind. It knows, decides, judges, and discriminates between this and that, between useful and not useful.
Anandamaya kosha is inner most kosha, the first kosha surrounding the Atman, the eternal center of consciousness. Ananda