The most common perception of Yoga is related to a physical wellbeing which is restricted to increasing flexibility, strength, balance while reducing stress by enhancing relaxation. While yoga does all of the above but this is a limited view of what yoga does for us. The true purpose of yoga is to develop a relationship with the self that is rooted deep within our core known as the Jeevatman or the individual soul.
As per the ancient Indian texts our human nature or prakriti is composed of five different layers or dimensions. Human Beings consist of five different energy sheaths called ‘koshas’ that surround the jeevatman. Each kosha vibrates at different energies while interacting and overlapping with each other, ranging from the gross to more subtle dimensions.
The Panch kosha provide us with an understanding of our psychological and spiritual development. These are:
Physical – Annamaya Kosha
Energy – Pranamaya Kosha
Mental – Manamaya Kosha
Wisdom – Vijnanamaya Kosha
Bliss – Anandmaya Kosha
The meaning of the word Maya is illusion but in this context it actually means ‘consists of.,
The doctrine of Panch kosha represents the hierarchy of human values and is supposed to give a deep scientific understanding of cosmology and evolution.
Will talk more about the five koshas in the coming weeks.