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Hndu: Pancha- kosas


As described in Dvidiya Prasna of Taitriya Upanishad: Ananda Valli or Brahma Valli

It will be interesting to compare other models with the Biblical Model.  The Hindu model is a five dimensional model.  There are three sheaths for man subdivisible as five.  These are:

Sthula Sareera :Gross Body: made up of gross matter

1.   Food sheath (Anna-maya kosa)
The five organs of perception
and the five organs of action are a part of it. It is called food sheath because it is caused by food, maintained by food; and finally ends up as food

2.  Vital-Air sheath (Prana-maya kosa)
There are five faculties of man. They correspond to the five physiological functions. They are called the five Pranas dependent on air.  These are:
Prana :Perception (five senses) – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching
Apana :  excretion- faeces, urine, sperms, sputum, perspiration
Samana: digestion
Vyana: circulation
Udana: thought

Sukshma Sareera : Subtle Body  : constituting of passions, desires, emotions, feelings and thoughts.

3.  Mental sheath (Mana-maya kosa) – Those faculties connected with the mind. These are: passions and emotions, feelings and impulses.


4.  Intellectual sheath (Vignana-maya kosa): These are:  thinking, reasoning, discriminating, judging etc.

Karana Sareera : Causal Body: storehouse of all impressions and latent energies

5.  Bliss sheath (Ananda-maya kosa) Vasanas as experienced in sleep state. There are various levels in this as seen through the deep sleep state, dreaming state, waking state.

One should go beyond all the five sheaths in order to experience bliss. This state is known as Turiya or Mahakaarana Swarupa (supreme causal aspect). This comes after Sushupti (deep sleep state). This is also referred to as Paaramaarthika. The bliss experienced in the state of Turiya is the true bliss

There are five types of Kleshas (obstacles), which come in the way of experiencing this bliss. They are :
Avidya Klesha,  obstacles due to ignorance
Abinava Klesha, obstacles because one do not exercise control over the mind and are carried away by vain imaginations.
Asthitha Klesha, arises out of interest in worldly pleasures
Raaga Klesha, results from attachment towards wealth and material objects
Dwesha Klesha. arises when one's desires are not fulfilled.

This is very much parallel to the following quote from http://www.rezlife.net/tripartite.html

“Our five sense are like five kings. When we are not being led by the Spirit of God, we are being led by: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. All of these natural senses have spiritual operations. In Joshua , Joshua put five kings in a cave and covered them up by a rock.

The five kings cause these things to be prominent in our lives: (1) self-elevation (2) self-exaltation (3) self-establishment (4) self-motivation (5) self-worship.

Self-elevation is idol worship because we want to ascend unto the heavens in order to be noticed.

When we exalt ourselves, we take glory from man's approval. We want man's approval more than God's approval, thus causing us to fear man instead of having the fear of the Lord.

Self-establishment causes us to want a kingdom to rule over. This king is found in churches when they strive to establish their ministry instead of the ministry of God. This causes churches to only want to feed themselves spiritually instead of reaching out to others.

If you are self-motivated, you live a life filled with lust, pride, self-will, and self-pity.

Self-worship is the love of self which causes us to think that the world revolves around us.

These kings have to be put under the Rock of Jesus. They have to be conquered by the Sword of the Spirit.

How do we come to a place where we can submit our soul to the Spirit of God? In order to do this we must let the Sword of the Spirit cut away the carnal desires that are in our heart. What is the Sword of the Spirit? The answer to this question is found in Ephesians 6:17.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We must allow the word of God to cut away our carnal mind which is enmity to God.

In Hebrews 4:12, the scripture tells us that the word of God will divide asunder the soul and spirit, and will separate the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word of God reveals to us what is in our heart and shows us what is the heart of God. We have to let the operation of the Sword of the Spirit cut away the thoughts and intents of our own heart that are not of God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

   A similar five sheath structure is developed by James A. Fowler in Constitution of Man (http://www.christinyou.net/pages/constman.html) where he uses the following diagram.