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Pancha Kosha in Hinduism – The Five Sheaths That Cover the Self

Pancha Kosha in Hinduism is mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad and it the five sheaths that cover the self.

Pancha Kosha are
  1. Annamaya Kosha
  2. Pranamaya Kosha
  3. Manomaya Kosha
  4. Vijnanamaya Kosha
  5. Anandamaya Kosha
Ignorance makes the individual self forget the true nature of it. The pure consciousness or true nature is covered by a sheath or kosha. The sheaths cling on till one achieves liberation.

Annamaya Kosha is the physical body which is maintained by water and food. It is the medium for all kinds of enjoyment and it also the medium for self realization. A person under the influence of ignorance loses the physical body through death. For a self realized person the body drops voluntarily to enter a higher plain.

Pranamaya Kosha is the vital airs and five organs of action. The five vital airs are prana, apna, samana, vyana and udana. The five organs of action or karmendriya are speech, hands, feet, genitals and anus. The true nature of pure consciousness is covered by this sheath.

Manomaya Kosha consists of the mind and the five senses for acquiring knowledge. This confuses and covers the true nature of atman. Manomaya Kosha is part of Sookshasharia or subtle body.

Vijnanamaya Kosha is the intellect and five organs of perception. They provide false knowledge which keeps on away from self realization.

Anandamaya Kosha is that aspect which makes a person experience joy, fear and pain in deep sleep. The state of dissolution is of the gross and subtle phenomena.