Pānchakosha (The Five Sheaths)



Our body does not just consist of the visible physical form; we also possess four other subtle sheaths. Altogether each person consists of five “bodies” or KOSHAS.
These five Koshas are:

ANNAMAYA KOSHA - the Body of Nourishment - Physical Body

PRĀNAMAYA KOSHA - the Energy Body - Astral Body

MANOMAYA KOSHA - the Mental Body - Astral Body

VIGYĀNAMAYA KOSHA - the Intellectual Body - Astral Body

ĀNANDAMAYA KOSHA - the Body of Joy - Causal Body


Our KARMAS (actions) and SAMSKĀRAS (memories and experiences) are stored in the Koshas. They form the partitions between the individual soul and the universal Self. Liberation – MOKSHA – therefore means to release the Ātmā from the limitations of the Koshas. In order to become one with something we must develop the same qualities as that with which we wish to unite. Until we have released ourselves from the Koshas, while we still hang onto our personal ego and continue to identify with the little “i”, we cannot become one with the Infinite.

On the other hand, however, all five Koshas are indispensable for our existence on the earthly plane. Without them we cannot exist here. To surmount and detach from the Koshas is primarily an extensive process of mental purification and development. When there are no more impurities, no more “shadows” remaining, then at the end of our life the astral body also dissolves and our soul’s spark unites with the infinite, divine light.

Health according to WHO:


“The state of health is defined as a state of complete physical, metal, social and spiritual wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.”
This explains that having a disease less body is not only a good health, but to have a positive health at all levels, respectively physical, mental, social and spiritual with all the functions working properly, is called as a state of good health.

The World Health Organization state that “The state of health defined as a state of complete physical, metal, social and spiritual wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity” Means good health is not just to stay disease less, but a body should be healthy at physical, metal, social and spiritual levels. A body which is balanced and well at all levels is called a health.

According to Sir Aurobindo: “Yoga is a systematic methodology for an all-round personality development-physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual components of man” Yoga is a way by which man can develop his personality at physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels. Man has the power of intellect to bifurcate in-between right or wrong, which makes him a human being than to an animal. Man has to control over his all kinds of desires and with yoga man can control his senses and mind, which make him realize of the supreme consciousness ‘The Truth of life’.


There are five Layers (Koshas) of Our Existence: Annamaya Kosha is our physical body or a matter level of our personality. Pranamaya Kosha is a vital energy or life energy. It’s subtler than the Annamaya Kosha. Where there is a life there is a Prana. The proper flow of Prana keeps every cell alive. Prana flows through subtle channels called Nadis. Manomaya Kosha involves our emotional personality. It is subtler than the Pranamaya Kosha. This is the cause imbalance at mental level and results diseases which is called Adhis. Our emotions and feelings are uncontrollable and creates the disturbance to our Pranamaya Kosha and then to Annamaya Kosha which results the Vyadhis. Vijnanamaya Kosha is our intellect personality. It comes after Manomaya Kosha and it is the fourth level of our existence. It gives the discrimination power (power to know the difference between right or wrong), which makes us a human being than to an animal. Annandamaya Kosha is the most subtle layer of our existence, which free from every emotion. It is the life consciousness. It is a state of total silence.

Balances of all these five layers of our existence develop our personality. But when get disturbed or imbalanced, at mental level it results Adhis and at physical level it results Vyadis (diseases).
Adhis are the primary diseases of two types: Samanya (ordinary) and Sara (essential). Samanya is affected by the external factors of the world, also can be said as psychosomatic ailments. Vyadhis caused by these Adhis is called Adhija Vyadhi. Sara includes the infectious and a contagious disease, which is not related to mind, is called as Anadhija Vyadhi.

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