As consciousness journeys into form, it gets ‘clothed’ in five sheaths or Koshas. These sheaths allow the organism to relate to its ever-changing environment, experience its ephemeral body and eventually journey back to the source and realize its own true nature.

At the center of the five sheaths, is the never-changing, eternal Self, which appears to be an individual fragment of the greater cosmic Self. This Atman or Self is clothed in a layer of bliss, the Anandamaya Kosha. Around this sheath of bliss is the layer of individuality and self-knowledge, the Vijnanamaya Kosha. The Mind sheath or Manomaya Kosha allows us to experience the world as it filters in through our senses. The sheath of vital life-force Pranamaya Kosha supplies energy to the entire organism and keeps it alive. Finally, the sheath of the tangible bodily structures such as the actual brain, nerves and bones form the Annamaya Kosha.

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