Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 13

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




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24. The deep sleep state

सुषुप्तावस्था का?

अहं किमपि न जानामि

सुखेन मया निद्राऽनुभूयत इति सुषुप्तावस्था ।

कारणशरीराभिमानी आत्मा प्राज्ञ इत्युच्यते ।।

अथ – then सुषुप्तावस्था – deep sleep state का – what is it अहम् – I किमपि – anything न -जानामि – do not know सुखेन – happily मया – by me निद्रा – sleep अनुभूयते – is experienced इति – thus सुषुप्तावस्था – is the deep sleep state कारणशरीर-अभिमानी – identified with the causal body आत्मा – self प्राज्ञः – prajna इति – thus उच्यते – is called

What is deep sleep state? ’I do not know anything; I slept happily’; to think like this is called the deep sleep state. The self identified with the causal body is called prajna.

अथ सुषुप्तावस्था का - what is deep sleep state? It is the third state of awareness. After studying जाग्रत् and स्वप्न अवस्था we come to the third state of awareness called सुषुप्ति अवस्था.

अहम् किमपि न जानामि सुखेन मया निद्रा अनुभूयते इति सुषुप्तावस्था – ’I do not know anything; I slept happily’; to think like this is called the deep sleep state. In Jagrat or walking state of अहम् जानामि, that means I know what I experience. I know the object of a particular sense organ. कारणशरीर-अभिमानी आत्मा प्राज्ञः इति उच्यते - The self identified with the causal body is called prajna.


Swami Paramarthananda considers the three states of life in three stages for convenience of understanding. These are mind, nature and medium.

. Mind: As we have already studied, in the waking state the three aspects of mind namely, emotional, rational and memory are fully functioning. Hence the mind is considered as fully functional or पूर्ण विकास. In dream state, the mind is said to be half functional अर्ध विकास because the emotional and rational aspects are inactivated. Only the memory aspect is available for the dreamer. The mind cannot gather experiences from the objects. Whatever memory has been stored is projected as dream. In deep sleep state the mind is said to be non-functional or zero-functional or अविकास.

. Nature: In deep sleep state there is no external world because the sense organs are not functioning. There is no internal world because there is no memory. Therefore it is neither external concrete objective world nor internal abstract world. It is therefore called अज्ञान अनुभव or experience of ignorance. It is the state of total blackout.

. Medium: Since there are no sense organs, the gross body is not available, since there is no mind and memory, the dream world or subtle body is not available. Therefore what is available for the deep sleeper is only the causal body. These two bodies are in a state of abeyance and will be restored as soon as he awakes from deep sleep state.


To summarize, the waker is associated with जाग्रत् अवस्था. He is then called विश्व meaning fully awake. The dreamer in स्वप्ना अवस्था is called तैजस meaning internally illuminated person and the deep-sleeper with सुशुप्ति अवस्था is called प्राज्ञः meaning blissfully ignorant person. प्रकाशेन अज्ञानः प्रज्ञा इति उच्यते.


25. The five sheaths

पंचकोशाः के?

अन्नमयः प्राणमयः मनोमयः विज्ञानमयः आनन्दमयश्चेति ।

पंचकोशाः - the five sheaths के? - which are they अन्नमयः – food sheath मयः made up of प्राणमयः – vital air sheath or life force मनोमयः – mental sheath विज्ञानमयः – intellectual sheath आनन्दमयः - bliss sheath च – and इति - thus

What are the five sheaths? They are the food sheath, Vital Air sheath, mental sheath, and intellectual sheath and Bliss sheath.

पंचकोशाः के? – Which are the five sheaths? In the previous chapter we studied the three bodies, gross, subtle and causal. Now looking at a different angle, the same body has been classified as five sheaths. In reply to the question who is atma, the answer given was आत्मा स्थूलसूक्ष्मकारणशरीरात् व्यतिरिक्तः – the self is different from the gross subtle and casual bodies, and पंचकॊशातीतः – beyond the five sheaths. The author now explains what are five Koshas or sheaths of the body so that we can understand that Atman is different from, not a part of the five sheaths as well.


The gross body is termed as Annamaya Kosha; and Karana sharira is termed as Bliss sheath. The middle layer or Sukshma sharira is grouped into the remaining three sheaths of Pranamaya, manomaya and vijnyanamaya Kosha. Kosha means an outer covering or a sheath. The scabbard of a sword is called Kosha. Kosha mans one which envelopes like a sheath, कोशवत् आच्छादयति तस्मात् कोशः. The scabbard is different from the sword. Similarly the Atman is different from the Koshas. Pancha kosha are not different from the three bodies of gross, subtle and casual. They are looked into a different angel of Kosha. The five Koshas are anatma. अन्नमयः प्राणमयः मनोमयः विज्ञानमयः आनन्दमयः च इति –The five sheaths are, the food sheath, vital air sheath, mental sheath, intellectual sheath and bliss sheath.

अन्नमयः कॊशः – the physical body or the gross body

प्राणमयः कॊशः –Vital Air sheath , or energy sheath or physiological system

मनोमय कॊशः –the mental sheath or psychological function

विज्ञानमय कॊशः – intellectual sheath or knowing personality

आनन्दमय कॊशः – the bliss layer or causal body


26. The food sheath

अन्नमयः कः?

अन्नरसेनैव भूत्वा अन्नरसेनैव व्रद्द्धिं प्राप्य अन्नरूपप्रथिव्यां यद्विलीयते तदन्नमयः कॊशः स्थूलशरीरम् ।।

अन्नमयः –Annamaya कः – what अन्नरसेन एव – by the essence of the food alone भूत्वा – coming into being अन्नरसेन – by the essence of food एव - alone व्रद्द्धिं – growth प्राप्य – having attained अन्नरूपप्रथिव्याम् – into the earth which is of the nature of food यत् – which विलीयते – merges तत् – that अन्नमयः – Annamaya कॊशः – sheath स्थूलशरीरम् – gross body

What is food sheath? That which is born from the essence of food, grows by the essence of food that which finally merges into earth, which itself is of the nature of food is called food sheath or the gross body.

अन्नमयः कॊशः कः – What is Annamaya Kosha? The gross body is called Annamaya Kosha. It has a head, limbs, trunk and sides or arms. It is the physical body. It is called Annamaya or the food sheath because it is born out of food and grows by food (अन्नम् सृष्टि कारणम् स्थिति कारणम् अन्नमेव लय कारणम्). मय means modification or विकार.


The vivekachudamani (87-91) says: skin, flesh, blood, nerves and tendons, fat, marrow, bones and waste—this is what the physical sheath is made up of. Swami Tejomayananda writes: “The word ‘maya’ in Annamaya means modifications. The body is the result of modification of food and hence called Annamaya. The food eaten is digested; its very essence becomes sperm in man and ovum in woman. By their combination fetus is produced. It grows by the food eaten by the mother. At birth the child is nourished by the mother’s milk and later by food. Finally we die to merge into earth which is again a source for growth of food. In other words, the earth itself becomes the food we eat and therefore from earth we are born and go back to earth. Or one can say, that we are born from food and go back to become food”


Taittiriya Upanishad says this beautifully. Food is that which is eaten by beings, and which eats beings. We eat food and food in turn eats us. The body gets eaten by worms and bacteria when we are alive and after we die.

अन्नाद् भूतानि जायन्ते । जातान्यन्नेन वर्धन्ते ।

अद्यतेऽत्ति च भूतानि । तस्मादन्नं तदुच्यत इति । ॥ 2: 01॥

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