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प्राणमयः कः ?
प्राणाद्याः पञ्चवायवः वागीन्द्रियपञ्चकं प्राणमयः कोश: ।।
प्राणमयः – Vital air (sheath) कः – what प्राणाद्याः – prana etc. पञ्चवायवः – five air modifications वागीदि-इन्द्रिय-पञ्चकम् – the five organs of action like speech etc., प्राणमयः – Pranamaya कोषः – Kosha
What is vital air sheath? The five physiological functions like prana etc. and the five organs of action like speech etc. together form the vital air sheath.
प्राणमयः कः What is the vital air sheath? The vital air sheath pervades the food sheath. It is subtler than the food sheath. The food sheath represents the physical body; and vital air sheath represents the subtle body. The subtle body has three Koshas namely, Pranamaya, manomaya and vijnyanamaya (vital air, mental and intellectual sheaths). At the time of death, the physical body remains here but the subtle body takes off along with the five pranas and subtle part of the organs of action.
प्राणाद्याः पञ्चवायवः – The life giving energy of prana is a single entity flowing throughout the body but they are given five different names according to their functions. Brahma sutra says: even though they are discussed separately, they are not to be confused as separate airs. They are one life giving energy, flowing all through the body but also run the cosmos. न वायु क्रिये प्रथगुपदेशात्
वागीदि-इन्द्रिय-पञ्चकम् – the five organs of action starting with speech. This subject is already discussed earlier. The five organs of action are: वाक्-पाणि-पाद-पायू-उपस्थानि -इति पञ्चकर्मेन्द्रियाणि. The organs of speech, hand, foot, excretion and generation are the five organs of action.
The second sheath of Pranamaya kosha is more important than the first sheath of Annamaya kosha because it connects the subtle body to the gross body and energises both. When the pranas function efficiently the body remains healthy, mind alert and body active. It is the prana that takes the soul out of the body at the time of death. “According to Brahma sutras, the subtle organ of speech merges with the mind at the time of death. The mind merges with prana. Prana then merges with individual soul. Then the departure from the body takes place.
There is an interesting story in Prashna Upanishad to illustrate the importance of Prana. Once there was a secret discussion among the several parts of the body like speech, hearing, mind, sight and others. Each one was claiming itself as great and independent. Prana the life force of energy, who was listening to all this wanted to show them who the boss was. So he began to move upwards. In the process, all other organs were pulled out and helplessly began to fallow the prana. They realized who was more important and begged of Prana not to leave the body.
मनॊमयः कॊषः कः?
मनॊमयः कॊषः कः? मनश्च ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चकं मिलित्वा यॊ भवति स मनोमय कॊशः ।।
मनॊमयः कॊषः – mental sheath कः – what मनः – mind च – and ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चकम् – the five organs of perception मिलित्वा – together यः – which भवति – becomes सः – that मनोमयः कॊशः – the mental sheath
What is mental sheath? The mind and the five organs of knowledge together form the mental sheath.
मनः च ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चकम् मिलित्वा यः भवति सः मनोमयः कॊशः – That which is formed by the combination of the mind and the five sense organs is called manomaya kosha. The mind includes chitta and ahankara. The five organs of perception are already discussed. They are: श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षु: रसना घ्राणम् इति पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि। The ear, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose.
We have already seen that the Annamaya kosha represents the physical body. Pranamaya kosha which lies inner to it represents physiological personality or क्रिया शक्ति the power of execution. Inner to it lays the manomaya or mind sheath or the psychological personality. It is called इछ्छा शक्ति because any activity is conceived in the mind.
The mind has been defined as संकल्प विकल्पात्मकम् or of deciding and doubting nature. This is the function of the mind. It has to be curious about objects and seek knowledge of them constantly. With the help of intellect and memory it gets a complete experience of the object.
विज्ञानमयः कः? बुद्धिश्च ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चम्कम् मिलित्वा यॊ भवति सः विज्ञानमयः कॊशः ।।
विज्ञानमयः – Intellectual sheath कः – what is it. बुद्धिः – the intellect च - and ज्ञानेन्द्रिय - the organs of perception पञ्चम्कम् – which are five in number मिलित्वा – by their combination यः – whatever भवति – happens सः – that विज्ञानमयः – is the intellectual कॊशः – sheath
What is intellectual sheath? That which happens when the intellect and the five organs of knowledge come together is called intellectual sheath.
बुद्धिः च – Buddhi refers to the faculty of rational thinking of mind, whereas the emotional aspect is called Manas, and the memory aspect is called Chitta. ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चम्कम् मिलित्वा – Buddhi in combination of the five organs of knowledge is called manomaya kosha. The five organs of knowledge are already explained. They are: श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षु: रसना घ्राणम् इति पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि, the ear, the skin, the eyes tongue and nose.
Now a question arises. ज्ञानेन्द्रियपञ्चम्कम् the five organs of knowledge are said to be combined with मनः the mind as well as बुद्धिः the intellect. How can the same five organs combine with two faculties? The mind is only one integral organ but has three names depending on its functions. When it feels it is called mind, when it thinks it is called buddhi or intellect and when it remembers it is called memory or chitta. Hence Manaha, buddhi, chitta, and ahankara are not names of separate organs but one and the same organ. This is the functional division of Sukshma sharira.
We have already seen that the Annamaya kosha represents the physical body. Pranamaya kosha which lies inner to it represents physiological personality or क्रिया शक्ति the power of execution. Inner to it lies the manomaya or mind sheath or the psychological personality. It corresponds to emotions or इछ्छा शक्ति because any activity is first conceived in the mind. The Vijnyanamaya kosha or intellect sheath is subtler than mind sheath and pervades the former three sheaths. It is the cognitive personality or knowing personality. So it is called jnyana Shakti ज्ञानशक्ति. It means cognitive personality or judging and discretion part.
In other words, Vijnyanamaya kosha knows (जानाति), manomaya kosha desires (इछ्छते) and Pranamaya kosha acts (यतते). When I think rationally and decide “I am the doer”, “I am finite” it is the work of intellect. The intellect also makes judgement between right and wrong, real and unreal. To innovate, to create, to discover, to visualize and to imagine are the intellectual abilities. It is jnyana Shakti (ज्ञानशक्ति). When I think emotionally, it is the function of the mind. To do or not to do, shall I read or not etc are the activities of mind. The mind perceives the objects of the world through the senses. If the mind does not back up the sense organs no stimuli are received and sense organs cannot function. The mind directs the organs of action to respond to the world.
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