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Pancha Kosha - The theory beyond the physical body

Updated: Mar 2

Pancha Kosha or five sheaths of human personality is a profound concept from Indian philosophy, describing the layers of existence that define us as individuals.

The five layers include:

  1. Annamaya kosha, physical body (food sheath) The body is changing constantly and aging is a natural process. It is important to take care of your body with healthy eating habits, but we should not identify with our physical body. We can think of it as our vehicle that needs to be fed to get the engine running. Knowing that we are not our body can help us age gracefully.

  2. Pranamaya kosha, energy body (breath sheath) The breath sheath belongs to the subtle body. We can’t see it with our eyes, but we can feel emotions or digestion. All functions in the body work better when the breath sheath is in balance. Your breath is your inner center and regulates your emotions and well-being.

  3. Manomaya kosha, mental body (mind sheath) The nature of mind is thinking. Basically, all suffering starts with the mental sheath. We suffer when we identify with everything around us; our body, money, job, house, and so on. When we think: "I am the body", "the job is mine", "the money is mine", than we forget who we are. It is important not to become too attached to the things around us.

  4. Vigyanamaya kosha, wisdom body (intellectual sheath) The intellectual sheath, our inner voice is a higher intelligence that tells us what is fundamentally right or wrong. It is the sheath of knowledge and action. When this layer connects with the body, you become aware of the physical body and its magic. It is a combination of intellect and the five sensory organs. When the wisdom sheath is in balance, you can make logical decisions and stimulate the mind to action. The harmony of the mind and intellectual sheath can lead to a happy life.

  5. Anandamaya kosha, bliss body (spiritual sheath) Miracles will happen beyond the intellect. The spiritual sheath is the innermost of all the sheaths. It is your inner self. When the pure state (Satva) is still, the mind is fulfilled. In a deep meditative state, you experience bliss and joy. It's like being in a deep sleep. The experience goes beyond these five layers. It is the knowledge of what is within you. The truth, existence and bliss. The divine self is within you. · 

Our body-mind system is a complex structure. We are all on an individual journey to ultimately reach the "destination" - your truth. The journey to self can lead to a greater sense of purpose, happiness and fulfillment. Essentially, the idea is to start your journey with something you know and feel comfortable with and eventually travel into the unknown. The journey to self is a process from the known to the unknown, from ignorance to knowledge.🤍

Can you identify with the five layers? Where are you in your process?


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