Infinite veils of consciousness: the koshas
The Evolution of Consciousness
DAAJI describes the spectrum of consciousness from another perspective, giving us a new level of understanding about our subtle human anatomy.
Generally we think of human anatomy as being about the physical body, including the nervous system, the organs, the circulatory system, the structure and functioning of cells and DNA, etc. There has been so much scientific research in this field, especially during the last 500 years; we have really specialized in this knowledge. But this is only one aspect of human anatomy. As we have discussed in previous articles, we have three main bodies – the physical, subtle and causal. Over the centuries, the knowledge of these three bodies has developed, and today research in the dynamic field of integrative body-mind-spirit science is unfolding faster than ever before. So we are better able to understand the dynamics of the physical, subtle and spiritual anatomies. This is the juncture of science and spirituality.
For example, we know that the subtle bodies came into existence for the continuous improvement of consciousness. In other words, they arose for our evolution, and they support each other. First of all it was for the survival of the ‘I’, for our identity. The ‘I’ could not survive without the discrimination of the intellect and the thinking capacity of the mind. These functions of the mind support each other in a coordinated effort for existence and growth.
These subtle bodies can be used for our betterment or for our undoing, as they are functions of the mind that can be used in any way we choose. The purpose of a heartbased meditation practice with transmission is to learn to use them so that consciousness evolves.
Yogis also describe our complex human system in another way: the koshas, sheaths or coverings. In this description, a human being is made up of layer upon layer of coverings, from the outermost to the innermost. The five elements, or pancha bhutas, are yet another way of describing the human make-up – earth, fire, water, air and ether (akasha). Still another classification is that of the seven regions – the Heart Region, Cosmic Region, Paracosmic Region, Prapanna, Prapanna-Prabhu, Prabhu and the Central Region. So in Yoga, a description of human anatomy combines all these things – the elements, points, regions, bodies and sheaths.
Let’s explore what the koshas tell us about consciousness. …
Read the complete article in the Collectors’ Edition 2017
Article by KAMLESH D. PATEL