The first time I meditated it was on the sublime and beautiful PanchaKosha meditation and I go back to it over and over again for the utter simplicity of it. Digging through my archives, I came across this beautiful post on the PanchaKosha meditation and I thought I will share it out here.
In meditation, one delves into the depths of the Self. There are many kinds of meditation, though they might seem different most of them are, in essence, the same. The Panchakosha is one such kind of meditation. In Sanskrit, ‘pancha’ means five and ‘kosha’ means sheath. Therefore, Panchakosha literally means five sheaths. Ancient scriptures claim that we a exist in many levels or sheaths –
• The Annamaya Kosha – the sheath of food. This kosha is the level of the gross physical body. It is said that we are what we eat. Our physical body is made of the kind of food we eat!
• The Pranamaya Kosha – the sheath of breath. Prana is the subtle life force energy flowing in us. The nadi, kundalini, chakra and subtle body form a part of this sheath.
• The Manomaya Kosha – the sheath of mind. It is composed of the emotional, mental and perceptual part of our self. Manomaya kosha and the previous koshas are all interlinked. An imbalance in one can cause abnormalities in the other. The unwarranted thoughts that come in the sheath can manifest into diseases in the body. Likewise, any irregularity in the body can affect the mind.
• The Vijnyanamaya Kosha – the sheath of intellect. This sheath allows for insight, growth and transformation.
• The Anandamaya Kosha – the sheath of bliss. The innermost of the five koshas that masks the Self.
“God is the very core of your being. Like an onion, if you start peeling the layers one by one, when you reach the center, there is nothing. Everything is made up of that space!” says Guruji.
Each sheath is subtler than the previous one. In Panchakosha Meditation we progressively move from one sheath to another, paying gentle attention to each kosha. Gradually, as the koshas are harmonized with one another, we experience Ananda or bliss! The ultimate goal of our journey is to go inwards towards the realization of the Self.
Even a fleeting encounter with the Self can leave us rejuvenated and energized for a substantially long time. Therefore, to lead a gratifying and fulfilling life it is essential to meditate!
If you have never meditated before, this is a meditation, that you can start with. More details at http://www.artofliving.org/pancha-kosha-meditation and one can purchase a CD of the Panchakosha meditation here