This is Part III of the series on understanding of our physical body. Next to manomaya kosha is vijnanamaya kosha, the sheath of intellect. We have seen in the earlier posting that manomaya kosha or the sheath of mind converts the inputs into knowledge and intellect. This converted component is called vijnanamaya kosha. This is next to manomaya kosha. This also has the human form as this is also placed beneath the gross body or annamaya kosha. The vijnanamaya kosha is again divided into five and fitted into the parts of the vedic bird. Dedication or sraddha is the head of the bird. Understanding vedic derivatives like Upanishads etc which is called rta or morality is the right wing of the bird. Truth or satyam is its left wing. Yoga is its trunk and mahat is its tail. Mahat is also known as hiranyagarbha and can be called as the supreme intellect. How this sheath of intellect works? Different people have different intellectual levels. This is mainly because of the level of presence of the five components viz. dedication, understanding, truth, yoga and mahat. Committing virtues or sins purely depends upon the sheath of intellect. The most important component of vijnanamaya kosha is dedication. Without dedication, others will be of no use. If all the five viz. dedication etc work in unison, you develop a high level of intellect. When they are not working in coordination with each other, the level of intellect goes down. This is the reason for somebody being highly intelligent and others being not so intelligent.
Next to vijnanamaya kosha is anandamaya kosha, the sheath of bliss. This is the last of the five sheaths. This is beneath the vijnanamaya kosha and has a human form like other koshas. This is again divided into five that fits into the body parts of the vedic bird. Happiness and joy, which is called as priyam as the bird’s head, pleasure of getting what we love which is called modha is its right wing, happiness of enjoyment which is called pramodah is its left wing, bliss which is called anandah is the trunk of the bird and Brahman is its tail. Anandamaya kosha is the product of manomaya kosha. The mind discriminates what is good and what is not good, what is happiness and what is unhappiness. Therefore, you know what is good that can be enjoyed. Happiness and enjoyment is there before you, but do you enjoy it and feel the happiness of enjoyment? Let them be real or illusionary, but it is there before you for a grab. You can’t simply take it and you need a catalyst to make you to enjoy. This catalyst is ananadamaya kosha. If your vijnanamaya kosha is functioning efficiently, then your mind decides which is happiness and joy that is eternal. Otherwise, your mind identifies worldly or materialistic pleasures as the source for your enjoyment. Your ananndamya kosha acting as a catalyst concentrates only on these temporary pleasures then you associate yourself with these perishable pleasures. By associating yourself with such temporary worldly pleasures, you forget about the everlasting bliss. You are happy with such worldly enjoyments and pleasures for some time, as these are not permanent in nature. You realize your mistakes and repent for your past actions when you are not able to continue with your enjoyment. But, by the time, everything would be too late. Having known about the five sheaths of our body, let us now proceed to understand how they function one after another and also together in controlling our activities.