Kośa means Ádhára or base.
Are the Saptaloka (seven spheres) and paiṋcakośa (five sheaths) separate from the Átman (soul)?
Is the relation between them that of the container and the contained? If we say; – Eko Brahma Dvitiiyanásti. (There is only one Brahma and no other), then of Ádhára and Ádhrta, which is Brahma and which is not? If either the container or the contained is considered as Brahma does that mean that the other is not Brahma? If it is argued that Saptaloka and Paiṋcakośa are the base of Brahma, then the existence of some other entity outside of Brahma has to be acknowledged. For instance, suppose there is a person in a house. The house and the person exist separately. The house is the container and the person is the contained. Hence, the house is separate from the person. In the Paiṋcakosá, Átman is the contained and the Kośa is the container. Clearly the container must be bigger than that which it contains. There is nothing bigger than Paramátman; hence it cannot have a container. Should we then consider that the Saptaloka and the Paiṋcakośa do not exist? Yes, for the Saptaloka is included in Brahma. Their aggregate is Brahma. The Jiiva is included in the Paiṋcakośa. There is a subtle difference between the Jiiva and Brahma. In the Jiiva there are two types of “I” feeling – one is its mind created by Máyá, and the other is [[its knowledge-filled state – the reflected expression of Paramátmá Himself – that is, its (the jiiva’s) jiivátmá.]] Jiivátman is the real “I” feeling of Jiiva or unit soul. Of the seven spheres, Brahma is unaffected only in the Satyaloka and in the remaining six Lokas, Brahma is affected by Máya. It can also be explained in this way, that the six Lokas are created within Brahma which itself pervades the expressed universe as imperishable Brahma. Brahma has no base. Excepting Satyaloka, the remaining six Lokas are created within Brahma, in the very midst of Brahma. Is it the case then that the light is different from its original source? The Saptalokas are its evolution – these are the manifestation of Brahma – the relationship is not that of the container and the contained. The difference between the Jiivátman and Paramátman exists only so long as there is the “I” feeling of the unit soul. (Jiivabháva).
What is the relationship between Jiivátmán and Paramátman? What is Jiiva (unit soul?) The base of the physical body is the Kośas. Here, the base is bigger than that which is based upon it. The KámamayaKośa is bigger than the AnnamayaKośa. Then the ManomayaKośa is bigger than the KámamayaKośa. The AtimánasKośa is bigger than even the ManomayaKośa. The VijiṋánamayaKośa is larger than this. The HirańmayaKośa is bigger than the VijiṋánmayaKośa and the biggest of all is the Satyaloka. All of these aspects are limited to the unit soul and all of them are its bases. Now, what is the relationship between the base and the based? The relationship is that of a subject and an object. For instance, the physical body is the object of enjoyment and the mind is the enjoyer. That is, our body is the object of enjoyment of our mind and the mind remains attached to it. The body is the base of the mind and the mind is intimately attached to its base.
Mahattattva is the pure “I” feeling of the subtlest state of the mind. Every Jiiva has this “I” feeling, and where the Átman assumes special “I” feeling it becomes Jiivátman.
Where the Átman remains as the knower “I” of ShyamBabu, it is called ShyamBabu’sÁtman. In every living being all the spheres – right from the Kámamaya to the Hirammayakośa – are to be meditated upon. The knower behind the meditative power of the mind is the Átman. The relationship of the Átman and the mind is that of a subject and an object. The mind is the thinking subject of the body and the Átman is the knowing subject of the mind. Then, are there really innumerable souls and what is the difference amongst them? The difference is that a soul is taken in different aspects due to the difference in its objects. When there is a singular knowing entity (Saguńa Brahma) behind all minds, then taking the collective view Brahma is the knower of all the knowers in the perishable and imperishable states (i.e. within or without the influence of Prakrti) of the Jiiva. Saguńa Brahma is the knower, the perishable and the imperishable. He who is absolutely perishable and absolutely imperishable is Brahma. The fragmentary or reflected perishable, or fragmentary or reflected imperishable is Jiivabháva. Nirguńa is neither perishable nor imperishable. It’s beyond these. It is absolutely liberated. Does Saguńa Brahma (Collective Imperishable) have no influence over the unit imperishable? Most certainly it has.
Kśaraḿ pradháńamamratákśaraḿ harah
Kśaratmáńá vishate deva ekah
Prakrti is mutable and Puruśa immutable. Brahma is overpowering and as the controller He is called Ishvara or Puruśottama. By being absorbed in Him, people get liberated from worldly attachment. How is liberty attained? What is the object of a Jiiva (unit soul)? Suppose I am Ram or Shyam. Now Ram and Shyam look upon the world with their own respective viewpoints. The mind takes the shape of its object. When the mind makes Him its object, it is transformed into Him. By suffusing itself with Cosmic feelings it attains infinitude and sees the entire universe contained in Him. It has been said in the scriptures: “BrahmavidBrahmaevabhavati.” (The knower of Brahma becomes Brahma.) When the unit “I” is transformed into the collective or Cosmic “I” then the Atman attains oneness by fusing into the soul of the collective “I.” That is, it unifies or becomes one with the Átman of Saguńa Brahma.
In day-to-day life a person maintains his existence in the physical state. Crude matter forms the object of enjoyment of the mind. On account of the crude matter being its object of enjoyment, the mind itself becomes crude. Humankind’s primary concern regarding food and clothes is the concern of Kámamayakośa and inevitably the mind is in association with crude objects. In such circumstances, how can there be any opportunity for self-elevation? Animals are constantly associated with crude.
Dharma hi teśámadhikovisheśo
The mental tendencies of appetite, sleep, fear and sex urge are found among humans and animals. So what is the difference between the two? The distinction between humans and animals is that humans have a sense of Dharma. Human beings practise Dharma, but animals do not. A person who does not pursue the path of Dharma in spite of being endowed with the human form is just like a beast.
Human beings advance from subtle to the subtlest or degenerate from crude to the crudest, according to their own propensity. Many isms are based on the KámamayaKośa. In one socio-economic theory, the economic factor is the only factor. But the Kámamaya is only one Kośa. Even trees also possess Kámamayakośa and that is why they derive their vital energy from the earth, water and air. Where the AnnamayaKośa dominates, all the remaining kośas are dormant. The mind identifies itself with crude objects and therefore has no “I” feeling. For this reason, the Átman is also devoid of perception. While the mind is sleeping in the dormant or latent state, it does not permit the Jiivátman, which is but a reflection of Paramátman, to reveal itself.
Confinement to the AnnamayaKośa tends to crudify a person since it does not allow for psychic elevation. There is some scope for discussion of philosophical controversies, which have arisen with respect to the MamomayaKośa, On account of mental difference, different philosophical thoughts have sprung up e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, and so on. Only in spirituality do we find discussions on subjects from the subtle to the subtlest, including the Átman. The mind is the object of Átman. To attain Átman, blend the mind with its original subject. Unify the object with the subject. The relationship between them is the same as between you and your hand. There is only one way to self-realisation and that is to fuse the mind with the knower of the mind and eliminate the crude manifestation of the Átman. How is this possible? It is only possible by the introversion of the tendencies, which can be achieved through knowledge and Sádhaná. It is not possible to be introverted until each and every cell (kośa) is realized. When the mind realizes that the physical body is the vehicle of the mind, then you will know that there is progress in Sádhaná. In other words it is necessary to have perfect conception of each kośa and for this it is necessary to know where one kośa ends and another begins. There are two minds – one immature and the other mature; one introverted, the other extroverted. Only the knowledge of these five Kośas (paiṋcakośas) can be the perfect knowledge. Take a ripe mango, for example. Although the pulp and the seed of a ripe mango remain together they are in fact, separate. Ripeness means perfection.
This is the difference between Dharma and Sectism. Dharma makes each Kośa perfect and enables a person to achieve perfection in Sádhaná. Only through the achievement of perfection are different portions differentiated from the original stuff. Sádhaná is based on philosophy and supported by logic. In olden times people were under the impression that the world was comprised solely of matter and they never thought to go beyond the KámamayaKośa. Had they contemplated a little deeper, they would have realized that they were totally mistaken. Similarly, many modern philosophies are solely materialistic. Their propounders did not fully apply their minds and hence they cannot be deemed to be perfect philosophies. Only those philosophies which carry us to the highest levels of the soul by observing every current of the mind are the real philosophies. The rest are only academical logics.
What is sectism, mazhab or religion? Some people encourage us to worship idols, others encourage us to have a dip in the Ganges. All these things are created within the mind and are destroyed there. Happiness and heaven, afflictions and hell – all are mental conceptions in the physical world. They are all destroyed in the MamomayaKośa. The proponents’ souls are confined to the MánomayaKośa and they are “Bhuktayenatumuktaye”, seekers of enjoyment and not the seekers of salvation.
Some sects hold that happiness comes after death, but who will enjoy that happiness? The mind, of course. But where does the mind go after the destruction of its vehicle – the physical brain? Who will enjoy the pleasures? The Átman pervades as an indivisible form, as an all-knowing entity. There is no Átman in the grave, nor does the question of its waking up arise. In such sectism the ManomayaKośa is called the soul, however if there is only the soul, then there would be no fear of pain or pleasure.
Ordinarily sectisms terminate in the MánomayaKośa. Idolatry can elevate a person up to the ÁtimánasKośa, but no further. Many persons aspire to achieve happiness by devoting themselves to idolatry. They do not aspire to get absorbed in Paramatman and remain close to Him. Buddhism rises above this, since it also provides for the annihilation of samskára. Annihilation of the “I” feelng is called merging into the Supreme. Buddhism does not recognize the soul, but speaks of annihilation of the ego; but who will annihilate the ego? It is the ego which will obliterate the “I” feeling. So egoism then, must be considered as the subtlest expression of mind.
The subtlest expression of mind is in the HirańmayaKośa, which is the first expression of Mahattattva. Establishment in this Kośa in a universal manner is SavikalpaSamádhi. When after emerging from the Samśkara, the Hirańyamaya merges in attributeless Brahma, then this is called NirvikalpaSamádhi. Those who have attained the KámamayaKośa will say that it is not proper to steal since, if we steal, others may also steal from us. This is the trend of thought of the materialists. Their thinking is distorted with selfishness. One should not steal for the sake of keeping the mind pure. That is the correct approach.
The Paiṋcakośas shall have to be perfected, but how is it possible? They can be consummated only through the practice of Yama and Niyama. The AnnamayaKośa is perfected through Ásanas (physical postures). Yama and Niyama Sádhana perfect the KámamayaKośa. The ManomayaKośa is perfected through Pránáyáma. Through Pratyáhára the AtimánasaKośa is perfected. The VijiṋánmayaKośa is perfected through Dhárańá and the HirańmayaKośa through Dhyána. Only DhyánaSamádhi gives access to the soul. Pious persons are those who are earnest in their efforts to perfect the Paiṋcakośa. Human existence consists of the five kośas and spiritual practice is eightfold. This spiritual practice is Dharma. That which does not provide for the explanation of the Paiṋcakośa is not Dharma, but sectism.
Why is Aśt́áuṋga Yoga called Dharma? The purpose of Dharma is to attain perfect happiness and perfect happiness is the attainment of the soul, there being only partial happiness in each Kośa. So long as the soul is not attained every Kośa has to be perfected. Each Kośa has to be taken care of. One Kośa cannot be perfected to the exclusion of the rest. Where there is perfect happiness there is Dharma. Everything else yields only partial happiness and is therefore sectism. Sectism leads to preya (superficial and immediate gains) and only Dharma leads to Shreya (ultimate and real gains.) Everything else leads to crudeness. Dharma leads to Supreme Consciousness and only that which upholds and sustains the soul is Dharma. The Dharma of fire is to burn and the Dharma of living beings is to attain happiness. Where there is pursuit of Preya there is Avidyámáya. The happiness of heaven and the fear of hell are creations of the mind. Dharma has no fear since through Dharma one attains the original state. ÁnandaMárga alone is Dharma and all the rest are sectisms.
All inspiration for a person practising Dharma is derived from Saguńa Brahma through His grace. For this reason one must be indebted to Saguńa Brahma. The person who does not practice Sádhaná is inferior to a tree, for the tree has no capacity for Sádhaná, whereas the person has. The wise avail themselves of this beneficence. Those who do not are ignorant. You have got divine grace and a human frame, so make use of this grace properly. Do not waste this golden opportunity.
Jejankaśńabhaje se baŕacatur.
You human beings are fortunate that you do not have to live as stones or trees. The entire universe has the grace of Brahma, but human beings enjoy greater grace. They are endowed with the privilege of practising Sádhaná. It is the special grace of Brahma to appear as Sadguru and teach spiritual practice to human beings. Is it not His special grace when Brahma attracts a person?
When one person attracts the HirańmayaKośa of another it is termed Brahmavidyá. The one who attracts the HirańmayaKośa of a person is the Supreme Guru.
When the HirańmayaKośa of one person attracts the VijiṋánamayaKośa of another it is termed Daevii Vidya. When the VijiṋánamayaKośa of one person influences the AtimánasKośa of another it is called Gandharava Vidyá. A person with this capacity is also called Madhyama Guru. Such a person awakens the sentiments of Dharma in the mind of the disciple through sweet sounding Kirtan, etc. If the AtimánasaKośa of one person attracts the ManomayaKośa of another it is called Rákśasii or Paeshácika (demonic Vidyá. When the ManomayaKośa of one person attracts the KámamayaKośa of another it is Bhuta Vidya or hypnotism. If the KámamayaKośa of one person attracts the AnnamayaKośa of another, it is known as the force of physical attraction. Saguńa Brahma graces the living beings with divine grace. You have been blessed. Use it properly and attain the state of Nirguńa Brahma by annihilating the barrier between the subjective and objective angles of vision. The highest object, the supreme attainment, is to attain the Nirguńa state. The aspirant says:
Nivedayámicátmánaḿ tvaḿ gatiParameshvara.
O human beings, you are fortunate. The clarion call of the Universal has reached you. Not only has the call come, but you are hearing it and it is vibrating in every cell of your body. Will you now lie in the corner of your house as an inert being and waste your time by clinging to old skeletons and bemoaning them? The Supreme Being is calling you in the roar of the ocean, in the thunder of the clouds, in the speed of lightning, in the meteor’s flaming fires. Nothing good will come from idleness. Get up and awake the clouded chivalry of your dormant youth. It may be that the path is not strewn with flowers and that inferiority complex will be attempting to hold fast your each advancing step, but even then you have to proceed onwards tearing the shroud of darkness. You will tear the thick darkness of despair as you advance in the racing chariot radiant with the Sun’s brilliance towards the attainment of the Supreme state.
Jyaeśt́haPúrńimá 1955 DMC
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