Friday, 11 April 2008

11. Avasthā Trayam and Kosha Panchakam

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11. Avasthā Trayam and Kosha Panchakam
Avasthā Trayam refers to the three stages experience and Kosha Panchakam refers to the five layers of our personality.

11.1. Avasthā Trayam

We will first start with Avasthā Trayam – the three states of experience. We sill see three factors relating to each state of experience. By studying the three factors, we will understand what these three states of experience are
- First we will study the condition of the mind in each state of experience because the mind plays a prominent role in each state
- Secondly we will study the nature of the experience. In each state of experience, what is the nature of experience
- Finally we will study the dominant medium which is involved or connected with each state of experience

11.1.1. Jāgrat Avasthā

This refers to waking state of experience. Avasthā means a state of experience and Jāgrat Avasthā means waking state of experience. Now in this state of experience, first we will find the condition of the mind or to be precise, the internal organs – Antah Karanam

11.1.1.1. Mind

In the waking state, the mind or the inner organ is fully functional or operative which means that all faculties are functioning – the emotional, rational, thinking, ego, memory faculties are all functioning and open. This is also called Pūrna Vikāsaha – fully bloomed is the internal organ. And since all these four faculties are functional, all these four experience will also be there – emotions, thinking, discrimination, gathering fresh knowledge, gathering fresh experience.

11.1.1.2. Nature

The second factor to study is the nature of experience in Jāgrat Avasthā. In Jāgrat Avasthā we experience a world which is external to ourselves, our body-mind complex. It is a Bāhya Prapancha.

And since it is an external universe, it is a concrete tangible world of experience. We can very clearly tangibly feel it because it is made out of tangible matter. Therefore it is external, it is concrete and is available for all other people also.

It is a common public world and hence is an objective experience. We will know the significance of each adjective when we compare with dream experience. Here objective means – commonly available for all people.

This experience is sense-organ based Indriya Janyam. In Jāgrat Avasthā, I experience the world with the help of the sense organs in the from of Shabda, Sparsha Rūpa, Rasa and Gandha and the consequent pleasure and pain and other responses.

So the four adjectives to be remembered are
- External,
- Concrete,
- Objective and
- Sense Organ
… based experience. This experience involves both ways of transaction. The transaction involves receiving experience - Bhoga Pradhāna - and it involves responding to the world. I function both as a Bhokta as well as a Kartā – receiver and contributor.

In Shāstram it is called Bhoga Bhūmi and Karma Bhūmi.

11.1.1.3. Medium

The dominant medium involved in the waking state. To experience the waking state, we are making use of the sense organs. This is a sense organ based experience. And, to use the sense organs, we require a physical body because every sense organ has a physical location.

In the Shāstram, the physical location is called Golakam. Every Indriyam requires a Golakam, the physical part. The eye sense organ requires the eye Golakam the physical part, the ear sense organ require the ear Golakam. The sense organ belong to Sūkshma Sharīram and the Golakam belongs to the Sthūla Sharīram. Thus the sense organs which belong to Sūkshma Sharīram require the physical body which has got the physical location or Golakam.

Sense organs require Golakam. Golakams require the physical body. Therefore sense organs require the physical body for functioning. Since the Jāgrat Avasthā is sense organ base, Jāgrat Avasthā is heavily physical body oriented. Therefore we say, Jāgrat Avasthā is Sthūla Sharīram Pradhāna Avasthā. Because I have to see an external world or seeing an external world I have to operate sense organs, to operate sense organs I require the body. Therefore without the physical body, the physical universe cannot be experienced.

11.1.2. Svapna Avasthā

This is also called the Dream state of experience. In Sanskrit it is called Svapna Avasthā. And with regard to Svapna Avasthā also, we have to see the three factors.

11.1.2.1. Mind

During Svapna or dream, our memory faculty alone is functioning. Whatever experience we have gathering in the Jāgrat Avasthā, they all get registered in the memory slab of the mind. In Jāgrat Avasthā, the mind is similar to a recorder of Shabda, Sparsha Rūpa, Rasa and Gandha. Not only can it register the physical world, but also the emotions like sorrow and happiness are registered. That part of the mind is called Chittam faculty. And whatever is registered is thrown out again and functions as a Video cassette player. Therefore whatever emotions we experience in dream, are not freshly received emotions but are only replaying the recorded emotions. Therefore everything that happens in dream is only from memory. Therefore the other faculties are not functioning
- The Manaha or emotional faculty for gathering fresh emotions
- rational Faculty does not function
- Ego faculty does not function. Even the Ego experienced in the dream is the memory ego and the fresh ego is not functioning.

Therefore the condition of the mind during dream is partially functioning mind. Of the four faculties, only one faculty is functioning and this being Chittam or memory. Hence Svapna Avasthā is also called Ardha Vikāsaha .

11.1.2.2. Nature

In dream, we experience a world which is internal. Because this world is generated out of my own personal private memory and therefore it is not something existing outside, there is no connection between the dream objects that I have and the surrounding that I have. I may sleeping in a place but my dreams may be connected to another place. Therefore it is an internal world.

Secondly since it is an internal world, made out of our own memory, we called it Vasana Māyā Prapanchaha. It is made out of our memories or thoughts. Hence they are not concrete or are abstract. The external world is Bhautika Prapanchaha and therefore concrete. Internal world is Vāsanā Maya Prapanchaha and therefore abstract. Thoughts are not tangible and therefore thought generated object is also not tangible.

In dreams the world available for me is not accessible to other people. This is a subjective universe.

It is not perceived with sense organs – not a sense organ based universe. This is a memory based universe or Vāsanā Janyam. Hence whatever we experience in dream is based on our experience in waking only. Whatever we can see through the VCP is only what has been recorded by a VCR. If you collect experiences in Jāgrat Avasthā, in Svapna Avasthā, you recollect the experiences. You cannot recollect when you have not collected in first place. Therefore every Svapna experience is based on Jāgrat Avasthā.

Sometimes we may get a doubt – sometimes I experience a rare dream that I have not experienced in the waking state. If you say so, there are only a few possibilities
- One is you create a new dream by combining various things experienced in the Jāgrat Avasthā. New objects cannot be created. This is because objects are memory based or thought based, and thought being highly fluid the objects are highly fluid in Svapna – Avyaktam Padārthaha . Therefore since they all get jumbled up, we get mixed dreams.
- Sometimes whatever we imagine in the Jāgrat Avasthā, they get registered and they can be thrown out. Whatever is fantasised or imagined or read in books or seen in movies leading to imagination, they all can come in Svapna
- Sometimes even if I have not experienced in this Janma , according to our Shāstram, the experience of the previous Janma also can come. Because between the previous Janma and this Janma , the physical body alone is difference – the subtle bodies continues. Therefore sometimes it is said, that children without any reason suddenly laugh or suddenly cry. And generally they attribute to previous Janma memories. The present Janma memories have not yet started strongly forming – hence Pūrva Janma Smaranam comes they say. This cannot be verified.
- Suppose a person says that he gets experiences which are connected to the future – premonition or ESP type of experience relating to the future event. You cannot say it is a past experience. Therefore it cannot be Vāsanā based, it cannot be memory based which require past experiences. We say, by definition they are not Svapnāhā – Svapnāhā are purely memory based. If a person sees future events, it is only a unique faculty of the mind which we have not developed because coming events cast their shadows before. Any event is already there in potential form. When it is potential, it is too subtle for us to understand. But if the mind is sensitised enough, as we have in the Purānās Trikāa Jnānis, the mind has got this unique faculty. The Yogic people deliberately develop this faculty. But in our case as a freak experience sometimes it happens.

11.1.2.3. Medium

Since Svapna is memory based and memories belong to the Chittam and Chittam belongs to Sūkshma Sharīram, Svapna is predominantly Sūkshma Sharīram based. Hence it is called Sūkshma Sharīram Pradhāna Avasthā Svapna Avasthā.

11.1.3. Sushupti Avasthā

The third state is the state of sleep. Sometimes this is translated as Deep Sleep to indicate a dreamless sleep. In Sanskrit we call this Sushupti Avasthā.

11.1.3.1. Mind

Unlike Jāgrat Avasthā and Svapna where the mind was Pūrna Vikāsaha and Ardha Vikāsaha respectively, in Sushupti Avasthā the mind is fully non-functional and almost zero functional. That is why emotional faculty is not there and in sleep, emotions are not there, since rational faculty is not there, no knowledge and since memory faculty is not functioning no memory, and since Ego faculty is not functioning, there is not even the sense of I am sleeping. All these are dormant.

11.1.3.2. Nature

Since sense organs are not functioning, the external world is not there.
Since memories are not functioning, internal world is not there.
Therefore there is neither external concrete objective world nor internal abstract subjective world. Therefore it is an experience of blankness. We call it as Ajnāna Anubhavaha – state of total ignorance or blackout or blankness. This is the nature of the experience.

11.1.3.3. Medium

The dominant medium is to be seen now.
Sthūla Sharīram is not dominantly functioning because sense organs are not functioning.
Sūkshma Sharīram is not dominantly functioning because memories are not thrown out.
Therefore what is dominant is the Kārana Sharīram Pradhāna Avasthā. A state in which Kārana Sharīram is dominant when Sthūla Sharīram and Sūkshma Sharīram are as though resolved because they are not functional. Whatever is not functioning is as good as resolved.

During Kārana Sharīram Pradhāna Avasthā, all our internal and external experiences remain in dormant condition and from that alone they will come back the next day.

Hence to summarise, when I am associated with Jāgrat Avasthā, I am called the Waker. When associated with Svapna Avasthā, I am called Dreamer. When associated with Sushupti Avasthā I am called a sleeper. In Shāstram, three words are used.
- Vishva is the name of the waker. Vishva means fully as the mind is fully functional.
- Taijasaha – Internally illumined person or the dreamer
- Prājnaha - sleeper or blissfully ignorant person. Prakarshena Ajnaha Prājnaha

The above was Avasthā Trayam

11.2. Kosha Panchakam

Now we will see the five fold personality layers. This Kosha Panchakam is the division of Sharīra Trayam itself in another manner. The three bodies which we discussed in Sharīra Trayam, the same three bodies are divided into give layers. The personality is the same but the same but the angle of division varies. When you divide into three bodies, it is based on the matter.
- Sthūla Sharīram is made out of raw matter
- Sūkshma Sharīram is made out of subtle matter
- Kārana Sharīram is made out of causal matter. Matter based division is Sharīra Trayam.
This texture based classification is Sharīra Trayam.

But the very same three are divided into five based on functions. Functional division is Kosha Panchakam. In this, Sthūla Sharīram is seen as one particular Kosha called Annamaya Kosha. The physical body is termed Annamaya Kosha. Kārana Sharīram is called Ānandamaya Kosha and also has got sub-divisions.

The middle Sharīram, the Sūkshma Sharīram alone is subdivided into three Koshas known as
- Prānamaya Kosha
- Manomaya Kosha
- Vijnānamaya Kosha

11.2.1. Annamaya Kosha

Annamaya Kosha or the Sthūla Sharīram can be termed as our anatomical system. The anatomy of the body is called Annamaya Kosha. The structure of the body, the organs of the physical part, the limbs of the body is called Annamaya Kosha. It is so called because it is born out of and nourished out of the essence of Annam or food.

11.2.2. Prānamaya Kosha

This corresponds to the physiological system. This means the functions of the anatomy. Anatomy refers to the various parts of the parts. Physiology deals with the functions. So Prānamaya Kosha refers to the functions. That is why at the time of death, the Sūkshma Sharīram is supposed to leave the body which means that three Koshas leave the body. These are
- Prānamaya Kosha
- Manomaya Kosha
- Vijnānamaya Kosha

...and these leave the body. Since the Prānamaya Kosha has left the body, the physiological systems are not there while the anatomy is there. Hence organ transplantation is possible. Anatomy belongs to Sthūla Sharīram and it remains even after death. Physical belongs to Sūkshma Sharīram or Prānamaya Kosha and therefore it disappears after death. This Prānamaya Kosha is otherwise called Kriyā Shaktihi and consists of ten organs ot Sūkshma Sharīram or Prānamaya Kosha.

Those ten organs are
- Pancha Prānāhā : giving energy
- Pancha Karma Indriyāni : giving the tools.

Hence Energy + Tools = Kriyā Shaktihi.

11.2.3. Manomaya Kosha

Can be termed as the psychological function. All the emotions, doubts is Manomaya Kosha or psychological personality or Iccha Shakti. Kriyā Shakti is preceded by Iccha Shakti because desire alone prompts a person to action. Therefore Manomaya Kosha pushes Prānamaya Kosha into action. This psychological personality otherwise called Manomaya Kosha consists of six organs.

The six organs include
- Pancha Jnāna Indriyāni or Five sense organs of knowledge
- Mind or Manaha which includes Chittam and Ahankāra

11.2.4. Vijnānamaya Kosha

It is the cognitive personality or the knowing personality. While Manomaya Kosha corresponds to emotions or Iccha Shakti, this Vijnānamaya Kosha refer to knowing personality or Jnāna Shaktihi – cognitive personality or judging personality or weighing personality.

In other words, Vijnānamaya Kosha knows, Manomaya Kosha desires and Prānamaya Kosha acts. Jānāti, Icchati Yatate.

E.g. during the music season, we read the newspaper to see which all Sabhās have with Kutcheris. Now Vijnānamaya Kosha is functioning. Then you have to make your choice and decide on something. This is Manomaya Kosha. Prānamaya Kosha will then act in taking you to the Sabhā.

This also consist of six organs which are
- Pancha Jnāna Indriyāni or Five sense organs of knowledge
- Buddhihi or intellect or rational faculty. This includes Chittam and Ahankāra

Incidentally, the emotional faculty, rational faculty etc are not different organs. The internal organ is only one. It gets different names based on the relevant function.
- When it is the thinking function, it is called Buddhihi
- When it is the emotional function, it is called Manaha
- When it is memory function it is called Chittam

Hence Mano Buddhihi Chitta Ahankāra are not for separate organs but one organ named in four
ways. This is the functional division of Sūkshma Sharīram.

11.3. Ānandamaya Kosha

This corresponds to Kārana Sharīram. This can be equated to our unconscious personality or “The Unconscious” in psychology. So whatever emotions are dominant, our behaviour, our personality are all dormant in us and expresses at appropriate time. This is called unconscious or dormant personality.

Sometimes if we face a traumatic experience and the ego is not ready to face it then Bhagavān should make some arrangements like fusing – when the system is not ready to take the full current. Similarly in extraordinary physical pain also, when the body cannot take the pain, you get a situation when you don’t feel any pain. This is physiological fusing. Similarly we require a psychological fuse also at certain times when we are not ready to stand certain experience.

When we cannot stand, we have to throw out by either expressing it verbally or physically – either by crying or shouting. If due to circumstances one is not able to cry or shout or talk, then all those emotions which could not be handled by the ego, they are all put inside in the unconscious. You will find that at any time it is conducive that comes out. That is why you cry for no reason or get angry for no reason. All bolted up emotions are getting released at that time. All such emotions and all such behaviour belong to unconscious.

The play of unconscious can be easily understood. When the response and the external situations don’t tally e.g. for a small mistake a person flares. Small experiences are only a trigger for the inner one to manifest and that is called unconscious and hence called Kārana Sharīram. It is Ānandamaya Kosha because being in the unconscious, it is unknown. And being unknown you are blissfully ignorant.

In Kārana Sharīram or in Sushupti also, you do not feel any pain.

These are the five layers of the personality which are called Kosha Panchakam.

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