21 August 2017
The God Ganesha - the five heads symbolising the five koshas
What is the energy of the pranamaya kosha?
So, what is the pranamaya kosha, the energy-life-force sheath, if it is not just the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the reserves of physical, mental or emotional energy that we have? Certainly, we can have increased physical energy, like an athlete does, or increased mental energy such as someone with a very high IQ has, or increased emotional energy, which of course can be passion, love...messy emotions... whatever.
The pranamaya kosha, the life-force sheath, is quite different from all this.
And although the prana, life force, that we breathe does "feed" our physical body, and our brain, "normal" breathing is not enough to wake up the pranamaya kosha.
What is necessary is spiritual energy. Sometimes equated with emotional energy - but no, it's not that. Nor is it being a "good" person, nor someone who "says", reads, thinks, or "does" the right things. Anyone can do these, and without the force of spiritual energy, and without honesty. However, to progress spirituality, at some point it is a must to develop the faculties of being a good person, who does say and do the right things. Without these ethics, the spirit does not shine so strongly. But by actually living these ethics, there are less emotional blockages to hinder our progress.
Spiritual energy is quite different from other energies, and, like all energy, it can be developed, it can be increased, built up. It is this energy that feeds our koshas. And this energy all starts with prana. You can feel spiritual energy. Sometimes it just radiates our from a deeply spiritual person, however .... these people are few and far between.
The life-force of the annamaya kosha, the physical body, the physical sheath, is an important part of building up our spiritual energy. The practices for awakening the koshas do include the physical sheath. So, one starts with this layer, the annamaya kosha. The body is physically purified by the not-so-well-known practices of yoga, and, with the purification, the prana has more room to move within the annamaya kosha. This is such an indefinable thing, but it is how it happens.
The prana builds up via purification and by doing the correct practices for increasing our prana. But, there is a mysterious force at play which does hinder both physical and life-force circulating more freely. It is like a little secret.
Emotions and the annamaya and pranamaya koshas.
I have read about the pranamaya kosha being tied up with our emotions. This kosha is not actually about developing emotion. And I have experienced, sadly, the blame game to do with having emotions. This is not part of yoga, nor any true spiritual system, but somehow, it was sneaked it and became mainstream. Having "negative" thoughts or emotions, have been considered to be a flaw in one's being, and a clear indication that such a person is "stuck" in the lower chakras.
I challenge this most definitely. This sort of thinking is destructive, and highly manipulative. On my next post we shall look at the very important aspect of emotions and the koshas.