According to the scriptures, the name of our gross body is Annamaya Kosha, which ends with death. The group of five air that’s pranas and five organs of action located in the body is called pranamaya kosha. The group of the five sense organs along with mind has been called Manomaya Kosha. The group of five sense organs containing intelligence is called Vigyanmaya Kosha. The innermost and subtlest sheath is the anandamaya kosha, it is governed by satvaguni avidya that’s light-dominated or existence-dominated darkness. But the soul is untouched by all these. Let’s analyze it a bit. The gross body means the food sheath that’s annamaya kosha is visible to everyone. Karmendriyas that’s action senses have been included in Pranamaya Kosha because first of all the clear effect of Prana is visible on the action senses only. During Kundalini Yoga, when Prana is concentrated on a particular chakra, there is a contraction-like movement there along with rapid, blissful and satisfying breathing, and the karmendriyas associated with it get power. That’s why the breath moves fast due to exercise, sports, running and heavy work, due to which the flow of prana to the physical senses increases. Mental work does not cause such breath, so it is kept in Manomaya Kosha. There is no breathlessness while watching or listening to television. There is no breathlessness even after smelling and tasting any food or even touching it. That is why the skin, eyes, ears, nose and tongue have been placed in the five sense organs. That means they are knowledge oriented rather than action oriented. Although littlebit karma is also done through them. Genital organs have also been kept in Karmendriya, because by its use also the breath becomes inflated. The anal sense has also been placed along with the action-oriented organs. The five sense organs are kept with the mind in the Manomaya Kosha because the mind becomes active through the experience of sensations through them. Seeing beautiful scenery or listening to beautiful music brings beautiful thoughts to the mind. Thoughts can be called common knowledge. Special knowledge is born only with the help of intelligence. Like many ordinary thoughts come in the showroom of the car. When a man decides to buy a car wisely, then the thoughts related to his purchase are more powerful, effective, practical and action-motivating. “Vi” means special, so “vigyan” means special knowledge. This creates joy. Who doesn’t enjoy being the owner of a car. It is felt from the blissful sheath that’s anandmaya kosha. Actually bliss is felt in the soul without waves. The powerfully expressed waves of vigyan and karma leave a powerful imprint on the subtle body. That impression has been called above as “sattva guni avidya“. That means, you can call the act of buying a car virtuous, because this work is done comfortably, with joy, with satisfaction, with hope, with humanity and courtesy. That’s why the impression it makes on the subtle body as ignorance i.e. special darkness is also the same type. For a limited time only, this impression has more influence than the rest of the infinite subtle body, because this impression is fresh, later it dissolves in the innumerable impressions present in the subtle body. With this it becomes ordinary like them. That’s why the pleasure derived from materiality does not last forever. For another example, imagine that you are sitting in a beautiful resort after arriving in a beautiful car with your family and a good relative. Sunbathing in a comfortable chair outside on the lawn. There is pure water for drinking on a round glass table in front. And even for food and drink, it is available on order. Your family is happily walking nearby. Children are playing in the park in front. There is a swimming pool in front. You are languishing by taking long and slow breaths. You will feel great joy in the darkness of your soul. Although it is like the ordinary darkness called avidya, but it will be full of bliss unlike other ordinary darknesses. This is because this darkness will be full of being and existence of one’s own. This is Sattvaguni darkness. Means all the facilities that increase power or existence that’s Satta in Sanskrit are available in front of you, but you are enjoying the bliss of ignorance. There is also a limit to the enjoyment of man’s comforts. After getting tired of it, happiness comes only from Sattvaguni Avidya. In fact, the source of happiness is Sattva Guni Avidya only, not directly the pleasures. Avidya means negation of Vidya or knowledge. That’s why it is the darkness of ignorance. Let me give you another example of sattvaguni avidya. Suppose you are at such a place, from where a plain starts on one side. The mountain range is visible on the other side in front of you. You will enjoy more in that mixed plain area than in the pure plain area, because the inaccessible and difficult mountain in front will make you feel more existential power relatively than the real one as that’s felt in pure plain area. Anandpur is one such place. Probably because of this special joy, it has got this name. The famous Gurdwara Anandpur Sahib of Sikhism is located here. The darkness that arises with anger, fear, lack, anxiety, etc., in contrast to sattvaguni avidya, does not bring joy. In these, the darkness of ignorance is against self existence. The same darkness is felt in different ways in different circumstances. This is interesting psychology. One step deeper than the Anandamaya Kosha is the Absolute Pure Self or soul. There is no word like bliss associated with it, because it is indescribable, above bliss. Most of the people are fascinated by the Bliss or Anand of Anandamaya Kosha as pure soul, and do not make special efforts for self-awakening. There is no impression of the gross world on a pure soul. That’s why it is fully luminous in its original form. Actually the word light or luminosity is also worldly, the soul is beyond this. That is why the soul has been called the most unaffected, that is, untouched.
All the koshas or treasures are best opened in turn and in sequence, as if the security fences of a palace are crossed. Eating and drinking in childhood develops and opens the Annamaya Kosh. By playing sports, exercising and learning various works, the Pranamaya Kosha develops and opens. Then after reaching the higher classes of secondary school level, one opens Manomaya Kosh by taking education of complex and special subjects. By taking technical and practical education at the college or university level, he opens the vigyanmaya kosha. Then he starts earning money while doing job or business, and with the help of Vigyanmaya Kosha opens Anandamaya Kosh. By developing that too completely, he tries to reach the soul by getting himself attracted towards Tantrik Kundalini Yoga.
With Kundalini Yoga, all the koshas can also be opened together. Yogasana and Pranayama induce hunger, and the body remains healthy. This keeps the Annamaya Kosh open. Pranayama keeps the Pranamaya Kosha open. When the Pranamaya Kosha opens, it causes Manomaya Kosha to open. Then with Kundalini meditation on the chakras, the Vigyanmaya Kosh opens. When the Vigyanmay Kosh opens, the Blissful anandmaya Kosha automatically opens. In the end, when the Kundalini is awakened, man reaches the ultimate soul as well.
Let me show you an easy way to cross the treasure of bliss. Sit comfortably on a chair in the sun. Looking at the whole body, meditate on it. This will open the Annamaya Kosh. Relax and de-stress the mind by meditating on Nidra Devi and chanting the word sleep mentally. Deep breath will come. Focus on that. Slow and deep breaths will start. That will open the Pranamaya Kosh. It will awaken other thoughts along with old memories in the mind. This will open the Manomaya Kosh. Then by making a determination with the intellect, keeping witnessing on those thoughts, continue to meditate on the body, on the breath and on the sleep. This will awaken the vigyanmaya kosha. In a short, the thoughts will merge into the soul. This will make feel like a darkness of thoughtlessness in the mind. This will be called sattvaguni avidya. This is because it was deliberately created from auspicious sattva guna. This isn’t Rajoguni avidya that’s born out of fighting or daily struggle of life. Nor was it born from Tamoguna that’s born from intoxication, overconsumption of flash etc. By feeling bliss from Sattva-Guni darkness, the Anandamaya Kosha will also open. In about an hour this complete meditation will be done. If a person continues to practice Tantric Kundalini Yoga for about one or two hours beyond the Anandamaya Kosh is open, then the Kundalini will continue to move towards the soul in the form of awakening.
Death is an unchanging truth. But dying is an art for some, while it is luck for others. Some die with happiness and joy through satoguni avidya, while some have to die with great sorrow and pain by being forced by rajoguni and tamoguni avidya.