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Date:4 Mar 2000 Occasion:Shivarathri Place:Prashanti Nilayam

The Pancha Kosas (Five Life Sheaths)

Bhagavan Baba holding the Linga that he materialised on March 4, 2000

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Embodiments of Love!

One who has recognized the truth that the same Atma exists in all, is always in union with God and experiences Divine bliss, be it a renunciant or a householder, and whether one follows the path of action or not. The principle of Atma cannot be understood by merely going through the Vedas and sacred texts or listening to the discourses. Just as a gigantic tree originates from a tiny seed, so also the entire universe has its origin in the principle of Atma.

Embodiments of Love!

You are verily the embodiments of bliss and happiness. Is it not sheer ignorance on your part to search for bliss and happiness in the external world when they are very much present in you? True spiritual transformation lies in understanding one's own real nature. The present and former Vice Chancellors of our Institute have prayed to Me (in their speeches earlier) that I should explain in detail the Pancha Kosas (five life sheaths). The physical body, which is temporary in nature, is referred to as the Annamaya Kosa (sheath of food). The Vedas have given this gross body a name, Viswadu, as it is associated with the senses of perception and action. As this body is involved in various external activities, it is also known as Vyaavahaarika. Thus the Vedas have given various names to the physical body. The food sheath i.e. the physical body is known as Sthula Sareera, (gross body). The combination of life sheath, mind sheath and wisdom sheath is referred to as Sukshma Sareera (subtle body) as they are not visible to the naked eye. It is referred to as Praathibhasika. Mind in its subtle form is all-pervasive. That is why it is said, Manomoolam Idam Jagat (mind is the basis for the entire world). Anandamaya Kosa (bliss sheath) refers to the Kaarana Sareera (causal body). One should go beyond all the five sheaths in order to experience bliss. This state is known as Turiya or Mahakaarana Swarupa (supreme causal aspect). This comes after Sushupti (deep sleep state). This is also referred to as Paaramaarthika. The bliss experienced in the state of Turiya is the true bliss. This bliss cannot be obtained through senses, mind or intellect. There are five types of Kleshas (obstacles), which come in the way of experiencing this bliss. They are : Avidya Klesha, Abinava Klesha, Asthitha Klesha, Raaga Klesha and Dwesha Klesha. Man is unable to have the vision of Atma and experience Atmic bliss due to these five Kleshas.

One who has excessive attachment to the body suffers from Avidya Klesha, which leads to various desires and diseases and makes one's life miserable. The Abinava Klesha arises when one does not exercise control over one's mind. Man gives undue importance to the body and gets carried away by the vagaries of the mind and as a result is put to suffering. The Asthitha Klesha arises out of interest in worldly pleasures. The Raaga Klesha results from attachment towards wealth and material objects. The Dwesha Klesha arises when one's desires are not fulfilled. Some devotees worship God expecting something in return. They are happy if their desires are fulfilled or else they will start hating even God. The do not enjoy the fortune on hand. On the contrary, they desire for something more which they do not deserve. As a result, they are subjected to restlessness. In order to understand the principle of Paaramaarthika, one should get rid of the mind or at least have control over it and gradually give up body attachment.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sometime or the other.
But the indweller has neither birth nor death.
He does not have attachment or bondage.
Truly speaking, the indweller is God Himself.
(Telugu poem).

One cannot realize the indwelling divinity unless and until one gives up body attachment. Body attachment is an obstacle in the path of spirituality. Just as a gigantic tree is contained in a tiny seed, likewise the five Kleshas are ingrained in body attachment in the subtlest manner. Attachment to the body is the main cause for man's misery and restlessness. One should consider the body as an instrument and lead a life of truth keeping in view the indwelling divinity.

The entire world has a primordial basis. Here is a silver plate and a silver tumbler. Silver is the basis for these. The name and form of the object can be changed, but silver remains the same. Likewise, all names and forms are bound to change, but the primordial basis remains changeless.

The principle of Atma is ancient and eternal.
It has neither birth nor death, neither beginning nor end.
(Telugu Poem).

It is the primordial basis for the body, the mind and the life principle.

The water of the ocean becomes vapor due to sun's rays. The vapors in turn become clouds. The clouds come down in the form of rain flowing down as rivers and streams, which ultimately merge in the ocean. Nadinaam Saagaro Gathihi. Just as the rivers, which originate from the ocean, ultimately become one with it, so also all the living beings and objects, which originate from Divinity, will ultimately merge in it. This in Vedantic parlance is called Mukti (liberation). Even the Bhagavata says, it is but natural for all living beings to go back to their place of origin. The life principle has originated from Divinity. It is bound to merge in it.

The individual soul in the waking state is known as Viswa, as it is associated with Karmendriyas and Jnanendriyas. In the dream state, it is called Taijasa (the effulgent one), as it is associated with the effulgent principle of Antahkarana (inner instruments). In deep sleep state, it is known as Praajna. It is associated with the sheath of bliss. What is the reason for dreams? Some attribute dreams to their thoughts and feelings. But actually speaking, sleep is the main cause for dreams. You will understand that this world is but a dream. Once you wake up from the sleep of ignorance. All that you experience in the waking state get imprinted in the Antahkarana in the form of Samskaraas (tendencies).

Embodiments of Love!

Spirituality does not mean a life of solitude. True spirituality lies in understanding the unity of the entire humanity, giving up the sense of attachment and hatred. The principle of Atma is the same in everyone. What is the form of Atma? Sugar has a form, but can anyone describe the form of sweetness? Sweetness can only be experienced, it cannot be explained. Similar is the case with Atmic principle too. It is ancient, eternal, attributeless, formless, pure, unsullied and immortal. The sweets such as Mysore Pak, Gulab Jamoon, Barfi, etc may vary in name and form, but sugar is the same in all. Likewise, names and forms are different, but the principle of Atma is one and the same. Today, man undertakes various spiritual practices such as Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (chanting) Padasevanam (serving the Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Daasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship) and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender), only for temporary satisfaction. As long as one gets sleep, it hardly matters where one sleeps, be it on a hard rock or on a cozy bed. Similarly, one should have purity of mind whatever may be the spiritual practice one undertakes. Once the mind is pure, one can achieve anything in life. In order to purify the mind, one should develop the principle of love. The light of love can never be extinguished. Once you develop the principle of love, you will transcend the three states of Viswa, Taijasa and Praajana and attain the ultimate bliss.

Amarasimha, the scholar par excellence, composed many verses describing the principle of divinity. But some people unable to understand his sacred nature put him through hardships. They set all his books on fire. Of all his works, only Amarakosha could be retrieved due to the timely intervention of Sankaracharya. The works of Amarashimha can be compared to the Vedas. Unfortunately, people are not making any effort to understand the teachings of the Vedas and sacred texts. They are drowned in ignorance and have forgotten their true Self.

The nights you experience on other days are ordinary nights. They are nights of darkness. But Sivaratri is an auspicious night. How is it auspicious? There are sixteen aspects for the mind. The moon is the presiding deity of the mind. Of the sixteen aspects of the moon, today, fifteen are absent. The remaining one aspect can be merged in the Divine by diverting the mind towards God. If you sing his Glory throughout the night wholeheartedly, even the remaining one aspect can also be merged with the Divine. On this day it is possible to get full control over the mind by contemplating on God. Hence it is considered as an auspicious day. Unfortunately, in this Kali Age, people observe the vigil of Sivaratri by seeing cinema shows all through the night or playing cards. This cannot be called Sivaratri. Every moment of the night should be devoted to the thoughts of God and chant His name wholeheartedly.

God has thousands of names. Of all those names, 'Satchitananda' is the most important and significant. 'Sath' stands for the changeless eternal principle and 'chith' denotes total awareness. The former can be compared to sugar and the latter to water. When sugar and water are mixed, what results is syrup. Likewise the combination of 'Sath' and 'Chith' results in Ananada. Fill your heart with love and chant the Divine name. Only then can you attain Divinity. Perform all your activities with love. Love would originate from the source, i.e. the heart and not by force. Today people chant the Divine name, not from source, but out of force. No benefit accrues from chanting the Divine name unless it is done wholeheartedly. Chant His name wholeheartedly at least for half a minute, that is enough. One teaspoon of cow's milk is better than barrels of donkey's milk. God is interested in quality, not in quantity.

Man should travel from the food sheath to the life sheath. Life sheath is referred to as vibration as it is responsible for the movement of the body. What is mind sheath? Mind is all pervasive. Mind can travel any distance in a trice. Man has death but not the mind. Mind will follow man life after life. What is wisdom sheath? It is not connected with material world. The material world is associated with reaction, resound and reflection. For example, you hit the table with your hand. Then the table also hits you in turn. As is the action so is the reaction. This is the principle of Praathibhaasika. That which is related to Praahibhaasika is only worldly and secular knowledge. It cannot be termed as wisdom. True wisdom lies in understanding the constant integrated awareness. It leads to the changeless eternal bliss. This can be experienced only after transcending the five sheaths, viz, Annamaya (gross form), Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya (subtle form) and Anandamaya (causal form). Then you reach the state of Turiya (supreme causal state). In order to attain this state one should understand very clearly the nature of five sheaths. I have explained all this to you at length because our present and former Vice-chancellors requested Me to enlighten the boys about the nature of five sheaths.


You should understand that body is but an instrument and Atma is the doer and the enjoyer. Give up body attachment. What are you studying for? You want to earn money and lead a happy life. But, are you getting happiness from your studies? No. After your studies, you want a lucrative job, then a promotion and so on and so forth. There is no end to your desires. Then how can you expect to be happy? True and permanent happiness cannot be attained in the physical world. It can be experienced only in the state of Turiya.

One day, Adi Sankara, along with his thirteen disciples was going to the river Ganga for a holy dip. He came across a Brahmin sitting under a tree and repeating the rules of Panini grammar, Dukrunkarane, Dukrunkarane....... Sankara asked him what he would gain by repeating the rudiments of grammar? The Brahmin replied that he would become a great scholar, join the royal court and earn money. Then Sankara questioned him, how long would the wealth ensure him happiness? The Brahmin said, he can lead a happy life till his death. Then Sankara asked him what would happen after death. The Brahmin replied he did not know. Sankara sang the following verse:

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam
Govindam Bhaja Moodamathe
Sampraapthe Sannihithe Kale
Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrunkarane

Oh foolish one, when the hour of death approaches,
Rudiments of grammar will not come to your rescue.
So chant the name of God.

Only God's name will protect you in all periods of time and under all circumstances. Everything in this world is like a passing cloud. Only bliss and love are permanent. Love is God. God is Love.


Youth is very sacred. Do not misuse it by indulging in limitless desires and building castles in the air. Pursue your education keeping God uppermost in your mind. Do not get entangled in unnecessary activities and bondages, which will cause restlessness. Today people are in search of peace. But peace cannot be found in the external world. You find only pieces! Peace is in you. You are the embodiment of peace, you are the embodiment of truth and you are the embodiment of love. So first of all know thyself. Only then you can be blissful always. Modern students are acquiring various degrees. But what is the use?

In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true self and a mean-minded person will not give up his wicked qualities. Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom.

What is the use of acquiring worldly education
If it cannot lead you to immortality?
Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.
(Telugu Poem).

Embodiments of Love!

Love all, do not hate anybody. This is the teaching of our ancient culture. Sage Vyasa gave the essence of 18 Puranas thus: "Help ever, Hurt never." It is enough if you put this into practice. Along with worldly education, spiritual education is also essential. It is said, "Adhyatma Vidya Vidyanaam." Spiritual education is the true education. That alone can confer the knowledge of Brahman, which transcends dualities and the three attributes, namely, Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas. Only God is permanent. Everything else is temporary. Today people have faith in the world, but not in God. Do not take pride in your youth and physical beauty.

"What will happen to you when you become a decrepit old man,
When your body becomes weak,
Legs stagger and vision fails
And you are no better than a leather puppet
And the children laugh at you calling you an old monkey?"
(Telugu Poem)

How long will the youth last? Just as bright lightning is followed by pitch darkness, likewise, youth is followed by old age. The flower that blossoms in the morning fades in the evening. Such is the nature of human body. Have control over your body and mind. Do not depend on others. Will your hunger be satiated if someone else partakes of food? No. Self-effort is very essential in order to progress in the path of spirituality. If you want to remain young always, you should have control over your senses. Swami is the direct proof of this. I have all powers in Me. There is absolutely no weakness whatsoever in Me. Even now I can run fast. Can anyone imagine that Swami is seventy-five years old? What is the secret behind Bhagavan's youthful look? Purity, patience and perseverance are mainly responsible for this. Swami's feelings are always pure and steady. Try to emulate Swami in this regard. You claim yourself to be Swami's devotees. Then is it not your duty to cultivate at least a fraction of Swami's purity? You do not have the patience to give a proper answer if someone were to ask you for some information. But I talk to thousands and yet remain peaceful and blissful always. I am engaged in multifarious activities. None can describe the job I do. I do the work of all departments. All departments are Mine. But, I am never restless. I am always blissful. During the birthday celebrations, some devotees wish Me Happy Birthday, but I tell them, "You do not need to wish Me Happy Birthday because I am always happy. Give happiness to those who are not happy." Happiness is union with God. If you have the firm conviction that God is in you, with you and around you, you will never face any hardship or misery in your life. People talk of worries and misery. But, I do not know what they are. They do not come near Me because of My purity. Only those with bad thoughts and bad character are affected by misery and worry. So,

See no evil, see what is good
Hear no evil, hear what is good
Think no evil, think what is good
Do no evil, do what is good
That is the way to God.

When you are faced with difficulties do not get disheartened. Consider that they are for your own good.

You would have noticed Swami talking to a devotee on this platform a few minutes back. His name is Narayana. He is from Madras. Last week he developed heart problem. His son, who is a student our college, telephoned to his father asking him to come to Puttaparthi immediately. He came here and doctors who examined him told Me that the four valves of his heart were blocked and it was difficult to perform operation on him. Three doctors who have come from America examined him. In fact, they were surprised to find him alive with such a serious heart problem. Narayana told them that he had no pain and he was very happy as Swami was with him always. But the doctors were not satisfied. They performed open-heart surgery on him for five hours. Four bypasses were done. This operation was performed day before yesterday and today he has come to Mandir. In the normal course, after a bypass surgery, a patient has to be on the bed for at least ten days. But Narayana walked three hundred steps yesterday itself. This is incredible. Doctors served him idlis also. Today he has come here wearing pant and shirt, looking like a college boy. I told him your faith is responsible for this. Right from the beginning, he has been saying that Swami is with him and that He will take care of him. He feels the heart problem, which he had was good for him in the sense that it brought him to the Abode of Swami. He said our hospital is not just a hospital, but a temple of healing. His operation was performed day before yesterday. Yesterday he had food and today he has come to Mandir for Swami's darshan. Is it humanly possible? Ask any doctor; they will give an emphatic 'No' as an answer. Such is the nature of human body, but God can change even the nature of the body and grant a bright future. God can transform earth into sky and sky into earth but you should have firm faith in Him. Today man has become blind, losing the eyes of faith in himself. He does not have faith in himself, then how can he have faith in God? How can he who does not know himself, know Divinity? First know thyself, then you can easily understand Divinity. Have faith in God. There is nothing that God cannot do. One with proper eyesight can see even the small glowworm. But a blind man cannot see even the resplendent Sun. Likewise, one without the spiritual eye will find only darkness all around him.

The Age of Kali has become the Age of Kalaha (quarrels). Students should resolve to eradicate hatred and restlessness. I love everybody. Everybody loves Me. But sometimes students feel that Swami is not talking to them because He is upset with them. I am never angry with anybody. But in order to correct you, sometimes I may feign to be angry. When one falls sick, one needs to be given medicine. Also one has to follow dietary regulations. Only then sickness can be cured. Similarly, to cure your mental diseases, Swami gives you 'medicine' in his own inimitable way. In order to bring about transformation in you. I remain quiet and do not talk to you. Otherwise, you will become uncontrollable. Do not give scope for hatred, greed and jealousy. You know what happened to Hiranyakasipu, Ravana and Duryodhana who developed hatred towards God. The Pandavas led a happy life as they had immense love for God. They were subjected to innumerable difficulties, yet their love for God did not diminish. So develop love for God. The more you develop love, the more you experience happiness and the closer you go to ultimate Bliss.

Bhagavan concluded the discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manasa Kaho....."