The constitution of a human being (Summary)
by Atman Nityananda
Man is a multidimensional being and has two distinct natures. One is the apparent self which consists of the body, vital energy (prana), mind (has four aspects, see below) and causal body and has as a central factor the ego and the other one is the true Self, (Consciousness, Soul) which is eternal, immortal unchangeable, indestructible and beyond form, time and causality.
The Ego is the factor that separates man from Divine consciousness (God) and all creation. Ego is the factor that makes us identify with body, mind and sensory impressions, veils our true nature preventing us from being aware of It and makes us suffer. Although our true identity is Consciousnessdue to the ego we believe that we are the physical body; that we are a limited body-mind entity, separate from life and God.
Man consists of
1. Consciousness – True Self
2. Causal body
3. Mind the inner quadruple organ (mind has four aspects: 1. the external mind (Manas), 2.the intermediate mind (Budhhi), 3. the inner mind (Chitta) and 4. the ego (Ahamkara).
The four aspects of mind
1) The inner mind (Chitta)
The Subconscious mind, memory, conditioned consciousness, total field of mind
2) The intermediate mind (Buddhi). It has two aspects: intellect and intelligence (higher intellect)
The higher aspect of the intermediate mind (intelligence) decides, knows, reasons, discerns in a high level the true from the false. We can know intuitively our true Self (Consciousness) and discern it from the ego, mind and body.
The lower aspect of intermediate mind (Intellect) since is affected and distorted by the ego and its tendencies (lust, lasciviousness, fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, avarice, pride, etc.) functions in a very limited and distorted way. Divides, separates, classifies, labels and functions as a servant of the lower ego to fulfil his egocentric desires.
3) The external mind (Manas)
· Thinking mind
· Emotional mind
· Sensory mind
· Motor mind
4) Ego (Ahamkara), Our illusory identity
The ego identified with body the apparent self
The ego has two main aspects:
The higher sáttvic aspect and the lower rajasotamasic one.
4. Vital energy (Prana)
1. Psychic prana. It gives the energy for the psychological functions and processes.
2. Physical prana. It gives the energy for the physiological functions and processes.
5. Sexual energy. The reproductive energy.It is related to physical and psychological health and is also fundamental for our spiritual transformation and divinization.
6. The three humours or bio-energies – Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha
7. The three subtle energies:
Ojas, Tejas and Higher Prana
8. Five senses and five organs of action: 5 senses of cognition (eyes ears, nose, mouth, touch) and 5 organs of action (hands, feet, genitals mouth, anus).
9. Physical body. It consists of the physical organs and the systems (nervous system, digestive system, etc.).
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According Yoga and Vedanta a human being consists of five Sheats (Koshas) or three bodies
I present here only a brief description of them
The five sheaths
1. Annamaya Kosha, the Food Sheath (Physical Body)
2. Pranamaya Kosha, the vital sheath (Prana-vital energy)
3. Manomaya Kosha, the mental sheath (external mind, -manas)
4. Vijñanamaya Kosha, the sheath of the intellect (the intermidiate mind, -Buddhi),
5. Anandamaya Kosha, the sheath of bliss, bliss (the causal body)
The three bodies
1. The causal body / The Anandamaya Kosha, the sheath of bliss or happiness
2. The Subtle or Astral body. It consists of the Pranamaya Kosha, the vital sheath, The Manomaya Kosha, the mental sheath (manas), The Vijñanamaya Kosha, the sheath of the intellect (Buddhi),
3. The Physical Body / The Annamaya Kosha, the Food Sheath.