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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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teachers they are respected and obeyed. This way they get importance, as against modern day old age homes where they have all the comforts but they miss love and respect.

Yogic Psycho - Physiology
(Three Bodies and Five Sheaths)

The Individual Soul (Atman)
In the whole of Hindu religious and philosophical literature the idea, that the essence of human personality is a soul is very prominent. The soul is a unit of God's omnipresent cosmic consciousness. The soul though a conscious unit has no feelings of separation from God. It identifies itself with God and therefore, like God has cosmic consciousness. When the soul creates the causal body and enters it to enliven it, then a part of the soul's consciousness identifying with the causal body becomes the ego. From then on the soul as ego begins its idea of a separate existence. The chitta is the causal body and ahamkara or ego is the soul's consciousness identifying with it. The soul is an eternal, immortal, blissful, luminous entity which is smaller than the smallest of any matter or energy particle but in expansiveness is greater than the greatest of any material object. The soul is the light of all light and the life of all life.

The soul in the material plane cannot function by itself. It needs an instrument. The physical body and the mind is the instrument that the soul uses to effectively function in the material universe. The soul is encased in three material bodies or five material sheaths (Koshas). The bodies and the sheaths are related as under:

 
Physical Body
Astral Body




Causal Body

- Annamaya Kosha
- Pranamaya Kosha (Energy body or Aura)
- Manomaya Kosha (Emotional body or Lower mind
  dominated by the senses)
-Vijnamaya Kosha (Intellectual body or the
  Higher discriminative mind)
- Anandamaya Kosha


These bodies or sheaths act as instruments for the soul. It is with the help of these instruments the soul comes in contact with the material environment, and is able to function in it and gain knowledge and experience. The soul cannot directly contact matter. It needs a material instrument to do so. The body and mind are that material instrument. The body is a physical instrument that helps in contacting physical matter and the mind is a subtle inner instrument that operates the physical body and helps to contact subtle astral matter. The soul took on the material instrument and entered the material environment to enact a play, a drama for the sake of entertainment. This play-acting on the part of the soul soon became very real to it, due to identification and attachment to the body and got the soul involved in a long journey and stay in the material environment undergoing innumerable painful experiences. The soul lost its awareness of its spiritual nature and identified itself with its

   
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