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Theosophical Encyclopedia


(Sk. pronounced “pancha-kosha”). A Sanskrit term used in the Vedānta philosophy meaning “five (pañca) sheaths (koas),” i.e., five vestures through which the Self (ātman) works. Listed from the most subtle to the most dense, they are:

1. Ānandamaya-kośa, lit. “bliss-made-sheath” or, in theosophical terminology, buddhic body.

2. vijñānamaya-kośa, or “intellect-made-sheath,” equivalent to theosophy’s causal body, i.e., higher mind.

3. manomaya-kośa or “manas-made-sheath,” equivalent to the theosophy’s lower mind and emotional body, sometimes referred to in early theosophical literature as k€ma-manas or desire-mind.

4. prānamaya-kośa or “prāna-made-sheath,” equivalent to theosophy’s etheric double.

5. annamaya-koa or “food-made-sheath,” i.e., physical or biological body.

It should be noted that the infix maya means “made of” and is not the same word as māyā (illusion).


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