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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Sheaths

Translation of the Sanskrit word koa. The more commonly used term in theosophy is “body” (Sk. ar…ra). In the Vedānta system, five such sheaths (Sk. Pañca-koa) are identified:

Ānandamaya-koa or “bliss-made-sheath,” called in theosophical literature the “buddhic body.”

Vijñānamaya-kośa or “intellect-made-sheath,” called in theosophical literature “higher mind”; it is also known as the “CAUSAL Body” (Sk. kārana-śarīra).

Manomaya-koa or “mind-made-sheath,” called kāma-manas in early theosophical literature because of the close association of thoughts with emotion or desire; it is separated into “lower mind” and “astral body” in later theosophical literature. The Vijñānamaya-kośa and Manomaya-kośa are also called collectively the “subtle body” (Sk. sukma-śarīra).

Prānamaya-kośa or “vitality-made-sheath,” also called the li‰ga-ar…ra (“matrix body”); it is called the “etheric double” in later theosophical literature.

Annamaya-kośa or “food-made-sheath,” i.e., biological body, usually called the “physical body” or, in Sanskrit, sthūla-śarīra (“gross body”).

See also ASTRAL BODY; BUDDHIC BODY; CAUSAL BODY; ETHERIC DOUBLE; KĀRANOPADHI; LINGA-ŚARĪRA; and SUKSMAŚARĪRA.

R.W.B./P.S.H.

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