Mana means mind and Manamaya (or Manomaya) kosha is the sheath responsible for processing thoughts, feelings, mind and emotions. It is in direct control of the operation, through the prana, of the physical body and senses. Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati says of this kosha: “It is like a supervisor in a factory, in that it gives instructions, but is not supposed to be the manager of the factory of life. Because of this, it naturally has doubts, and created illusions. When it receives clear instructions from the deeper level, it functions quite well. However, when it is clouded over by its illusions, the deeper wisdom is clouded over.”
During meditation, we become aware of Manamaya kosha, we can then explore it, and then go inward, to and through the remaining two koshas. This is what we commonly call the “monkey mind” and it is through the lens of this dimension that we perceive the world and our likes and dislikes (raga and dvesha) through the agency of our five senses.
Patajajali tells us in the yoga sutras: “Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam”. (“Yoga is the mastery of the activities of the mind-field. Then the seer rests in its true nature.”)
The Manamaya Kosha forms the mental body. The primary way to impact this kosha is through meditation. It is affected by the 5 kleshas as follows:
As noted in my last posts as these kleshas are recognized and dissolved (or cleared) from the Manamaya kosha, we move on to the remaining koshas enabling them to be cleansed of these afflictions, then the Atman (or Self), which is indescribable, is gradually recognized and eventually realized by direct experience; this is the goal of Yoga, meditation, Advaita Vedanta, and certain Tantra practices.
Stay tuned, next: Further exploration of each Klesha and how it colors the Vijnanamaya kosha.
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