Note: This is part 7 of 7. For the full series on the 5 koshas click here.

The Map of the Koshas

The fact that you’ve plowed through to the last part of this series of articles tells me you desire a deeper understanding about where you came from, who you are, and where you’re headed. You’re an explorer, a spiritual traveler. And like any traveler, you need a good map to guide you on your journey.

The map of the koshas can assist you in navigating the difficult terrain that lies ahead. It can help you avoid the marshlands and rocky canyons, and to stay on the open road to higher consciousness. 

Before taking the first step toward your destination, it pays to first know where you’re at.  

Most of us reside unconsciously in the three lower koshas. 

We’re stuck in limiting thought constructs we don’t even know exist. We’re subject to erratic flows of energy we don’t have the sensitivity to feel. And we’re slaves to the cravings and instinctual drives of the physical body.

And so, we suffer.

Growing in Awareness

The idea of being a body, rather than having a body, will trap you in the endless maze of manifestation. But you can break free of that illusion with deep, spiritual work. 

Right now, you’re in a multi-layered body that has a home on a planet called Earth. The goal of sadhana is not to escape that reality, but to embrace it more fully.

With daily practice you will continue to grow in awareness. And as your awareness expands it will encompass more and more levels of your being.

As that happens you will no longer reside at the surface of things. You will develop the capacity to feel the energy of life come in and ripple throughout all of your koshas. And you will learn to stabilize your attention in the Awareness beyond all koshas, rather than remain fixed within any particular bodily identity.

All of this discussion of the five koshas takes place out of the sake of convenience. It’s a way of describing various levels of reality. Ultimately, those division lines don’t exist.

No separation or difference exists between energy and the mind, or between the physical and spiritual. Reality is one, unbroken continuum.

From the bone-and-blood physical to the dancing bubbles of bliss, all levels and layers of existence coalesce into the unique expression of you. All are sacred, all warrant your attention, because all vibrate forth from your Divine Source. 

Ultimately, this growth is possible through the flow of grace.

Grace descends in the midst of total commitment. It pours down into your life when you’re all in. In other words, it frees you when your sadhana isn’t separate from your everyday life — when it is your everyday life.

Traveling Beyond the 5 Koshas

As you continue your exploration of the koshas, try to become more and more aware of the Presence which is beyond them all. 

All bodily experiences, whether physical or subtle, remain within the realm of experience. You are That which is aware of those experiences. 

Realize this Truth, embody It, and you will live free.