The main purpose of creating this blog is to provide material and guidance to the students of Vedanga Jyotisha who are appearing for BA as well as MA level examinations of Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University. I hope this effort will be welcomed by all the students of the Vedanga Jyotish and this effort will be useful to them. Dewavrat Buit dewavrat2000@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Introduction to Mantra 3

The Five Sheaths

In the body there are five kosha or sheaths – anna-maya, prana-maya, mano-maya,
vijñana-maya, ananda-maya, or the physical and vital bodies, the two mental
bodies, and the body of bliss. In the first the Lord is self-conscious as being
dark or fair, short or tall, old or youthful. In the vital body He feels alive,
hungry, and thirsty. In the mental bodies He thinks and understands. And in the
body of Bliss He resides in happiness. Thus garmented with the five garments,
the Lord, though all pervading, appears as though He were limited by them.

Anna-Maya Kosha

In the material body, which is called the "sheath of food" (anna-maya kosha),
reign the elements earth, water, and fire, which are those presiding in the
lowest Chakra, the Muladhara, Svadhishthana, and mani-pura centres. The two
former produce food and drink, which is assimilated by the fire of digestion,
and converted into the body of food. The indriya are both the faculty and organs
of sense. There are in this body the material organs, as distinguished from the
faculty of sense.
In the gross body (sharira-kosha) there are six external kosha – viz., hair,
blood, flesh, which come from the mother, and bone, muscle, marrow, from the
The organs of sense (indriya) are of two kinds – viz.: jnanendriya, or organs of
sensation, through which knowledge of the external world is obtained (ear, skin,
eyes, tongue, nose); and karmendriya, or organs of action – mouth, arms, legs,
anus, penis, the functions of which are speech, holding, walking, excretion, and

Prana-Maya Kosha

The second sheath is the prana-maya-kosha, or sheath of "breath" (prana), which
manifests itself in air and ether, the presiding elements in the Anahata and
Vishuddha chakra.

There are ten vayu (airs), or inner vital forces, of which the first five are
the principal – namely, the sapphire prana; apana, the colour of an evening
cloud; the silver vyana; udana, the colour of fire; and the milky samana. These
are all aspects of the action of the one Prana-devata. Kundalini is the Mother
of prana, which She the Mula-Prakriti, illumined by the light of the Supreme
Atma, generates. Prana is vayu, or the universal force of activity, divided on
entering each individual into fivefold function. Specifically considered, prana
is inspiration, which with expiration is from and to a distance of eight and
twelve inches respectively. Udana is the ascending vayu. Apana is the downward
vayu, expelling wind, excrement, urine, and semen. The samana, or collective
vayu, kindles the bodily fire, "conducting equally the food, etc., throughout
the body." Vyana is the separate vayu, effecting division and diffusion. These
forces cause respiration, excretion, digestion, circulation.

Mano-maya, Vijñana Kosha, and Ananda-maya Kosha

The next two sheaths are the mano-maya and vijñana kosha. These constitute the
antah-karana, which is fourfold – namely, mind in its twofold aspect of buddhi
and manas, self-hood (ahankara), and chitta. The function of the first is doubt
sangkalpa-vikalpatmaka, (uncertainty, certainty); of the second, determination
(nishchaya-karini); of the third (egoity), consciousness (abhimana). Manas
automatically registers the facts which the senses perceive. Buddhi, on
attending to such registration, discriminates, determines, and cognizes the
object registered, which is set over and against the subjective self by
Ahangkara. The function of chitta is contemplation (chinta), the faculty whereby
the mind in its widest sense raises for itself the subject of its thought and
dwells thereon. For whilst buddhi has but three moments in which it is born,
exists, and dies, chitta endures.

The antah-karana is master of the ten senses, which are the outer doors through
which it looks forth upon the external world. The faculties, as opposed to the
organs or instruments of sense, reside here. The centres of the powers inherent
in the last two sheaths are in the Ajna Chakra and the region above this and
below the sahasrara lotus. In the latter the Atma of the last sheath of bliss
resides. The physical or gross body is called sthula-sharira. The subtle body
(sukshma-sharira, also called linga-sharira and karana-shanra) comprises the ten
indriya, manas, ahangkara, buddhi, and the five functions of prana. This subtle
body contains in itself the cause of rebirth into the gross body when the period
of reincarnation arrives.

The atma, by its association with the upadhis, has three states of consciousness
– namely, the jagrat, or waking state, when through the sense organs are
perceived objects of sense through the operation of manas and buddhi. It is
explained in the Ishvara-pratya-bhijna as follows – "the waking state dear to
all is the source of external action through the activity of the senses." The
jiva is called jagari – that is, he who takes upon himself the gross body called
Vishva. The second is svapna, the dream state, when, the sense organs being
withdrawn, Alma is conscious of mental images generated by the impressions of
jagrat experience. Here manas ceases to record fresh sense impressions, and it
and buddhi work on that which manas has registered in the waking state. The
explanation of this state is also given in the work last cited. "The state of
svapna is the objectification of visions perceived in the mind, due to the
perception of ideas there latent." Jiva in the state of svapna is termed
taijasa. Its individuality is merged in the subtle body. Hiranyagarbha is the
collective form of these jiva, as Vaisvanara is such form of the jiva in the
waking state. The third state is that of sushupti, or dreamless sleep, when
manas itself is withdrawn, and buddhi, dominated by tamas, preserves only the
notion: "Happily I slept; I was not conscious of anything"
(Patanjala-yoga-sutra). In the Macrocosm the upadhi of these states are also
called Virat, Hiranyagarbha, and Avyakta. The description of the state of sleep
is given in the Shiva-sutra as that in which there is incapacity of
discrimination or illusion. By the saying cited from the Patanjala-sutra three
modifications of avidya are indicated – viz., ignorance, egoism, and happiness.
Sound sleep is that state in which these three exist. The person in that state
is termed prajna, his individuality being merged in the causal body (karana).
Since in the sleeping state the prajna becomes Brahman, he is no longer jiva as
before; but the jiva is then not the supreme one (Paramatma), because the state
is associated with avidya. Hence, because the vehicle in the jiva in the
sleeping state is Karana, the vehicle of the jiva in the fourth is declared to
be mahakarana. Ishvara is the collective form of the prajna jiva.
Beyond sushupti is the turiya, and beyond turiya the transcendent fifth state
without name. In the fourth state shuddha-vidya is acquired, and this is the
only realistic one for the yogi which he attains through, samadhi-yoga. Jiva in
turiya is merged in the great causal body (maha-karana). The fifth state arises
from firmness in the fourth. He who is in this state becomes equal to Shiva, or,
more strictly, tends to a close equality; for it is only beyond that, that "the
spotless one attains the highest equality," which is unity. Hence even in the
fourth and fifth states there is an absence of that full perfection which
constitutes the Supreme. Bhaskara-raya, in his Commentary on the Lalita, when
pointing out that the Tantrik theory adds the fourth and fifth states to the
first three adopted by the followers of the Upanishads, says that the latter
states are not separately enumerated by them owing to the absence in those two
states of the full perfection of Jiva or of Shiva.


It is said that there are 3½ crores of nadi in the human body, of which some are
gross and some are subtle. Nadi means a nerve or artery in the ordinary sense;
but all the nadis of which the books on Yoga speak are not of this physical
character, but are subtle channels of energy. Of these nadi, the principal are
fourteen; and of these fourteen, ida, pingala, and sushumna are the chief; and,
again, of these three sushumna is the greatest, and to it all others are
subordinate. Sushumna is in the hollow of the meru in the cerebro-spinal axis.
It extends from the Muladhara lotus, the Tattvik earth centre, to the cerebral
region. Sushumna is in the form of Fire (vahni-svarupa), and has within it the
vajrini-nadi in the form of the sun (surya-svarupa). Within the latter is the
pale nectar-dropping chitra or chitrini-nadi, which is also called Brahma-nadi,
in the form of the moon (chandra-svarupa,). Sushumna is thus triguna. The
various lotuses in the different Chakra of the body (vide post) are all
suspended from the chitra-nadi, the chakra being described as knots in the nadi,
which is as thin as the thousandth part of a hair. Outside the meru and on each
side of sushumna are the nadi ida and pingala. Ida is on the left side, and,
coiling round sushumna, has its exit in the left nostril. Pingala is on the
right, and, similarly coiling, enters the right nostril. The sushumna,
interlacing ida and pingala and the ajna-chakra round which they pass, thus
forms a representation of the caduceus of Mercury. Ida is of a pale colour, is
moon-like (chandra-svarupa), and contains nectar. Pingala is red, and is
sun-like (suryya-svarupa), containing "venom," the fluid of mortality. These
three "rivers," which are united at the ajna-chakra, flow separately from that
point, and for this reason the ajna-chakra is called mukta triveni. The
muladhara is called Yukta (united)-tri-veni, since it is the meeting-place of
the three nadi, which are also called Ganga (Ida), Yamuna (Pingala), and
Sarasvati (sushumna), after the three sacred rivers of India. The opening at the
end of the sushumna in the muladhara is called brahma-dvara, which is closed by
the coils of the sleeping Devi Kundalini.


There are six chakra, or dynamic Tattvik centres, in the body – viz., the
muladhara, svadhishthana, mani-pura, anahata, vishuddha, and ajna – which are
described in the following notes. Over all there is the thousand-petalled lotus


Muladhara is a triangular space in the midmost portion of the body, with the
apex turned downwards like a young girl’s yoni. It is described as a red lotus
of four petals, situate between the base of the sexual organ and the anus.
"Earth" evolved from "water" is the Tattva of this chakra. On the four petals
are the four golden varnas – "vang," "shang," "shang," and "sang," In the four
petals pointed towards the four directions (Ishana, etc.) are the four forms of
bliss – yogananda (yoga bliss), paramananda (supreme bliss), samaj-ananda
(natural bliss), and virananda (vira bliss). In the centre of this lotus is
Svayambhu-linga, ruddy brown, like the colour of a young leaf. Chitrini-nadi is
figured as a tube, and the opening at its end at the base of the linga is called
the door of Brahman (brahma-dvara), through which the Devi ascends. The lotus,
linga and brahma-dvara, hang downwards. The Devi Kundalini, more subtle than the
fibre of the lotus, and luminous as lightning, lies asleep coiled like a serpent
around the linga, and closes with Her body the door of Brahman. The Devi has
forms in the brahmanda. Her subtlest form in the pindanda, or body, is called
Kundalini, a form of Prakriti pervading, supporting, and expressed in the form
of the whole universe; "the Glittering Dancer "(as the Sarada-tilaka calls Her)
"in the lotus-like head of the yogi." When awakened, it is She who gives birth
to the world made of mantra. A red fiery triangle surrounds svayambhu-linga, and
within the triangle is the red Kandarpa-vayu, or air, of Kama, a form of the
apana vayu, for here is the seat of creative desire. Outside the triangle is a
yellow square, called the prithivi-(earth)-mandala, to which is attached the
"eight thunders" (ashta-vajra). Here is the vija "lang", and with it prithivi on
the back of an elephant. Here also are Brahma and Savitri, and the red
four-handed Shakti Dakini.


Svadhishthana is a six-petalled lotus at the base of the sexual organ, above
muladhara and below the navel. Its pericarp is red, and its petals are like
lightning. "Water" evolved from "fire" is the Tattva of this chakra. The varnas
on the petals are "bang," "bhang," "mang," "yang," "rang," and "lang." In the
six petals are also the vritti (states, qualities, functions, or inclinations) –
namely, prashraya (credulity), a-vishvasa (suspicion, mistrust), avajna
(disdain), murchchha (delusion, or, as some say, disinclination), sarvva-nasha
(false knowledge), and krurata (pitilessness). Within a semicircular space in
the pericarp are the Devata, the dark blue Maha-vishnu, Maha-lakshmi, and
Sarasvati. In front is the blue four-handed Rakini Shakti, and the vija of
Varuna, Lord of water or "vang." Inside the vija there is the region of Varuna.,
of the shape of an half-moon, and in it is Varuna himself seated on a white
alligator (makara).


Mani-para-chakra is a ten-petalled golden lotus, situate above the last in the
region of the navel. "Fire" evolved from "air" is the Tattva of this chakra. The
ten petals are of the colour of a cloud, and on them are the blue varnas –
"dang," "dhang," "nang," tang," "thang," "dang," "dhang," "nang," "pang,"
"phang," – and the ten vritti (vide ante), namely, lajja (shame), pishunata
(fickleness), irsha (jealousy), trishna (desire), sushupti (laziness), vishada
(sadness), kashaya (dullness), moha (ignorance), ghrina (aversion, disgust),
bhaya (fear). Within the pericarp is the vija of fire ("rang"), and a triangular
figure (mandala) of Agni, Lord of Fire, to each side of which figure are
attached three auspicious signs or svastika. Agni, red, four-handed, and seated
on a ram, is within the figure. In front of him are Rudra and his Shakti
Bhadra-kali. Rudra is of the colour of vermilion, and is old. His body is
smeared with ashes. He has three eyes and two hands. With one of these he makes
the sign which grants boons and blessings, and with the other that which dispels
fear. Near him is the four-armed Lakini Shakti, of the colour of molten gold
(tapta-kanchana), wearing yellow raiments and ornaments. Her mind is maddened
with passion (mada-matta-chitta). Above the lotus is the abode and region of
Suryya. The solar region drinks the nectar which drops from the region of the


Anahata-chakra is a deep red lotus of twelve petals, situate above the last and
in the region of the heart, which is to be distinguished from the heart-lotus
facing upwards of eight petals, spoken of in the text, where the patron deity
(Ishta-devata) is meditated upon. "Air" evolved from "ether" is the Tattva of
the former lotus. On the twelve petals are the vermilion varnas – "Kang"
"Khang," "Gang," "Ghang," "ngang," "chang", "Chhang," "Jang," "Jhang," "Nyang,"
"Tang," "Thang," and the twelve vrittis (vide ante) – namely asha (hope), chinta
(care, anxiety), cheshta (endeavour), mamata (sense of mineness), dambha
(arrogance or hypocrisy), vikalata (languor), ahangkara (conceit), viveka
(discrimination), lolata (covetousness), kapatata (duplicity), vitarka
(indecision), anutapa (regret). A triangular mandala within the pericarp of this
lotus of the lustre of lightning is known as the Tri-kona Shakti. Within this
mandala is a red vana-linga, called Narayana or Hiranya-garbha, and near it
Ishvara and His Shakti Bhuvaneshvari. Ishvara, who is the Overlord of the first
three chakra, is of the colour of molten gold, and with His two hands grants
blessings and dispels fear. Near him is the three-eyed Kakini Shakti, lustrous
as lightning, with four hands holding the noose and drinking-cup, and making the
sign of blessing, and that which dispels fear. She wears a garland of human
bones. She is excited, and her heart is softened with wine. Here, also, are
several other Shakti, such as Kala-ratri, as also the vija of air (vayu) or
"vang." Inside the lotus is a six-cornered smoke-coloured mandala, and the
circular region of smoke-coloured Vayu, who is seated on a black antelope. Here,
too, is the embodied atma (jivatma), like the tapering flame of a lamp.


Vishuddha chakra or Bharatisthana, abode of the Devi of speech, is above the
last and at the lower end of the throat (kantha-mula). The Tattva of this chakra
is "ether." The lotus is of a smoky colour, or the colour of fire seen through
smoke. It has sixteen petals, which carry the red vowels – "ang," "ang" "ing,"
"ing," "ung," "ung"," "ring," "ring," "lring," "lring," "eng," "aing," "ong,"
"aung," "ang," "ah;" the seven musical notes (nishada, rishabha, gandhara,
shadaja, madhyama, dhaivata and panchama): "venom" (in the eighth petal); the
vija "hung," "phat," "vaushat," "vashat," "svadha," "svaha," "namah," and in the
sixteenth petal nectar (amrita). In the pericarp is a triangular region, within
which is the androgyne Shiva, known as Arddha-narishvara. There also are the
region of the full moon and ether, with its vija "hang." The akasha-mandala is
transparent and round in shape.

Akasha himself is here dressed in white, and mounted on a white elephant. He has
four hands, which hold the noose (pasha), the elephant-hook (angkusha), and with
the other he makes the mudra which grant blessing and dispel fear. Shiva is
white, with five faces, three eyes, ten arms, and is dressed in tiger skins.
Near Him is the white Shakti Shakini, dressed in yellow raiments, holding in Her
four hands the bow, the arrow, the noose, and the hook.
Above the chakra, at the root of the palate (talumula) is a concealed chakra,
called Lalana and, in some Tantras, Kala-chakra. It is a red lotus with twelve
petals, bearing the following vritti – shraddha (faith), santosha (contentment),
aparadha (sense of error), dana (self-command), mana (anger), sneha (affection),
shoka (sorrow, grief), kheda (dejection), shuddhata (purity), arati
(detachment), sambhrama (agitation), Urmmi (appetite, desire).


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