Anandamaya Kosha

Definition - What does Anandamaya Kosha mean?

Anandamaya kosha is the name given in yogic philosophy to the fifth of the five layers, or sheaths, of the body, which are referred to collectively as pancha kosha. From Sanskrit, ananda means “bliss” and kosha means "sheath." Anandamaya kosha is the bliss body, or bliss sheath. It is said to be the most spiritual, or subtle, of the five layers of the body as it is the innermost layer.

Although anandamaya kosha is said to pervade all the outer sheaths, yogis believe it cannot be perceived until the illusions of the outer sheaths are peeled away. Anandamaya kosha is the yogi's true nature, lying underneath all of the illusions.

Yogapedia explains Anandamaya Kosha

In addition to anandamaya kosha, the other four koshas are as follows:

  • Annamaya kosha - the physical body
  • Pranamaya kosha - the energy body
  • Manomaya kosha - the mental body
  • Vijnanamaya kosha - the wisdom body

Anandamaya kosha is considered to be the part of a being responsible for unconditional love, oneness and complete unity with all beings. Also responsible for peace, love and joy in its purest and most absolute form, it is said to go beyond any emotional or physical experience.

Anandamaya kosha, like all the koshas, is interactive and dependent upon the other layers of the body. It is in anandamaya kosha that the sense of oneness, as opposed to a sense of separation from other beings, is truly realized. Within anandamaya kosha lies the understanding that separation and ego are just an illusion. This recognition is said to total compassion, love and happiness, hence anandamaya kosha being referred to as the bliss body.

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