Manomaya Kosha

Definition - What does Manomaya Kosha mean?

Manomaya kosha is the third of the five layers, or sheaths, of the body, which are collectively referred to as pancha kosha in yogic philosophy. Manomaya kosha is the mental sheath, composed of manas, meaning "mind." Instinctual consciousness, thoughts and perception are all linked to manomaya kosha.

Manomaya kosha is considered to be a large part in what constitutes the yogic concepts of personality and ego. It is said to be manomaya kosha that creates the illusion of a separate “I” and “you.”

Yogapedia explains Manomaya Kosha

As well as manomaya kosha, the other koshas are:

  • Annamaya kosha - the physical body
  • Pranamaya kosha - the energy body
  • Vijnanamaya kosha - the wisdom body
  • Anandamaya kosha - the bliss body

Manomaya kosha is governed by thoughts in the mind, which are considered to have the power to both construct and destroy. Within manomaya kosha, thoughts and actions happen automatically, without conscious control. It takes care of our basic needs and desires, such as those for safety, security and protection.

Manomaya kosha, like all the koshas, is interactive and dependent on the other layers of the body. Because the mind is powerful, it can dominate the outer sheaths of annamaya kosha and pranamaya kosha. This is said to be especially true for yogis in the Western world who tend to be mind-orientated. One way of working with manomaya kosha is to release or transcend the two outer sheaths through yoga nidra. This is said to allow the programming of the mind to be penetrated and negative patterns to be released.

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