There are five bodies that we have :
This is the body that we know as our body. Food is primarily responsible for this body. What we consume is transformed into an identity (us) by an intelligence that is far beyond our contemplation. Isn’t it wonderful to know that, a moment ago, that glass of water or a banana, which was out there, has become a part of us, after having consumed it. We have about 3 trillion cells (including bacteria,, viruses, red blood cells, white blood cells etc.) in a typical human being. A single cell does billions of things in a second. Still all of them act and behave in such a way that it is conducive to us. Like dancing to an invisible tune of a higher intelligence. Compared to that our intellect is a minuscule speck of dust. We are trying to find out how our body works through science. But we are not even 1% there. Our body and how it functions is the greatest form of technology that is there. We are not just our brains. Every cell, every DNA and every atom within us is bubbling alive.
Some people mistake this for the brain. There are 2 aspects to our mental body – thought and emotion. Thought is generated in our minds and emotion also, although you can say that emotions are of the heart, literally. However both these aspects are a function of our mind. Thoughts can trigger emotions and vice versa. Normally thoughts are faster than the time it takes for us to feel (emotion). For example, say that you were thinking that a person is good. This is pure thought. However, you change your opinion to bad after a certain incident. Your emotions may not react immediately. It may take a day or two for you to feel that. Thoughts are not as intense as emotions. But there have been cases where some people are known to have intense thoughts. One thing is for sure: both thoughts and emotions are related to each other. What about the brain ? The brain is the hardware and the mind is the software. Your intellect (which is a part of the mind) is a temporary concoction. But do not live your life with this tool, because life is much, much larger than this.
Energy is all around us, everywhere in all different wavelengths and frequencies. From energies with very short wavelengths like Cosmic Radiation and x-rays to very long wave lengths such as radio waves and Infra-red waves. Everyday our bodies are being hit with these energies from many different sources. We don’t see it but we know it is there. When we speak, our voice saying words has released sound waves of Energy causing ripples in the air around us. When we think, our brains release wavelengths of Energy. In short our body emits different form of energies. It also absorbs energy from the surroundings through the five senses. We have storage centers in our bodies that house Energy and Energy patterns. These centers are called chakras. We can have energy patterns stored from events that happened yesterday as well as from many years ago. There are 114 chakras, 2 of which are outside our bodies. But primarily we know 7 chakras. Once we become aware of the energy within our body, we can harness it for a better life.
The etheric layer of our energy body is located approximately one quarter to one half an inch (not more than one inch) from the physical body. Energy medicine practitioners who are adept at psychically sensing this layer have described it as feeling “webby.” Much like a spider web, it feels sticky, or stretchy. The etheric energy body has also been referred to as the blueprint or holograph of the physical body. The etheric body, as it’s outside our physical body, is difficult to detect. However, you must have heard people saying that somebody is very peaceful or violent. These are nothing but the aura of that person or his etheric body. Depending on the attribute that a body emits, the colors of the aura can change. Some people say that they have had an out-of-the-body experience. This is nothing but their etheric body experiencing the physical one. The etheric body is not made up of matter, but a much finer essence. It’s purely energy of a subtle kind.
This is the body which is also called as Anandamayakosha in Sanskrit. This body is what is still and our highest purpose is to realize this body. This is essentially the body which is at bliss and is always pleasant. Unless we perceive it, it can’t be felt in normal waking or sleeping hours. Yoga (Union) is really about experiencing this bliss body. Some people relate this body with the spiritual soul or the Buddhi principle. As well as being the Causal body and the repository of karma, it is also the Karana Chitta or the “causal mind” or superconscious mind, of which Parashakti (or Satchidananda) is the foundation. This Anandamaya kosha evolves through all incarnations until finally merging in the Primal Soul (God). It then becomes Shivamayakosha or the body of Shiva. Thus bliss body is the stage in which atman (the Self) experiences the eternal bliss, a perfect state of peace, comfort, stability and carefree nature. This is also known as the state of samadhi. The seeker who has reached the bliss body understands all the previous bodies better and realizes how incomplete they are. He also understands how transitory the world is. We call him/her realized.
So in totality, these are the 5 bodies that we possess. Once we control the first three (Body, Mind, Energy) we can proceed further to the only mission we have in life – experiencing life in its fullness. In other words, being one with God.