There are 5 planes that we all live in. They are:
- Physical Plane
- Vital Plane
- Mental Plane
- Buddhic Plane
- Experience Plane
This corresponds to the 5 sheaths that we have:
Physical Plane (Annamayakosha)
This is the grossest level of our body where food keeps it nurturing to be fit for various activities. In computer parlance, this is the hardware on which other koshas find sustainability.
Vital Plane (Pranamayakosha)
This is where our life-force (prana) energy resides. Our breathing (in-out) is in this plane and can be regulated by Yogasanas and Pranayama.
Mental Plane (Manomayakosha)
This is where our thoughts and emotions operate. Meditation is especially useful for controlling this plane. The practice of Anulom-Vilom (alternate nostril breathing) soothes activities in this plane.
Buddhic Plane (Vijnanamayakosha)
This is where pure intelligence (Chitta) operates. Intuition and Wisdom are parts of this plane. Creativity also plays a role here.
Experience Plane (Anandamayakosha)
Love, Joy, Ecstasy are all parts of this plane. This is purely a subjective plane, unlike the Buddhic Plane which objectivises intelligence and wisdom. This is said to be the bliss body.
All these sheaths can be transcended if one works arduously towards samadhi. All these planes intersect with each other. For example, intelligence can be found to be in the upper part of the mental and lower part of the Buddhic plane. The lower part of the Buddhic plane is golden yellow in color and the upper part is the color of honey. Meditating on both these colors can be done without the instruction of a guru. Similarly, colors like blue, yellow and orange are healthy. Rose is a healing color. Colors like black, green and blood-red should be meditated upon, only if a guru instructs you to.
Mention must be made of the experience plane, which is Neptune’s territory (It’s also called as the higher moon or Soma). Lord Krishna is said to be an avatar who descended from this planet. Folklore says that Krishna kept his luminous vehicle of avatara in the soul of Rishi Maitreya, at his life’s end. Maitreya is a Chiranjeevi who will be alive until the end of Kali-Yuga.
Perception of each of these five sheaths can be progressively awakened through the practice of prana vidya. The practice of prana vidya results in a specific psychic experience of the direct perception of prana at different levels of subtlety in the five sheaths. What differentiates us from say a wall is the prana (spark) running through us. So, although the soul is present in a stone also, it lacks the spark that is prana.
God Bless !
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