In this third part of the series on consciousness, the author dwells on the aura of an individual, and the adage ‘face is the index of mind’ resonates.
When we are stressed, angry, or emotionally reactive, we need more energy. So, we activate the pranamaya kosha by activating the sympathetic nervous system: our heart rate goes up, our breathing changes, and our body goes into its stress response.
This is one of the reasons why pranayama came into being in Yoga – to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. When our sympathetic nervous system is activated by stress, we can calm ourselves by activating the parasympathetic system through the Chandra nadi. And when we need to be more active and engaged, we can activate the sympathetic system through the Surya nadi. We are able to bring about balance.
This energy kosha is quite forbidding to refine, because here consciousness mixes with ego, and that can be like sodium metal exposed to moisture – explosive. All our energetic processes and cognitive senses derive their energy from this sheath, our waking consciousness is regulated by this sheath, and the natural emotions of passion and anger are nourished by this sheath.
Obsessive attention to pleasure as well as excessive materialism can distort the finer balance of the energy sheath. In contrast, moderation of our emotions and all our faculties harmonises the pranamaya kosha, and this in turn helps to harmonize the annamaya kosha. The Heartfulness practices of meditation on point A and cleaning of point B1 also refine this kosha.
The play of opposites is very strong with this sheath. The ever-weighing attitudes of likes and dislikes, attraction and repulsion, make this sheath even more formidable. Moderation is hard to come by when this is the case. We have to remain vigilant with speech, body language, and inner attitude. It means being humble and respectful towards everyone, including young ones and elders. Constantly delving into a state of insignificance, curbing the ego, is the surest way to refine this sheath. It finds its true luster only after we have totally refined the ego to its original purity.
To be continued
— Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today