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Translated teachings of Master Patana

The Vigyanmaya Kosha: A Deep Dive into the Sheath of Intellect and the Call to Awareness (Intellect Body)

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The Vigyanmaya Kosha, the sheath of intellect, a layer of our existence that is often overlooked, yet plays a crucial role in our spiritual journey. This exploration is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a call to awareness, a call to awaken to our true nature.

The Vigyan-Maya Kosha, derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Vigyan’ meaning ‘intellect’ or ‘wisdom’, and ‘Maya’ meaning ‘made of’, is the fourth sheath in the five-fold division of the human personality according to the Upanishads. It is the sheath of discernment, the layer of our being that processes information, makes decisions, and forms judgments.

But what does it mean to be aware of the Vigyan-Maya Kosha? Let’s pause for a moment and reflect. Have you ever noticed how you make decisions? How you discern right from wrong? How you process information and form judgments? This is the realm of the Vigyan-Maya Kosha. It is the aspect of our being that enables us to understand, to comprehend, to learn, and to grow.

However, as we delve deeper, we realize that we are not the Vigyan-Maya Kosha. Why? Because we are aware of it. We are aware of our thoughts, our decisions, our judgments. We are the observer, the witness of these processes. The Vigyan-Maya Kosha, like the other sheaths, is an object of our awareness, subject to change and transformation. We, the observer, remain constant.

Now, let’s engage in a conversation with ourselves. Ask yourself, “Am I my thoughts? Am I my decisions? Am I my judgments?” As you ponder these questions, you may realize that while these aspects form a part of your experience, they do not define your true essence. You are the knower of these experiences, not the experiences themselves.

This realization is a call to awareness. It is a call to awaken to our true nature, to recognize that we are not the transient and changing aspects of our existence, but the unchanging, eternal consciousness. It is a call to transcend the limitations of the Vigyan-Maya Kosha and realize our true identity as the Atman, the eternal self.

As we journey on this path of self-discovery, let us remember to be gentle with ourselves. The process of awakening is not a race, but a journey. It is a journey of self-discovery, of self-realization, of awakening to our true nature. Let us journey with patience, with compassion, and with an open heart.

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