(Kośa): Sheath” or “casing.” All major spiritual traditions sanction the belief that the physical body is not the only vehicle in which consciousness can express itself or in which the Spirit or Self (atman) manifests itself. Thus, most schools of Post-Classical Yoga and Vedanta accept the doctrine of the pancha kosha (five bodies), which was first introduced in the ancient Taittiriya Upanishad (2:7). That scripture speaks of the five coverings that obstruct the pure light of the transcendental Self:

  1. Annamaya kosha, the “sheath composed of food”
  2. Pranamaya kosha, the “sheath composed of life force”
  3. Manomaya kosha, the “sheath composed of mind”
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha, the “sheath composed of wisdom”
  5. Anandamaya kosha, the “sheath composed of bliss”

Read more about the five bodies here.