By Professor (Retired) Sunanda Degamboda
In the first lesson, we described a beggar who did not know that he had gold inside the box he used to sit and beg for years. When a passer-by asked him to break open the old box, there were some gold coins. From that day, the beggar did not beg anymore and lived a prosperous life.
Human beings are the most evolved living beings on earth. From amoeba to apes and then to man, he has acquired greatness that none of the 8,400,00 animal species have. Man is the only living being who eats cooked and processed food. He is the only being who wears clothes, travels by many kinds of vehicles, lives in constructed buildings, and has superior intelligence. Out of 8,400,000 living species, man is the only being having a vertical spinal column. However, it is lamentable that men with such tremendous capacity and skills live in distress and worry, just like the beggar who had gold inside the box on which he was sitting but did not know until a kind man suggested to break open the box.
Many humans are similar to this beggar and do not utilize the potential to be happy, perhaps because they do not know how to explore happiness. All major religions advise us to live in happiness. Lord Buddha said that man’s prime wealth is happiness, “Santhushti Paramam Dhanam”, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba also advises us to be happy.
Who are we? We identify ourselves in terms of the body. Go in front of a mirror and you see “yourself”. Think for a while – do you see your prana Shakthi of the life force, no. But you know that you are living. Do you see your mind or how it works, again no. Can you see your intellect? Thus, you misidentify yourself and fail to identify and manage the happiness providing invisible factors of Life Force (Praana), Mind, and Intellect or the “Vimansana Budhdhi.” You can live in happiness by managing the body, prana, mind, and the intellect and let us discuss how these “invisible shakthis” can be easily managed.
Today, we talk and discus the “ the most familiar concept, the Physical Body
Our body is made of Prapancha or the five elements Space, Air, Heat, Water (liquids), and solid mater which are activated by prana and mind mostly. In another view, the body is called the “Annamaya kosha” or the food sheath. Our body lives on food including water, and the type of food, purpose of eating, and quantity of food we eat largely determine the health which is an inherent part of santhushti or happiness.
Types of food we take
All foods we eat are categorized into three types: Sathvic (Suitable, health preserving food), Rajasic (passion arousing, agitating the mind and body), and thamasic (promote sleepiness and inactivity). We need all the three types but the human body needs more Sathvic food. Sathvic food include all plant-based items, vegetables, fruits, and milk in moderation. Sathvic food is recommended for humans. All types of flesh – fish and meat are not recommended for us.
We intake food not only through the mouth but also through other organs.
When you see “good things” like calm scenery, you take sathvic food through the eyes which helps good health for the mind and body, when you hear soothing sounds like pirith chanting or Bhajans, you take sattvic food through the ears which helps good health for the mind and body, Similarly, other senses also make you to absorb “food” into your body system.
The Four Koshas
Our body or the visible “us” is only one body or “ kosha”. The four koshas comprising us are, “Annamaya Kosha” or the food sheath, “Manomaya Kosha” or the mind and its faculties, “Pranamaya Kosha” or the Life Force which is a very subtle kosha, and “Vingnanamaya Kosha” or the intellect. The annamaya kosha lives on food, and the manomaya kosha lives on thoughts. Pranamaya kosha lives on the vital airs and associated with breathing. Finally, the intellect or “Vimansana Buddhi” becomes sharp or blunt depending on food we intake, and the control of the five senses and mind.
The basic human issue is that we concentrate only on the food sheath or the physical body and either ignorant of how to manage and utilize the other three bodies to lead a blissful life, or disregard the other three bodies. If you manage all of these four “Koshas”, then only you experience “Gold” within us.
To manage the physical body, eating Sathvic Food and also directing other senses only towards sathvic sights and sound, cleaning the body often, and exercises are important.
Let us learn how we can manage our minds in the net session