Why Food Is Life, According To The 5 Koshas

Food gives us the energy to evolve and to be enlightened.

Whether you will accept it or not, we’re all foodies. Some of us just want tasty food, some want to try a new cuisine every time, some of us just want healthy food, and so it goes on. We all set some level of goals in our life. But think about it… doesn’t it sometimes feel like it all revolves around food?

We eat because we get hungry and we want the energy to move on with our day. But is there more to this whole process of eating? Yes. Let’s take a closer look at why we need, crave for, and want food, and why you should give it a deeper thought.

Understanding Our Body With Koshas

Our body is made of five sheaths that represent food, energy, mind, awareness, and bliss

The 5 sheaths enclose different parts of our consciousness, coming together to form the Self.

Yoga, Ayurveda, and many other Indian traditional practices are either based on or borrow principles from

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Vedic texts. Here, we’ll look into just one of those scriptures: the Taittiriya Upanishad. According to this classic Sanskrit text, our body is made of 5 major Koshas or sheaths.

The 5 Koshas are:

1. Annamaya Kosha or the physical sheath
2. Pranamaya Kosha or the sheath of vital energy
3. Manomaya Kosha or the sheath of the mental body/the lower mind
4. Vijnanamaya Kosha or the sheath of wisdom, awareness, or discernment
5. Anandamaya Kosha or the sheath of inner bliss

If you completely understand these 5 koshas and their purpose, you attain enlightenment.

What Food Means In Terms Of The Koshas

Food comes the Earth, which comes all five elements of space, air, fire, water, and earth

“You are what you eat.” This makes much more sense than you can imagine. According to the Vedic scriptures and science, in simple words, everything and everyone is made of consciousness or energy, an energy that is refined to form each specific thing. In this case, the all pervasive

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energy (Brahman) formed the five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

From Brahman, first came space. From space came air, fire, water, and earth in that order. Each of these elements added their own personal characteristics to the quality of the previous element. And from the last element, we got our planet – the Earth.

We humans and all other living and nonliving things come from this Earth, there’s no denying that. And what are we made of? You’re right – food! Any type of food we eat grows from the Earth, either directly or indirectly. Our parents ate to grow up and be healthy. From that food, they fed the children in the womb. As we children grew, we did so on food.

Food Is Brahman, The Absolute Consciousness

Food reminds us of the Brahman or Consciousness that resides in us

Every time we eat, we’re not just satisfying the hunger of our body but also that of our mind and soul.

If the Earth

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came from all 5 elements, the food we eat is also composed of the 5 elements. Consequently, by eating food, we form our Self and take in the elements as well. Food, thus, is the essential connection between our soul (Atman) and the absolute energy (Brahman). When you eat, you’re inadvertently reminding yourself that Brahman resides in you. And by understanding this, you take your first step to understanding your innermost Self.

How Important Is Food Or The Annamaya Kosha?

Food will give you pain or pleasure depending on how you use it

The annamaya Kosha, the sheath of food, is the outermost layer of the Self, the one that gets the most attention. Is this attention warranted? Yes. Focusing on food give you either pain or pleasure. But this depends on your thought process.

Food endows us with energy, feelings, and the strength to think. Give food the attention it deserves, let it be in its proper place, but no more. It gives us

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Prana, the ability to breath and to think. Use this to evolve and get enlightened.