The work we did in the last session with the Manomaya (Kosha) lays the groundwork for reaching Vijnanamaya Kosha, the 4th Sheath of the Kosha System. Vijnana means discernment, an understanding, one’s knowledge and intelligence of cognition. This is the mental action or process of acquiring information, knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses (Jnana Indriyas). This becomes the bridge between the physical and subtle body to the causal body. Gathering information from the external world inwards and receiving information from within to inform our outer world. It is said that this sheath is responsible for all inner healing, growth and personal development.
The idea of this practice is to purify and calm the physical, energetic and mental sheaths so one can connect to the Buddhi. The inner knowing that comes from this wisdom body is composed of intuition, awareness and insight. Like the inner teacher or guide, it helps you create clarity as you listen to the whispering wisdom of your intuition.
Developing your Buddhi is said to be like the eyes of a hawk. You can see into the truth of reality, noticing all movement of thought, emotion and the subtleties of experience. This is called Viveka Shakti it is keen discernment, wise judgement, consciousness of the higher mind and will. This becomes the means of liberation, conscious practice detaching with love as we rest in the witness awareness.
In this practice you will learn to focus and stabilise the mind, drop into the witness and access a discerning intuition (Buddhi) which will guide you through the stuff that arises and learn to watch the stuff, as it falls away. You will use Pranayama Kriya techniques as a key component to this standing warrior and forward bend practice.
The symptom of disfunction of the Vijanamaya Kosha is that we feel trapped in a material universe subject to the roller coaster of emotion, thought and life events with its painful ups and downs. Unable to get off the ride, see the big picture or command life effectively.
*** a note on this practice *** This takes a lot of energy. So building a strong body to cultivate the Prana you need for practice is essential. In this practice you will experience Bauddhika Agni – Fire of Intelligence in the Vijnanamaya Kosha. It is the balance of Wise Judgement and Reasoning, through discerning what is truth/falsehood, good/bad, right/wrong, desirable/undesirable, pleasant/unpleasant. Then you need to focus on Vyana Vayu to circulate and distribute this light of intelligence, helping the function of the systems find harmony, balance and equanimity of the physical, psycho, emotional centres or Chakra; Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna. Re-visiting previous Kosha practices may be advisable in order for you to get the most out of this practice.