anandamaya kosha (bliss-apparent-sheath), literally the bliss sheath is associated with the karana-sharira or causal body. This is the stage in which atma (the Self) experiences the eternal bliss, a perfect state of peace, comfort, stability and carefree nature. This svarupa (inmost Self form) is the ultimate foundation of all life, intelligence and higher faculties. This state is explained as the state of sthitaprajna. This is also known as the state of samadhi. The sadhaka who has reached anandamaya kosha understands all the previous koshas better and realizes how incomplete they are. He also understands how transitory the world is. By understanding this difference, he gives importance to philosophy, reality and subtleness. In this light, he feels all the worldly problems insignificant and he finally attains a state of peace and content.
Anandamaya means composed of ananda, or bliss. In the Upanishads the sheath is known also as the causal body. In deep sleep, when the mind and senses cease functioning, it still stands between the finite world and the Self. Anandamaya, or that which is composed of Supreme bliss, is regarded as the innermost of all. The bliss sheath normally has its fullest play during deep sleep: while in the dreaming and wakeful states, it has only a partial manifestation. The anandamaya kosha (blissful sheath) is a reflection of the atman which is bliss absolute.
Anandamaya kosha is not a sheath in the same sense as the four outer koshas. It is the soul itself, a body of light, also called karana-sharira, causal body, and karmashaya, holder of karmas of this and all past lives. Karana chitta, "causal mind," names the soul's superconscious mind, of which Parashakti (or satchidananda) is the rarified substratum. Anandamaya kosha is that which evolves through all incarnations and beyond until the soul's ultimate, fulfilled merger, vishvagrasa, in the Primal Soul, Parameshvara.
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