The Septenary Principle in Different Indian Systems
We give below in a tabular form the classifications, adopted by Buddhist and by Vedantic teachers, of the principles in man:
Classification in Esoteric Buddhism.
Classification in Târaka Raja Yoga.
(1.) Sthula sarira.
(3.) The vehicle of Prana.
(4.) Kama rupa.
(a) Volitions & feelings, etc.
(6.) Spiritual Soul.
From the foregoing table it will be seen that the third principle in the Buddhist classification is not separately mentioned in the Vedantic division as it is merely the vehicle of prána. It will also be seen that the fourth principle is included in the third kosa (sheath), as the said principle is but the vehicle of will-power, which is but an energy of the mind. It must also be noticed that the Vignanamayakosa is considered to be distinct from the Manomayakosa, as a division is made after death between the lower part of the mind, as it were, which has a closer affinity with the fourth principle than with the sixth and its higher part, which attaches itself to the latter, and which is, in fact, the basis for the higher spiritual individuality of man.
We may also here point out to our readers that the classification mentioned in the last column is for all practical purposes connected with Raja Yoga, the best and simplest. Though their are seven principles in man, there are but three distinct Upadhis (bases), in each of which his Atma may work independently of the rest. These three Upadhis can be separated by an adept without killing himself. He cannot separate the seven principles from each other without destroying his constitution.