|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 285 ]
Nara is a condition where there is mal-alignment of the pancha kosha. It may be that one or more of the lower four bodies (anandamaya kosha always remains fixed) has become misaligned with the others for some reason or another, in turn leading to a whole host of physical, mental and emotional troubles. As Dr. Swami Gitananda points out:
"When the cosmic egg, anandamaya kosha (Cosmic body), is perfectly centred by the lower bodies, then samyam (equilibrium) is said to exist. For the physical body, it represents homeostasis, or organic equilibrium. It represents samabhava (mental balance) for the mind, with all senses balanced under the control of the Buddhi, the higher spiritual intellect. When the annamaya kosha (physical body) is mal-aligned with the other four bodies, physical disassociation or disease appears."
This points directly to the inter-connectedness of the physical, emotional (energetic), mental and higher spiritual aspects of the Self. What happens on one level affects the being on all levels.
Emotional stress eventually manifests as disease in the body; injury to the physical form affects the emotions and hence the mind; disconnectedness from the higher spiritual Self (buddhi) invariably means disharmony at the mental, emotional and physical levels; and so on.
On a physical level, signs and symptoms of nara may be of a proprioceptive nature -- a sort of 'lack of co-ordination' and an inaccurate perception of the body's place in space and time. One is clumsy in day-to-day life, bumping into things, stumbling over uneven ground and fumbling with objects. Nara is the definitive cause for accidents -- spilt milk, tripping over the sidewalk, car crashes, and train wrecks, you name it.
Nara also manifests physically as chronic headaches, digestive troubles, fatigue, etc. On a mental and emotional level, the person affected by nara may seem "scatter-brained," disorganized, chronically late, be frequently disappointed or find themselves to be always in unfortunate circumstances of one sort or another -- the classic 'bad-luck' person, for instance.
If the physical body is out of line with the higher bodies, then accidents and physical illness will result, as illustrated above. If the vital energy body is out of line, then all sorts of emotional derangements will manifest, such as chronic worry, anxiety, fear, depression, guilt, etc.
If the mind is inharmonious with the lower bodies, then pathological mental states will occur, such as schizophrenia, megalomania, or to a lesser degree, simply arrogance or lack of self-worth, frequent disappointments, or relentless frustrations. When the physical and emotional bodies are in unison but out of line with the mental being, then neurotic and psychotic tendencies result.
When all three lower bodies are out of alignment with the higher mental and cosmic sheaths, then great difficulties occur. One then invariably cultivates a material life that is out of line with higher spiritual drives. A distain for things of a higher spiritual nature, or even a denial of the "spirit" altogether may even develop...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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