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Pancha Kanchukas: The Five Limitations of Mind

Kanchuka is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to "sheath" or "envelope". They are five in number, and together they act as a shell which veils the consciousness and separates the observing individual from its pure and absolute form. Each kanchuka limits the dynamic and creative power of the individual in a certain aspect:

  • Kalaa - that which limits the power to do all;
  • Avidya vidya - that which limits the power to know all;
  • Raga - that which creates desire and attachment, thus giving rise to unceasing discontentment;
  • Kaala - that which limits perpetual existence by creating the notion of time, related to the changes in life, namely: birth, growth, ripening, waning, and perishing;
  • Niyatithat which limits free will by creating the notion of fate and destiny, thus binding the individual to the endless cycle of birth and death.