NHE and the Layers of the Mind

Conference Follow-up
Ac. Shambhushivananda Avadhuta

Yogic and Buddhist philosophy have l ong r ecognized that t he human mind is multi-layered containing many sheaths called kos’a’s. While t he nomenclature i s used differently, t he basic i deas are si milar. Shrii Shrii A nandamurtiiji i n his magnum-opus, Ananda Sutram, ar ticulated the raison d’etre of the mind in a sutra ( aphorism):

Sutra 3-1. Paiṋcakośátmiká jaeviisattá kadaliipuśpavat.
[The living being is the composite of five kośas (layers of mind), like a plantain flower (with its petals).]

While modern scientific disciplines are still struggling to understand the hardware and software of what we call the mind, applied sciences like education have forged ahead to utilize this conceptual knowledge about the kos’a’s in enriching their theory and praxis. The NHE movement has over the past two decades utilized this six-kos’a’ model as the cornerstone of its educational curricula and human-development model.

Education is about the manifestation of perfection and potentials lying embodied in each being. If it is indeed so, shouldn’t the process of education begin with the broad understanding of what we are made of? Our knowledge to date is still very preliminary when it comes to understanding our own selves – our own minds and bodies. For instance, we have a plethora of therapies for treating the imbalances of the human body, but we still do not have a comprehensive model of the human body, that can show the limits and efficacy of different healing traditions. Perhaps that understanding will come when we fully grasp the sub-molecular structures of our existence. This is where knowledge of “microvita” will further enrich our understanding of the body, the mind and the cosmos in which we live. It is crucial to understand how we affect the world around us and how the world shapes us. Thus, the knowledge of inner and outer ecology would be incomplete without a full appreciation of life at the microvita level, as we continue to keep moving forward with “expanding the love of the human heart to embrace the entire living and non-living world”. Our understanding would be greatly substantiated by any research on “negative and positive microvita” initially postulated by Shrii P.R. Sarkar in his seminal discourse: “Microvitum-The Mysterious Emanation of the Cosmic Factor”.

Neohumanist Education (NHE) recognizes that the annamaya kos’a’ may be more fully understood in microvita terms that would help us find ways to utilize the power of positive-microvita in building an ideal lifestyle and a healthy environment for sustaining ourselves. NHE must design a program of inner ecology to nurture all levels of our inner-being – from crude to subtle to the causal layers of our existence. This may ultimately lead us towards the attainment of our goal: balance (and liberation) in all spheres of life. NHE is ultimately about this all-round emancipation. “Sa’ Vidya’ Ya’ Vimuktaye”. NHE is a dynamic educational model that nurtures all levels of the human personality-from its crudest existence to the subtlest consciousness as illustrated in this table of NHE Learning Outcomes as associated with each layer of the mind.


(Supra-mental Causal Mind)
Inner Peace; Compassion; Benevolence; Magnanimity of Mind; Forgiveness; Self Restraint & Inner Discipline; Firm Determination; Strong Will Power; Surrender to the Supreme & Ego Transcendence; Recognition of Sacredness of all things: living and non-living; Universal Love; Service Spirit; Missionary Zeal; Supra-Aesthetics; Sweet and Smiling Behavior; All-round balance; Concentration.
(Subliminal Mind)
Neohumanist Ethics & Inner Moral Compass; Awakened Conscience; Sense of responsibility; Moral Courage; Readiness to sacrifice for others; Above hatred, anger, vanity, prejudices, pseudo-culture, and group-ism; Commitment; Fore-sight, Far-sight and In-sight; Access to Intuition; Discriminant Faculty; Fight for Justice; Preservation & Celebration of diversities; Concern for future generations, Minimum Disparities; Sustainability; Accountability.
(Supra-mental Mind)
Aesthetics, Creativity, Joyful Learning; Trust, Harmony, Loyalty; Spontaneity, Innocence, Light-Heartedness; Straight-forwardness, Simplicity, Inner Charm; Unity in Diversity; Art for Service & Blessedness; Playfulness; Humor.
(Sub-conscious Mind)
Deep Thinking; Thirst for Knowledge; Understanding inter-connectedness of all things; Freedom from dogma, superstitions & fissiparous tendencies; Enlargement of Mind; Photographic Memory; Cognitive development; Discerning Cause-Effect Relationships; Problem-Solving and Decision Making Skills; Rational and Positive Outlook; Scientific Aptitude; Knowledge of Flora and Fauna & the Elements of Nature.
(Conscious- Mind)
Practical Life Skills-Technical, Entrepreneurial, Communication, Interpersonal, Organizational; Skills-development, Time-management.
(Human Body)
Healthy Lifestyle Habits; Proper Nutritious Diet; Safety, Martial Arts, Exercises; Cooperative Games; Sports.