Archive for May, 2013

Mind in Yoga

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

MIND IN YOGA:In different Indian philosophies, different words have been used for mind. Yogavasistha mimansa uses the word “Manas” for mind. In samkhya and Vedanta the word “Antahkarana” is used for where to get viagra cheap mind. In Patanjali Yoga “Chitta” has been used for mind. In samkbya, mind is categorized in three parts- manas, buddhi, & Ahamkara. In Vedanta mind is categorized in four parts – manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara. In Patanjali yoga however the mind is studied holistically and the term “chitta” is used to denote all the fluctuating and changing phenomenon of the mind. Theoretically the Yoga system is based on some tenants of Samkhya philosophy and it also assimilates teachings of Vedanta. According to the yogic system, mind is like a vast lake, on the surface of which arise many different kinds of waves, Deep within the mind is always calm and tranquil which goes to the consciousness gradually (Tigunait, 1983). According to Taimni(1987), the yogic system conceives mind as having four aspects called Chitta, Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara. Let us try to understand the significance of these four well known Sanskrit words which throw some light on the anatomy of the mind.
According to Swami Satyasangananda (1998), Chitta is referred as memory. Under the influence of Sattva, the sense impressions contained within chitta recede, so that the consciousness remains undisturbed. Through the influence of Rajo guna, the Rajasik Samskaras are awakened in Chitta in the form of Vikalpa (imagination) and Viparayaya (false knowledge). In this state Chitta contains both types of Samskaras of knowledge and ignorance, passion and dispassion. When Tamas influences Chitta, undesirable Samskaras well-up. Thus the individual is clouded up by Vasanas (deep-rooted desires) pushing all the good Samskaras into obscurity. It’s most important modifications are the 5 kinds of “Fluctuations” (Vrittis) as accurate cognition, erroneous knowledge, conceptualization, sleep and memory; these must be stopped in order to actualize higher state of awareness.
According to Taimni (1987), Chitta may be considered as the image-making faculty of the mind. At the deeper levels the content of the mind at any moment can be anything which occupies the field of consciousness and is called Pratyaya in yogic terminology. Our ordinary thinking is done through mental images and the lower concrete mind is never free from such mental images. Even when we are engaged in abstract thinking as in mathematical deduction mere mental images are always present in the background of our mind and continue to change with the process of thinking. This aspect of the mind which enables it to form these mental images either through direct contact with objects in sensuous perceptions or through the faculties of memory or imagination is called Chitta. Chitta may therefore be simply defined as the image making faculty or capacity of the mind and is related to the content of the mind at any moment.
According to Tigunait (1983), Manas is the rational mind which analyses things sees and perceives, in relation to the interaction of the subtle awareness with the external, manifest, gross awareness. It is just information processing with the help of Gyanendriyas, Buddhi and Karmendriyas. Because of this proximity to sensory functions it is viewed as a sense. In the Brihadaranyak Upnishad (1.5.3), its operational modes are said to be desires (kama), volition (Samkalpa), doubt (Vicikitsa), faith (Shradha), lack of faith (Ashradha) shame (hri), knowledge (dhi) and fear (bhi).
Taimni (1987) said that Manas in that aspect of mind which underlies the succession of mental images. The mental image present in the mind at any moment is always changing. A continuous stream of mental images is passing through the mind of every individual and two images in two successive moments are exactly the same. That aspect of mind which has to do with the relentless succession and change of these mental images is called Manas. Manas therefore indicates the dynamic aspect of the mind as compared with the static aspect indicated by Chitta.
Buddhi is the feminine form of word Buddha related with enlightenment and is one of the key concepts of the tradition in yoga, Samkbya, Vedanta & as well as other philosophies. In Samkbya, the first evolute of prakriti is Mahat or Buddhi. Mahat means the great one. This is the state of union of purusha and prakriti. Through Prakriti is unconscious material substance, it seems to be conscious and realizes itself as conscious because of the presence of conscious self. Mahat is the state which Prakriti receives light from purusha, the fountain of light and sees itself and this process of seeing is the beginning of manifestation of the universe. The individual counterpart of this cosmic state, Mahat is called buddhi, the intellect, the finest aspect of a human being that has the capacity to know the entire personality in its full purity. Buddhi is the immediate effect of Prakriti resulting from the guidance of Purusha, therefore Buddhi is the evolute closest to purusha. The word Buddhi is translated as intellect, but actually Buddhi is derived from the root Bodh which means to be aware of, to know, to have experience of. Therefore buddhi means some recognized experience and this aspect of recognition happens through intellect. However intellect is a broad description of Buddhi. The word Buddhi actually means “being aware of”. This aspect of awareness analyses the present situations and circumstances and compares them with the past memories and decides that this experience is correct or incorrect, right or wrong (Trigunait, 1983)
According to Taimni (1987), Buddhi is the light of consciousness which illuminates the mental images. Mind in its aspects of chitta and mana is considered to be jada or insentient in yogic psychology and it is only when it is illuminated by the light of consciousness that the mental images present in the mind are considered to acquire meaning and significance. That is why the mind in its more limited meaning is symbolized by the sun which is self illuminating or shines by its own light. It should be noted that the word Buddhi is used there in a specific sense, as the light of consciousness illuminating the mental images and not in the sense of viveka, the faculty of discrimination. This light of consciousness referred to in the present context is like the different light of the sun is not seen directly but it is there and brings out from each object its characteristic colour because it contains within itself all the colours in integrated state.
Buddhi is the power or faculty of perception which relates the subject and object. The permeation of the object or mental image by the subject or the illumination of the mind by consciousness is brought about through Buddhi. Buddhi is a spiritual element in the make-up of the mind. It is related directly to the spirit, in fact the projection of the spirit in the realm of the mind which is a still lower expression of the spirit.
Tigunait (1983) said that Ahamkara literally means “I-maker”. This is the Ego or principle of Individuation. In samkhya philosophy, it is regarded as one of the eight primary evolutes of nature and thus stands for a whole evolutionary category (tattva), In the conscious state or Jagriti ego operates through the gross body i.e. the senses and thinking mind. In the sub-conscious state or Swapna, the ego operates through the astral body & dream. In deep sleep or sushupti, the ego retires into seed state in the casual body, but in meditation it is in the form of inner awareness. Ahamkara is so deeply embedded that it even remains through the stages of Savikalpa Samadhi.
According to Taimni (1987), Ahamkara, the fourth aspect of mind is the egoic centre from which the light of consciousness illuminating the mind is projected. We generally refer to it as the ‘I’ the pivot round which our mental life revolves. Ahamkara is generally associated in the mind of the layman with egotism or pride but this is not its real, basic meaning in philosophy. Ahamkara is really the centre or seat of the individualized consciousness, the very basis of our life as a separate individual. It is through this spiritual centre, that the universal spirit or Paramatma expresses itself as an individual spirit or Atma or Purusha as he is called in yogic terminology. On the one hand it constricts and limits the unbounded and infinite reality which exists eternally in its background, and on the other it provides the very basis of the life of the monad as a separate individual. If there were no Ahamkara or I-ness, there would be no Monad or individual spirit.

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