THE MIND - EXPLAINED THROUGH THE EYES OF YOGA PHILOSOPHY

July 08, 2018

The mind is not an object residing somewhere and doing its own things. Different spiritual philosophies describe it in a far more sophisticated and satisfying way than modern psychology. One of the best explanations of the mind is given by yogis who divide the mind in 4 main parts called Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas and Chitta.

BUDDHI - THE INTELLECT

The first part of the mind, termed "buddhi", represents the intellect. Intellect in this context is used as a synonym for "memories". The five senses (touching, smelling, hearing, seeing and tasting) gather information from the world around us and stores it in the form of memories. A simple example of this is the very fact that you're currently understanding this text - you have memory about the english alphabet and the vast amout of letter combinations in it, which you currently comprehend as "words". You have gathered this information through your hearing and visionary senses. Using your sight you can gather information about the forms of various objects which then gives you the capability to imagine objects in your mind. Basically the whole process of thought and imagination is the act of producing various combinations of our memories. 


AHAMKARA - THE FALSE "I AM"

This aspect of the mind refers to our identifications based on the gathered information. If you were not able to gather any information from the outside world, you would not be able to identify yourself with anything from it. Most people have identified themselves with many things - their job, their name, their profession, their religion, their body, their mind, their family, their nation, their house, their car, etc. It is our identifications that determine how we use our intelligence. For exampe, if you identify yourself with a certain religion, everything associated with that particular religion starts to feel righteous and good, while every other religion seems bad and false. Basically, your intellect works only around your identifications. This is why ahamkara can be viewed as "the false I", as most people do identify themselves with things that they are not. Some children in India are taught to identify themselves with the Universe, because that way they would not see anything as separate, which is the cause of Ego.

MANAS - THE VAST INTELLIGENCE 

Manas represents the memory of the body. Simply said, it is the information stored in our DNA. Every cell in our body has a DNA strand that is more than 2 meters tall and 10 atoms thick if it is stretched vertically. Every DNA strand have certain genes activated and deactivated depending on which type of cell it creates, but essentially all cells in our bodies have their DNA strands containing the information about the whole evolution on Earth. Regardless of how remarkable our brain is, only 1 cell in our bodies contains trillions times more memory than what our brain is capable of recalling. Manas is also considered as the mechanism through which the gathering of information by the five sense is happening. Considering that manas is all information in our genes, and our genes create our bodies, then it is only natural to conclude  that it is manas which makes the process of gathering information through the body-senses possible.


CHITTA - THE STORAGE

The deepest aspect of the mind is called "Chitta", it is considered to be the "bank" that holds all potentials - it is the storage, the hard disk of life. Chitta is the intelligence which stores all memories and information regarding every begotten thing, whether it is physical or not. It is also the intelligence behind every thing in the Universe. Yogis say that if you touch this aspect of your mind, you have access to everything in Creation, as everything is stored there being ready for usage by the other aspects of the mind. Chitta is analogical to Plato's idea of "The One Self", "Kabbalah's Keter" and the "Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra".

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