The mind in sanskrit philosophy has many different parts.
The manas is the bit that feels anything at all. Pleasure, pain, excitement.. and interestingly enough bliss! It is deeply connected with the indriyas or senses .. so much so that it is sometimes called the sixth sense in the Bhagavad Gita. Not the same as the sixth sense in popular english writings.
A few important words.
The “dhi” is the intelligent part of your mind.. the bit that thinks. The “smrti” is the memory. The “buddhi” is that part of your mind that knows things. It can learn or be taught.
The “chitta” is that part of your mind that is conscious. Devi is chidsvarupi ie Devi has the form of your consciousness.
And in the form of Chit, Chidsvarupi, Devi exists in all beings in all worlds always.
Chitta is that part of your mind, that has sankalpa or “will power”. It is the Chitta that makes things happen. Chitta is pure. Chitta is divine.
Understanding the manas.
- The manas generally trots off behind the senses. It deals with perceptions like heat sound etc and responds with likes, dislikes.. moods, anger and other emotions.
The manas likes ice cream and appreciates Hritik Roshan or Aishwarya Rai. It is the buddhi that learns about all flavours of ice creams, where they are available, how much they cost and their effect on your waistline. This data is stored in your smriti. When your manas sees Dhoni drinking a soft drink and demands one too, your dhi or intelligence helps decide whether to get one now and of course how to do so.
The manas likes water bodies like rivers and seas, mountains and flowers and all pretty things. Your manas can be happily engaged in beautiful sights, sounds, tastes… and so on. This is one way to be “happy”. Thats why we like pilgrimages and vacations. This is an example of engaging your manas to gnyana indriyas or perceptive senses.
- The manas can be happily engaged in activity. Gardening, cooking, cleaning, writing, talking, running… and so on. This is another way to be happy. That’s why we like creative things, we become so absorbed in what we do that we forget that our back hurts or tooth aches. Your legs, arms etc are called karma indriyas. This is an example of engaging your manas to your karma indriyas.
Other people admire people who sing more than people who hear music. So a manas absorbed in work earns as a bonus the respect of some other minds.
- The manas can be engaged in buddhi by learning. This is a nice and useful way to be happy.
- The manas can be engaged with dhi while thinking. Thus when we are totally absorbed in thought, we don’t see what is around us. This makes some people happy, but some people don’t like to think.
- The manas can be engaged with chitta, consciousness or divinity.
This awesome activity is called atma sthiti or brahma sthiti. Since the chitta is same across all beings, your manas gets a taste of universal consciousness. Awesome Vedasukthas have been composed by people in this brahma sthiti. Krishna was in this state all the time.
It is said that this state is the ultimate bliss. It is said that this state confers miraculous powers or siddhis.
One the few occasions when I touch this sthiti, I cant even speak or think or anything. I don’t know how to simultaneously engage my manas in chitta and the indriyas-buddhi-dhi at the same time. It is said that Sankaracharya, Buddha and other teachers could do this. I don’t know. Some amateurs who touch this sthiti (state) without any help/guidance end up damaging their smrti, lose control of karmendriyas, some lose their buddhi and dhi too! This s what I heard. Two people told me about their permament loss of part of their smrti.
But from brief brushes with this state, I can tell you it is completely pain free and burden free. It is not the dizzy excitement of roller coaster ride or warm glow of hugging your baby. It is an absence of all this..
There is no dearth of people who claim to have realised God and they spam me with comments/advice which I blacklist. Then why am I writing? A few kids have been calling me guru lately and it has gone to my head. I feel kind of obliged to share the infinitesimal (tiny) knowledge I have. Plus who knows, these notes might help someone I love, or even myself in my next birth. So its okay if no one reads it. It will be there for me. Treat it as another kind of travelogue.
The Bhagavad Gita is targetted at the manas. Krishna says, I (citta, paramatma) dwell in all bodies and make them do things. You (manas), engage with me and don’t get distracted. You will be pain free and happy! It is a kind of love letter from the chitta to the manas!
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula
- Purusharthas – Human Goals