15 May Indian Concept of Mind and Beyond
Vedas and other Hindu scriptures have beautifully explained about manas. Manas is not the same as the Mind in modern science. In Sankhya philosophy, Mahat is the term used to denote “cosmic mind” or “universal mind.”
Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible. Its existence is nowhere seen. Its magnitude cannot be measured. It does not require a space in which to exist.
Vedas explain about Fourfold Mind Or Antahkarana Chatushtaya: It’s a part of larger consciousness which are divided into four categories – known as buddhi, manas, ahankara, and chitta.
Buddhi is the intellect – the logical dimension of thought. Buddhi is what we call “the pure mind”. It combines the intellect and the will.
Manas is the sense mind Manas has many layers to it. But manas is not just the brain – it is right across the body. Every cell in the body has a phenomenal memory – not just of this life but of millions of years. Some scriptures say it is located near the heart.
Ahaņkāra is the ego-sense. The intellect directly connects with the third dimension of your mind, called ahankara. Ahankara is sometimes translated as ego, but it is much more than that. Ahankara gives you a sense of identity.
Chitta is basic mental consciousness. Chitta is mind without memory – pure intelligence. This intelligence is like the cosmic intelligence – simply there.
Mind is Chetana (intelligent) when compared with the senses. It is Jada (non-intelligent) when compared with Buddhi. Sankhya Buddhi or Buddhi in Sankhya Philosophy is will and intellect combined. Some put Chitta under mind, Ahankara under Buddhi.
When the mind is at work, Buddhi and Ahankara work simultaneously along with the mind. Mind, Buddhi and Ahankara work in healthy co-operation. Mind makes Sankalpa-Vikalpa. It thinks whether a certain thing is good or bad. Buddhi comes for determination. It is Buddhi which discriminates the Vishaya (Nischyatmika, Vyavasayatmika).
Hindu psychology recognized three states of mind – the unconscious or the subconscious, the conscious, and the superconscious.
When the mind is in the superconscious state it is said to be in Samadhi. In this state the mind becomes thoroughly illumined by experiencing Divinity and transcends the limitations of the nervous system.