Components and Levels of Mind as Per Yoga

All our mental impressions, from how we perceive professional chances to how delighted we feel when we seize them, from how we choose between the correct and the immediate return to how we can never forget a horrible experience. The experiences are created by the mind, providing life with its purpose. However, we are restless as a function of innumerable mental inputs. The mind has the propensity to believe everything that happens, inevitably forcing us to follow its laws. Yoga's goal is to undo this training and control the monkey brain so we can escape the world's suffering and live peacefully.

Mind: According to Yoga

Yoga's very premise mentions quieting the mind. According to Sage Patanjali, yoga is a technique for easing the psyche and the erratic thoughts it produces. This implies that yoga can only be practiced by comprehending, discerning, and regulating the mind. In yogic, consciousness is not equated with the brain, which has a specific location within the body system and regulates logical processes. All of a human's unconscious and conscious action is included in the yogic idea of the mind. It comprises our ideas, emotions, memories, opinions, and even the part of our ego that helps us recognize our reality.

When the mind is trained, it helps the body through all circumstances and experiences. Both pleasure and suffering originate in the mind. The mind can also guide us to the more advanced stages of samadhi. Sage Patanjali highlighted the mind's special relevance. That is why he covered the yamas and niyamas, which are mental disciplines, before describing postures, meditation, and breathing techniques.

Components of the Mind

Western philosophies generally consider the mind to be a solitary entity. However, according to the yogic perspective, 16 aspects are divided into Manas, Chitta, Ahamkara, and Buddhi. Together, these four mental processes enable us to understand the world.


As per yoga, manas is the fundamental component of the mind and is connected to the system's ability to receive outside data. Its job is to comprehend and select the critical sensory data that must be sent to the internal network. Manas can mistrust and examine, which can occasionally cause mental health issues. Manas is a regulator of the five sense organs and units of activity and is typically compared to the head in terms of functionality. It directs the mind in several crucial directions. Manas depends heavily on the workings of Buddhi, yet it lacks the power to make the final call. Manas, which controls the sense organs, is vulnerable to our whims, desires, and inclinations.


It is common to hear phrases like "universal consciousness" or "divine awareness." The most significant portion of our minds connected to consciousness is the Chitta. Imagine the human mind to be a magnetized plate. Now, whatsoever appears on this dish and disappears from it that causes us to become conscious of those things (ideas, recollections, emotions, senses, and environs) is essentially Chitta. In yoga, the mental trait known as Chitta causes us to be cognizant of things, whether awake or asleep (consciously or unconsciously). It is stated that when we are born on this earth, we are all originally a fragment of "supreme consciousness," but as ego (Ahamkara) begins to develop in our minds, "individual consciousness" gradually begins to replace it. Yoga represents the fusion of the "individual mind" and "universal awareness" through various practice methods. The "spirit" (Atma) of a particular creature is its consciousness, and its "superior soul" status results from its connection with the eternal soul (Paramatma).


Ahamkara is the term for an individual's ego or sensation of "I-ness." However, it is more than ego, and Ahamkara gives the individual character and individuality. Although Ahamkara is a distinct and unique trait of the individual, it frequently causes emotions of alienation, suffering, or loneliness. Our intellect can only comprehend and implement choices when Ahankara is dominant. Additionally, it impacts Manas and forces it to behave uniquely. Ahamkara accepts Chitta as a companion to deliver the memories linked to the individual's ego. It obscures Buddhi by preventing the intellect from recognizing the absurdity of those recollections. It is important to realize that Ahamkara is sometimes a good thing. A person needs to be confident that "I can do it" if they want to excel in yoga. The individual's Ahamkara mostly provides it, and Ahamkara might elevate you to a certain extent. It is Buddhi's responsibility to control it, so it does not cause ego and separation


Budh, which means awakening or woken, is the root of Buddhi. It is a superior mental state that is nearer to wisdom. Buddhi is the discerning ability that acts independently, renders judgments, and differentiate cognitive processes. Buddhi is the element of the intellect that makes decisions under ideal circumstances. However, it can only act to its full potential without interference from Manas, Chitta, and Ahamkara to make sensible and beneficial decisions. If Buddhi operates properly, the Manas obeys its directions and behaves as instructed. Buddhi is the mental layer most similar to wisdom, and it pushes the other levels to behave rhythmically once it is cleared of all clouds.

Interaction of the Components

The key to discovering the greater reality is buddhi. If we take a good look at it, we might notice that although it serves as a tool to help one's meditation to appreciate the cosmos fully, it was Buddhi who initially created everything. The primary cause of our troubled and restless brains is a mismatch in the four components of the mind. The sensory and motor organs are under the command of Manas. However, if Chitta's perceptions mislead it, it has the propensity to give in to wants. Manas can only manage cravings when Chitta, Ahamkara, and Buddhi act appropriately. Chitta's actions are dictated by the egotistical ideas that Ahamkara produces. If the memory store only triggers depressing and upsetting memories of a particular personality from history, it cannot function.

The principal reason for mental disorders is the connection between Ahamkara and Chitta's recollections. The memories kept in Chitta are influenced by Ahamkara's "I-ness" and compete with one another for Buddhi's attention. These colored impressions cause Manas to respond in ways that are not wholesome nor beneficial to the mind if Buddhi is not functioning rationally. Only Buddhi can distinguish right from wrong and order all other beings to make the correct decisions. It can help Ahamkara realize the false identity she is holding onto and persuade her to give it up. When Ahamkara gives up the ego, Chitta righteously manifests the mind's constructive latent imprints. Additionally, once the Chitta is cleansed, Manas is no longer a victim of cravings. Yoga strongly emphasizes clearing the mind to enable other mental processes to run smoothly, and Patanjali refers to this as controlling or harmonizing the center.


The mind and its facets function at all stages of consciousness, and it operates while we are waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Mental perceptions greatly influence our everyday tasks. However, whenever something bad happens, we attribute it to the mind and produce additional impressions to erase the mistake and continue. A more beneficial technique to control these impulses is yoga. To prevent false impressions from predominating in minds, it is advised that practitioners learn and monitor the multiple parts of the psyche through yoga practices like breathing and meditation. Yoga is a technique to rectify the error by addressing it exactly at its source rather than just forgetting about it and going on.

Updated on: 03-Feb-2023


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