Mind: Nature, States and Functions

Everything revolves around our mind; it works in manifold ways, making it a hassle to explain each element simplistically. Almost all Indian philosophical traditions view the mind (manas) as an internal sense organ (Antahkarana) used to acquire knowledge. As a result, it is reasonable to argue that the Indian idea of the mind as an instrument is devoid of awareness. It is believed that consciousness has an autonomous ontological position from the mind.

However, discussing the theoretical aspects of the Indian idea of mind is not the focus of this subject. As a result, all internal states of awareness are referred to as having a "mind," and from this point on, the terms "mind" and "consciousness" will be used interchangeably.


Sage Patanjali structured yoga in a condensed way. The Yoga Sutra compendium is what it has been named. It explains the nature and operations of the human mind, examines the causative factors of volatility, and offers solutions. It illuminates how to achieve cosmic unification with energies or Supreme Consciousness.

Manas, Buddhi, Ahankara, and Chitta are the four capacities of the mind based on the Yoga Sutra. We refer to these as Antahkarana.

Manas (the mind):

It creates Vikalp (What if this does not function?) and Sankalp (I will accomplish this). The lower mind, or manas, gathers sensory stimuli, and its perspectives change as the situation does. The modalities of sound, feel, vision, flavor, and scent provide data to this sensory-motor mind. It is possible to assume that a different entity controls all of these senses.


The Buddhi or intellect makes decisions based on previous experience and insight. The intellect, or buddhi, makes judgments once ahamkara has connected sensory perceptions to I-ness and related them to I-ness. The "interior weapons" (Antahkarana) of intellect are manas, ahamkara, and buddhi.


: All feelings, memories, and thoughts are arranged around the ego or ahamkara. The sensation of I-ness, known as ahamkara, links observations to a personalized center, resulting in "personal" encounters.


The consciousness generates the tides and swirls of various responses. Citta is the brain's memory store, and these memories support the functioning of the remainder of the mind. Citta, however, is more than just a dormant storehouse. The arrangement of the fresh perceptions elicits primitive or innate drives that produce a range of emotional states.

Dynamic States of Mind

The states of our mind include those listed below

  • Kshipt − When seeing the world, our minds are frequently diverted to some item of interest. Kshipt is such a completely extroverted mind (Literally - thrown out).

  • Vikshipt − Sometimes, with effort, our mind or awareness turns inward before returning to the outside. As a result, during the Vikshipt state, our minds oscillate.

  • Moodha − When our consciousness seems non-functional, and we are not vigilant, it is called moodha. A person in a moodha condition is insane, unconscious, or having a fit.

  • Ekagra − Yoga teaches us to focus our consciousness on one specific item at a time. Ekagra is the awareness state used here, which is particularly beneficial for daily tasks and loftier objectives. Being Ekagra in mind is a significant accomplishment. To achieve this condition of mind, practice yoga.

Relatively Stable States of Mind

There are a few fairly consistent and predictable states of awareness in addition to the constantly shifting ones.

  • Jagriti − Full consciousness and conscience (Vivek).

  • Swapna − A dream realm where a few people engage in the wish completion quest.

  • Sushupti − Deep slumber without dreams.

  • Tureeya − This is the profound meditative state where one loses all sense of time and place. Let's say that person sits down to meditate and reaches the Tureeya level of awareness. In this stage, a person's consciousness unites with the Divine or global awareness.

Nature of Mind

The pranic energy mediates the state of consciousness. The body's focal points are where this energy is focused at its top level. Less than ten main focal points, known as chakras, are detailed in the Tantras. Some have stated that this system's roots can be traced back to the Vedic era because the Atharvaveda portrays the body as having eight wheels and nine doors (astachakra navadvara devanam puryodhya). They are located in brain regions corresponding to various spinal cord locations. The lowest one is at the base of the spinal column (Muladhara chakra). The next chakra is located at the reproductive organs, a few feet higher (svadhisthana chakra).

Somewhere at the solar plexus sits the third chakra, the Manipura chakra. The Anahata chakra is located in the chest. The visuddhi chakra, the fifth loci, is located in the throat. The ajna chakra is located halfway between the eyebrows. The Sahasrara chakra is located at the top of the head. Adequate chakra stimulation may cause the brain to generate specific connections that facilitate the I-ness perceptions of the Self. To put it another way, the chakras are fundamental focus places within the brain that help to explain how the cognitive process works.

Normative Classification

How are mental classes connected with a single "agent" and how can the mind harness these ghost classifications to determine the essence of reality if it is assumed that mental categories come from the identification of phantom imagery? These questions' solutions were created both within the Saivism and Vaisnavism paradigms. For instance, the Saivism classification is based on the twenty-five Samkhya categories, and Samkhya believes that non-material beings are self-existent.

Earth, water, fire, air, and ether are examples of material elements (bhuta). They are paralleled by the five subtleties (tanmatra), which are symbolized by fragrance, flavors, shape, contact, and audio; the five action-related organs (karmendriya), which are propagation, efflux, locomotion, clutching, and utterance; the five sensory organs (jnanendriya), which are linked to the aroma, flavors, sight, contact, and listening; the internal device (Antahkarana), which is composed of mind, ego, and intellect: Prakriti and Purusa. The architecture of the material realm, as well as that of conscious beings and their brains, is defined by these categories. Saivism lists additional consciousness-related categories, but this article will not cover them.

It is also possible to interpret the Vedic notion of consciousness as implying an evolutionary process. According to this evolutionary theory, higher species are better able to understand the nature of the cosmos. It is believed that nature is driven to grow into greater forms. The Samkhya theory clearly outlines a progression from lifeless objects to increasingly complex life. This is symbolized in mythology by Visnu ascending from fish, tortoise, hog, man-lion, and dwarf further into a figure of humanity.


This mind is a relatively complex part of the human body that hides various secrets of how it functions and what it does to keep human being functioning in their day-to-day lives. However, the amount of knowledge that the ancient Indian thinkers stored in our scriptures.