The mind (manas) in yoga

Updated: Sep 8

“Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha” (1.2)
According to the sutras (sutra 1.2), a complete mastery (reducing the modifications or fluctuations of the mind) is yoga. Vyasa (legendary Indian Vedic Sage) tell us that there are 5 different states: disturbed, distracted, stupefied, one-pointed, and a well-balanced and controlled mind.
The exploration of the mind through meditation is the essence of the Sûtras. According to Patañjali, we have a higher, middle and lower mind. The lower mind is in a predominant, in what is called ‘dhuka’ state (clouded perceptions or disturbed mind). The three gunas have an influence on how our mind works, so a mind predominantly resting in rajas is active, intense and a person has the potential to become aggressive, whereas tamas will put you into a slow and lethargic mood with the potential to become depressive, sad and negative.
The mind in sattva is balanced and pure. This occurs in situations when we experience a moment of enlightenment or truth in our life and feel fully awake. The higher mind is the seat of the superconscious and this is where we can go deeper into knowledge and where our intellectual thinking is coming from. The middle mind is very much about all the data we use in the waking state to analyse and compare. It regulates our respiration, circulation and abdominal organs. The lower mind is driven by the limbic system and all our instinctive urges present themselves in this state.


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