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The Bhagavad Gita on the Nature of the Mind

Beth Bradford

Nov 5, 2022

When you say you're "out of your mind," which mind are you talking about?

The Bhagavad Gita says that the mind is made up of four components: mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi), ego (ahamkara), and conscience (chit). Each of these components plays an important role in our lives.

Manas is the part of the mind that processes information and stores memories. Buddhi is the part of the mind that understands things intellectually and makes decisions based on reason and logic. Ahamkara is the part of the mind that identifies with our thoughts and feelings, and gives us a sense of self-identity. Chit is the part of the mind that represents our moral compass, and helps us to make ethical decisions.

What Is the Mind?

Your mind is the repository of your memories, thoughts, and feelings. It is also the source of your sense of self-identity. The mind is constantly active, churning out thoughts and emotions 24 hours a day. The mind is also the seat of the ego.

The mind is a powerful tool, but it can also be a source of suffering. When you are identified with your thoughts and emotions, you are at the mercy of your moods and cravings. But when you learn to step back and observe your mind, you can begin to see the patterns that create Suffering.

The Three Functions of the Mind

The mind has three functions: thinking, feeling, and willing.

Thinking is the process of reasoning and intellectual analysis. Feeling is the process of experiencing emotions such as happiness, sadness, love, and hate. Willing is the process of making decisions and taking action.

All three functions are necessary for living a productive life. The mind must think to make sense of the world, feel to experience happiness and sadness, and will to take action and achieve goals.

The Five States of the Mind

It's also important to note the varying states of mind described in the Yoga Sutras. The five modifications or states of the mind described in the Yoga Sutras are called kshipta, mudha, vikshepa, ekagra, and nirodha. Kshipta is a mind that wanders or ruminates on emotional experiences. Mudha state of mind has less activity but it's also dull and sluggish. Vikshepa is the state of the mind being thrown hither and thither, and ekagra is the focused state of mind. Nirodha is the ability to restrain the darting around of the mind. Ekagra and nirodha are more desirable states than the other three.


The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important texts in Indian philosophy, and it has a lot to say about the nature of the mind. In particular, it discusses the three aspects of the mind – mind, buddhi, and manas – and how they work together to create our experience of reality.

It's important to understand these concepts if you want to have any hope of controlling your thoughts and emotions. The Bhagavad Gita offers a lot of insight into how to do that, and it's worth reading if you're interested in self-improvement.

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