Citta

We all heard of the flight simulators used in pilot training. Flight simulators save lives. The modern simulators use computers to build virtual realities. A simulator is a combination of hardware and software.

There is a “simulator” aspect to our minds as well. In fact, one component of the mind called “citta” is the most advanced simulator there is. The citta is the mental plate. Images, sounds and other sensations reach the citta through the nerves and the brain cells. The citta’s nature is subtler than the subtlest physical factor. In my opinion it is wrong to describe it as software. Citta has it’s own nature. The analogy of brain as the hardware and citta as the software is not correct.

One of the basic tenets of creation theory in Tantra Yoga is that the physical universe is created out of Cosmic Citta which is also known as the primordial fabric among the physicists. All particles and forces, atoms and molecules are condensed states of the Cosmic Citta. At the later stages of Cosmic Evolution when life emerges, a type of reverse-objectivation takes place and unit minds are created. The unit minds of the primitive organisms are purely citta. Later, the higher functions of the mind develop as portions of the unit citta are converted to even subtler realities.

The unit citta emerges from the matter but matter was citta in the first place. The reverse-objectivation aspect of this emergence needs careful analysis. I hope to write about it in the future.

Citta in Tantra Yoga Teachings of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

Excerpts from “Some Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy” published in “Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell: Part 3”

“In both the individual and the Cosmic mind the citta is the portion of mind where the thought waves occur”

“The property of citta to become like its object is called dháraná which means “to hold”: the citta holds an image and becomes like that. The image is carried to the citta from external sensations, and since these sensations are not continuous, the image which is formed on the citta is also not continuous. There is always a gap between two successive images, but due to the rapid succession of the images, the gap is not perceived. It is just like the images of the cinema screen which appear to be continuous and constant; but when the film is examined it is seen that the images on the screen are formed from a succession of many different pictures. In Dhárańá, citta becomes like that with which it comes in contact in the external world through the sensations; since the sensations of the external object are not continuous, the image in the citta is also not continuous. Thus Dhárańa is not dynamic, for individual images which are formed on the citta, are all static and will not remain unless immediately followed by another image.”

“Dhyána is also a state of citta like Dhárańá, but since dhyána can never be of any external object so the citta does not have to depend on external sensations. The object in dhyána is always internal and so citta can take its form without the help of any external sensations. When there is no necessity of external sensations, there is also no gap between one sensation and another; and the form which the citta adopts in dhyána is continuous. Dhyána is thus not static but a continuous process; and this continuity cannot be broken because the citta exists in the same state and takes the same form throughout the period of dhyána. Since the form is the same throughout, no gaps exist as in dháraná, and there is no succession of individual static images either dhyána is compared to the continuity of a stream of oil which flows without any apparent movement. Taela dhárá vat ekatánatá: ‘Meditation or dhyána is a constant remembrance, flowing like an unbroken stream of oil from one vessel to another.’ “

Excerpts from “What is Dharma?” published in “Ananda Marga: Elementary Philosophy”

“Tanmátra is a new term and should be explained. The microscopic fraction of a wave radiated from an object and received by the indriyas is called tanmátra or inference. To explain this further, it can be said that the idea of a book is grasped with the help of rúpa tanmátra (the ideatory vibration of the nerves creates an image or figure in the mind) when one looks at the book. But if the eyes are closed or if one is in a dark place, one can still recognize the book by touch. Here the idea of the book is assimilated due to another tanmátra, that is, the tanmátra of touch or tactual perception. Again if someone drops a book out of sight or out of reach, it is possible to identify it as a book through the auditory tanmátra. Citta comes in contact with the tanmátras only when ahaḿtattva wants it to. The act of looking at or identifying the book must be done by ahaḿtattva as citta by itself does not possess the capacity to perform any function. When ahaḿtattva or the part of the mind which works wants to see a book, citta comes in contact with the organs of sight, that is, the eyes. The eyes receive the rúpa tanmátra from the book. This tanmátra which is always present in the environment in the form of waves, strikes against citta through the eyes, which form a sort of door to bring citta in contact with the outside world. Citta then takes the shape of the book, and ahaḿtattva identifies or sees it as per the shape which citta has taken. Similarly, when ahaḿtattva wants to hear something it puts citta in contact with the organs of hearing, the ears. The ears receive the sound tanmátra, which is always present in the physical environment, through the medium of sound waves. Citta, on the impact of this tanmátra, becomes the sound itself, and ahaḿtattva hears that sound. This shows that citta takes the form of whatever ahaḿtattva desires or does. To put it another way, citta manifests the actions which ahaḿtattva performs.”

Excerpts from “Vibration, Form and Colour” published in “Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 3″

“Now consider this vast universe. What is the characteristic of this universe? The universe is the psychic manifestation of the Macrocosm: His mind stuff is the universe, which we call the visible world. How did this Brahmic Citta come into being? The Citta is the static result of mental action. The apparently static or stationary entity that comes into being, as opposed to those entities influenced by the sentient (sattva) and mutative (rajah) forces, is created by the static force (tamah) of Prakrti – which, whether it is original or born of saḿskáras (past momenta), is nothing else but citta. The characteristic of the static force is to give form, to create or evolve resultants, to bring inertness or staticity. So citta, the resultative place of he mind, is dominated by the static force and takes the form of objects in the external world or objects created by the mind.”

Excerpts from “The Difference Between Developed and Undeveloped Mind” published in “Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 33″

“Mind is created in the phase of pratisaiṋcara as a result of tremendous friction created inside an object due to the force of attraction of Puruśottama. The entirety of pratisaiṋcara is dominated by this attractive force. The friction generates in the object a tendency to split up. Gradually, a portion of the object is powdered down, and that becomes the first mind. This mind is nothing but citta [objective mind, mind-stuff]. Therefore in the mind of undeveloped creatures and plants the major portion is nothing but citta.”

Excerpts from “The Chariot and the Charioteer” published in “Subháśita Sam’graha Part 4″

“The greater the control a person has over the práńah, the stronger and more expanded will be the citta’s sthirabhúmi, and the greater its power of reaction. Citta, the object of the práńah, is static in principle (tamoguńátmaka) due to its passivity. Accordingly the mutative principle is predominant in the motor organs, and the sentient principle in the sensory organs.”

Excerpts from “This World and the Next” published in “Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 4″

“Whatever be the sensory act, success depends upon the citta’s acceptance of ideas, i.e., on the ectoplasmic simulation of ideas. What we generally call the causal or unconscious mind is also a blending of the three attributes, sattva, raja and tama, which are part of the citta (ectoplasm) in the pervasive sense. It is for this reason that the seeds of the reactive momenta (saḿskáras) are stored in the causal mind. In order to fully visualise the unconscious mind or causal mind, one’s identity must remain unaffected from its ingrained saḿskáras. With the expression of the saḿskáras the crude and subtle minds get agitated and it becomes impossible for the saḿskára-laden unit beings to reach the stage of tranquillity of the causal mind. So, as I was saying, in order to know or comprehend the causal mind one must transcend the inertness of the microcosmic mind. At this stage the Ahaḿtattva (doer-I) is bound to merge in mahattattva (existential-I). In that event the unit mahattattva will then have no alternative but to temporarily identify itself with the Cosmic Mahattattva.”

“The process of perception that occurs due to the association of the organs with external objects is just an undulated expression of Citta. The part of the Citta where such vibrations take place is called the Kámamaya kośa or conscious or crude mind. In the wakeful state this kámamaya kośa keeps itself immensely busy. Although the sphere of the kámamaya kośa is quite large, it has no tranquillity due to the influence of the ever restless organs. And so the microcosms however hard they may try, never attain perfect peace and beatitude through the sádhana of kámamaya kośa alone, with a mind inclined towards the gratification of the sensual propensities. Can perfection be attained by a higher kośa above it, i.e., manomaya kośa (Sub-conscious mind). No, it cannot, for the memory, comprehension and imagination of the manomaya kośa, be they original or pertaining to saḿskáras, bear the stamp of petty “I”-ness; and this very pettiness of the ego stands in the way of attaining perfection.”

“In this sádhaná of stabilising the citta the meaning of progress is to gradually cleanse every kośa of its impurities. When kámamaya kośa is stabilized, the citta will follow the dictates of the manomaya kośa and will not be swayed by the lower propensities, by sensual proclivities. Then again, when manomaya kośa becomes tranquil the citta will be free from the influence of kamamaya kośa. It will then merge its own entity in the atimánasa kośa – the supramental mind. In other words, it will exhaust the remaining saḿskáras. It cannot perform any original action (Pratyayamúlaka) without citta-suddhi, (mental purification) because these non-original actions keep the lower kośas active. Thus one must continue with sádhaná ceaselessly with a view to gradually establishing harmony and equilibrium in the kośas one after another. The moment the indistinct sensibility of the hirańmaya kośa (subtle causal mind) is free of the least vestige of impurity, the sádhaka shines with the dazzling radiance of the Satyaloka. That is an auspicious moment for a sádhaka as it is unification between Átman and Paramátman.”

“The main controlling station of the citta and mind is located in the sixth plexus – the pituitary plexus (ájiṋá cakra). This plexus also indirectly controls the other fundamental factors. The right petal (the acoustic root of which is Ha) controls the aparávrtti (propensity of extroversiality) of the human mind. In this it is assisted by the right subtle nerve current (the piuṋgalá), which primarily controls the left portion of the body and secondarily the right portion.”

“The left petal of pituitary plexus (whose acoustic root is kśa) controls the force of spiritual inclination or parávrtti. With the help of the left subtle nerve of id́á it primarily controls the activities of the right portion of the body and, secondarily, the activities of the left portion.”

But whether the Práńa directly controls the cakras, there too the mind has to remain with it. A part of the mind remains intimately and pervasively associated with Práńa that controls the múládhára cakra. Thus the five kośas or layers of the mind – kámamaya, manomaya, atimánasa, vijiṋánamaya and hirańmaya – chiefly control the five subtle energy centres or cakras – the múládhára, svádhiśt́hána, mańipura, anáhata and vishuddha cakra respectively. Ájiṋá cakra does not directly control any fundamental factor, but by its spiritual power controls the psychic force. Those who are engaged in bringing this seat of knowledge under control are the true sádhakas. For them alone the Divine Sphere remains open.”

Excerpts from “Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy” published in “Tattva Kaomudii Part 1”

“Question – Is there any fundamental difference between mind stuff (citta) and ether (vyoma tattva)? If so, why?
Answer – No, there is no fundamental difference. Both originate from Consciousness. In reality there is no “non-living” entity: everything has Consciousness. Due to the bondage of Prakrti, Consciousness sometimes appears to be in the form of the crude five fundamental factors, sometimes in a subtle psychic form, and at other times in the form of Causal Consciousness. Mind is that stage of Consciousness where the domination of Prakrti is less than that present in the five fundamental factors.”

“Question – Is there any difference between mind-stuff (citta) and the five fundamental factors?
Answer – There is no fundamental difference. They are both forms of Consciousness under the bondage of Prakrti. The dissimilarity is that the degree of bondage when the ethereal factor is created is greater than that when Cosmic mind-stuff is created. Similarly, as the degree of bondage increases, the aerial, luminous, liquid and solid factors are created. Actually, there is no elemental difference between vapour, water and ice. The dissimilarity in their forms is due to the varying degrees of bondage of Prakrti. Similarly, there is an apparent difference between mundane and supramundane objects and yet they are all made of the same consciousness.”

Excerpts from “Bhútatattva, Tanmátratattva and Indriyatattva” published in “Idea and Ideology”

“The above formations are not abrupt but gradual. The intermediate stage between citta and ether is neither an abstract nor matter.”

Excerpts from “Shakti and Its Proper Application” published in “Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life in a Nutshell Part 9 [a compilation]”

“When form remains in the abstract realm it is called energy; when it comes into the material realm it is called matter. Energy is not one of the fundamental factors, but a stage prior to the metamorphosis of the Cosmic Citta into the five fundamental factors.”

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About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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