Manas; 11 Definition(s)

Introduction

Manas means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Manas. It is the mind derived from Ahamkara in a cascade fashion. Its function is to obtain knowledge of the external world and build a library of impressions, perceptions... from its distal elements such as the organs of perception (Jnanendriyas). The Antah-Karana is the crossroads for the organs of perception and organs of actions where all perceptions are stored and all actions originate.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Manas in Yoga glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Manas (मनस्) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “mind”. It is one of the fourteen Adhyātma (pertaining to the body) mentioned in the Subālopaniṣad (fifth section). The corresponding Ādhibhūta (pertaining to the elements) is called mantavya (the thinkable) and the corresponding Adhidaivata (presiding deity) is candramā. Accordingly, “the nādis form their bond (or connect them). He who moves in the thinkable (manas), in mantavya, in candramā, in the nādis, in prāṇa, in vijñāna, in ānanda, in the ākāśa of the heart and within all else—That is Ātman. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow or end.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Manas (मनस्).—One of the seven sons of Jyotiṣmān, who was a son of Priyavrata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74. Priyavrata was a son of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) is one of the nine dravyas (‘substances’), according to the Vaiśeṣika-sūtras. These dravyas are considered as a category of padārtha (“metaphysical correlate”). These padārthas represent everything that exists which can be cognized and named. Together with their subdivisions, they attempt to explain the nature of the universe and the existence of living beings.

Source: Wikipedia: Vaisheshika

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) refers to one of the nine substances (dravya) according to the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school of philosophy (cf. Vaiśeṣikasūtra 1.1.5, Saptapadārthī, Tarkabhāṣā and Bhāṣāpariccheda). Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas, accept manas (mind) as a separate substance and enlist it as the last one of the nine dravyas. It is the internal sense (antarendriya). Annaṃbhaṭṭa defines manas as the internal organ which is the instrument of the cognition of pleasure, pain etc. It is connected with each human self and as such it is infinite. The mind is atomic in size and eternal. In his view, manas is infinite because it is different for different bodies. Therefore, there is difference of knowledge in different individual. If it is one, then one’s pleasure will be pleasure of all, one’s pain will be pain of all. So, manas is different according to different bodies.

Manas is Atomic (anu) size. If it is of the largest size, then it will be conjoined with all sense organs at the same time and produce different perceptions, such as colours, smells tastes, sounds etc. at the same time. But they are not possible to be perceived simultaneously. Each perception comes successively because conjunction of the mind with the sense-organs is possible only successively. Therefore, manas is atomic in size. Manas can come into contact with one sense only at one time. Manas is eternal because it is partless and self-subsistent. Annaṃbhaṭṭa gives another definition of manas in his Dīpikā thus: “sparśarahitatve sati kriyāvatvaṃmanaso lakṣanaṃ”. That means manas is that which is touchless but possesses action.

Praśastapāda, in his Bhāṣya, mentions eight guṇas of manas which are: number, magnitude, distinctness, conjunction, disjunction, remoteness, proximity and velocity. These are general qualities. Manas has no special quality. The NyāyaVaiśeṣika process of perception depends on the existence of the mind. Without mind it is not possible to have perception. In the soul comes into contact with the manas, the manas with the sense-organs and the sense-organs with the objects, these are important conditions of perception. The mind is necessary for perception of external objects. The mind is controlled by the self and it controls the external sense-organs. The self-perceives the external objects by the external sense-organs being controlled by the manas.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)
Vaisheshika book cover
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Vaisheshika (वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. Vaisheshika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similar to Buddhism in nature

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”).—Objects of sense-organs are preceived by a person with attentive mind (manas). But person out of his mind cannot perceive any object which comes through five sense-organs. With reference to the representation, the mind has three attitudes towards objects, viz.

  1. iṣṭa (desired),
  2. aniṣṭa (undesired),
  3. madhyastha (indifferent).
Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Nyaya (school of philosophy)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) refers to one of the twelve prameya (“objects of valid knowledge) according to the first chapter of Gautama’s Nyāyasūtra (2nd century CE). Prameya in turn represents the second of the sixteen padārthas (“categories”). Accordingly, “manas is the internal sense organ. The internal perception like pleasure, pain etc. can be apprehended through it. Manas is one in each body and it is like an atom”.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
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Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) refers to the one of the twenty-two faculties (indriya), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 38. The word indriya, derived from the root id or ind, is synonymous with great power, with control. The twenty-two Dharmas in question [viz., manas] have the characteristic of being dominant in regard to the living being (sattva) in that which concerns: his primary constitution, his distinctiveness, his duration, his moral defilement and his purification.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) or manoyatana refers to one of the “twelve sense spheres” (āyatana) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 24). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., manas). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Manas (“mind”) also represents one of the “eighteen elements” (dhātu) as well as one of the “eleven form components” (rūpaskandha).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Manas (मनस्, “mind”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.19.—The function of matter (pudgala) is to form the basis of the body (śarīra), the organs of speech (vāc), the mind (manas) and the respiration (prāṇa). What is mind? The entity which has the capacity to comprehend i.e. examine good and evil, and remembering is called mind.

What is psychic mind? Power to discriminate between good and evil or the attainment of the manifestation of consciousness is called psychic mind. What is physical mind? The transformation of matter particles due to the rise of āṃgopāṃga-karma and the subsidence cum destruction of energy obscuring karma and knowledge obscuring karmas, is called physical mind.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Relevant definitions

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