by Asokan. G | 2008 | 88,742 words
Ayurveda, represented by Charaka and Sushruta, stands first among the sciences of Indian intellectual tradition. The Charaka-samhita, ascribed to the great celebrity Charaka, has got three strata. (1) The first stratum is the original work composed by Agnivesha, the foremost of the six disciples of Punarvasu Atreya. He accomplished the work by coll...
In consonance with the main stream thought, Mind, the inner instrument of the self, is construed as responsible for deliberation. Mind and its objects are conceived as spiritual substances. The words employed in Carakasaṃhitā to denote mind are manas and sattva . It is something significant to note that Caraka does not use the word citta that is found used in other systems. It has been pointed out by Caraka that the word cetas has been used by some others to denote mind, but he restricts its further usage.
Mind as a sense organ
Caraka does not distinctly say that mind is a sense organ. But it is considered as one among the twelve instruments of cognition, action, and feelings. It presides over sense organs of both cognition and action. It motivates and coordinates various sensory and motor activities. Mind is devoid of consciousness. But, being illuminated by the consciousness of the self, it is activated. Consequently, mind becomes instrumental in all psychic functions.
The Jainas also do not consider mind as a sense organ. Suśruta and the Sāṃkhya philosophy recognize mind as a sense organ with dual function. In other words, for them, it is both a sense organ of cognition and a sense organ of action for it elaborates the functions of both intellectually. In the view of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas also mind is a sense organ. They define mind as a sense organ which is instrumental in acquiring the knowledge of the specific qualities of the self like pleasure and pain. The Mīmāṃsakās also define mind as a sense organ instrumental in the direct cognition of pleasure and the like. The schools of Vedānta expresses differing opinions in this regard. The proponents of the indriya thought cite the verse from Pañcadaśi while others cite the verse from the Bhagavat Gīta in defense of their versions.
Origin and nature of mind
There remains ambiguity in Carakasaṃhitā with regard to the origin of mind. Caraka, after giving a vertical evolutionary enumeration starting with avyakta and ending with the physical elements (khādīni), states that everything is further emanated without making explicit its sequence in the cosmological discription. So it is not possible to say strictly whether mind is a derivative of “I-consciousness” (ahaṃkāra) or a product of the physical elements (bhautika). It is significant to note that Caraka, who keeps a mysterious silence about the three guṇas, namely sattva, rajas, and tamas in his cosmological description, consider that mind is constituted by sattva, rajas, and tamas. Again, rajas and tamas are being described as the two main pathogenic factors of mind. This conception of mind leads to the conclusion that Caraka's conception of mind is physical. But this is quite contrary to his conception of mind as a spiritual substance. So what is to be understood is that the spirituality of mind is nothing but the acquired spirituality due to contact with the conscious self. Mind is atomic and unitary.
Caraka not only states that there is only one mind in each individual; he also denies the multiple nature of mind. Caraka affirms that mind in the same individual appears to be multiple in nature due to variation in the perception of its own objects (svārthas),motivation and perception of senseobjects (indriyārthas), intellectual elaboration (saṃkalpa). Similarly, it takes different forms in accordance with its constituents, namely sattva, rajas, and tamas. Mind is unitary and so it cannot motivate or establish contact with many senses simultaneously. So, by no means, there occurs the simultaneous function of sense capacities.
Basedon the notion of the non-simultaneity of volition and action, Kāśyapasaṃhitā also expresses the view that mind is unitary. Another important nature of mind referred to by Caraka is its fickle nature. While advising physicians about the importance of concentration in diagnosis, he reminds them to control the fickle nature (cañcalatva) of mind. In the Bhagavat Gīta also mind is described as very fickle, which is extremely difficult to control.
In the classical Sāṃkhya, mind is regarded as a modification of “Iconsciousness” and hence it is non-physical (abautika). They admit neither the atomicity (aṇutva) nor the ubiquitous nature (vibhutva) of mind. Vijñānabhikṣu attributes a medium dimension (madhyamaparimāṇa) to mind. Mind is ephemeral like other sense organs because all sense organs are manifestations.
The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas regard mind as a substance. But, for them it is not a physical substance, for it has no externally perceivable specific quality. It is to be remembered here that Raghunātha Śiromaṇi regards mind as bhautika. But he does not make clear about the kind of physical element with which the mind is made of. As far as the Nyāya- Vaiśeṣikas are concerned, mind is not āhaṃkārika. It is also not spiritual since there is absolute absence of consciousness. It is an inner sense like the external senses. So the inner sense is not a knower or a thinker that provides the ground of our personal identity. For them mind is not a product. So it is eternal. On the basis of the non-simultaneity of cognitions it is concluded that the mind is atomic and unitary. It resides in the heart. Mīmāṃsakas say that mind is all-pervasive (vibhu) and motionless They establish its all-pervasiveness based on inference. The Nyāya Vaiśeṣikas refute this on the ground that the self also being vibhu the conjunction of mind with the self should be eternal. Again, if the of selfmind conjunction is accepted as eternal, there is no possibility to account for sleep. The Vedāntins consider that mind is non-conscious (acit). It is like matter. Elsewhere, Śaṅkara states that "it is bhautikaon the basis of the Upaniṣadic words.
Location of mind
The heart (h daya) is the vital centre of mind. It coexists with buddhi, indriya, ātmā, ojas and the channels of circulation. The heart is the vital centre of all physical and mental functions and so it is called mahadartha. An injury to heart will lead to fainting or even death. Caraka further states that when the psychical doṣas of rajas and tamas predominate mind, permeate the heart, get aggravated by emotions like passion, anger, fear causing epilepsy (apasmāra).
It may be relevant to note in this context the concept of mind postulated in the Bhelasaṃhitā. Bhela considers manas and citta as two different entities. Mind is said to preside over all the sense organs and is located between the head and the palate (śirastalvantargatāṃ) . For him, citta is a derivative of manas. It resides in the heart and causes cognitions, motivations, and all other psychic states. Accordingly, citta captures that which is apprehended by manas and therebygives rise to determinate cognition ascertaining virtues and faults. Bhela keeps this distinction throughout. While discussing the pathogenesis of unmāda, he concedes that the doṣas vitiate manas positioned between the head and the palate first and then only they vitiate citta. Suśruta, at the same time, admits that mind co-exists with the self and consciousnessin the heart. Dalhaṇa, Cakrapāṇi, and Vāgbhaṭa also recognize the heart as the site of mind.
The Sāṃkhyas do not accept a particular location of mind. They say that mind pervades the whole body and has a medium dimension. So it cannot be accommodated in a small space, like heart. But Patañjali say that the mind is located in the heart. The Nyāya- Vaiśeṣikas also agree to the point that mind is located in the heart. They are also of the view that sleep occurs when the atomic mind enters into the vein called purtat. This is something different from the view of Caraka. According to Caraka, sleep occurs when the mind, sensory organs, and motor organs get exhausted and disassociate themselves from their objects. But the space where the mind resides during sleep is not specified. In both cases there remains some difficulty in accounting for sleeping condition. Evenif the atomicity of mind is accepted, the continuity of its contact with the self remains unobstructed. The reason is that the self being all-pervading must be present wherever the mind resides. However, the Nyāya - Vaiśeṣikas sought to remove this difficulty by the assumption that the contact of mind with the sense of touch is a general condition for all cognitions. But this is arbitrary. The phenomena of sleep and wakefulness can be sufficiently accounted for by the conjunction and severance of mind with the sense organs as has been described by Caraka.
Functions of Mind
According to Caraka mind has five objects, namely thinking (cintya), consideration (vicārya), cogitation (ūhya), meditation (dhyeya), and determination (saṃkalpa), and four kinds of specific functions called control or direction of senses (indriyābhigraha), self-restraint (svaviṣaya nigraha), cogitation (ūha), and consideration (vicāra).  Things apprehended by mind independent of the sense organs, even if the sensory faculty is involved, are called cintya. It is a thought process of determining whether something is obligatory or not. Object that is subjected to reflection by reason on its fitness to be acquired or rejected is vicārya. Cogitation or speculation (ūhya) is nothing but the indeterminate knowledge.140 That is, a hypothesis is made about the things in the form of “this may happen” in a given situation. The destination focused by abstract concentration is called dhyeya. The object about which a mental resolve is made after ascertaining its merit and demerit is called saṃkalpa.
In perception, the function of mind is to apprehend the object through the external senses by directing them or controlling them. When the external sense organs give immediate impressions of their objects, mind intervenes in those discrete impressions. It discriminates between the advantageous and disadvantageous through ratiocination. Further they are presented to the “I-consciousness”. The “I-consciousness” causes an attachment in the synthesized knowledge in the form of “this is mine or so”. Finally determinate cognition (buddhi) arises impelling the individual to speak or act.
It is due to the association of the conscious self the mind conceive the external world. Mind has the capacity of being affected through the mediation of the sense object contact. Awareness of the objects occurs in the witnessing self. Thus, mind performs the synthesizing and objectifying function.
Regarding the function of mind, the Sāṃkhya system does not make much difference either. In their view, the specific function (vṛtti) of mind is saṃkalpa. The mind intervenes in the discrete sense impressions or sensations, discriminates between the qualifier and the qualified, synthesizes it through logical processes or reasoning and presents them to the “Iconsciousness” and thereby to the intellect (buddhi). Mind not only does the preliminary function of coordinating the various sense-data, but also makes preliminary decisions about the actions necessitated by perception. It organizes perception and the ideas generated by it and the desires and intentions of the individual. One of the main differences of the Sāṃkhyas with Caraka is that they do not agree with the non-simultaneity of cognition. The Sāṃkhyas say that perception occurs simultaneously or gradually. It occurs simultaneously when there is a direct cognition.
In Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school, the inner sense is not a knower or a thinker that provides the ground of our personal identity. It is an indispensable inner instrument (karaṇa) responsible for all kinds of cognition. Sense organs cannot perceive objects in the absence of mind. Knowledge of external objects arises when there is a conjunction of the mind with the self, the sense organs, and the object. Similarly mind is instrumental in the cognition of pleasure, pain, desire, aversion and the like. In the Vedāntic view mind has a three-fold function, namely decision (adhyavasāya), self-love (abhimāna), and reflection (cintā). It reveals to the self the inner states of pleasure and pain and with the assistance of external instruments corresponds with the outer states.
Proof for the existence of mind
Caraka gives, as proof, the absence and presence of cognition. Even if there exists the contact of the self, sense capacities and object, cognition won't take place if the mind is not operating. Cognition is produced in accordance with the conjunction of mind.
This stands very close to the proof put forward by Kaṇāda and Akṣapāda who posit the non-simultaneity of cognition as evidence for the existence of mind. The proof adduced by Kaṇāda is the fact that knowledge is produced or not according to the conjunction of mind with the self, sense capacities, and objects. That is, cognition won't arise in the absence of the concurrence of mind with the self and sense capacities. Praśastapāda argues that there must be an instrument to perceive pleasure and pain which are not perceived through the external senses. That instrument is mind.
Akṣapāda says that cognitions are always successive and never simultaneous. He also favours a linear succession of internal states with the self as the abiding owner. The proof is that the self cannot cognize more than one sensation at a time, because mind can establish only one relation between the self and the sense organ at a time. So mind, the principal auxiliary of the self, responsible for the generation of internal states must be counted as unifunctional. Almost all others also accept the unifunctional nature of mind. Although the inner sense is unifunctional, it can move at breakneck and appear to be multifunctional. Though scholars like Raghunātha śiromaṇi do not favour the idea that the presence of mind is the cause of non-simultanity of cognitions. Almost all other thinkers of the Nyāya- Vaiśeṣika school reiterate the above mentioned proofs adduced by Kaṇāda and Akṣapāda for establishing the existence and atomicity of mind.
Body - mind interaction
It is a fact that every mental state influences the bodily condition, which in turn will influence the mental state. For instance, It is our experience that every act of exhaling and inhaling and every act of digestion or secretion, demand a corresponding mental state. Similarly, when the body is worn out, one may not be able to concentrate. So the serious problem to be discussed in relation to the theoretical conception of mind in Carakasaṃhitā is the body-mind interaction, for the whole concept of maintenance of health hinges on the psychosomatic interaction.
But, as a matter of fact, there is no difficulty in explaining the interaction between the bodily states and the internal states because the conscious self, the radiated mind, and the body are in contact with each other and together they form the body-mind self complex. Actually, in final analysis, mind is not spiritual. It is a unity of sattva, rajas and tamas which are subject to change. Self is the real unchanging spiritual substance for it is the substratum of consciousness. Mind is called spiritual in the sense that it is being radiated by the consciousness of the self. Above all, Caraka does not consider mind and matter as ontologically different and irreducible. On the contrary, he accepts a unity at the ontological level for both mind and body are the manifestations of the unmanifest. Both the mind and the body emerge from the unmanifest and merge into the same. So there is no problem in assuming the psycho-somatic interaction.
The account of mind given by Caraka is mainly based on the analysis in the light of his metaphysical as well as anatomical and physiological conceptions. If we look at the above description, it can be seen that his theoretical conception of mind contains some of the ideas found in other systems. For instance, he agrees with the Nyāya- Vaiśeṣikawith regard to the atomic and unifunctional nature of mind. But he does not accept their psychophysical dualism according to which mind and matter are ontologically different. Similarly, in consonance with the Sāṃkhyas, he conceives mind as a thinker providing ground for one's personal identity. But he does not accept the medium dimension proposed by the Sāṃkhyas. In addition to that Caraka do not accept the simultaneity of cognition. It is also significant to note that the assumption in no way agrees with that of the Mīmāṃsakas. The main contradiction is that Caraka considers mind as atomic and mobile or fickle, while it is static and all-pervading for the Mīmāṃsakas. However, the assumption of the Mīmāṃsakas are not reliable, for if we accept an all-pervading static mind, then we will be forced to admit the contact of the mind with all the sense organs at a time and there would be a variety of simultaneous perceptions. Also, such a contact will continue uninterrupted and there would be no sleep.
Footnotes and references:
manasastu cintyamarthaḥ, CS, Su, VIII. 16.
mano manortho buddhirātmā cetyadhyātmadravyaguṇasaṅgrahaḥ....,ibid., VIII. 13. see, supra, p. 188.
The word manas is derived from "uṇādi' aphoristic rule by adding the suffix "asun'. manyate'nena mana-karaṇe asun, Vācaspatyaṃ', Vol. VI, p. 4734. It has two roots. (1) mana bodhe that belongs to divādi class mana bodhe ḍi.ā.saka. cānaṭ. manyate, ibid. It is applied to denote; to think, to suppose, to imagine, to concentrate, and to meditate. (2) "mana bodhe' also blongs to the tanādi class—mana bodhe. ā saka. seṭ, manute, ibid. It denotes knowledge, perception, teaching, informing indicating or showing. See ARV, p. 104.
The Vedāntins regard memory (citta) as one among the four modifications of inner instrument (antaḥkaraṇa). The other modifications are cognition, mind and “I- consciousness”. evaṃvidhavṛttibhedena evamapyantaḥkaraṇaṃ mana iti, buddhiriti, ahaṃkāra iti, cittamiti cākhyāyate, Vedāntaparibhāṣa of Dharmarāja Adhvarīndra., p. 32; Vivekacūdāmaṇi of Śrī Śankarācārya., 93, p. 33. Citta is responsible for remembrance: anusandhānātmikāntaḥkaraṇavṛttiḥ cittaṃ, Vedānta- Sāra of Sadānanda Yogīndra., II, 68; Vivekacūdāmaṇi of Śrī Śankarācārya., 94, p. 34.
".......ubhayātmakaṃ manaḥ', Suśrutasaṃhitā of Suśruta., Śārīra - sthāna, I. 4.
“ubhayātmakaṃ manaḥ”, Śārīra - sthāna. Su. II. 26, see also Sāṃkhyakārikā, 27.
Akṣapāda does not include mind in the group of sense organs. But he mentions it separately among the objects of valid knowledge, Nyāyasūtra., I. i. 9. Jayantabhaṭṭa points out that mind is not included in the group of sense capacities because mind is not physical like the sense capacities; Nyāyamañjarī of Jayantabhaṭṭa., part- II., “Prameyaprakaraṇaṃ”, p. 67;Kaṇāda also keeps silence in this matter. All other Nyāya - Vaiśeṣikawriters recognize it as a sense organ. indriyasya vai sato manasa indriyebhyaḥ pṛthagupadeśo dharmabhedāt, Nyāya-Bhāṣya of Vātsyāyana. on Nyāyasūtra., I, i, 4;Sreedharācārya on Praśastapādabhāṣya., p. 218.
sukhādyupalabdhisādhanamindriyaṃ manaḥ, TSA, p.13; Tarkabhāṣa of Keśavamiśra., p. 168.
manastu sukhādyaparokṣajñānasādhanendriyatvena kalpyate, Mānameyodaya of Nārāyaṇa., p. 12.
mano daśendriyadhyākṣaṃ hṛtpadmagolake sthitaṃ taccāntaḥkaraṇaṃ bāhyeṣvasvātantriyādhvinendriyaiḥ, Pañcadaśi, II. 12.
For details vide supra, p. 121.
CS, Su, VIII. 5.
“rajastamaśca manasau doṣau” CS, Vimāna - sthāna, VI. 5; Su, I. 57, XXV. 11; Śārīra-sthāna, II. 38.
svārthendriyārthasaṃkalpavyabhicariṇāccānekamekasmin puruṣe sattvaṃ, rajastamasattvaguṇayogācca; na cānekatvaṃ, nahyekamanekakāleṣu pravartate; tasmānnaikakālā sarvendriyapravṛttihi, CS, Su, VIII. 5.
prayatnajñānayaugapadyādekaṃ, Kāśyapasaṃhitā of Vṛddhajīvaka, Śārīra - sthāna, p. 67.
CS, Śārīra - sthāna, III. 20-21.
ahaṃkārikatvaśruterna bhautikāni, S. Su, II. 20.
S. Su, V. 69, 70, 71; manaso na niravayavatvaṃ. anekadravyeṣvekadā yogāt. kintu ghaṭavanmadhyamaparimāṇaṃ sāvayavamityarthaḥ, Vijñānabhikṣu on Sāṃkhya-sūtra,, V, 71, Sāṃkhyadarśana (with Sāṃkhyapravacanabhāṣya of Sri Vijñana Bhikṣu)., p. 163.
tadutpattiśrutervināśadarśanācca, Śārīra - sthāna. Su, II, 22. See also Vijñānabhikṣu on ibid., Sāṃkhyadarśana (with Sāṃkhyapravacanabhāṣya of Sri Vijñana Bhikṣu)., p.101.
CIPM, p. 3
tadabhāvādaṇuḥ manaḥ, Nyāyasūtra., III. ii. 61; Vaiśeṣikadarśana., VII. i, 23; Praśastapādabhāṣya., p. 222; ayaugapadyajñānānāṃ tasyāṇutvamiheṣyate, NSMK, p. 361.
jñānāyaugapadyādekaṃ manaḥ, Nyāyasūtra., III. ii. 58. prayatnāyaugapadyājñānāyaugapadyāccaikaiṃ, Vaiśeṣikadarśana., III. ii. 3. Praśastapādabhāṣya., p. 121; pratiśarīramekaṃ ca tat, Nyāyamañjarī of Jayantabhaṭṭa., Part—II, p. 68.
T. Bh, p.168.
“.....vibhuparimāṇamaspandaṃ ca manaḥ”, Mānameyodaya of Nārāyaṇa., p. 217.
Ibid., pp.217-18; mano vibhuḥ viśeṣaguṇaśūnyadravyatvāt kālavat, mano vibhuḥ jñānasamavāyikāraṇa saṃyogādhāratvāt, TDB, p. 56.
Dīpikā, TSA, p. 13. see also NSMK, p, 361.
EAIP, p. 71.
bhavati ca bhautikatve liṅgam karaṇānāṃ "annamayaṃ hi saumyo manaḥ.....', (Ch. U, VI. V. 4.) Brahmasūtra, with Śāṅkarabhāṣya., p. 276. Cf. Panchadaśi, II. 17.
CS, Su, XXX. 6 - 7.
“...... prakupitā rajastomobhyāmupahatacetasāmantarātmanaḥ......., tadā janturapasmarati.”, CS, Nidāna - sthāna, VIII. 4.
Bh. S, Cikitsa - sthāna, VIII. 4 - 6.
hṛdayamiti kṛtavīryo buddhermanasaśca sthānatvāt, Suśrutasaṃhitā of Suśruta., Śārīra - sthāna, III. 30;
cetanāsahacaritaṃ mano'pi viśeṣeṇa hṛdayādhiṣṭhānaṃ, Dalhaṇa on Suśrutasaṃhitā of Suśruta., Śārīra - sthāna, IV. 32.
tathā mano'pi prāyeṇa hṛdyeva tiṣṭhati, Cakrapāṇi on CS, Su, XXX. 5.
ARV, p. 69.
taccāṇuparimāṇaṃ, hṛdayāntarvarti, Tarkabhāṣa of Keśavamiśra., p. 168.
CS, Su, XXI. 35.
CS, Śārīra - sthāna, I. 20.
indriyanirapekṣaṃ mano yatgṛhṇāti taccintyaṃ (yadi vā indriyagṛhītamevārthaṃ yatpunarindriyanirapekṣaṃ mano gṛhṇāti taccintyaṃ, Cakrapāṇi on CS, Su, VIII. 16.
cintyaṃ kartavyatayā akartavyatayā vā yanmanasā cintyate, Cakrapāṇi on CS, Śārīra - sthāna, I. 21.
vicāryaṃ upapattyanupapattibhyāṃ yadvimṛśyate, ibid. 140 atroho ālocanājñānaṃ nirvikalpakaṃ, ibid.
dhyeyaṃ bhāvanājñānaviṣayaṃ, ibid.
indriyeṇendriyārtho hi samanaskena gṛhyate kalpyate manasā tadūrdhvaṃ guṇato doṣato'thavā, CS, Śārīra - sthāna, I. 22.
Cakrapāṇī says that the role of “I-conscoiusness” is not referred to in this sequel because it is alluded by the function of consciousness: “ahaṃkāravyāpāraścābhimanamihānukto'pi buddhivyāpāreṇaiva sūcito jñeyaḥ”. See Cakrapāṇi on Ibid., I. 21.
jāyate viṣaye tatra yā buddhirniścayātmikā vyavasyati tayā vaktuṃ kartuṃ vā buddhipūrvakaṃ, Ibid., I. 23.
"""ālocitamevendriyeṇa vastuvidaṃ' iti sammugdhaṃ. "idameva, naivaṃ' iti samyakkalpayati viśeṣeṇa viśeṣyabhāvena vivecayatīti yāvat'', Vācaspatimiśra on Sāṃkhyakārikā, 27. SKT, p. 190.
EAIP, p. 48.
Sāṃkhyakārikā.30;See also Vācaspatimiśra on ibid., p. 198.
CIPM, p. 3.
ātmendriyārthsannikarṣe jñānasya bhāvo abhāvaśca manaso liṅgaṃ, Vaiśeṣikadarśana., III. ii. 1.
satyapyātmendriyārthasānnidhye jñānasukhādīnāmabhūtvotpattidarśanāt karaṇāntaramanumīyate. Praśastapādabhāṣya., p. 213.
yugapajjñānānutpattirmanaso liṅgaṃ, Nyāyasūtra., I. i. 16.
Raghunātha Śiromaṇi justify the non-simultanity of cognitions on the basis of merit and demerit: “adṛṣṭaviśeṣopagrahasya niyāmakatvāca”, The Padārthatattvanirūpaṇa of Raghunātha Śiromaṇi., p. 30.