manass / mann – The Cognition Agent

manass / mann – The Cognition Agent

manass or mann has five parts to it.

  • The first part (also called manas) is a collector of information. It collects all input that it receives from the various Indriyas (or sense organs).


  • The second part is called the Buddhi that segregates information as valid/invalid. From preconceived logic, this Buddhi tests the validity of the input information.


  • The third part is called Aham. This has two parts: the first part is called Aham and the second is called Ahamkara. Aham is the seat of recognizing oneself and is vital. This is the tool used to differentiate oneself from other objects, which may be present in the input information. It establishes the identity of the individual. Ahamkara is associated with ego. This gives the illusion of independent action to the Jiva. This part of the manas is what needs to be curbed in the process of sAdhana.


  •  The fourth part is called Cit. This is the seat of cognition of knowledge. If Cit accepts input information, the knowledge derived from it has to be right. Cit does not accept incorrect knowledge. This is the seat of real intuition. This stage, along with the next, constitutes the all-important Sakshi.


  • The fifth part is called Citta. This is the stage of manas that comes into play only for Saattvika jivas and that too only after Aparoxa Jnana. Saattvika jivas are the best among the three types of jivas: Saattvika, Rajasika and Taamasika. Aparoxa Jnana is the flash of knowledge that precedes liberation (moksha). Such a jiva is constantly visualizing God with the Citta level of Manas.  Such an Aparoxa Jnani is present in this world as yet because of his pRarabda karma (the minimal karma that God assigns to a jiva after burning away the mammoth papa-punya stack of the jiva. Incidentally, only to such AparoxaJnanins, does the word pRarabda karma hold any relevance). The state of such a jiva is bliss, right here on this earth, even before he leaves for Moksha (from where he never returns again to this world). Any new input information that reaches this stage of manas for such an individual only enhances this bliss; never does it afflict his equilibrium.

Any input that reaches Buddhi is stored knowledge. However, if this knowledge has to be transformed to “conviction”, it has to be approved by Sakshi (Cit). To be truly convinced about something needs the approval of Sakshi, failing which, the Buddhi puts the knowledge in the back burner and tests the validity of the knowledge whenever there is a chance.

The Sakshi part of Manas is critical. It acts as the final authority to decide the validity of input knowledge. Each soul (Jiva) has a Sakshi of its own. Remember that an input knowledge accepted by any one of the Sakshis of the infinite number of Jivas, is deemed valid. In such a case, does the knowledge accepted by one Sakshi contradict that accepted by another?

Among saattvika jivas: The quantity of the Sakshi in one soul varies from that of other souls, while the quality of all Sakshis remains same. In other words, a greater Sakshi (in quantity) never contradicts what a lesser Sakshi accepts. But the lesser Sakshi is not capable of accepting tougher concepts that the greater Sakshi can accept. This is more like a lesser Sakshi being the subset of a greater Sakshi.

Volatile Document: Subject to change, based on better understanding of the subject in future

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