I know Buddhi (बुद्धि) means intelligence/intellect and Mann (मन) means mind. But what is difference between them?

  • From mind(Man) intellect(Buddhi) is born.A symbolic representation- Budha graha is regarded as the son of Chandra graha.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 15:12
  • Buddhi is brain power or way of thinking of a person , while mana is a indriya it is cause of all misries, manas is the controller of everything in body , so if we control mana we control our body. Mana is not a physical object but is has physical consequences, e.g. the taste of some food item is experienced through the sensors in tounge but the real experience is given with mana, like the decision of choice of food item is given by mana.
    – Yogi
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 18:17
  • Man is a common word for Mind. But more specifically it refers to the emotional aspect of the Mind. Whereas Buddhi, refers to the intellect, or the aspect of the mind that does discrimination (Viveka) and analyzes everything, for example, let's say you get 100% in your exams. Then your Man, will be elated and pumped up that 'Yay I got 100%, I am finally getting what I want'. The Buddhi will analyze as follows 'What is the knowledge I have gained out of it'. However in broad sense, everything is from Mind. i.e. All of creation is a projection of Man or Mind. All the best sir, good q.
    – Sai
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 18:44
  • @Rickross Although Budha is the son of Candra. But technically, buddhi precedes manas. That's the very basic siddhānta of Sāṅkhya, which is accepted even in Vedānta. Buddhi -> ahaṅkāra -> 11 indriyas (including manas) alongwith follow the pañcatanmātras and then pañcamahābhūtas. And this order is accepted even in Bhagavad Gītā (3.42), where buddhi precedes manas. Buddhi itself governs saṅkalpa, which is the funtion of manas. So, buddhi is not born from manas.
    – Bingming
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 22:00
  • You can check my answer for more detail @Rickross hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/57073/24460
    – Bingming
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 23:30

9 Answers 9


From Katha Upanishad 3.10-13

  1. Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect (buddhi) the charioteer, and the mind the reins.

  2. The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he (the Highest Self) is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer.

  3. Beyond the senses there are the objects, beyond the objects there is the mind, beyond the mind there is the intellect, the Higher Self(individual soul) is beyond the intellect.'

  4. 'Beyond the Higher self there is the Unmanifest, beyond the Unmanifest there is the Purusha/Brahman. Beyond the Purusha there is nothing--this is the goal, the highest road.'

From Anu Geeta

Since the mind is ruler of these five elements, in (the matter of) absorbing or bringing (them) forth, the mind itself is the individual self. The mind always presides over the great elements. The understanding(Buddhi) proclaims its power, and it is called the Kshetrajña. The mind yokes the senses as a charioteer (yokes) good horses. The senses, the mind, and the understanding are always joined to the Kshetrajña. That individual self, mounting the chariot to which big horses are yoked, and in which the understanding is the drag, drives about on all sides the great chariot which is pervaded by the Purusha/Brahman, has the group of the senses yoked (to it), has the mind for a charioteer, and the understanding for a drag. That learned and talented person verily, who always understands thus the chariot pervaded by the Brahman, comes not by delusion in the midst of all entities. This forest of the Brahman begins with the unperceived, and ends with the gross objects; and includes movables and immovables, receives light from the radiance of the sun and moon, is adorned with planets and nakshatras, and is decked on all sides with nets of rivers and mountains, and always beautified likewise by various (descriptions of) waters; it is (the means of) subsistence for all entities, and it is the goal of all living creatures. In this the Kshetrajña always moves about.

Mind(Mann), Intelligence(Buddhi), Chitta, Ego(Ahamkaar) are part of subtle body/ling sharir and tied to individual soul also called causal body/karan sharir.


There seems to be lot of different thoughts regarding Mann and Buddhi, hence expressing another aspect of it. In nutshell from [BG-3.42]:

(Sthula) Shariara < Indriya < Mann < Buddhi < Atman/Brahman Sanskrit
(Physical) Body < Senses < Mind < Intellect < (True) Self/Soul English

This is how the relation between Pancha-Kosha & Atman is believed:

Annamayakosha < PrAnamayakosha < Mano/VignAna-mayakosha < Anandamayakosha / KArana Sharira < Atman
Note: Mano & VignAna are merged to make sense with earlier mapping.

From above 2 sources, it's clear that Buddhi should be superior layer of Mann. Now we can interpret this in various ways. What I believe is:

Mann (Mind) is a subtle form of brain which goes beyond the physical death. Probably it carries the impressions of desires or Karma (action)s generated by Senses. When Indriyas are involved in Karma, they generate good or bad fruits/phala. Mann in its form should remain until these fruits are absorbed or the Indriyas are gratified in good/bad way. After that Mann should go away, i.e. replaced.
Does that mean, end of birth and death? Not mostly.

Buddhi (Intellect) still remains. That's why it's also called KArana Sharira (Causal body). This is the root of our existence. This is the last layer of MAyA. It's also called Ananda Sharira, because it's "Enjoyer" (or "Consumer") of everything. Once this goes, it's all Moksha.
When we watch a movie, our brain gets frightened, sad, romantic, aggressive, patriotic ... depending on contents. But from inside we know that, it's all imagination. Still we have a cause to consume & enjoy. In this analogy, your "Inside" is Buddhi which controls your "Brain" or Mann.

"So who differentiates all these: Sharira, Indriya, Mann, Buddhi, Atman?"

I call this differentiator as "Consciousness" or "ChetanA". In other words, what is called "I", is ChetanA. This might be a subtle aspect of SagunA Brahman[BG 10.22].
The controller is decided based on where this ChetanA is residing. For various aspects of life, this ChetanA may reside at different levels as listed above. According to which level constitutes ChetanA, the various Buddhis are differentiated.

When ChetanA resides on:

  1. Sthula Sharira: The matter is like dead. It can't do anything on its own. That's why it's also called Acheta.

  2. Indriya: Animal or animalistic persons (Jada) often fall here. They are usually TAmasic by nature[BG 18.32]. They just do things for sense gratification. While hungry they eat, in season they mate, in aggression they scream. They are usually impulsive beings who act in Adharma, genuinely thinking that to be Dharma. Being directionless, they leave in misery. They have Chetana, but act like Acheta. They don't work for "sense gratification", they are simply "Embodied Senses".

  3. Mann: RAjasic people fall here[BG 18.31]. Those who are conscious by Mann are not under control of Indriyas, but try to gratify it. In other words, their Karmas are influenced by Indriyas. This is where actual Adharma resides. Their Karmas are termed as good or bad and 'apparently' generate the fruits. Humans with desires would act according to their Mann. Though their Chetana is in Mann, they act as of it's in above categories.

  4. Buddhi: This is the place where people are fully aware about their own Dharma and act accordingly. Their actions might even seem like all above categories, but their consciousness is alive. Such people also are not bound by Karmas. These are SAtvika beings[BG 18.30], nearer to god, but not yet liberated. Everything for them is blissful as they consider Sukha (happiness) and Dukha (sadness) as same. For them there is NO enough reason to move beyond. Hence they keep enjoying until the Moksha happens. These beings have realized that, all actions are happening on their own, there is no ownership.
    Probably that's why such SAtvika beings are called Buddha (from Buddhi) and they have a valid reason for saying "nothing" is supreme beyond this.

  5. Atman: This is that "nothing" (Nirguna Brahman), which is transcendental to all above. It's void of all above. There is neither Dharma nor Adharma. It's Moksha, the ultimate state.

All above are described in purest form. But everything is more or less present in the most beings.

BG 3.42 — Senses are said to be beyond (to body), Mind is beyond Senses, Intellect is even beyond Mind, "That" (Nirguna Brahman) is even beyond Intellect.
BG 10.22 — Among VedAs I am SAma Veda, among demigods I am VAsava, To the Senses I am Mind and within material manifestations I am ChetaNa.
BG 18.30 — The one who knows activity & retirement, duty & non-duty, fear & boldness and bonding & liberation properly, has SAtvika Buddhi.
BG 18.31 — The one who doesn't know Dharma & Adharma, duty & non-duty as it is, has RAjasi Buddhi.
BG 18.32 — Covered by darkness (Tamas), the one who believes Adharma as Dharma and believes other (thing)s also wrongly, has TAmasi Buddhi.
--from Gita press, Gorakhpur


Atma is the most Powerful which controls Buddhi. Budhi is more Powerful and should control and guide the Mann for decision making. Mann is more Powerful than Indriya (sense organs).

Atma is the supreme power, Ideally!, Buddhi should surrender to Atma, Buddhi should control the Mann and Mann should control Indriya.

Mann needs awareness to control the Indriya. The "Control" directly proportional to the "Awareness".

-Bhagvad Geeta, Adhay 3, Shlok 42


The Sanskrit word Yoga has its literal root “yuj”, meaning, to join, to unite, or, to attach. One who practices Yoga is a Yogi or Yogini. The form of YogA which originated in ancient India is practiced as a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual processes for disciplining one’s BMCA (Budhi, Manas, Chitta, Ahankara) fit enough to steer the Mantra practioners-upasakas-- forward (Sangeetha, Namasankeertana suffused with bakthi are also Mantras more so in Kaliyuga). The term Yoga refers to both the goal and the method of attaining it through an array of paths, schools, principles and practices. It prescribes techniques for continuous purification of the body-mind complex, to still the extraneous noises and prepare the individual to resonate with Cosmic Intellect (CI) contained in Akasa, to tap it for benevolent use. Yoga and Mantras are pure in that, they handhold the actioners to develop linkages with Consciousness, to download continuously enlarging and uplifting the horizon of spiritual insights. As such yogic cleansing of one’s BMCA. Is the essential minimum requirement for GM to handhold. Reference to GM includes all Mantras as She is the controller of it all as we shall see later. Viewed superficially, the goals of different Yogic forms are different. There is however a serious commonality between systems, as also lasting goals like, concentration, devotion and character development ethical, austere role of living and all. As such, Yogic forms cover a broad spectrum of approaches. Yoga helps the creative use of the emotions, curbing particularly those which are distractive, disruptive and destructive. It creates large heartedness, a breadth of vision, and weeds out narrow-mindedness, promotes intuitive/ creative prowess, friendliness, compassion, empathy, and finally prepares him to serve nature its beings and its other entities without selfishness but with abundant endearing care. It promotes also the health, wellness and the aspirations of the practioners-sadakas- to serve better. Rishis/ NYs are such standing examples. it is apt to draw the mythological ego problem of who is greater, Raja rishi Viswamitra or the Maharishi Vasishta and finally it is Vasishta with the power of mantras easily won over Viswamitra and his huge army and blessed the other confirming the power of Rishis. Maharishi Patanjali In his Ashtanga Yoga – The Moksha Ladder prescribed (about 5000 BC) eight steps: to achieve such an extraordinary cleansing of mind and body in a stage by stage manner as outlined below:
Yama aims at internal purification or moral code, Niyama aims at external purity or personal discipline, Asana consists in the performance of the postures of Yoga, Pranayama is breath control, Pratyahara results from the withdrawal of sense organs Dharana is concentration, Dhyana is meditation, Samadhi is the final state of spiritual absorption The first five steps are the preliminaries promoting samanya (normal) dharma that elevates the personality of individuals. For a Sanyasi aspiring Moksha, the Nivritti Margi, all the eight limbs are essential, whereas for the householder practicing Pravritti Marga, the first five limbs are deemed sufficient. No necessity to become a sanyasi. And that is why it is said that most of us with little more discipline can become Privritti margis, The most difficult part of Yoga however, is control of the body and mind. The Tamil philosopher-saint Thayyumanavar (1705–1742) says: "It is easy to control an elephant, catch hold of the tiger's tail, grab the snake and dance, dictate the angels, transmigrate into another body, walk on water or sit on the sea; but it is difficult to control the mind and remain quiet”. But Yoga and GM can lead you to achieve these

Budhi, it is said, has 3 children, Manas, Chitta and Ahankara-If these children get cultivated and obey budhi, and then one can become a great Rishi or Scientist et al. If not one has all the qualifications to become a rakshasa. So one of the main goals and aims of Yoga is to make these children obey budhi. Why budhi? Sciences now support that divine instructions are being received only by budhi from Akasa through Nonlocalaction, Morphic resonance/ templates,(outlined elsewhere) et al. Gayatri had confirmed this way back saying NAHA DHEEHI PRACHODAYAT. Pl note, NAHA means OUR and not MINE alone, bringing out the significance of Collective Consciousness and DHEEHI means Budhi and not mind The concept of yuj to unite can be expanded to cover various other beneficial areas such as: a-uniting quarrelling people, groups, and nations; b— restoring the health of any biological entity since its healthy life is due to countless cells of the body functioning in symphony but if dissonance sets in the body is diseased . Uniting the dissonant with harmonius rest is also Yoga c- non equitable sharing or wasting natures resources etc are amenable for yogic cure. Generalising, where ever chos or dishormy prevails ie if Entropy of a system increases Yoga can play its beneficial role. And many yogic schools are alredy trying to cover such areas.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. Can you please cite references in your answer as well. Thanks.
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 16:13

The word 'मन' in Hindī is derived from the technical Sanskrit term 'मनस्' (manas).
Both manas & buddhi are explained in a succinct manner in Īśvarakr̥ṣṇa's Sāṅkhyakārikā (v. 23, 27)

adhyavasāyo buddhirdharmo jñānaṁ virāga aiśvaryam /
sāttvikametadrupaṁ tāmasamasmādviparyastam // (23)

Buddhi is adhyavasāya (niścaya). Dharma, jñāna, vairāgya, & aiśvarya constitutes its sāttvika rūpa, while each of their opposites (adharma, ajñāna, avairāgya, & anaiśvarya) constitutes its tāmasa rūpa.

abhimāno'haṅkārastasmād dvividhaḥ pravartate sargaḥ /
ekādaśakaśca gaṇastanmātrapañcakaścaiva // (24)

Abhimāna is ahaṅkāra; thence proceeds twofold utpatti of sr̥ṣṭi. the (first) set of ekādaśa(11) indriyas and the (second) pañca (5) tanmātras.

ubhayātmakamatra manaḥ saṅkalpakamindiyam ca sādharmyāt /
guṇapariṇāmaviśeṣannānāvataṁ bāhyabhedaśca // (27)

Of these (11 indriyas), manas is ubhayātmaka (jñāna-karmendriyātmaka). It's the agent of saṅkalpa (both saṅkalpa & vikalpa) and due to being sādharmyāt (having same dharmabhāva) as indriyas, it's also called an indriya. Through guṇapariṇāmabheda (pariṇāmabheda of guṇas), various indriyas are born, similar to how variety (bheda) of bāhyatanmātras, etc. is caused due to guṇapariṇāma-bheda.

mūlaprakr̥tiravikr̥tirmahadādyāḥ prakr̥tivikr̥tayaḥ sapta /
ṣoḍaśakastu vikāro na prakr̥tirna vikr̥tiḥ puruṣaḥ // (3)

Mūlaprakr̥ti is avikr̥ta (without any vikāra) ; mahat (buddhi), etc. 7 tattvas are both prakr̥ti (kāraṇa) & vikr̥ti (vikāra) ;the set of 16 tattvas are [merely] vikāra ; puruṣa is neither prakr̥ti nor vikr̥ti.

So, manas is merely vikr̥ti & not prakr̥ti while buddhi (mahat) is both vikr̥ti & prakr̥ti because latter's the kāraṇotpatti of ahaṅkāra, etc. This is a key difference b/w buddhi & manas.

As per Bhagavad Gītā (3.42), buddhi is superior to manas

indriyāṇi parāṇyāhurindriyēbhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ /
manasastu parā buddhiryō buddhēḥ paratastu saḥ //

Madhusūdana Sarasvatī in his commentary Gūḍhārthadīpikā to this śloka says, "manasastu parā buddhiradhyavasāyātmikā ; adhyavasāyo hi niścayastatpūrvaka eva saṅkalpādirmanodharmaḥ" i.e. adhyavasāyātmikā buddhi is śreṣṭha to manas because niścaya is called adhyavasāya and doing saṅkalpa, etc. tattvapūrvaka (niścayapūrvaka) is the dharma of manas. So, buddhi precedes manas.


Here are the precise "definitions" of Buddhi and Manas from Vedantasara.

The subtle bodies are what are known as the Linga-Sariras having seventeen component parts. The component parts (of the Linga-Sarira) are the five organs of perception, the intellect, the mind, the five organs of action, and the five vital forces. Intellect (Buddhi) is that modification of the internal instrument (Antahkarana) which determines (the real nature of an object). The mind (Manas) is that modification of the internal instrument which considers the pros and cons of a subject (Sankalpa and Vikalpa).The mind-stuff (Chitta) and egoism (Ahamkara) are included in the intellect (Buddhi) and the mind (Manas) respectively.Memory (Chitta) is that modification of the inner organ which remembers.Egoism (Ahamkara) is that modification of the inner organ which is characterised by Self-consciousness. This intellect (Buddhi) together with the organs of perception constitutes the intelligent sheath (Vijnanamayakosa).This Vijnanamayakosa, on account of its being conscious that it is an agent and enjoyer and that it is happy or miserable etc., is called the phenomenal Jiva (the individual self) subject to transmigration to this and the other worlds. (Vedantasara 65-73)


My answer is kinda yogic and philosophical/spiritual one.

Prakriti in our body has 8 forms.: These are Pancha Tattvas and Mann, Buddhi, Ahamkara.

BG. 7.4.:

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind (Manas) and intellect (Buddhi), egoism (Ahamkara),–thus hath my nature (Prakriti) been divided eight-fold”.

Where, Mind is related to Moon, Ahamkara to Lightning and Buddhi to Sun.

Basically, As Prakriti, in our inner cosmos they represent the senses and similarly, their Purusha counter part represents the Ashta-Murti elements in Outer cosmos.

  • Earth = Pashupati.
  • Water = Sarva.
  • Fire = Rudra.
  • Air = Ugra.
  • Ether = Bhava.
  • Mind (Moon) = Mahadeva.
  • Buddhi (Sun) = Ishana.
  • Ahamkara (Lightning) = Asani.

As, Manas remains uncontrolled. It becomes the source of Avidya or Evil. Negative thoughts are the products of Mind only. So, Mind creates our Inner demon Vritra.

Satapatha Brahmana 1:6:4:13.:

“An offering in honour of the Vritra-slayer, then, is the full-moon sacrifice. Vritra, assuredly, is no other than the moon; and when during that night (of new moon) he is not seen either in the east or in the west, then he (Indra) completely destroys him by means of that (new-moon sacrifice), and leaves nothing remaining of him. And, verily, he who knows this, overcomes all evil and leaves nothing remaining of evil”.

And by Intellect/Knowledge, the inner demons are slain.

Mandala Brahmana Upanishad - 5.:

"The Manas influenced by worldly objects is liable to bondage; and that (Manas) which is not so influenced by these is fit for salvation. Hence the entire world becomes an object of Chitta; whereas the same Chitta when it is supportless and well-ripe in the state of Unmani, becomes worthy of Laya (absorption in Brahman). This absorption you should learn from me who am the all-full. I (Sun/Knowledge/Buddhi) alone am the cause of the absorption of Manas. The Manas is within the Jyotis (spiritual light) which again is latent in the spiritual sound which pertains to the Anahata (heart) sound. That Manas which is the agent of creation, preservation and destruction of the three worlds - that same Manas becomes absorbed in that which is the highest seat of Vishnu”.

Note.: Chitta is the 9th form of Prakriti and all the 8th Prakritis are a Product of Chitta. It's Purusha equivalent is Kumara. And these 9 forms are called (9÷3) 3 folds of Agni/Gayatri.

Conclusion.: Thus, Manas is the agent of Maya (Creation, Preservation, Destruction) and Through the Intellect/Brahma Vidya (Buddhi) one can get Param Gati Moksha.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • This is a very good perspective. Unfortunately, the interpretation of the same in dualistic philosophy is not very popular. +1.
    – user29449
    Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 6:27
  • Bro what i think is... It doesn't matter if the fact is popular or unpopular but the fact will remain a fact only. One can agree or disagree. Anyways, i m not saying them wrong but for me it's just lower stages of the same knowledge that's it. 😊.. +1... Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 7:59
           Mind Vs Buddhi 


What we may think in mind cant be spoken. What is good for listener must only be spoken. This is the difference.

Mind is powerful than languages but language(by Buddhi) can protect human.

           3 MINDS

Mind differs for humans in 3 ways

  1. Mind that is flawed - Taamasika mind which is doubtful & always indecisive abiding dictator. They wait for other mind to do an action/ new thought do that the Taamasika may copy the actions/thoughts, but unfortunately even after copying minds they may doubt the credibility of actions. These are minds of sinners.

  2. Mind that is outflown - Raagaatmika (excessively exhibitory & action based). The minds have excessive attachment towards human lives without knowing how humans originate. Sometimes they go negatively depressed to inhibit human values.

  3. Mind that is clear & pervading Earth's layers - Anaamika This mind has no much commitment towards others and may think less or only if required. It can energise soul.

           TRAPPED HUMANs

Though 3 different minds exist, their discourse depends on Pitruloka - the loka of offerings accepted by ancestors combined with humans with 3 types of minds form a closed TRAP of "Janma Mrutyu Vyadhi Bhayam" etc.

This TRAP is opened up only when Pitruun attain God and humans realise the "power of discrimination of good & bad" called BUDDHIHI.

Throughout history Tamasika & Raagaatmikas impacted & suppressed Anaamikas to stop PITRULOKA souls reaching God thinking that powerful souls may take rebirth from PITRULOKA in some other community than existing Anaamikaas. This greed or jealous nature produced no Anamikaas in other communities but more DISABLED children.


(free mind of required intellect)

To hide the fact that children are DISABLED more schools are modernised where group behaviour determines individual score in a class than "an individual merit earned by an individual". Hence, result is a big human TRAP of less intellectual freedom.

The ONSET OF SWAMI VEDANTA DESIKAN described the waste TRAP (VIPHALAAHA) referring to "Paancharaathra Aagama".

Mind though powerful than Intellect acquired, in KaliYuga the minds from genes of humans from waste TRAP over generations is very shallow and subjected to "futile actions" thus requiring AAGAMA to create "freedom to mind with minimum intellect".


One command misunderstanding is that Man/Buddhi/Chitt/Ahankara are physically different things. All these are part of our consciousness (technically known as Antakarna - meaning inner tools of knowledge) - when it is contemplating it is Man, when deciding things it is Buddhi, when thinking of things it is Chitt and a constant underlying feeling of “I am” is Ahankara.

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