Can you clarify these two? What is the exact definition and function of Chitta (heart) and Manas (mind)?

It is confusing that desires are formed in the mind, but they are also in heart. So there should be some relationship between them.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Meaning of Citta?
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Jul 25, 2018 at 9:59
  • @TheLittleNaruto Thank you, I read that, but didn't understand much! Still the relation and definition of those two is not clear to me.
    – Sohail
    Jul 25, 2018 at 10:09
  • See my answer here. There is only a slight difference between the two. @Sohail
    – Rickross
    Jul 25, 2018 at 10:10
  • 1
    Heart is not a direct translated meaning of Chitta, and there is nothing I have come across as Mana, which is commonly known as Mann in Hindi. You are possibly referring to Manas. Chitta and Manas are the 2 out of 4 parts constituting the Antahkarana.
    – user9072
    Jul 25, 2018 at 10:13
  • @ArkaprabhaMajumdar Thank you, I corrected my mistakes in the question text.
    – Sohail
    Jul 25, 2018 at 10:22

1 Answer 1


People use these two terms loosely. Manas usually stands for deliberation and citta for recollection. However, somethimes both manas and citta are used to signify the entire mind. It all depends on the context.

Being composed of the subtlest and most transparent substance and closest to the self, mind (antahkarana) receives the light of consciousness that belongs to the self and is illuminated by it. With no light of its own it appears luminous…….

Mind is connected with the organs by means of the central nervous system, of which brain is a part. It is through the mind that the light of consciousness is transmitted to the sense-organs, which being made of sattva substance have the special power to receive the light. Thus they serve as the organs of perception. The light of consciousness radiating from the mind enables the motor-organs to function. All external perceptions, all actions, are due to the radiance of consciousness received by the organs from the luminous self (atman) through the mind. In dream state when the radiation recedes from the body none of the ten organs can function, but the mind continues to operate. In deep sleep when the radiance recedes, even from the mind, all mental operations including egoism comes to dead stop. Says Vidyaranya: ’Mind, the leader of the ten organs, is seated in the orb of the lotus of the heart. It is the inner instrument (antahkarana), since it cannot by itself deal with external objects without the organs (indriyas).’

Of the three aspects of mind (antahkarana), cognitive, affective, and conative, the cognitive is basic. It underlies the other two. Feeling and willing are invariably associated with some kind of cognition. Vedanta stresses the cognitive mind and takes into account its four states or functions (vrtti): deliberation (manas), determination (buddhi), egoism (ahankara), and recollection (citta). In every external perception these four are involved. On seeing a chair a person does not at once determine it as a chair. In the beginning he is vaguely aware of it as something. He is in an indecisive state. So he cogitates ‘what is it?’, ‘what is it?’ This function of deliberation is manas. Then he searches within and recalls some past impression akin to it. With this recollection he cognizes the object as ‘this is a chair’. This function of determination is buddhi. The function of recollection is citta. With the knowledge ‘This is a chair’ arises the knowledge ‘I know the chair’. This is the function of egoism. Because of the rapid succession of the four functions they seem to be instantaneous. The four functions represent four different states of the mind. Most Vedantins recognize two main states of the mind; deliberative (manas) and determinative (buddhi). Vedanta-sara includes ahamkara in manas and citta in buddhi. Like ‘antahkarana’ the term ‘manas’ is sometimes used for entire mind, and so is the term ‘citta’.

Methods of knowledge according to Advaita Vedanta by Swami Satprakashananda

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