Are these (buddhi, mann, chitta, ahamkara) just abstract concepts or they have physical existence in the brain. I have been reading some answers under : https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/search?q=mind but none of them are very clear on the physical equivalents of these 4 components in the human brain. Is there any mention of this in the scriptures ?

Like for example it is known that left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for logical/rational thinking while right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for dreams/non organized thoughts. Does that mean buddhi resides in the left hemisphere while mann resides in the right.

  • 2
    Please read the forum rules. you have 2 main questions, and several smaller questions in 1 question. you need to break up your question into separate questions so answers can be precise. Sep 13, 2018 at 8:07
  • you might also like to read this question - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/6758/… Sep 13, 2018 at 8:09
  • @SwamiVishwananda the second part of my question was related to the first part so I decided to leave it in the same question. I have edited this question with just first part of my original question and added a seperate question for second part. I was reading the link you shared. That question seems to have 7 different questions in one. Just wondering why was that allowed and not this ?
    – SEUser
    Sep 14, 2018 at 0:41
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    @SEUser The manas, buddhi, and ahankara are all real material elements that arise out of the Mahat at the beginning of creation. These elements are part of the 24 or 25 material elements, the last material element being ahankara. So they are actual tattvas (entities). They all belong to the Sookshma sharira or the subtle body that the soul leaves with when it departs the physical body. And the soul or Jiva is the chitta.
    – Ikshvaku
    Sep 14, 2018 at 3:07

1 Answer 1


No. Buddhi, mann ( manas), chitta, ahamkara are four functional aspects ( dimensions) of Antahkarana (The internal instrument) as per Vendantins. This is a functional division of antahkarana, and by such division, a person is able to better understand the workings of antahkarana and have better control over it. Vedantins often use the example of sleep to explain why antahkarana is not the self-illuminating atman. when one is in deep sleep there is no antahkarana activity or conscious thoughts. This is used as the logic to argue that antahkarana exists only in our waking state by Vedantins. Perhaps this argument is sufficient to establish the brain of physical world is not to be directly correlated to vedantic concept of antahkarana. Brain is part of our physical body and therefore these divisions(Buddhi, mann, chitta, ahamkara ) which were created for analysing the antahkarana itself at rather mental or philosophical level do not have a direct correlation to parts of the brain. Having said that, as per sarira traya principle of the vedantins, one could argue brain is part of sthula sarira and antahkarana it's correspondence in shukshma sarira, but there is no direct correspondence of physical brain to functional aspects of antahkarana. Cerebral cortex of brain seems to encompass all the major functional aspects of the antakarana. Western science insists mind to be a function of the chemistry and physics of brain. Vedanta holds that the antahkarana perceives everything, including the information regarding physical brain, by the power of the self-illuminating atman. Further, antahkarana holding that the physical brain is a real entity is nothing but Maya or illusion. As per Vedanta, the self-illuminating atman is real, but antahkarana is temporal and illusionary (exists only during wakeful state) and physical brain an illusion created by antahkarana. Sources for the answer : What does happens to Prarabdha Karma while sleeping? http://www.dlshq.org/download/mind.htm

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