Yoga Mimamsa

: 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4--8

Concept of Manas in Mimāṃsā Darśana

Hetal Amin1, Rohit Sharma2,  
1 Department of Basic Principles, Parul Institute of Ayurveda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Abhilashi Ayurvedic College and Research Institute, Abhilashi University, Chail Chowk, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Hetal Amin
Department of Basic Principles, Parul Institute of Ayurveda, Vadodara, Gujarat


There are many different traditions of religion and philosophy handed over in regular succession. Although the explanation and interpretations of all Darśanas are different from one another, all Darśanas have their own separate codes of conduct and priority. Philosophy is the prime specialty as it fulfills the ultimate goal of life with depiction of liberation of the soul. The aim of Mimāṃsā is to unravel and make clear the mysterious and complex hymns of Vedas so as to facilitate proper interpretation of Vedic texts. In Indian culture, Manas has been described by various angles. Vedic, philosophical, and Ayurvedic literature has a vast and deep description of Manas. Philosophers either“Astika” or“Nastika” have described Manas Siddhanta vividly. Although there are several kinds of differences of opinions, all Darśanas accept the importance of Manas in the process of perception and even for the birth of any individual. An attempt is made to highlight the concept of Manas in Mimāṃsā Darśana in this article.

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Amin H, Sharma R. Concept of Manas in Mimāṃsā Darśana.Yoga Mimamsa 2016;48:4-8

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In Mimāṃsā Darśana, there is little description available about Manas. Mimāṃsāka follows the same postulations as that of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika. Main aims of Mimāṃsā are to explain“Dharma,““Athāto Dharmajijñāsā” (Upadhyaya, 1997, p. 308). The Darśana originated for the correct explanation of Vedic literature, i.e., hymn from Saṃhitā. They claim that every Rūcā is directing to do some duty; hence, correct meaning of Vedic Mañtra was necessary. Although for the explanation of Karma kāñda (i.e., various details of procedures required to perform Yajña) previous to Mimāṃsā Darśana, the Brāhmaṇa Grañtha was already in use; however, due to multiple options and parallel opinions, it was necessary to systematize the knowledge. This system evolved in the form of Mimāṃsā.

 KumĀrila MimĀṃsĀ


According to Kumārila system of Mimāṃsā, there are five categories present. They are Dravya (substance), Samānya (generality), Guṇa (quality), Karma (cause), and Abhāva (nonexistence). Here, Dravya is the abode of Guṇa, Karma, and Abhāva. Substance is the abode of size (Radhakrishnan, 1951, p. 393) and is of 11 types. They are Pṛthvi, Jala, Tejas, Vāyu, Tamasa, Ākāśa, Kāla, Dik, Ātmā, Manas, and Śabda (Upadhyaya, 1997, p. 325).

Almost all the systems of philosophy accept that perception is the valid knowledge produced by sense contact. The senses are six in number. They are Cakṣu (sense of sight), Rasana (sense of taste), Ghrāṇa (sense of smell), Twaka (sense of touch), and Srotas (sense of hearing) and the Manas. Here, the first five are external and the last is internal. The sense of sight is light existing within the pupil of the eye; sense of taste is the water element at the tip of the tongue; the earth particle within the nose is sense of smell; the air particles distributed throughout the limbs are the sense of touch; the sense of hearing is only ether within the ear; the Manas, however, is all pervasive and produces its effect in the body (Jha, 1942, p. 10).


When the soul comes into contact with Manas, it comes into contact with the sense organs and which then has right intercourse with the real object. When the external organs are supervised by Manas, theyproduce perceptions of smell, taste, color, touch, and sound. Manas is the organ of internal perception of cognition, pleasure, pain, desire, and aversion, which are the qualities of the soul (Lakshmipathi, 1944, p. 380).

Vibhūtva of Manas

Manas is Vibhū (all-pervasive). However, it is a sense only as long as it is defined by a body as it produces effect only in that part. In the cognition of color, etc., it stands with the help of the Liñga parāmarśa (Lakshmipathi, 1944, p. 387).

It has already said that Kumārila accepts Manas as all-pervasive. Manas is all-pervasive because it is a substance which is not fit to be touched, because it is a substance which is neither the product nor the producer, or because it is the abode of conjunction which is the noninherent cause of knowledge; like the soul (Upadhyaya, 1997, p. 325). As in the case of Ākāśa, etc., it is motionless. If it is not conditioned, it cannot be a sense organ. An extraneous adjunct is not intelligible because if that part was destroyed, the destruction of Manas would follow. The entire body cannot be the extraneous adjunct the conjunction of Ātmā and the Manas is the means for cognition of pain which exists throughout the body. For example, when a thorn pricks in the leg, the pain would be felt throughout the whole body. Here, the reply of the Kumārila is that they accept the entire body as the Upādhi (extraneous adjunct) (Radhakrishnan, 1951, p. 400).

 PrabhĀkara MimĀṃsĀ

The Mimāṃsā school follows Nyāya Vaiśeṣika in general; the aim is through Nirvikalpaka Jñāna, Adhyavasāya perception based on the concept of Manas. Four direct references are found in Brahma Sūtra for Manas, meaning that gradual evolution, Manas having five working modes, process of laya into Manas and Manas merges into Prāṇa (Radhakrishnan, 1951, p. 410).

Manas: Añtahakarana Catuṣtaya

Buddhi-Ahaṃkāra-Manas and Citta are Añtahakarana Catuṣtaya. Every individual and the world are made up of three types of Śarīra, i.e., Sthulaśarīra, Sukṣmaśarīra, and Liñgaśarira, and five types of Kośa, i.e., Annamaya Kośa, Prāṇamaya Kośa, Manomaya Kośa, Vijñānamaya Kośa, and Ānañdamaya Kośa, on the basis of Vyaṣṭi and Samaṣṭi principle. God for Manomaya Kośa is Hiraṇyagarbha and Taijas.


The Prabhākara accepts eight categories which are Dravya, Guṇa, Karma, Sāmānya, Paratañtratā, Śakti, Sādṛśyam, and Saṃkhyā (Upadhyaya, 1997, p. 351). Among them, Dravya is divided into nine as in Nyāya system.

In various extents, Prabhākara follows Naiyāyika and not Kumārila, while interpreting the Manas.

Aṇutva of Manas

In Prabhākara system, Manas is considered as atomic in size. They also hold the view that cognition of the qualities which remain in the external substances can be generated by the conjugation of another substance or by the Asamvāyi Kāraṇa of the cognition. For example, the conjugation of Agni is the noninherent cause of taste that remains in the atom of Pṛthvi. In case of the noninherent cause of cognition, there must be a substance which is entirely different from Ākāśa. Therefore, Prabhākara infers a particular kind of substance called Adravya dravya, which is of two kinds. The all-pervasive substance has no conjugation with each other because conjugation is generated by activity. There are two kinds of conjugations in the cognition of internal perception of happiness, pain, etc. They are conjugation with Manas and Ātmā. On the other hand, in the cognition of external perception, there are four kinds of conjugations. They are conjugation with substance sense organs and conjugation with qualities such as color.

 VedĀÑta DarŚana

According to Vedāñta Darśana, Manas always function with its three aspects of memory, forgetting, and activation with the help of the three principles termed as Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas (Upadhyaya, 1997, p. 351).

Utpatti of Manas

While describing the Sṛṣṭi on the basis of Samaṣṭi and Vyaṣṭi, Vedāñtasāra states that there are three types of Śarīra and five Kośa of which this world and every individual are made up of.

Out of these Śarīra, Sukṣma Śarīra which is also called Pratibhāṣika Sattā, i.e., Sukṣma Liñga or Ativahika Śarīra, according to other Darśana, is consisting of three Kośa, i.e., Prāṇāmaya, Vijñānamaya, and Manomaya. Other two Śarīra are Sthula and Kārana Śarīra and consist of Annamaya and Ānañdamaya Kośa, respectively, and are Bhūtagrāma and Ātmā according to other Darśana. Out of four Avastha of a Jiva, the supreme fourth is Mokṣa, which is not to be considered with Śarīra, i.e., Jivita. Out of other three, Svapna is the Avasthā which is considered to be of various dreams even though objects in reality are not there, still one can experience objects in dream as the Prāṇa (consciousness/ego), Manas, and Vijñāna (sense organ or Indriya).

These all can be understood by [Table 1].{Table 1}

Manas: Añtahakaraṇa

According to Vedāñta Darśana, Manas, Buddhi, Citta, and Ahaṃkāra jointly are called four Añtahakaraṇa (internal instruments), while in Sāṃkhyakārikā, Citta is not included in Añtahakaraṇa.

 Four Mental Modes

The internal faculty has four mental modes, namely, Saṃkalpa Vṛtti (analytic mode), Prakāśa Vṛtti (luminous mode), Jñāna Vṛtti (cognitive mode), and Abhimāna Vṛtti (proud mode). In other words, one may say that the Manas exists in analytic faculty, thinking faculty, intelligent faculty, cognitive faculty, and egoistic faculty. The internal faculty is situated in Jiva (life). In Jāgṛt Avasthā (wakeful state), Jiva with its form traverses from Hṛdaya (heart) and associates with Pañcendriya (five sensory faculties) to appreciate Bhoga (experience). When it confines itself in heart, the state is called as Svapna, and when life separates from the internal faculty, Suṣupti (deep sleep) occurs.

When Manas joins with the sense objects, it may attain emotional states such as Rāga (attachment), Dveśa (aversion), Bhaya (fear), and Krodha (anger). However, before attaining the emotional stage,“I-ness” initiates the state (Rupa). These Manas Svarūpa depend upon one way or the other on increase or decreases of major attributes of Sattva.

Karma of Manas

Usually Manas has two attributes, i.e., thinking and sleeping. It can be called as Vikṣepa (excitation or release) of Rajas and Āvarana (covering) of Tamas, respectively. When both Rajas and Tamas are reduced, one may develop Virya (potency). That is, one has to remove Rajas and Tamas to increase his potentials.

Excitation (release Vikṣepa)

Release Vikṣepa (excitation) of Manas originates from Vāsanā (instincts). Instincts provoke for the movement of Manas with mental modes. Actually, modes are Padārtha (categories) that are Kṣaṇika (momentary) in nature. Instincts modes, i.e., Saṃsāra and Ahaṃkāra, are the identified areas that are to be avoided to realize Ātmā. Vedāñta says that Ānañd (bliss) can be achieved by destroying Vāsanā (instincts). Āvaraṇa (inhibition) when Tamas veils over the Sattva, sleep occurs and the Sattva keeps idle.


Perception involves the function of the internal organ. According to Vedāñta, during perception of an object, the internal faculty streams out of the sense orifices of the organism. It reaches the object and is determined into a Vṛtti (mode) by taking the form of the object. At the same time, it occupies the same position in space with the object. Philosophers generally recognize two distinct stages of perception, Nirvikalpa and Savikalpa. Most of the schools of Indian philosophies admit the existence of indeterminate perception though they have differences in views of its nature and objects. However, Mādhava and Vallabha, the founders of minor schools of Vedāñta, deny the existence of indeterminate perception. They regard all perception as determinate. The Śābdika also holds the same view. No one denies the existence of determinate perception. Only the Buddhist holds that the so-called determinate perception is not perceptual in character.

Lakṣaṇa of Manas

Advitiyavastuni Vicchidyaavicchidyaantarerindriyavrutti pravaaha (Lakshmipathi, 1944, p. 409).

According to Vedāñtasāra, after leaving the aimless things, the constant flow of thinking with Manovṛtti is called Dhyāna. Instruments or means of knowledge and action are known as Kārana. Senses being the external means are called Bāhya karana. The term Añtahakarana has been used for the heart, soul, seat of thinking and feeling, mind and conscience, and senses.

According to Advaita Vedāñta (monistic Vedāñta), there is one universal eternal, changeless light of consciousness that is called Brahma.

It is modulated by different objects and is called object consciousness (Viṣaya caitanya) It is modulated by mental modes and is called cognizing consciousness (Pramatā caitanya).

The Sankarites hold that the sense faculties are Prāpyakāri (receptors) as they apprehend their objects when they come into contact with them. Of the five faculties, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile faculties apprehend their objects remaining at their bases, but the visual and auditory faculties are tele-receptors as they go out to their appropriate objects and apprehend them. The object of perception may be capable of being Yogya (perceived) or Ayogya (imperceptible). In Vedāñta Paribhāṣa, perception is divided into two: Indriyajñāna (sensuous) and Anindriyajanya (nonsensuous). They are further divided as Jñeya Pratyakṣa (perception of an object) and the Jñāna Pratyakṣa (perception of cognition). They are subdivided into Nirvikalpa Pratyakṣa (indeterminate perception), Savikalpa Pratyakṣa (determinate perception), and Ishwar Sakṣi Pratyakṣa (perception of the divine witness).

Perhaps, according to Vedāñta Darśana opinion, Manas along with Sukṣma Śarīra carries the Karmajanya Saṃskāra that becomes a part of living body and get indulged into the world in the form of Māyā due to Rajas and Tamas.


Mimāṃsā is much more materialistic than Nyāya Vaiśeṣika as its applicability is limited for literary exposition of Vedic hymns to carry out all process of Karma kāñda, i.e., Yajña, Homa, Bali, and Svsti properly. Thus, Mimāṃsā has nothing to contribute regarding concept of Manas. Attainment of Sukha in terms of Svarga is the prime goal of Mimāṃsā. Hence, emphasis on proper conduct of the duties according to the Vedic regimen was stressed by Mimāṃsā, thereby emphasizing the upliftment of Vedic Dharma in society through Pratyakṣa (perception); here they followed theory of knowledge, i.e., chain of Artha, Indriya, Manas, and Ātmā. They have nothing more to add. They have also followed the well-accepted qualities of Aṇutva and Ekatva of Manas.

To state appropriate or precise meaning of Vedic Mañtra, Mimāṃsaka adopted the tools of knowledge, i.e., Pramāṇa. Even though they follow many Pramāna, still they are mainly concerned with Āptopadeśa. Hence, the Mimāṃsā is called as“Vakyajñāna of Veda” whereas Vyākarana is Śabdajñana and Vedāñta is Tatvajñana. When they come to description of Vakyajñāna, they become the essence of their theories. They advocate various process of Vakyajñāna of which is Bhāvanajanya; it is the process by which the Kriyāpadasya Artha (verbal meaning) is understood. They state that verb is formed by the root and suffixes (i.e., Mala, Dhātu, and Vibhakti, Kālavicara, Arthavācaka, Liňgavācaka Paryāya). They postulated various theories regarding Abhidhā (word meaning), Lakṣaṇa (incorrect or codified meaning), and Vyañjanā (expressed) which helps in correct understanding. At last, whatever the meaning, all these modes advocated by Mimāṃsā are not different from the function of intellectual faculty which is in the orbit of Manas. The direct reference of this derivation of knowledge is from Adhyavasāya, Nirvikalpa, Alocana, and Jñāna. According to Ācārya Cakrapāṇi, Dhyeya means to deeply think upon. Thus, the main theme of Mimāṃsā is solely dependent upon the Manas, though Mimāṃsākāra has not discussed much Manas.

Many of Daivavyapāśraya Upacāra are prescribed in Āyurveda for the management of Manasika Vyādhi, on which there appears an impact of Mimāṃsā Karmakāňda as discreet and various references regarding Svasti, Ayana, Homa, Bali, Mañgala are available in the texts. These may be the original contribution of Atharvaveda. Hence, it would not be any exaggeration to say that Mimāṃsā has the least impact in establishment of concept of Manas from Āyurvedic point of view.

According to Vedāñta Darśana, this world is Māyā (illusion) and only Brahma is real. Jiva and Brahma both are same; however, Brahma is the actual knowledge and Jiva is a part of Purṇa Brahma. This is Satyābuddhi and is yoga. Living entity is Puruṣa and it is developed from the combination of Parthiva Śarīra, Pañca Jñānendriya, Manas and Ātmā. Parthiva Śarīra is Bhogāyatana of Ātmā. Ātmā is pure sacred form of Brahma and Manas is an equipment to perform any work from Jiva.

The statements of Vedāñta in relation to Manas are somewhat different from other philosophical texts. It believes Manas as Añtahakaraṇa and is made from Pricchnna Jadatva and reveals Caitanya. The existence of Manas is not explained on the Pratyakṣa of Sukha and Dukha.

The five Kośa indicate the gradual superior level of life controllers, Manomayakośa being middle one is like bridge between former and latter Kośas. It is reflected in Caraka Śarīra as Yajjivam Spruksharirenaabhisambadnaati. The three Avasthā such as Jāgṛt, Svapna, and Suṣupti are the gradational activities of Manas. Ultimate aim of Vedāñta is to get Kośa or Brahma Jñāna by various methods as discussed in Caraka Saṃhitā Śarīrasthāna related to Manas.

Among five types of Kośas, the owner of Manomayakośa (Sukṣma Śarīra) is stated as Hiraṇyagarbha and Taijas which are close to Agni. This is true as knowledge is related to the light of Sattva or Agni. However, Ācārya Suśruta in Śarīrasthāna 1/10 quoted that God of Manas is Candrama, i.e., moon, which is Saumya and near to Jala Tatva.

According to Vedāñta Darśana, Manas is one among the Añtahakarana Catuṣtaya. Generally, Citta and Manas are synonyms, and it is difficult to state the difference between these two. With the review of literature, one can conclude that Manas is the state of intellectual faculty whereas knowledge is a form of analysis. However, it is yet to be determined and has a Vikalpa, i.e., an option. When Ahaṃkāra is over after due considerations, respective reflection known as Adhyavasāya is attained. This is called as Citta. As per dictionary meaning and grammatical expositions, Vyutpatti of Citta and Manas is decision and discussion, respectively. Therefore, it can be concluded that Citta is more close to Ātmā and Manas is to Indriya.


Dharma and Tattvajnāna are closely related to each other. Both together take the Jivātma or the soul beyond life as well as death. The Manas is expected as preceding effect through the channel of an external sense of touch. Furthermore, simultaneous experience of happiness is present in the entire body which cannot be felt if Manas is considered as atomic. Therefore, merits and demerits of atomic and all-pervasiveness are same. Vedāñta believes that the whole Universe is Māyā, apparent derivation of Brahma. Thus, it is worthwhile to consider postulation of Pañcakośātmayattva, wherein, Manomayakośa is one of them.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.[4]


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2Lakshmipathi, A. (1944). Ayurveda Siksha. (Vol. 1, pp. 380-409). Bezwada: Sree Dhanvantari Press.
3Radhakrishnan, S. (1951). Indian Philosophy. (Vol. 2, pp. 10, 393-410). London, New York: The Macmillan Company.
4Upadhyaya, B. A. (1997). Bharatiya Darshana (3rd Khanda, Mimamsa Darshana, pp. 308-351). Varanasi: Sharada Mandir.