चित्त, citta


Chitta is the substance, where the mental impressions and experience of a person are recorded, the location of the conscious, subconscious and superconscious states of the mind, that which reflects higher consciousness; spiritual consciousness.

The word Chitta has a double meaning – on the one hand it is the whole field of the mind, on the other – its core, one of the parts of the antahkarana. In Sankhya philosophy, chitta is considered more like an analogue of antahkarana; in Yoga philosophy and Vyasa's commentary on Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras", the synonym for chitta is buddhi. In the "Shaiva Siddhanta", the mind is considered to be composed of five parts:

  1. jagrat-chitta – the ordinary activity, thinking state of mind;
  2. samskara-chitta – the subconscious mind, the repository of all impressions, reactions and desires, the sphere of involuntary psychological processes;
  3. vasana-chitta – the mind of subconscious inclinations, the storehouse of vasanas;
  4. karana-chitta – the superconscious mind, the mind of light, the all-knowing mind of the soul. Correlates with the state of turya, closest to Para-shakti or Satchitananda;
  5. anukarana-chitta is also a superconscious mind, functioning through conscious and subconscious states and causing intuition, clarity of mind and spontaneous vision.

In "Siddha-Siddhanta Paddhati" (I.48) the following qualities of chitta are given:

“Intelligence, stability, memory, detachment, grasping – such is five-quality chitta”

Chitta is described by Gorakshanath as manifesting in the following states:

  • Mati (intelligence) – wit or penetration of consciousness.
  • Dhriti (stability) – affirmation of spiritual experience or awareness.
  • Smriti (memory) – the ability to recall and reproduce past experiences.
  • Tyaga (detachment) – the ability to abandon something, the sacrifice in the name of gaining more.
  • Svikara (grasping) – the ability to assimilate and appropriate, to create what is acquired through external sources.

Chitta is manifested mainly in the preservation and revival of old samskaras, in the subconscious actions of consciousness.