CONCEPT OF CHITT (चित्त)
ONLY YOG – (केवल योग) THE ENDLESS
ULTIMATE FOR ALL ‘UltimatES’
PREPARATION STAGE – UNDERSTANDING CONCEPT OF CHITT (चित्त) AND ITS COMPARISON WITH VRITTI (वृत्ति)
ORIGIN OF THE CONCEPT OF CHITT (चित्त)
The entire creation is the result of cause and effect process of VRITTIS. This is a unique contribution of VEDAS to the human thought. To understand it human mind is not enough as it is made up of those VRITTIS that are not reliable as discussed earlier and it keeps on hopping from one conclusion to the other. To understand the VRITTIS there is another human apparatus that Patanjali calls CHITT. The concept of CHITT is again a unique scientific enunciation of Vedic thought process that is completely absent in any other philosophy. The only reason of absence is that human mind as per its behavior pattern already discussed under MANOVRITTI, at some point of time got embroiled in the concept of soul and is carrying with it till date adding various contradictions daily and presuming it to be higher knowledge. I have discussed it further in this article under CHITT (चित्त), SOUL (ATMA आत्मा) AND CONSCIOUSNESS. To understand CHITT it is interesting to go into the genesis of this concept. We already know that Patanjali has discussed the conditions under which the VRITTI of MEMORY (SMRITI स्मृति) becomes another VRITTI called SANSKAR (संस्कार). Is it possible to ensure that the VRITTI of SMRITI (Memory स्मृति) is not permitted to drift into SANSKAR – a gene capable of mutation? The more pertinent questions that may precede this one are:-
• Why not to let it remain a MANOVRITTI as SMRITI only?
• Why at all should it not be permitted to drift into SANSKAR?
Efforts in the direction of finding out answers to these questions only resulted into the awareness of the mechanics of human behavior generation after generation and our helplessness in behaving so and also the invention of the unique science of YOG (योग) and awareness of the concept of CHITT (चित्त) indicating the possibility of other stages of sequential existence for human beings only as per LAW OF APARINAMI (अपरिणामी). The efforts to find out other stages of existence were put in for the simple reason of inescapable reality of passing through the present flawed stage of mind that Patanjali calls as MANOVRITTI (मनोवृत्ति) stage of CHITT. It is the concern for helplessness manifest in inescapable flawed stage of MANOVRITTI of humanity at large that must have weighed heavily on the minds of the authors of Vedas. And they concluded rightly that there must be other stages of human existence besides the MANOVRITTI STAGE. Under the brand name CHITT the following three stages were studied:
• MANOVRITTI (मनोवृत्ति) STAGE – a stage where all our actions are bound to be unreliable but inescapable also at the same time as discussed above. The functioning agency is MAN (मन). The nearest English word for MAN (मन) is mind. It is FLAWED due to primitive stage of reasoning being unreliable as discussed under PRAMAN (प्रमाण), VIPARYA (विपर्यय) etc and human beings cannot rest on its laurels howsoever miraculous these might be. Creation is a continuous process and to presume that mind is the final attire of human beings is militating against the very concept of VEDIC creation where THE END is not the directive principle. It is (NETI NETI नेति नेति) meaning NO END----NO END.
• SATTVA (सत्त्व) STAGE – a stage where a sort of realization dawns about the inadequacy and the inevitability of the MANOVRITTI stage and some efforts are put in to avoid the flaws. This stage is an unstable stage like formation of unstable bonds in a chemical reaction. All religions are the outcome and in a way efforts put in by SATTVA to overcome the inadequacies. SATTVA is a kind of process of physical and mental cleansing. But what exactly is cleansing? The VRITTIS of PRAMAN (प्रमाण), VIPARYAYA (विपर्यय) etc. take over and force the SATTVA to regress to MANOVRITTI stage. The functioning agency is SATTVA (सत्त्व) and there is no equivalent word in English for this.
• PURUSH (पुरुष) STAGE – a stage that is not subject to either regression or transmutation because unflinching wisdom (विवेक) about the reasons of inadequacy and the inevitability of the MANOVRITTI stage are thoroughly understood and diagnosed and the VRITTIS of PRAMAN (प्रमाण), VIPARYAYA (विपर्यय) etc are made inoperative through a well explained process of cleansing known as YOG. Patanjali calls this stage KAIVALYA (कैवल्य) literally meaning ‘ONLY WISDOM’. The functioning agency is PURUSH (पुरुष) and again there is no equivalent word in English for it.
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF CHITT
Patanjali has introduced CHITT in the second sutra of the first chapter only and keeps on referring to it throughout. Fourth chapter of his YOG SHASTRA deals mainly with the concept of CHITT and clarifications. The main characteristics of CHITT that emerge from the discussions are:
• This is a unique VRITTI possessed by human beings only. In other words it attains discernible stage in human beings only through a well established process of set and known conditions as per laws of APARINAMI and COMPLETENESS.
• Many words have been used by Patanjali to make the concept of CHITT clear by comparing each other. These give the impression of being the same as CHITT. The most prominent are MAN (मन), SATTVA (सत्त्व) and PURUSH (पुरुष). These can be better understood as sequential stages of CHITT as per laws of APARINAMI and COMPLETENESS of VRITTIS. It is the common name that encompasses all the stages. For such a division of CHITT, there must be a strong reason. The reason is that the perceiver and the perceived cannot be the same. The mind (MAN मन) is the primary agency of CHITT. Here the primitive VRITTIS of reasoning like PRAMAN (प्रमाण), VIPARYAYA (विपर्यय) etc have come into existence under LAW OF APARINAMI. But who will perceive that these VRITTIS are primitive and hence unreliable? The mind cannot be the judge as it is the party about which a judgment is to be passed and for it all its actions are excellent pieces of intelligence. Initial realization has got to be by some other secondary agency of CHITT and it is called SATTVA. But SATTVA invariably falls prey to the charms of the VRITTIS of mind because it is not trained. And like mind (MAN मन) it also considers all its actions as excellent pieces of intelligence. This fact is perceived by another agency of CHITT that is highly trained and is called PURUSH and this agency does not and cannot fall prey to the VRITTIS of mind as this entire process of training is perceived by the VRITTIS of MIND only and it lends all its VRITTIS to PURUSH for judicious use. All the VRITTIS of mind have now thus become hand maids of PURUSH.
• It cannot come into existence in any other form of existence either animate or inanimate. The human body alone can house it because of the conditions that are conducive for its presence.
• Its residing place is in the heart. It is a definite indication of existence that while the innumerable other VRITTIS exist all over this VRITTI happens to come into existence in the heart of human beings only. Who knows it might be traced tomorrow in some Micro stage (SUKSHM सूक्ष्म) as a gene or by some other name. It should be interesting to ponder over the reason of residing place of CHITT at heart. Why not brain? It is the physical organ of mind (MAN मन in Patanjali parlance) as per our established physiological knowledge of date. Perhaps he knew this fact and therefore, concluded that heart must be the physical organ of CHITT as its functions are entirely different from mind (MAN मन). Then why heart only and why not kidney, lungs or any other organ? The answer is perhaps he also knew that a brain-dead or any other organ-dead person is not actually dead but a heart-dead entity is finally dead. Not only this, he also knew that brain is just a conglomeration of millions of VRITTIS where some controlling VRITTIS of millions of other VRITTIS residing at innumerable places of the body do reside. Consequently, he studied mind (मन) and CHITT (चित्त) extensively and as separate phenomenon.
• This is also a VRITTI (वृत्ति) like any other VRITTI (वृत्ति) functioning under the laws of APARINAMI and COMPLETENESS with a difference that it does not belong to any group or subgroup (JATI जाति). It is single and unique.
• Like any other VRITTI (वृत्ति) it has definite structure (SWARUP स्वरूप), Micro (SUKSHM सूक्ष्म) and Macro (STHOOL स्थूल ) stages, function (ANVAYA अन्वय) and purpose (ARTHVATTVA अर्थवत्त्व)
• Its function is twofold: first to understand the functions of all the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) and secondly to make selective use of them and thus in a way become Master of all VRITTIS (वृत्ति). This can be achieved by the CHITT through continuous observation of and association with VRITTIS only.
• The VRITTIS function automatically for their defined purpose but CHITT has to develop to overcome the onslaughts of enchanting and captivating VRITTIS because of their defined purpose invariably coming in way of its allotted functions. This process of development of CHITT is YOG as per PATANJALI and any individual is capable of development of CHITT anytime one wants.
• A non-functional CHITT is an apparatus that has been incapacitated by the VRITTIS to perform its allotted functions. In a way it is like a defective instrument as CHITT but perfectly functional as a VRITTI.
• It cannot be the Master if it is under developed or undeveloped. An undeveloped CHITT (चित्त) behaves like any other VRITTI (वृत्ति) it is associated with. The oft repeated confusion because of this behavior is that there are many CHITTS (चित्त) in a person while it is a NON-FUNCTIONAL CHITT (चित्त) behaving differently in the company of different VRITTIS (वृत्ति).
• CHITT is recognized as an embodiment of the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) of friendliness (मैत्री), compassion (करुणा), joyfulness (मुदिता) and indifference (उपेक्षा) towards dualities like pleasure (सुख), pain (दुःख), virtue (पुण्य) and vice (अपुण्य). In other words these are the Macro symptoms (STHOOL स्थूल) and the actions of any person exhibiting these symptoms are always CHITT oriented and are in complete contrast to actions driven by MANOVRITTI (मनोवृत्ति)
CHITT (चित्त), SOUL (ATMA आत्मा) AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Patanjali has not used the word ATMA (आत्मा) anywhere in his treatise. It is a concept introduced by Upanishads – a post Vedic effort to explain ATM GYAN (आत्म ज्ञान) meaning “knowledge about self”; one of the main subject matters of VEDAS. The concept of ATMA (आत्मा) appears to have been derived from the word ATM (आत्म) and put into circulation so deftly that all religious philosophies were captivated by its unverifiable mysteriousness and projected completeness being part of GOD Himself. The dichotomy of existence of Satan, evil souls was resolved by advocating penance, devotion, confession, even accepting and submitting to fallacious licentious theories of various cults as means of redemption because they never knew anything about the concept of CHITT. They were interpreting soul (ATMA आत्मा) only, interpreting YOG as union of SOUL with GOD, communion of consciousness with supreme cosmic consciousness, getting convinced about SATAN as ‘Arch Angel ruined’ in Miltonic terms and thus all evil souls as ruined souls and convincing them to come under the patronage of some exalted soul and overall, generating fear, confusion and awe towards a deliverer, an incarnate of some god. Inspite of Patanjali not using the word ATMA anywhere his concept of CHITT was generally misinterpreted as ATMA (आत्मा) by the spiritualistic world with diverse opinions about its existence in animal or plant or inanimate world. All the religions have tried to suggest ways and means to develop CHITT only but all get confused en route for the simple reason of non-comprehension. Christianity and Islam have never heard the concept of CHITT as explained by Patanjali and all the Indian religions have equated it with some ethereal soul / ATMA (आत्मा) an imaginary concept introduced by spiritualistic Upanishads. The concept of CHITT advocated by Patanjali as a solid, verifiable scientific entity of human body was thus lost for ever in the labyrinths of unverifiable, mysterious, ethereal and awe inspiring SOUL. The term CONSCIOUSNESS is also used to denote SOUL only that becomes aware of supreme consciousness i.e. GOD and it has nothing to do with the capability of awareness as indicated in the apparatus of CHITT possessed by human beings. This discovery is the unique contribution of Vedic knowledge that has been shrouded in mysticism of imaginary concept of spiritualism by substituting PURUSH stage of CHITT by the non-existing soul (ATMA आत्मा) meeting the GOD and coining a term MOKSH (मोक्ष) for it wherein, a soul gets rid of another coined term PUNARJANM (पुनर्जन्म) i.e. taking birth over and over again. The confusion is further confounded by vesting in a YOGA expert the ability to take birth at will and thus coming again on earth as reincarnated soul (अवतार), again a coinage, to punish the evil and liberate the virtuous. Such explanation not only encouraged lethargy, helplessness and superstitions but put a seal of only finality ordained for human beings and all these go against the basic directive principle of NETI NETI (नेति नेति) of Vedas and the very ethos of perspiration (PURUSHARTH पुरुषार्थ) that is stressed from the beginning to the end in Patanjali YOGSHASTRA. The question that should agitate the mind of any seeker of knowledge should rather be – what happens next after the PURUSH stage or KAIVALYA (कैवल्य) for human beings. The answer is: it has to be found out through the process of YOG because it is the only endless ULTIMATE process with innumerable possibilities and all the other processes boast only of an illogical finality.