Discuss the concept of Manas (mind) in Aurobindo’s Philosophy

In the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, the concept of Manas (mind) plays a crucial role in the understanding of human consciousness and its evolutionary journey.

According to Aurobindo, Manas is one of the levels or aspects of the human mind, representing the mental consciousness that is responsible for perception, thoughts, emotions, and the functioning of the ordinary human intellect.

Aurobindo distinguishes between the ordinary or lower mind (Manas) and the higher mind (Vijnana). The ordinary mind is associated with the ego and limited by its identification with external forms and dualistic thinking. It operates within the boundaries of the human personality and is subject to the limitations of ignorance and desires. The ordinary mind is the seat of individuality and is influenced by the external world and social conditioning.

On the other hand, the higher mind represents a higher level of consciousness that transcends the limitations of the lower mind. It is characterized by intuitive insight, holistic understanding, and the ability to perceive higher truths beyond the realm of ordinary knowledge and perception. The higher mind is associated with a deeper spiritual consciousness and the ability to tap into universal knowledge.

According to Aurobindo, the evolution of consciousness involves a transformation of the ordinary mind into the higher mind and beyond. Through spiritual practices and the development of higher faculties, individuals can elevate their consciousness and transcend the limitations of the lower mind. This transformation leads to a direct and intuitive knowledge of the divine and a deeper connection with the higher realms of consciousness.

Aurobindo emphasizes that the transformation of the mind is not a negation or rejection of the lower mind but a process of its integration and transcendence. The goal is to harmonize the lower mind with the higher mind, allowing the individual to function from a higher level of consciousness while still maintaining a grounded and practical approach to life.

The concept of Manas in Aurobindo’s philosophy underscores the significance of the mind in the process of spiritual evolution. It highlights the need for self-awareness, self-discipline, and the cultivation of higher faculties to transcend the limitations of the lower mind and access higher levels of consciousness. Ultimately, Aurobindo envisions the transformation of the human mind as an integral part of the larger process of the evolution of consciousness and the realization of a divine life on earth.

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