Concept of Advaita and Dvaita States of Mind

The terms advaita and dvaita of Indian spirituality are very popular and well-known. They are coined and commented theologically from advaita, visistaadvaita, dvaita and saaktaadvaita points of view. Upanishads are roots for these two concepts. Sankara, Raamaanuja, Madhwa and Saaktaadvaitins gave interpretations variedly suiting their propositions and systems and cults are formed around them. The same advaita and dvaita can be viewed from cognitive science point of view. Such awareness is discussed in this article.

Upanishads can also be viewed and commented from psychology point of view. The atmajnnana or brahmajnaana proposed by the Upanishads contains information about the origin, structure, function, control and cessation of mind. Upanishads thus are also texts of science on human mind. They were structured and constructed to reveal the intuitive knowledge, the experience of seers, in mind- and time- transcendent phase of pure consciousness or unoccupied awareness. The term Self, is a more suitable translation to the terms Atman or Brahman. It is known that Atman and Brahman are one and the same (ayam aatmaa brahma- This atman is brahman). The state of Atman or Brahman is proposed as the original and normal state of mind. All mental functions and related activities are excited states of mind.

Thus the Upanishads are replete with many expressions which deal with human faculties and mental processes which can be used to understand and model human cognitive processes. Indian spiritual wisdom contained in the Upanishads, Advaita siddhanta, Shad Darshanas and other similar texts is not merely theological but is also psychological and scientific The Upanishads are traditionally commented on as theological texts. But Upanishads are also texts of science on human mind. Advaita and Dvaita concepts can be successfully used to understand the theory of human mental processes. Atmajnana, the essence of Upanishadic wisdom when interpreted from psychology and modern science point of view, yields a mine of information about phases of mind, cognitive states of mind and functions of mind. The physical structure of mind and a model and possible theory of human cognition and language acquisition and communication processes can be presented when the ideas from Upanishadic wisdom, Advaita thought, Gayatri Mantra and Sabdabrahma theory are clubbed. In this approach, Advaita philosophy-the off-shoot of Upanishads, its chief idea vivartanam, the Atman is understood as the source of mental energy and mental time space by the generation of maya from Atman Itself and transformation of maya to form idam, consisting of jiva, prapancham, jagat etc., for mental functions to take place.

Atman (yasya gamanam satatam tat atma-which moves always is atman), and maya (yaya asantam pasyati sa maya - through which the human cognitions and communications take place or ya ma sa maya - which does not exist that is maya), together constitute and compose of human consciousness and are the ingredients that construct and operate human consciousness and human mental functions.

poornam adaha pooram idam poornat pootnam udachyate
poornasya poornam aadaya poornam eva avasisshyate

The above Upanishadic expression informs about Atman (adaha or aham) and idam, the inner mental world and mental functions taking place therein and the resulting mental projections. Idam comes out as full from adaha – the full and after this release the adaha remains full. This means adaha or Atman or Brahman is both the instrumental and material cause (upaadaana kaarana) for the formation of inner mental world. Atman also gives us dristi or consciousness. Atman, which moves always, rather oscillates in tune with the breathing process and is the result of it, is both the source, guide of and absorber of maya, the chit aabhaasa or pranavam, the reflected form of the chit energy. And inner mental world is constructed by maya and associated mental functions are transformations of maya in forward and reverse directions, technically known as vivartanam.mayaamayam idam jagat - the world id made up of maya” , sentence informs this.

Maya thus is synonym for mental or psychic energy that creates and retrieves and is the raw material or energy that builds inner mental world (jagat- meaning, the moving one) in the form of mental functions and their cessation. Atman can be compared to present-day electronic oscillator and can be considered as a bio-oscillator issuing out psychic energy pulses of period 10-1 sec. and thus relates to the field of bionics and cognitive sciences. Atman is construed to be the Energy-Presence which provides psychic or mental energy and mental time-space. The psychic energy pulses when reflected in the Medha become maya- the virtual chit energy, chidabhasa.

Vivartanam is the type of change that maya undergoes while sristi (creation of mental impressions or mental world) takes place. When sristi is being created or is in the dristi (Consciousness/awareness), we are mentally functioning. When sristi is in the awareness a veil is formed on dristi and creates adhyasa. According to Advaita thought only two mental situations are available for humans in the consciousness of the Atman. The situations are nidra or sristi. Nidra corresponds to the sushupti state of consciousness or phase of mind. During this phase of mind, all mental functions cease to be in the awareness and maya, whose transformations these mental functions are, becomes nirvishaya suddha vasanaa pravaaham. During this phase of mind maya does not bifurcate as divyam (jnana sakti) and swaram (prana sakti) as in jagrat and swapna conscious states and both sense and actions organs remain dormant and functionless.

All human learning, knowing, communication, perception, reasoning, experience, understanding and a state transcending these mental functions are the combined and simultaneous operation of Atman, maya, antahkaranas (inner mental tools), pancha pranas, sense organs and action organs. Mental functions take place as the inter-play of advaita (vishranta dristi-unoccupied awareness-pure consciousness) and dvaita (simultaneous presence of antarmukha dristi-awareness of within of the body and bahirmukha dristi- awareness of the without of the body. Sense organs are activated by the antahkarana manas and this forms the baharmukha dristi- awareness of the without of the body. During this awareness of mind tanmatras (object-energy forms) are sensed by sense organs by tuned manas. Perception is a construct from the inputs through sense organs and manas. Manas gives dristi or awareness of without and within of the body concerning the sensing, sensed and experiencing creating object-energy forms.

Advaita Siddhanta is popular as Vedanta Darsana. Like Vedanta Darsana, Sabdabrahma Sidddhanta-the language theory proposed and developed by Indian grammarians also has advaita philosophy as its basis. Advaita philosophy is an integrated psychology, which professes the sameness of the knower in both the self-conscious (jivatma), the state of Becoming- in forward and reverse directions - and the Witness in the transcendent pure-conscious (paramatma) state as Being during the processes of Expression/Teaching and Knowing /Learning.


Brahma sat jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na aparah

- means

What is present always (in dristi and responsible for formation of dristi) is Brahman and jagat (which is moving or transient) is adhyasa (veil), over sat (Brahman); and mithya (unreal or virtual) jiva (self-consciousness or egoistic state of mind as adhyasa over Brahman) is Brahman (pure consciousness or unoccupied awareness) Itself, not different or separate.

Maya as tamas conceals the atmachaitanayam; falsely identifies the individual with self-consciousness and forms ego - which are also part of inner mental world (jagat) by forming veil (adhyasa); thus causes moham and makes one see and experience jagat as suktirajatabhranti; or rajjusarpabhranti as avidya and makes vidya disappear from awareness (dristi); and is transient and transitory as the reflection of sat.

Because of these five kinds of illusions caused by maya, all inner mental world and mental functions therein transpose themselves on Atman as pictures are superimposed on the cinema screen. Atman is like the cinema screen here. These pictures (cognitions and self-consciousness) appearing on Atman-screen do not and can not separate themselves from the screen and require the screen for their appearance, cognition and sustenance.

All this is termed as mithya till the mental awareness becomes pure-consciousness and once this Truth becomes the dristi (consciousness), all these cognition and ego related-appearances are termed not separate from Atman but as part and parcel of Atman. Dristi (conscious awareness) is important. Just as waves are not separate from the sea so are the appearances as sristi (cognitions and self-consciousness) are not separate from Atman.

The following chief Upanishadic maha vaakyaas are commented from psychological and scientific points of view to help in the furtherance of this understanding.

Aham Brahma Asmi I am Brhman

The real identity of ‘I’ is Unoccupied Awareness. ‘I’ is not a body, person, thought or not a sense. ‘I’ is pure consciousness.‘I’ is the impersonal Seer which is the source of mental energy and guide of and witness to transformation of mental energy as mental functions but unaffected by them and transcending both mental functions and their cessation.

Tat Tvam Asi That is You

Self and Pure Consciousnesses are same in nature, content, structure, form (function) and presence. At a given moment either self-consciousness or pure consciousness will be present. Self-consciousness is super imposition over pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is continuous, self-consciousness is transient and transitory.

Ayam Atma Brahma This Atman is Brahman

Atman is Brahman – Unoccupied Awareness – Energy Presence without transformation.

Prajnanam Brahma Prajnanam is Brahman

Brahman– as Atman –– Energy Presence – is Mental Time- Space and Continuous Awareness. Prajnanam is Unoccupied (by cognitions, thoughts, cognition-related and created experiences, senses or their retrieval) Awareness in Pure Consciousness.

Anando Brahma Bliss is Brahman - Unoccupied Awareness is bliss.


Atman is sat-chit-ananda. Sat is the present continuous form of the root (dhaatu) ‘as’ meaning ‘to be’ Jagat is the present continuous form of the root (dhaatu) ‘jag’ meaning ‘to move’. Jagat forms adhyasa on sat and pure consciousness (paramaatma state) (chit) becomes self-consciousness (jeevaatma state). Both paramaatma – ego-free or ego-transcending and jivaatma – egoistic mind are present continuous forms and refer to mental functions not taking place or taking place.

Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma All Idam is Brahman

Idam, (prapancham or jagat ) ( all the world - the collection of cognitions sensed by sense organs through the medium of manas) – is composed in, made up of, sustained by, rests in and ceases to be because of and part and parcel of psychic energy pulse generator – Atman.

The famous Isaavaasyoopanishat says

Isaavaasyam idam sarvem / yat kim cha jagtyaam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjeethaah / maa grudha kasya vittdhanam

In this sloka, Isa refers to Atman or Brahman, idam refers to prapancham or jagati - to inner mental world created by sense organs together with antahkanrnas –manas, buddhi, chittam and ahamkaram and jagat refers to the current moment state of mental functions taking place with experience of ego (jiva state). Knowing that jagat or jiva bhava is adhyasa –veil, over sat-chit-ananda - the ever-present conscious state of Atman as peace (santi), bliss (ananda or priyam), silence (mouna) and also be aware of the fact about transient or transitory nature of jagat or jiva bhava as unreal (appearance over natural Arman or Brahman state) or virtual (present at one instant or in some phase and disappear next instant or in another phase of mind) and be rid of (tyaktena- by removing or sacrificing) the unreal or transient jiva bhava or tanmatra or vishaya to be set in eternal paramaatmaanubhava and live as that – our natural or original state- is the goal and essence of spirituality which enables one to mentally function efficiently without getting entangled in the stresses and strains caused by egoistic mind through wrong anvaya (identification). The true or proper or correct anvaya (identification) is that we are divine (ego-free or-ego-transcending) by nature which we experience the moment we stop falsely identifying with our body, mental traits, social status, gender, etc.,

Human mind functions in Jagrat (wakeful conscious state) and Swapna (dream conscious state) – termed as dvaita ( Two – aham- idam ) conscious states - using above mental tools and simultaneously uses these Jagrat and Swapna conscious states and alternates between dvaita and advaita - No Two – only Aham – Aham - the Jagrat Sushupti- conscious state and aids humans to know, reason, do intellectual operations, understand, experience and be blissful, peaceful and silent.

In the dvaita (aham-idam) conscious state a differentiated perception of knower and known exists while knowing/learning. Thus a triad (triputi) of knower-knowing-known exists and perceived. The perception of this triad is absent in advaita (Aham-Aham) conscious state; then perception of knower and known gets absorbed in knowing and only awareness of knowing in the form of meaningful experience / experienced meaning /understanding remains /results. In advaita state experience / understanding / sense (of a word) becomes cognitive energy-form by and in Eternal Awareness Prajnanam , transcending dvaita conscious state. Advaita conscious state is also the state of purport - tatpara, tatparya, rasa or bhakti state.


asti bhaati priyam namam roopamcheti amsa panchakam
aadya trayam brahma roopam tato dwayam jagt roopam

is a famous expression of Vedanta Panchdasi. This sloka says that prapancham (also known as viswam) is made up of five ingredients: asti (sat aspect), bhaati (chit aspect), priyam (ananda aspect)- the aspects of Brahman or Atman, namam (name) and roopam (form or sight or drusyam or vishaya), the aspects of prapancham or jagathi or jiva. Addition or tagging of namam and roopam to Atman forms prapancham in jada form. Prapancham becomes jagat (dynamic inner mental world) when retrieved and appears in the dristi.

In jagat, Atman is in three parts as asti – the sat aspect; bhaati – the chit aspect and priyamanandam aspect, together with the two parts namam (name) and roopam (form). Namam is given by language and form is what the vishaya looks like or cognized like. It must be noted here that prapancham is created within as sensed by sense organs through the antahkarana manas. So obviously the smells (by nose), tastes (by tongue) and touches and feelings of hotness and coldness (through skin) are also part of prapancham in addition to sounds heard by ears and forms seen by eyes. This prapancham will be in jada (potential) form and becomes jagat as kinetic form when retrieved and perceived by manas forming thoughts/feelings etc.,

This jagat is mithya-which is only a reflection and projection and is transient which exists this moment and disappears next moment and it is formed by the transformation of maya as antahkaranas; chittam as smaranam and manas as bhaavanam. Jagat is thus formed by maya the reflected chit energy as asti-bhaati-priyam (the brahma roopam or aatma roopam - as asti (sat) gives us the ability to conscious, as bhaati (chit) the ability to know and as priyam (ananda) the ability to experience the fruits of the knowing / knowledge / perception / ego) attached by namam and roopam (drisyam referring to all vishayas in the form of tanmaatras (stimuli) sensed by sense organs (jnaanendriyani). When jagat is in dristi we experience, understand, have insight, intuit , be instinctive, have moods, urges, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, expressions, utterances act or react through gestures (ex; eye movement) and actions through action organs (karmendriyanai-vak (speech), pani (movement of hands), pada (movement of legs) , paayu (movement of bowels) and upastha (movements relating to reproductive organ). When sristi, the adhyasa forming entity over sat (state of Atman) is not in dristi we have nidra or cessation or mental functions. Cessations of mental functions (nidra) with prajnaanam or awareness or consciousness is experiencing the Self (Atman or Brahman) and is the conscious state of jagrat sushupti (wakeful sleep); nidra without awareness of within or without of the body is the conscious state or mental phase sushupti (deep sleep).


In Advaita (No Two or non-dual) state human mind possesses consciousness only. As Prajnanam, Atman gives Dristi to observe, be aware of and be conscious of understanding, meanings and senses of cognitions and cognition created experiences. During advaita phase, no transformation of maya-no creation, transformation and functioning of antahkaranas (inner mental tools) takes place but the current of awareness is connected to sense organs and action organs which are ready to function but not in a functioning state. In dvaita (two or dual) state of mind, human mind exists as consciousness and awareness. Upanishads call consciousness as Aham and awareness of vasanas and prapancham as idam. The awareness, the manifestation of human mental functions is transitory and exists or ceases to be depending on the phase of mind. Awareness is present in Jagrat (Wakeful) and Swapna (dream) conscious states or phases of mind. In Jagrat Sushupti (Wakeful Sleep) or Sushupti (Deep Sleep) consciousness states or phases of mind, awareness of mind as being intelligent to mental operations and doing mental functions will be absorbed in pure consciousness. In Wakeful Sleep conscious state awareness will be always on and mind functions if willed. We, humans learn, know, communicate, teach, perceive, think, experience, understand etc., when an interplay of wakeful , dream conscious states happen simultaneously making use of dual (dvaita) and non-dual (advaita) conscious states during which time maya, the reflected chit energy transforms reversibly to facilitate us to perform mental tasks. This two-way- forward and reverse transformation of maya- is technically known as vivartanam in advaita thought. In dual (dvaita) state of mind, sense organs and action organs are active and function forming mental operations and thus enable us to perform all mental functions with the help of inner mental tools (antahkaranas--manas, buddhi, chittam and ahamkaram) which are two-way transformations of maya. The alternating and simultaneous rise and set of dual mental state and ever present non-dual consciousness give us cognizing, communicative and other mental abilities.

If human mental processes are observed, it becomes obvious that human perception is but an intermediary process which transfers sensing into sense (understanding/experience) and sense into expression. Human cognitive process can be stated sequentially as follows: (1) sensing: through sense organs (knowing), (2) perception (thinking, reasoning, decision making, etc.,), (3) understanding/experience, (4) purport- meaningful experience or experienced meaning. Human mental process is generally held to be a combination and quick successive transformations of four modes i.e.,

I Speaker/Teacher:

(a) Purport/Awareness (Meaningful Experience or Experienced Meaning
(b) Understanding/Experience
(c) Perception/Thinking (d) Utterance /Expression

II Knower/Listener/Learner:

(a) Knowing (through sense organs)
(b) Perception/Thinking
(c) Understanding/Experience
(d) Purport (Meaningful Experience/Experienced Meaning)/Awareness.

Language is the chief communication tool in day-to-day transactions and also in learning, understanding and imparting various kinds of knowledge, disciplines and skills. This paper intends to show that the understanding of human cognitive processes could be improved if due attention were paid to relevant data of physics- energy and its transformations playing a vital role- and- more surprisingly and interestingly – to Upanishadic wisdom and advaita philosophy.

Raso vy Saha

Consciousness of Meaningful Experience (Tatpara) -
Experience of Meaning (Taatparya ) is Brahman

Experience of Essence (rasa) of the meanings of all vakyas (sentences) - All Cognition-related experiences in the awareness of the Atman- Meaningful Experience. Silence. Peace. Bliss. Experienced meaning. Purport Import Tatpara Taatparya Iccha sakti jnaana sakti kriya sakti swaroopam Para pasyanti madhyama vaikhari swaroopam. Suddhavaasanaapravaham

Bhakti defined as swa swaroopaanusandhanam bhaktirityabhidhiyate (tuning the mind to its source) or cheto vrittirupetya tisthati sadaa saa bhaitirityuchyate [the state when mental functions in the form of antahkarana parinama (vritti) are absent] is the normal or natural or ground –energy state of mind. This is the state of absence of mental functions - the two-way transformation of maya and antahkarana. This is the state of Atma or Brahman. In this state the chidabhasa or virtual chit -energy maya – does not transform into antahkaranas (no vivartanam takes place) and no antahkarana parinama takes place. This state is also known as suddha sattava guna state, which amounts to nirguna state. Rajo guna (antahkarana mode) or Tamo guna (antahkaranama parinama-cognition of objective energy-form) cease be. Transformation of maya, reverse transformation of maya and cessation of transformation maya-the dvaita and advaita conscious states respectively- taking place simultaneously, consecutively and alternately is the structure, form, function, state and essence of human cognitive processes.

Transformation of maya as antahkaranas and pancha pranas and thence activating sense and action organs respectively and simultaneously (wakeful and dream phases of mind) is the vibhakti state or the state of ego- jivatma -state. All knowings /learnings /expressions /teachings take place in this vibhakti state making use of all mental tools in the awareness of Atma. Sabdabrahma Theory as proposed by Patanjali and developed by Bhartruhari et al takes this advaita/dvaita concept and a theory of language learning/teaching, speaking/understanding in the four modes of mind ( para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari) is developed using sphota vada, a consequence of Sabdabrahma Theory.

In this theory the advaita state - Jagrat Sushupti- proposed by Vedantins corresponds to para mode of language communication process. This is the tatparya (purport) or rasa (experienced meaning) state. This tatparya state is a state of awareness of experience of meanings. And in this awareness the untransformed maya is the flow of suddha vasanas. Pasyanti mode of language is the state of senses (of words/sentences) or artha sthiti or state of verb. The verb will be in a present continuous or infinite form without subject and object.

When an object energy-form. the tanmatra– a vishaya- is sensed through antahkaranas, this verb state becomes a state of sentence – bhava or thought. This state is known as madhyama mode of language -the vibhakti state of sentence or thought and is the modulated chidabhasa ( undergone vivartanam). This modulated energy- form gets transformed into sound energy through vocal chords’ movement and is expressed /uttered. This is the vaikhari mode of language. All this happens in the speaker/teacher.

This uttered sound-energy (the vaikhari mode of language) is picked up by the ears (sense organs) of the listener/learner and becomes sentence in the madhyama mode- the modulated chidabhasa mode in conjugation with the antahkaranas (inner mental tools). This sentence-energy form in madhyama mode is in subject-verb-object (the triad-triputi) form. This mode of language gets demodulated (reverse transformation of maya - the vivartanam in the reverse direction) into meaning, resulting in understanding/experience in the pasyanti mode- to a verb (sense), in present continuous or infinite form, the subject and object being dissolved in the sense of uttered /expressed sound.. This, when meaningfully experienced in the awareness of para mode, is the purport or rasa or tatparya of the uttered word- Bliss, Being, Peace or Unoccupied Awareness , the normal or natural state of mind - i.e, the state of Self, Atman or Brahman.

Thus chit-energy pulses, being issued out by Atman ( Sat-Chit-Ananda) and after getting reflected in the medha as virtual or chit- energy (chidabhasa or maya) pulses , first get modulated from this para / rasa / tatparya state by cognizing stored energies in potential (jada) form–in the form of subject-object- free verbs/senses, experiences, intuitions, understandings, urges , volitions through the antahkarna chittam to be transformed in to the mode of pasyanti; then again gets transformed into subject-verb-object state, the madhyama mode - by simultaneously cognizing the object energy-forms –vishayas, stored as potential energy (jada) forms – as idam, jagat or prapancham through the antahkarana, manas in the awareness of within – antarmukha dristi- as bhavas or thoughts. Intellectual operations such as reasoning, decision making, take place in this awareness. When the antahkarana, manas is tuned to the object energy-forms (light-eye, sound-ear, chemical- tongue, nose and heat, mechanical-skin) through jnanendriyas –sense organs- then the awareness becomes bahirmukha dristi-awareness of without. This process (in expresser/teacher and the reverse of this process, (demodulation in listener/knower/learner) happen in human-beings while expressing/speaking or listening/learning- as transformation or reverse transformation respectively-together known as vivartanam- of maya and antahkarnas in conjugation with sense organs and action organs, karmendriyas.

This is the essence or gist of human cognitive process and language acquisition and communication process as envisaged by the Upanishads and the advaita philosophy together with Sabdmabrahma Siddhanta in terms of vivartanam (modulation and demodulation). Thus this simple model of integrated psychology (the science of mind and mental functions) and language communication process when compared with the radio broadcasting and reception processes (modulation and demodulation), depicts the gross energy-transforms’ model of human cognitive process. This model provides necessary soft-ware while constructing machines which can perform human mental tasks which can be used in the disciplines of cognitive sciences and natural language comprehension branch of artificial intelligence.

Aham-Aham: ‘I’-‘I’ - Pulse Series (No Two) Advaita: Aham-Idam - I (Awareness) + Cognized / Perceived / Experienced World – Phase of Mental Activity - Pulse Series (Two) Dvaita

* Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin are sense organs.* Movements related to hands, legs, vocal chords, reproductive organ and bowels are action organs. **Manas, Buddhi, Chittam and Ahamkaram are antahkaranas (inner mental tools). Experiences created by perceived or retrieved object-energy forms are vasanas.Stored and retrieved collection of perceived object-energy forms is prapancham. Jagrat Sushupti (Wakeful Sleep) is Unoccupied awareness. Knowing/learning expression/teaching , thought, perception, experience, understanding, volition, urges etc., are occupied awarenesses, happening in Jagrat (wakeful) and swapna (dream) conscious states. Sushupti – State of cessation of mental activities.


Conscious states of mind: Phase, cognitive and functional states of mind:
Speaker / expresser / teacher

I modulation: State of mind (manasika sthithi): State of mind (manasika sthithi): mood; understanding; verb; state of meaning and sense; intuition; experience; urge; insight;
II modulation: Function of mind (manasika gathi): Thoughts, perception, feelings; sentence

Transduction: Utterance/expression
Listener/Learner/student: Function of mind:

Transduction: Knowing through sense organs, in tune with manas.

I demodulation: Thoughts, perception, feelings; sentence
II demodulation: State of mind (manasika sthithi):
Mood; understanding; verb; state of meaning and sense; intuition; experience; urge; insight;
Antahkaranas give awareness (dristi) of without or within of the body concerning sensing or sensed and sense- energy forms.

Kinds of mental functions (Vedaanta Panchadasi):

Function of mind: (manasika gathi):
Annamaya : relating to sense organs - object-energy forms (stimuli; knowing -physical- light, sound, chemical, mechanical and heat forms transduced to electro-chemical energy forms) Vaikhari.
Getting tuned to and sensing stimuli from external physical world through sense organs and reception.
Pranamaya: relating to actions, reactions and inter-actions relating to action organs (transduction of electro-chemical energy forms into mechanical energy forms)

Madhyama: Actions, reactions or interactions with external physical world activated by hormones or stored information.
Manomaya: Antahkaranas (inner mental tools): Perceptions, thinking, intellectual operations, feelings;
Madhyama: Perception/thinking/reasoning/feeling in accordance with the stimuli from external world or information retrieved from inner mental world.
Vijnaanamaya: State of mind: (manasika sthithi): Mood; understanding; verb; state of meaning and sense; intuition; experience; urge; insight;

Pasyanti Conversion of above information into intelligible information as understanding or insight or experience
Anandamaya: Experienced meaning; meaningful experience.
Awareness of Understanding /intuition /urge /mood /experience /meaning /experience.
All this happens in the awareness of Atman (prajnanaam).

Seven Cognitive states of mind: Sapta Lokas :
1. Seer Atman / Brahman Advaita State Being - Pure Consciouness - Bliss Peace Silenece
(i) Satya loka : Aham -Aham Jagrat Sushupti Wake ful Sleep Peace Silence Bliss Egoless /ego-transcending conscious state. Visranta Dristi Awareness + Chidakasa Maya not transformed Srasta Rasa Atmanubhava Samayam Bhakti, Para Tatparya, Sat-Chit-Ananda
2. Seer: Antahkaranas – manas, buddhi, chittam and ahamkaram Dvaita States Becoming
(ii) Tapo loka : Aham+Chidabhasa Chittakasa Jagrat Maya transformed Samvit Meditative state if Mind Antakmukha Dristi Awareness + Icha-jnana-kriya sakti pravaham / Nirvishaya/nirvishayaanubhava pravaham

(iii) Jano loka : Aham+Vasana Rajomayakasa Jagrat and/ or Swapna Wakeful/Awakened and/or Dream Antarmukha Dristi State of egoistic mind. First transformation of maya Awareness + Mood Pasyanti Artha Experience Intuition Sense Understanding Urge
(iv) Maharloka : Aham+ Divya, Swara Saktis Jagrat and/or Swapna
Mental state of Intellectual operations Antarmukha Dristi Awareness + Akasa and Vayu
Bifurcation of maya into jnasakti and prana sakti

(v) Survarloka : Aham+ Nirvishaya/Nirvishayaaanubhavam Sushupti Deep Sleep
Awareness+ Tamas Maya not bifurcated and not transformed suddhavasana pravaham

(vi) Bhuvarloka : Aham+Idam Bhutakasa Swapna Dream State of awareness of within
Awareness + Second transformation of maya Srusti Vibhakti Madh yama Antahkarana parinama takes place Only action organs are active Sense organs are dormant
(vii) Bhooloka : Aham+Idam Jagrat Wakeful/awakened State of mental cognition knowing/Expressing Bahirmykha Dristi Awareness + Bhutakasa Second Transformation of maya /Transformation of maya into sound, gesture, expression etc., Vibhakti Vaikhari Both sense and action organs are active.

Conscious states or Phases of mind (Upanishads):

Wakeful Sleep, deep sleep, wakeful or awakened and dream. These are discussed in detail above. Human consciousness is always on as conscious awareness and only mind rises or sets during these conscious states of mind causing cognition and cognition-related experiences, storing and retrieving them in respective phases. Human consciousness is the form, the structure and the consequence of breathing process and generates psychic energy that does all human cognitions and cognition-related functions. Cognition and cognition-related functions are the result of reversible becoming of this psychic energy and human consciousness bifurcates as consciousness that is aware of the cognitions and related activities and the occurrence of the activities themselves. When these activities are taking place, such a dual role is played by the human consciousness. There is also a phase when no cognitions or cognition-related activity is taking place and it is the original or normal or natural state of human mind, the non-dual or peaceful, blissful or silent phase of mind.


Jagrat Sushupti - Wakeful Sleep
A series of ‘I -I’ pulses’ issue and virtual energy transformation takes place
Mind is active if willed.
Sense and action organs are alert and ready to function.
Through Meditation one reaches this state.

State of Visranta Drishti, Bhakti - Silence, Bliss, Peace, Unoccupied awareness, Pure Consciousness, Divine consciousness, Real ‘I’ state etc.
Normal or ground or original or natural state of mind. Being.

Sushupti - Deep Sleep
A series of ‘I-I’ pulses’ issue and Mind is in absorbed state. No transformation of virtual metal energy. Sense and action organs are not in functional state. No awareness of within or without prapancham-cognitions) or
vasanas- cognition related or created remembrances. State of cessation of mental activities

Jagrat - Wakeful / Awakened
Mind is active. Sense and Action organs are active are in working state. All knowing/expressions take place in this state. Meditation starts in this state. Bahirmukha Dristi (awareness of without) Becoming Excited state of mind.

Swapna - Dream
Mind is active. Sense organs are in dormant state. Actions organs will be functioning if necessary. Meditation becomes one-pointed in this state. Anthramukha Dristi (awareness of within). Becoming Excited state of mind.
Cognitive States of mind (Gayatri Mantra):

Seven states of cognition are identified in relation to ego-transcending or egoistic or self-conscious state of mind. These cognition states function around the, ‘I’-consciousness, ‘I-sense, the I-thought or feeling and I-expression or utterance or in the absence of such identification. Then no individual- specific information will be in the mental awareness and the mind transcends to a state or phase when the mental awareness becomes one with the consciousness and non-duality in the form of peace, bliss, or silence is experienced. Cognitions cease to take place but will take place if willed or necessary. The seven cognitive states of mind are:

Pure consciousness: Normal or original state of mind:

  1. “I” Consciousness – No “I” Awareness of and about individual
  2. Meditative state of mind. One pointed awareness.

Egoistic State of mind

  1. “I” Awareness/Sense/mood- Ego Sense - State of verb/meaning/understanding/experience/intuition/urge- Infinite form or present continuous form of verb without subject or object attached.
  2. ‘I” Thought/Feeling (awareness of within of the body)- State of sentence with subject-verb-object-perception
  3. ‘I” Thought/Feeling (awareness of without of the body) in relation to outside physical world. Mind tuned to outside world through sense organs
  4. “I” Utterance/Expression/also reception of stimuli from outside world and expression through action organs.
  5. No “I” Awareness of or about individual- No Self consciousness or ongoing of mental functions. State of cessation of all types of mental functions.

Function of mind:

While mind is functioning, there will be a differentiated perception of knower-knowing-known or subject-verb-object, which will be missing and absent when non-dual (advaita) awareness or pure consciousness becomes unoccupied awareness. Experiencing or understanding or getting insight of verb is state of experience and then knower-known or subject-object are not attached to the verb. Verb will be in a present continuous form or infinite form depending on it is absorption of information or understanding cognition or experiencing cognition or urge (to express or do) or intuition (result of perception or instinct took form or genetic knowledge expressed through hormones or like them) or sense or meanings of utterances received or to be expressed.


  1. Ramabrahmam, V., A modern scientific awareness of Upanishadic Wisdom:  Implications to Physiological Psychology and Artificial Intelligence  Proceedings of the World Congress on Vedic Sciences, VijnanaBharati, Bangalore, (2004) 562-68.
  2. Ramabrahmam, V., Human cognitive process-An ancient Indian model, Proceedings of the International Vedic Conference on Contribution of Vedas to the World, Haridwar (2005)
  3. Ramabrahmam, V., Being and Becoming: A Physics and Upanishadic Awareness of Time and Thought Process, LudusVitalis, XIII Num. 24, (2005) 139-154.
  4. Ramabrahmam, V., Elements of cognitive sciences and artificial intelligence in Gayatri Mantra - Proceedings of National seminar on Bharatiya Heritage in Engineering and Technology at  Department of Metallurgy and Inorganic Chemistry, I.I.Sc., Bangalore, India, (2006) 249-254
  5. Ramabrahmam. V. The Science of Human Consciousness. LudusVitalis, XV. No. 27, (2007)127-142.
  6. Ramabrahmam, V., The physics and electronics meaning ofvivartanam, Paper presented at 2nd World Congress on Vedic Sciences, February 9-11, 2007 Banaras Hindu University, VARANASI, UP, India (2007).
  7. Ramabrahmam, V., Upanishadic ways of calming the mind, Presentation at the national seminar on “The Indian Approach to Calming the Mind” on 25th and 26th August, 2007 at VedaVijnanaGurukulam, Bangalore (2007).
  8. Ramabrahmam, V., Physics of Yoga, Paper presented at the National Seminar on “Yogic Methods of Enquiry” held at Maris Stella College (Autonomous), Vijayawada from 10th to 12th December, (2007).
  9. Ramabrahmam, V., The physical structure and function of mind: A modern scientific translation of Advaita philosophy with implications and application to cognitive sciences and natural language comprehension, Paper presented at national seminar on Sanskrit in the Modern Context conducted by Department of Sanskrit Studies and the School of humanities, University of Hyderabad between11-13, February (2008).
  10. Ramabrahmam, V., Concept of mindin yoga sutras and vedantapanchadasi: A comparison, Paper presented at Patanjaluiyam, tetradic national seminar on Bharatiya Scientific Heritage Patanjaliyam-Kautilyiyam-Parasshariyam-Bharadvajiyam  (Exploration into the interface os Spiritual, Social, Agricultural and Engineering Sciences) held at SDM College, Ujjire-Dharmastlala, Mangalore, 13th-16th May, (2008).
  11. Ramabrahmam, V., The infrasonics of human cognition and communication, Paper presented at Bharadvajiyamtetradic national seminar on Bharatiya Scientific Heritage Patanjaliyam-Kautilyiyam-Parasshariyam-Bharadvajiyam  (Exploration into the interface os Spiritual, Social, Agricultural and Engineering Sciences) held at SDM College, Ujjire-Dharmastlala, Mangalore, 13th-16th May, (2008).
  12. Ramabrahmam, V.,  The infrasonics and electronics of bionics, Proceedings  of Presentations  at International Conference on Photonics, Nano-technology and Computer Applications (ICOPNAC- 2009), 25-28 February 2009 held at Center for Research and Development, PRIST UNIVERSITY, West Campus, Trichy Main Road, Vallam, Tanjavur- 613 403, Tamilnadu, INDIA, Volume II,  (2009) 20-39.
  13. Ramabrahmam, V., The Physiochemical nature of thoughts and ideas, Presentation at the Third Vedic Science Conference on Chemical Sciences and Technology in Ancient India to be held at Bangalore on 23rd, 24th& 25th, January, 2009 by National Institute of Vedic  Sciences , Bangalore. 
  14. Ramabrahmam, V.,  Paper presentation at 4th National conference on VEDIC SCIENCE with theme of "Ancient Indian Life science and related Technologies" on  23rd, 24th, and 25th December 2011 atBangalore conducted by National Institute of Vedic Science (NIVS ) Bangalore / Mulabagil . Title: ”Understanding human consciousness and mental functions: A Life-scientific perspective of Brahmajnaana”
  15. Video presentation at waves conference at Boston, USA, July 13-15, 2012; Title: Modes of Language acquisition and communication
Image (c) Gettyimages.com


More by :  Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam

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