Himalayan Yoga Academy

Education & research Foundation

Five Vrittis

1 Dec 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Five Vrittis Mind

Vrittis simply defined as the different thoughts that spring up and fluctuates in our mind that disturbs in the medium of consciousness. For instance, In the whole day, you not only enjoying the present moment fully but you are also thinking about the past or imagining the future days. Something comes up in your mind every minute.

According to the definition of yoga by Patanjali Yoga`s sutras, the self realization can be realized only when the chitta is released from the burdens of vrittis. Chitta vrtti nirodaha means calming the mind through meditative techniques of patanjali yoga.

There are five function of the mind(or five vrittis) to assist is in the mechanism of working of the mind. They are:

  1. Pramana (Valid Cognition)
  2. Viparyaya (Misconception)
  3. Sleep (Nindra)
  4. Imagination ( Vikalpa)
  5. Memory (Smriti)

Pramana (Right knowledge/Valid cognition)

Pramana simply means the source of right knowledge obtained from three principles; direct experience,  knowledge from the testimony and inference.

  • Direct Experience:  Here, it involves five senses. This can be acquired from your own perception either learning from the environment or from the formal education.
  • Knowledge from the testimony: It involves spoken and written word of past or present experts. You can learn the truth directly and you can derive knowledge and understanding.
  • Inference: One or more observation with valid logic is done to understand the things of ourselves.

Viparyaya (Wrong knowledge/Misconception)

It is defined as the false or incorrect knowledge based on the unworthy appearance of that object. Sometimes there are instances where we base our knowledge on the misconception.

Vikalpa (Imagination)

Imagination is an idea that creates in our mind. We imagine due to various factors like past experiences, dreams, words, concepts. For instance: if you think you can do anything and you are amazing and capable then we live our life believing this. However, if you think you are useless, failure then you will not able to do anything in your whole life. So the function of Vikalpa can influence you so deep either causing suffering or happiness.

Sleep( Nindra )

Nindra can simply defined as the state of emptiness and deep sleep. We all know the importance of good sleep for our overall health. One poor night sleep, or suffer from insomnia, disturbed or not enough sleep can negatively impact our mood and make feel dumb the whole day. A deep sleep is when we overcome the heaviness and do not perform any kind of activities at the present moment. Sleep is common activity for the mind.

In deep sleep or nindra, the mind is totally unconsciousness.However, we can also experience deep sleep consciousness. This is much relaxed and light.


The fifth part of vrittis is known as Memory or Smriti. Simple, memory is the recollection of experienced objects. All the experiences we acquire with the conscious mind leaves an impression on individual and stored as memory. So this impression leads to suffering or freedom which should be controlled by state of yoga.

The memory influences the activities we are performing so it can affect us in different froms either in positive way or in negative way.

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