The Mind and How It Works – Part 3, Mental Activity and Inactivity

Mental Activity and Inactivity

Ripples, Waves and Whirlpools (Vrittis) 

The waves of thought in the mind-stuff are called vrittis (literally, “whirlpools”). Ripples, waves and whirlpools arise in the mind-stuff due to external stimuli constantly being ingested by means of the senses and the thought processes associated with them. We cannot see what is behind all of this, we only see the objects presented by the senses. It is like not being able to see the bottom of a perfectly clear lake because its surface is covered with ripples, waves and whirlpools, and why it is said that this must cease in order to catch a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface—the clear, pristine Truth.

Various Forms of Vrittis

The ripples, waves and whirlpools of the mind-stuff manifest as scattering, lethargic, gathering, one-pointed and concentrated. The scattering form is activity that tends toward pleasure or pain. The lethargic form tends toward ignorance of Reality. The gathering form functions when the mind-stuff is drawing itself inward to become concentrated, and the one-pointed form when it is concentrated. The concentrated form of mind-stuff leads to samadhi.


There is no English word synonymous with samadhi. Technically, samadhi is a uniform state of mind, or equilibrium. However, once having achieved it, this definition seems cold and dry. 

Through meditation, with the advent of advanced stages of samadhi, the knower, the process of knowing, and the object of knowledge, merge and disappear into the Absolute. Though the individual that you are remains forever what it is, there is no sense of self, no viewpoint, no sense of experiencing, no mind (as we know it). All desires are obliterated in this ocean of rolling bliss. It is through this samadhi that we acquire the desireless state naturally. (What could be left to desire?) Ultimately, as a result of this samadhi, we go home to ever new joy, the end of all sorrows, and final liberation—the Ultimate Fulfillment.


At its highest, yoga is the cessation of the ripples, waves and whirlpools in the mind-stuff. In the following sutra, yoga is found to be synonymous with samadhi:

yogas chitta vritti nirodhah — Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, I:2

Yoga is (yogas) the cessation (nirodhah) of the activities (vritti)
of the mind-stuff (chitta).

The word “yoga” means union. Yoga is both union and the means of attaining union. Yoga is sun-moon union (hatha yoga) until it becomes royal union (raja yoga), union with the Ultimate, Absolute God. The attainment of this highest union through the equanimity of a uniform state of mind is the ultimate fulfillment. Once having reached it, one never deviates from the means of attaining it: yoga.


_____________ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ _____________

These three issues on The Mind and How It Works, is in the service of setting you up for the next roll of Ancient Mystical Writings on the subject of Raja Yoga (royal union). See you then.

Durga Ma

Shaktipat Intensive, September 15-16
Meditation Teacher Training & Certification
Online Meditation Courses

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s