Philosophy Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 2

90 Days Philosophy Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 23-Jan-2019

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

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3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

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23-Jan-2019 - Question 1

What is meant by "yogascittavrittinirodhah"? Explain cittavrtti and its effects according to Yoga philosophy? (2017)

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Model Answer

Yogascittavrittinirodhah means Yoga is the cessation of modifications of Citta through meditation. Yoga brings the three internal organs of Sankhya – Buddhi, Ahankara and Manas under citta. Citta is the first evolute of Prakrti and is unconscious in itself.

Citta is subject to the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas hence it undergoes various modifications to the predominance of these gunas. But it has predominated by Sattva over Rajas and Tamas.

The highest form of matter is citta, and Yoga lays down the course by which a man can free himself from the vrttis of citta. Citta may undergo modifications and assume the form of the objects presented to it; but it cannot perceive what it sees, since it is unconscious in nature.

[Excerpt taken from Indian Philosophy – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan]

Citta is all-pervading like akasa, and we have as many cittas as there are purusas, since each purusa has a citta connected with it. The citta expands or contracts in the various kinds of abodes in the successive lives. It appears contracted when the purusa assumes an animal body and expanded relatively when it assumes a human body.

Hence, When the Chitta gets related to any object, it takes on the ‘form’ of that object. This form is called Vrtti or modification.

The Purusa knows the world through these modifications of Chitta. Chitta, therefore, is the physical medium for the manifestation of Purusa. Following are the modifications of Chitta:

  1. Pramana:
    1. Pratyaksa pramana: When Citta comes into contact with external objects through sense organs
    2. Anumana pramana: When Citta infers the generic nature of things.
    3. Shabda pramana: Cognition through verbal testimony
  2. Viparyaya: positive wrong knowledge like that of a rope in snake.
  3. Vikalpa: Mere verbal idea which does not correspond to any real things. For example, the idea of a hare’s horn.
  4. Nidra: It is absence of cognition, yet it is a mental modification owing to absence of knowledge.
  5. Smrti: Smrti is the recollection of past experience through the impressions left behind.

Hence, the bondage of self is due to its wrong identification with the mental modifications and it is the aim of Yoga discipline to enable liberation and to turn back the citta to its original status of all-pervading karana citta, by the suppression of rajas and tamas.

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