Body, mind and soul in Ayurveda

Mind (Mana) Vs Soul (Atma)

According to Ayurveda, Mind is considered as the internal organ of perception through which pleasure, pain, cognition and desire are perceived. It is the chief organ and controls all the sense organs.
The conjunction of mind with the sense – organ is an essential condition for all kinds of knowledge.
Mind is an un-conscious instrument of the soul. Mind is active.
Thinking, reasoning and logic are the main functions of mind. Worry, anxiety, fear, anger, greed, jealousy are abnormal functions of the Mind.
Mind connects Prana with soul.
Soul is the owner.
Soul is the knower.
Soul is consciousness. It organizes all data into meaningful whole.
Life process is due to the existence of Soul.

Types of Mind (Mana)

1. Sattva (Sattva signifies pure and active)
2. Rajas (Rajas initiates the activity, aggressiveness)
3. Tamas (Tamas imparts inertia)

All the three components are present in different proportions in every individual as per their mental constitution (ManasPrakriti).

Body (Sharira): There are two type of Sharira

Gross body (Sthula Sharira)

The gross body is the combination of the five external elements known as the panchamahbhuta and it provides matrix for consciousness. It is also the seat of all diseases and pains.

Subtle body (Sukshma Sharira)

Subtle body is composed of five jnanaindriya (sense – organs), five karmaindriyas (motar organs), mahat (intellect), ahamkara (ego), manas (mind) and five tanmatras (subtle elements). Subtle body carries all the impression of previous life through mind. Subtle body is the seat of atma (soul). It is only the Indian concept that elaborates what happens after death & rebirth.

Mind-Body Interaction

Variations in the human behavior and disease processes are due to Mind-Body complex interactions.

Ayurveda has a well-developed concept that mental activity significantly influences body functions.

The Rajasik mental activity triggers the Vatik & Paittik activities at the body level.

Anxiety and stress significantly influence the body functions and prolonged stress produces psychosomatic disorders.

Ayurveda advocates high attention in controlling the mind by Sattvik food, good conduct, practice of Yoga-meditation.