Jan 31, 2015


THE SENSES  We learn in ayurveda that our mental health and spiritual fulfillment is more important to overall health than physical factors. If our emotions are disturbed or we have no spiritual purpose we will not be able to heal. The Vedas had a logical explanation of the mind and a systematic approach to connecting the body to the mind and connecting the mind to the inner self or soul. The yogic system recognizes four levels of mind according to its function. Which are the conscious mind, the self conscious mind, intelligence or discriminating mind and the unconscious mind. The mind is connected to the outside world through the senses.

Senses It is through our five senses that we connect to the five elements. The sense of smell to the earth element, taste to the water element, touch to the air element and hearing to the ether element. Each of the senses has an instrument through which it operates. We can say the senses are the instruments of consciousness and of the mind to experience the elements.

The nose is the instrument of smell and smell has the quality of earth so we have the nose by which to smell the earth element. 

The tongue is the instrument of taste and taste has the characteristic of water and we use the tongue to taste. 

Eyes are the instruments of sight and have the sensory quality of fire. The eyes are instruments to experience the fire element.    

Skin is the instrument of touch and has the characteristics of air using skin as its instrument of touch. 

The ears are the instruments to hear sound which has the sensory quality of ether and space. The ears are the instruments to experience ether and space elements. 


The link to the outside world is through the senses, they are the bridge between the body and mind and mind is the bridge between the outer and inner self. Thoughts desires and emotions arise in the mind and are manifested in an outward direction through the senses. Knowledge comes to the mind through the senses in an inward direction.                 


MIND (MANUS) can be compared to the screen of the computer and is described as the semi-conscious mind. It is the sensate or emotional mind. Our outer sensory awareness is our desires and it is the job of manus to coordinate the activities of the senses with the sense organs. 


Manus is our general capacity for thought and our ability to consider things coming in through the senses, it is the outgoing mind and its job is to get information from the outside through the senses. It is an instinctive level of mind unable to process information only to observe. It only explores desires at the level of the senses such as avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. As long as we operate at this level we are merely sensate creatures of habit without values and our energies and thoughts will be directed outward. 


Sensory information only serves to pull the mind outward and it is difficult for us to look within. Eventually there will be ignorance and blocked mental function. Like the monitor of a computer which knows nothing about the files on the hard drive until they come up on the screen, we are unaware of what is in the unconscious mind. There is a subtle flow of information between the outer and inner self through the senses. Intelligence or the conscious level of mind is the gateway to the senses and is in control of them. Messages and experiences come to the mind via the senses and it is our conscious mind which digests and interprets them. They are stored in the unconscious mind but because experiences are external they are enjoyed by the ego or self-conscious mind and disturb the mind. 

ATAY Video on "Levels of the Mind - Senses & Manus" 

The Mind or "Manus" is the bridge between the outside world and the inner self with information coming in through the senses. It is through the senses that we connect to the five elements. More Information and videos at According to Ayurveda & Yoga mental health page


According To Ayurveda & Yoga - Ann Holaday  

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