Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha

Definition - What does Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha mean?

Chitta-vritti-nirodha refers to stopping or quieting fluctuations of the mind through the practice of yoga. By calming these mental fluctuations, the yogi opens him/herself to experience union with the Divine, the Higher Self or the Absolute Reality. Among these fluctuations of the mind are desires and attachments, which can be to worldly objects, ideas or even relationships.

The term comes from the Sanskrit, chitta, meaning “consciousness” or “mind-stuff”; vritti, meaning “fluctuations”; and nirodha, meaning “suppression” or “restraint.”

Yogapedia explains Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali refers to yoga as chitta-vritti-nirodha. In other words, when the fluctuations of the mind have been quieted, you reach a state of consciousness that is in union (yoga means “union”) with the divine universe. You are then able to perceive the divine within.

Various yoga practices help you achieve chitta-vritti-nirodha, including Patanjali's eight-limbed path: among them, asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and observing the yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances).

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