Definition - What does Citta mean?
Citta is a Sanskrit word meaning "consciousness" and is derived from the root word, cit, meaning "to perceive." It is all that is perceived and all that can be perceived. Consciousness is the space that holds all perceivable things. Citta may also be thought of as Spirit.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines yoga as yoga-citta-vritti-nirodaha, which means that yoga makes all misconceptions and distractions of thoughts disappear.
Yogapedia explains Citta
Citta, as defined by Swami Vivekananda, is the tool through which the external world is perceived. There are three major forms of citta:
- Manas: the consciousness of the lower mind
- Ahamkara: the ego
- Mahat: intelligence
Yoga is a practice that can alter and purify an individual's citta. The Yoga Sutras describe a concept called chitta vritti, which translates to "monkey mind" or "mind chatter." Regular practice of yoga helps to quiet the mind and teaches the practitioner to control (and even eliminate) these mental fluctuations. The inner journey an individual takes in yoga practice makes them travel from the unreal to the essence of their life, their presence in the universe.