Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Antahkarana Mean?

In Indian philosophy and yoga, antahkarana refers to the internal organ that is the location or inner origin of thought and feeling. The word originates from the Sanskrit antar, meaning “interior” or “within,” and karana, meaning “sense organ” or “cause.” It translates as “the inner cause” or “internal organ.”

It is defined as either the link between the body and the spirit or the bridge between the middle and higher mind. The term may also be defined as the source of thinking, or the mind, soul, heart or conscience.

Antahkarana is also a symbol used in the Reiki healing method.


Yogapedia Explains Antahkarana

According to Vedanta literature, antahkarana consists of four parts:

  1. Manas (mind) – the lower, rational part of the mind that connects with the external world
  2. Chitta (memory) – the consciousness where impressions, memories and experiences are stored
  3. Buddhi (intellect) – the decision-making part of the mind
  4. Ahamkara (ego) – the attachment or identification of the ego, also known as “I am-ness.”

Antahkarana refers to the whole psychological process, including emotions. In some Hindu traditions, the antahkarana may refer to two levels of the mind, both the intellect (buddhi) and the middle mind or mental body (manas).

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