Vritti

Definition - What does Vritti mean?

Vritti refers to the thoughts that surface in the mind, often described as a whirlpool. In "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali," the revered sage defines yoga as citta vritti nirodha. Citta is the mind, vritti refers to thoughts and nirodha means removal. Yoga stills the mind and frees it of thoughts.

Yogapedia explains Vritti

Vrittis, or the fluctuations of the mind, are of five types, as follows:

  1. Pramana (right knowledge) - A state in which the mind reflects reality
  2. Viparyaya (misconception) - A state when the mind makes a wrong judgement, which, in time, is replaced by right knowledge
  3. Vikalpa (imagination or feeling) - Refers to understanding the real situation, though words do not directly relate to the situation
  4. Nidra (deep sleep) - The state of mind that exists when one sleeps
  5. Smriti (memory) - That which is stored in the mind

The aim of yoga is to still and attain a superior state of mind.

infographic showing the five vrittis of the mind, pramana, viparyaya, vikalpa, nidra and smriti, in a whirlpool formation

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