Manas (T. yid; C. yi; J. i; K. ui) is translated as "mind," "mental process," "mental functioning," "thinking process," "thought," etc. It is generally a synonym for related terms such as citta and vijnana.
Manas is used in the following contexts:
- manovijñāna - the mind consciousness with in the six consciousnesses
- manendriya - the mind faculty within the six sense faculties
- manasikara - mental engagement
- kliṣṭamanas - defiled mental consciousness (within the Yogacara tradition)
- manas-vijnana - an alternate name for kliṣṭamanas
Distinction between manas, citta, and vijnana
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism states:
- ...mind is designated as citta because it “builds up” (cinoti) virtuous and nonvirtuous states; as manas, because it calculates and examines; and as vijñāna, because it discriminates among sensory stimuli.
Bhikkhu Bodhi states:
- While technically the three terms [citta, manas and viññāṇa] have the same denotation, in the Nikāyas they are generally used in distinct contexts. As a rough generalization:
- Viññāṇa signifies the particularizing awareness through a sense faculty (as in the standard sixfold division of viññāṇa into eye-consciousness, etc.) as well as the underlying stream of consciousness, which sustains personal continuity through a single life and threads together successive lives (emphasized at 12:38-40).
- Mano serves as the third door of action (along with body and speech) and as the sixth internal sense base (along with the five physical sense bases); as the mind base it coordinates the data of the other five senses and also cognizes mental phenomena (dhammā), its own special class of objects.
- Citta signifies mind as the center of personal experience, as the subject of thought, volition, and emotion. It is citta that needs to be understood, trained, and liberated.
- For a more detailed discussion, see Hamilton, Identity and Experience, chap. 5.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu (2000), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Wisdom Publications
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Skorupski, Tadeusz (2012), "Consciousness and Luminosity in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism", Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation Practice (Academic Papers presented at the 2nd IABU Conference), The International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU)
- yid, Rangjung Yeshe Wiki