Manas (Mind) and Buddhi (Intellect) Originate in the World of Ideas


Atma Namaste!

Paramahamsa Yogananda describes a causal world composed of "thoughttrons" and an astral world composed of "lifetrons". Nevertheless he includes "manas" and "buddhi" in the elements of the astral body. How does this fit togehter with a causal body composed of thoughttrons? Thank you. Andreas, Austria

—Dr. Andreas Ullrich, Austria


Dear Dr. Andreas Ullrich,

Namaste, great atma.

Many greetings, and thank you for your question. It is one that needs a little more detailed answer: we have to take a specific look at the single elements of the three bodies. Here is how Yogananda explained it:

Within the physical body, composed of 16 chemical elements (made of electrons, neutrons, protons), are hidden two other bodies: the astral body composed of 19 elements (made of “lifetrons”), and the spiritual idea body composed of 35 elemental ideas (“thoughtrons”).

That’s the general explanation. Then there is the more detailed explanation:

Physical body

The physical body is composed of 16 elements: iron, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, iodine, potassium, and so forth.

Astral body

Our astral body is composed of 19 elements, which are mental, emotional, and lifetronic.

These 19 powers in the astral body what build, maintain, and enliven the gross physical form. The centers of life and consciousness from which these powers function are the astral brain (sahasrara) and the cerebrospinal axis containing the six subtle chakras.

The 19 astral elements are:

4 functions of the mind:

  • intelligence (buddhi)
  • ego (ahankara)
  • feeling (chitta)
  • sense mind (mon or manas)

5 pranas (5 instruments of life force);

10 indriyas (instruments or powers of perception/action):

  • 5 instruments of perception (jnanendriyas): the subtle powers behind the physical sense organs of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch
  • 5 instruments of action (karmendriyas): the powers for the executive abilities to procreate, excrete, talk, walk, and exercise manual skill)

Causal body

The 19 astral elements and the 16 physical elements have their causal origin as 35 thoughts.

Thus the causal body is composed of 35 elements, or 35 thoughts, required to create the physical and astral bodies: the 19 ideas that produced the 19 electrical elements of your astral body; and the 16 ideas that produced the 16 gross material elements of your physical body. So essentially we are made of 35 ideas, which make up the causal body of man.

So, to answer your question directly: the astral world and body are made of “mental, emotional, and lifetronic” elements. Astral mental elements would be manas and buddhi, the ones you mention. But all of them, even these mental elements, have an original causal thought behind them, as their more subtle origin.

In short: just as every physical energy has an astral energy as its cause, so every astral mental element has a causal (thoughtron) cause.

Does that make sense to you? If not, please write me.

In divine friendship, God bless you,