What are the five states of mind?

The mind, ego, and consciousness are all discussed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, among other facets of yoga. They explore aspects of the self that most of us tend to ignore. The term “yoga” refers to the practice of stilling the fluctuations of the states of mind as described in the Yoga Sutras.

That is to say, the states of mind devoid of the constant stream of distracting thoughts and mental clutter. Despite the seeming ease of the term “yoga,” actualizing its benefits is a challenging endeavor. Mindsets described in the yoga sutras:

  1. Kshipta – Chaotic or most fickle state of mind
  2. Mudha – Dull or Lazy state of mind
  3. Vikshipta – Partially focused mind
  4. Ekagra – One-pointed mind
  5. Niruddha – Fully absorbed mind
  6. Kshipta – The Monkey Mind

A state of mind known as kshipta, or dispersed thinking, is the most common and least desirable way to go through the day. Because of the high proportion of waking time spent actively engaged in some form of thought or action, the “rajas” guna predominates in this condition.

A person in this mental state experiences rapid swings between positive and negative emotions, such as love and hate, liking and disliking, pain and pleasure, excitement and boredom. The states of mind is restless and easily distracted, always racing from one idea to the next. It’s possible that your eyesight will get blurry, causing you to feel uncomfortable, confused, and difficult to understand and get along peacefully with others in your relationships.

Symptoms of Ksipta State

  1. Having no ability to make decisions
  2. being restless
  3. Confusion and absolute lack of clarity
  4. Anxiety
How To Handle Monkey Mind

You can learn to handle your monkey states of mind by practicing yoga, which teaches you that you, the knower, are separate from your thoughts. By taking on the role of an objective observer, you can train yourself to focus only on positive, useful thinking patterns while letting go of the negative ones.

  1. Mudha – The Donkey mind

Mental lethargy, drowsiness, and a lack of energy characterize the Mudha, or Dull, state of mind, which is governed by the ‘tamas’ guna. As a result of the mental lethargy, it is difficult to address the complexities of life.

During our waking hours, most of us move back and forth between Kshipta and Mudha. As a result of our rajasic nature, we are drawn to an object of sense. However, if the desired outcome is denied to us or additional work is required, the dull mind owing to lack of focus, finds excuses, and we are trapped in a state of dissatisfaction.

Symptoms of Mudha State

  • Lack of energy and vitality
  • Poor concentration
  • Distorted connection with the inner self
  • Depression /Sadness

How To Handle Donkey Mind

When you have to adjust to a dramatic change in your life, you may find that your sense of self begins to fade.

To calm the states of mind in this condition, one must let go of all thoughts and re-establish contact with one’s inner world, which can be accomplished through practices like yoga and meditation. This will allow one to discover their ultimate true self, which will serve them well in any circumstance.

  1. Vikspita – The Butterfly mind

There are moments in life where sattva guna starts to dominate, and the states of mind can focus and concentrate. We feel balanced, happy, and clear in all spheres, and life appears to be a beautiful flow.

Symptoms of Vikspita State
  • A calm mind, however, gets easily distracted
  • Better concentration
  • The mind is sometimes stable and other times confused.
  1. Ekagra – One-pointed mind

The mind is at rest; all thoughts and feelings have subsided, and it is now ready for concentration. When in an Ekagra state of mind, a person can focus their entire being on a single task for as long as they choose without being distracted by anything outside of themselves.

Symptoms of Ekagra Mind

  • Better focus
  • More awareness and clarity
  • Thinned ego
  • Awakening of intuition
Mind In Ekagra State

When the states of mind reach this point, it is said to be in yoga, or it can be seen as the beginning of one’s yogic journey. You’ve found a singular focus in life that will allow you to sort through information, let go of your ego, develop your intuition, and gain access to extrasensory perception. In this Ekagra state of mind, you can focus on detailed parts of everything that you tried to have concentration.

  1. Niruddha – fully-focused mind

After experiencing Ekgrah (single-mindedness), one can maintain concentration on a single task at hand. In this case, one’s focus is singularly fixed and undivided.

By this point, the states of mind has been cleared of all impressions, both old and new, and is completely at rest. One can move through life with effortless elegance. The ever-evolving circumstances of life elicit no response.


  • Single-pointed focus
  • Stable mind
  • Grace in the overall aura
  • The complete stillness of thoughts
Mind in Niruddha State

Even though attaining a Niruddha state of mind (Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha) is the pinnacle of yoga, you must maintain your yoga practice and conduct in-depth self-examination on a regular basis to get there. Look for fresh methods to keep your awareness fresh and expanding.


Most of us spend most of our waking hours in one of the first three mental states of mind. Our connections to the outside world are maintained by these three mental states.

Keeping focus and equilibrium is difficult for a Kishipta’s restless mind. The Mudha states of mind is too exhausted to concentrate.

Inconsistency and a lack of concentration are hallmarks of the Vikshipta mind. The yogi can internalize their awareness through the last two states of mind (Ekagra and Niruddha). Therefore, it facilitates increased levels of concentration.

The above categorization of mental states aids in self-awareness, which in turn promotes spiritual and material development.