Difference between Brain and Mind

Mind is such a machine that continuously generates thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, and stores knowledge and memories.
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Date: 29th April 2017

There is a difference between brain and mind. The mind is a subtle machine provided along with the body to the soul.  It is such a machine that continuously generates thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, and stores knowledge and memories.

The brain is the hardware that the mind uses for its functioning.  Someone’s brain may get damaged, but the mind may still continue functioning normally.  This shows that the mind is distinct from the brain.  Again, in the case of plants, they have no brain, and yet they have a mind.  Experiments have shown how they respond to the moods of the gardener and speed up or slow down their growth in response.  This illustrates that even plants possess a mind.

The brain is made from the gross elements – earth, water, fire, air, space.  On the other hand, the mind is subtler than these gross elements.  

The Bhagavad Geeta chapter 7 verse 4, states:

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च |
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ||

bhūmir-āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha
ahankāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛitir aṣhṭadhā

“Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect and ego, are various constituents of My material energy, Maya.

Here, Shree Krishna has enumerated the mind as separate from the five gross elements.  Modern science has some idea of the nature of the gross brain, but is yet to comprehend the functioning of the subtle mind.

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29/04/2017 5:43 pm

Very nicely mentioned the distinction between brain and the Mind…Brain is the Hardware which is used by Mind. Mind continuously works irrespective of Brain. Good to know plants doesn’t possesses brain the Hardware, but they still have the Mind. Even plants will respond to the moods of the Gardener.

However Mind is Part of God’s material energy Maya and it is subtle element which cannot be seen.

08/08/2019 11:09 pm

Very important note to remember Swami ji. Thank you

Harsh Singhal
30/08/2019 8:32 am

Thanks for transforming the world.

11/09/2019 7:57 pm

This blog provides a very nice distinction between the brain (hardware) and the mind (software). This is why Swamiji tells us to befriend the mind to uplift ourselves. In one of His lectures, Swamiji that the mind-body connection can be controlled by one’s own thoughts; negative thoughts disrupt our “manmayakosh” which in turn disrupts the “pranmayakosh” resulting in disease. However, positive and noble thoughts elevate our thinking and behavior.

16/02/2020 9:35 pm

Very nice swami ji

20/03/2020 4:43 pm

Nice explanation. Thank you Swamiji. Hare Krishna

Manjari Gangwar-Warty
Manjari Gangwar-Warty
26/10/2020 10:20 am

Very clear and simple explanation! This knowledge is such a priceless treasure that I have come across! I am so thankful and thoroughly enjoy reading these blogs and am learning so much! Thank you!

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