Vritti (plural: Vrittis), in the context of Hinduism and yoga, is the name given to different tendencies, or psycho-physical propensities, which give scope for the mind to express a variety of feelings and emotions. Vritties in turn trigger the glands associated with that particular propensity to secrete corresponding hormones. Usually this is done subconsciously, although yogis endeavour to control and master the expression of their vritties, leading to the attainment of siddhis, and giving clear passage for the kundalini to rise.

Vritties need not be considered confined to the esoteric experiences of advanced yogiis. The seat of the vritti of love, or mamata in Sanskrit, is the heart; the seat of the vritti of fear (bhaya) is the stomach. The sensation of feeling one's heart swoon, or "getting butterflies" corresponds to the physical expression of these psychic propensities. Each vritti may have negative or positive expression. Even love, when over-expressed, leads to intense possessiveness. The goal of the yogii is thus not to suppress, or annul their vritties, rather it is to find a harmonious balance, and ultimately, to channelize these tendencies inward.

As a word, vritti means literally vortex (of consciousness), or circular activity with no beginning and no end.

Vrittis of Tantric Chakras

Vrittis are associated with the Tantric Chakras:

  1. Muladhara: greatest joy, natural pleasure, delight in controlling passion, and blissfulness in concentration.
  2. Swadhisthana: affection, pitilessness, feeling of all-destructiveness, delusion, disdain and suspicion.
  3. Manipura: spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness.
  4. Anahata: lustfulness, fraudulence, indecision, repentance, hope, anxiety, longing, impartiality, arrogance, incompetency, discrimination and defiance.
  5. Vishuddha
  6. Ajna
  7. Sahasrara

See also

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