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Theosophical Encyclopedia


A Sanskrit word derived from the root vrt, “turn,” “occur,” “proceed,” etc. (cf. the English suffix -vert which is pronounced the same way, except for the vocalic r which is trilled in Sanskrit). It has a wide variety of meanings, but in philosophy (especially the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali) it denotes movements of the mind (citta) both in response to sensory input and in other mental activity. The stilling, suppression, or inhibition (nirodha) of such vrttis is an important aspect of yoga, in fact is Patañjali’s definition of “yoga” (Yoga Sutras, 1.2).

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