The Meaning of the word Manaskriti

19 January 1998, was born on the internet – the domain name for my firm Manaskriti Software Solutions.

I had no desire to run a business, but things just transpired such. So I had to give a name to the business. I went to Mom for help to coin a name. Those days, Indian software companies preferred names that their European and American customers could comprehend and pronounce. But that doesn’t make the name exotic and exclusive enough. After all, to say “Schlumberger” (the name of an European firm) feels like wine on the tongue. So I wanted a Sanskrit-Hindi name. I used to like “Mindware” – the name of a software firm those days – because indeed, that is what software is: mindware.

Mom, who is the Sanskrit dude of the family, suggested Manaskriti. She coined the name Kaavyaalaya too, by the way.

So it is manaskriti (मनस्कृति), not maanaskriti (मानस्कृति). Here’s how it’s pronounced:

Manaskriti is a combination of two words. Manas ( मनस् ) and kriti ( कृति ).

Manas means mind. Mom’s Sanskrit-English dictionary says this about manas :

मनस् noun.
1. The mind, heart, understanding, perception, intelligence
2. In philosophy: The mind or internal organs of perception and cognition, the instrument by which objects of sense affect the soul; (in Nyaaya philosophy, मनस् is regarded as a Dravya or substance and is distinct from आत्मन् or the soul)
3. Conscience, the faculty of discrimination or judgement
4. Thought, idea, fancy, imagination, conception
5. Design, purpose, intention.
6. Will, wish, desire, inclination
7. Reflection
8. Disposition, temper, mood.
9. Spirit, energy, mettle.
10. Of the lake called Maanas.
मन: कृ to fix the mind upon, direct the thoughts towards

Kriti means a created object. Again, in the Sanskriti-English dictionary, the entry for kriti is:
1. Doing, manufacturing, making, performing
2. Action, deed.
3. Creation, work, composition
4. Magic, enchantment
5. Injuring, killing

So yes, Manaskriti is the Sanskrit for Mindware. It means “creation of the mind”, “created by the mind”. But with this expanded meaning of manas, I feel I am not the founder of Manaskriti. Manaskriti chose me. It gives me the message that I must focus my mind and energies — convert this mind’s Brownian motion into a laser beam that “He” can operate. But then, who am I to orchestrate that Brownian-motion-to-laser-beam conversion? That too is His department.

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