The current scientific consensus equates the mind with the brain and sees consciousness as the outcome of brain activity. In contrast, various Yogis have asserted based on their experience of self-realization that there is a greater consciousness that inhabits the body, and that the mind is distinct from and greater than the brain. When the thoughts which keep rattling in the brain have ceased, one begins to catch a glimpse into the truth behind yogic assertions that the brain is not the whole mind. In the state of self-realization, one no longer sees the brain as the seat of thought. The idea that “I am the body” (referred to in Sanskrit as “Dehatma-Buddhi“) becomes severely diminished. The consciousness is felt to be greater than the body, and one begins to ideate from Sahasradala Chakra above the head, turning the brain into a channel for communication between the greater mind and the rest of the body. This post collects some observations on the brain-mind contrast from a few seers of the modern age.
J. Krishnamurti had asserted that “the mind is outside the brain.” . The following is a dialogue with the physicist David Bohm.
JK: Now let’s proceed from there. Shouldn’t we first distinguish between the brain and the mind?
DB: Yes, well that distinction has been made and it is not clear. Now of course there are several views. One view is say that the mind is just a function of the brain – that is the materialists’ view. There is another view which says mind and brain are two different things.
JK: Yes, I think they are two different things.
DB: But there must be…
JK: …a contact between the two.
JK: A relationship between the two.
DB: We don’t necessarily imply any separation of the two. 
See http://www.beyondthemind.net/mindandbrain.html for a compendium of Krishnamurti’s statements on this topic.
The sage of Arunachala on the same topic.
Question: The mind is said to be from the brain.
RM: Where is the brain? It is in the body. I say that the body itself is a projection of the mind. You speak of the brain when you think of the body. It is the mind which creates the body, the brain in it and also ascertains that the brain is its seat. 
RM: In fact the body is in the mind which has the brain for its seat. That the brain functions by light borrowed from another source is admitted by the yogis themselves in their fontanelle theory. The jnani (self-realized soul) further argues: if the light is borrowed it must come from its native source. 
By fontanelle, Ramana Maharshi is referring to the Brahmarandhara (door of Brahman) at the top-center of the head through which the spirit enters the body. The light animating the brain that Ramana Maharshi speaks of is the light of the soul/spirit within.
Sri Aurobindo, while discussing his experience of Nirvana, said, “Since 1908 I never think with my head or brain—it is always in the wideness generally above the head that the thoughts occur.” [On Himself: Silence and Action] Expounding on the relationship between the brain and the mind, he stated that “all things on the physical plane are merely devices – they are a system of notation, – just like the wireless or telegraphic notation. It is a convenient device for sending messages, but often we get too busy with the device and mistake it for the thing that is behind the device.” 
These are a couple of excerpts from conversations he had with his disciples.
Sri Aurobindo : It is difficult to put the distinction in language and, even if one could, it would be very inadequate and partial. If you take the mental being of man you will find that there is what may be called the pure mental part of it, which is high above the head and communicates through the brain with the physical life. It is the – “thinking mind”. It is concerned chiefly with reasoning, creations of mental forms and the activity of the mental will. Then there are the emotions and sensations which are not really mental in their origin and stuff but they rise from the vital being and, coming up into the mind, they take up mental forms – mental emotions and mental sensations. That I call the mental-vital. According to some, it is purely vital. So from the head to the centre of speech (neck), so to say, you have the mental being. 
Disciple : Is it true that when the Higher Consciousness comes the brain stops thinking?
Sri Aurobindo: The brain is not the seat of thinking. It is the mind that thinks, the brain only reacts to it. There is a parallelism between the movements of the brain and those of the higher mind. But the brain is only a communicating channel; it is only a support for the higher activity. If the mind is passive it receives things from above – from the Higher Mind – and passes them on to the brain. Now, if the brain is dull, the mind cannot transmit its action correctly, it does it imperfectly. Sometimes – not always – the lapse in Sadhana(spiritual practice) also is due to the brain getting tired.
Disciple : Is it not always due to that?
Sri Aurobindo : No, in the bright period the Progress is maintained. But when the physical brain flags and refuses to support the effort of the will and mind, then you find a dull condition in Sadhana ( spiritual practice) intervenes. 
- Similarity between Neurological and Yogic models of human memory
- Epistemology of perception
- Mental Sheath
- All thoughts come from outside
- Pupul Jayakar. Krishnamurti A Biography: Chapter 45, ‘What is Time?’ p 478.
- A.B Purani, Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, vol 2, p 227.
- A.B Purani, Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, vol 1, p 205.
- David Godman. Be As You Are, p 188.
- David Godman. Be As You Are, p 215.
- J. Krishnamurti and David Bohm. The Future of Humanity, 1983