After a little downturn with other work, I´m now back with “Intelligence”. There is another seven chapters to follow in this series so just digest it slowly and let your intelligence process it accordingly.

Here is to a Brilliant Happy New Year to you all!

Intelligence –What is it? Ai that is hard to put into words and easier to show in practical aspects of daily life. Here follows as usual first the questions and then the respective answers from the Noble people that i´ve interviewed.


  • What is intelligence? Is it just like a muscle you train or something different?
  • Is it possible to refine or loose ones intelligence? How?
  • What is the difference between the intelligence of a scientist and a terrorist?
  • Can a higher being (god) influence our intelligence? How and why?


  • What is intelligence? Is it just like a muscle you train or something different?

Ananda Balayogi:Intelligence? You are blessed with it! I am not talking about the intelligence of problem solving and I’m not talking about an intelligence being used to pay less taxes. I’m talking about an intelligence that makes us more compassionate and conscious human beings. Some people are truly blessed with that. Now the good news is that everybody is blessed with that. But unfortunately for many people it is covered so the inner luminosity of it is not fully perceived. We are all caught up in these coverings. But it is like Vivekananda said that:  ‘everyone is potentially divine and everyone is potentially intelligent’. I’m not talking about the intelligence needed in schools for problem solving, but about a intelligence already pre-existing within us.

Arya Veda Vrata:It is not like a muscle it is very subtle. Buddhi (intelligence) is the faculty which we use in order to come to a decision. Our senses are directed outwards. When an object is there we see, touch, smell, hear or taste it. All of this happens because manah is there. The exterior experiences from the senses are presented to buddhi through manah. Then buddhi decides what is the relevance of the respective matter. The secondary influence of buddhi is memory. This is due to previous impressions (samskaaras) latent in the mind. These impressions affect ones intelligence (buddhi), and then buddhi directs the manah to engage in external work with the senses.

Atmananda:There are four divisions in the mind; they are called functional differences, mano, budhi, citta, ahamkar. These in a conjunction is called the antahkarana, the inner controller. The five senses are external organs, the internal organs consist of mano, budhi, citta and ahamkara. There is only one thing, the internal mind, but according to function, they have been organized in these four categories. When we are thinking it is the mind, samkhalpa vikhalpa.  When you make a decision it is Budhi, intelligence. When you discriminate and make a decision. Remembering conscious experiences within the citta and the ahamkara is the “I”. So four divisions are there in the mind.  Budhi, one of these four aspects, is what we normally translate as intelligence. The subtlest thing is the mind. It can never be seen with the eyes but you can feel my mind. God is ashasaka, a controller. I feel pain, I feel happy, angry, passionate.Sat-karya-vadait is called. From the cause, the effect is deduced. (Kalyanameya). Just like electricity you cannot see but you know it activates the lamp. The same thing, because of the mind, you get pleasure and you getkama, krodha, mohaetc. So many things are in the mind, but you cannot see it. So as they say, science ends, where philosophy begins. In science you have to prove everything, and verify what is real. But in Vedanta they sayJagann mithya, whatever is seen that is false (mithya), the real thing cannot be seen, that is the opposite of science, where science ends. Science is only concerned with the seen and the five elements, science is now trying to catch the atman of the self, but it is not possible to do this because they are only looking in the world of appearances. I want that which cannot be seen at all, that is the real thing!

Dr. Nagendraji:Intelligence is a manifestation of the freedom within us. For example, if I know that there is an obstacle here, what I do is that I’ll take a turn around it and try to avoid it. So we all have that freedom to do things in a particular way, do it differently or not do it at all. Sometimes I know that if I’m going to this, negative consequences will follow, therefore I don’t do that. And If I do in a particular way and it is not working, I will do in a different way. So three choices are there for all of us; kartum-akartum anyathaa kartum shaktah, and this freedom is the speciality of human beings, the manifestation of man. When we embody this it is called buddhi, vijnaana or intelligence.  Or some may say, the creative mind. A creative mind will not get stuck with merely one solution. You create several solution for a problem and see which one will work best for you.

Hari Brahmenda Sarasvati:Intelligence is a part of the mind, but the mind is fickle. It goes here and there but intelligence is steadier than the fickleness within the mind. You can say the more steady part of the mind is called intelligence. When you concentrate the mind, intelligence can be developed. This intelligence is connected to the five elements, the food and everything we do in life may affect this intelligence. The strength of your intelligence may help you to realize God or whatever you want. The mind is the field for intelligence to work and right use of intelligence is the major means for a sadhaka, a seeker of truth. Hence, one should always try to refine ones intelligence.

Harshananda:See, the Vedantic scriptures say that there is a basic substance called mindstuff, antar-indriya, and it works in four different ways. One, is generally knowing. That is there, this is here and so forth and so on, sankalpa and vikalpa as we say. The second one is buddhi, it knows; this is good, this is bad, this should be avoided, that should not be done, and if I do this it will be certain consequences. The third aspect is concentration and control over the emotions. Actually we can say buddhi, or intelligence is the most important and most prominent aspect of the minds functioning. Mind can function in all different ways, but what is more relevant to practical spiritual life is the intellectual part of it, or where it becomes integrated into a greater intelligence.

Mahan Maharaj:I think this is related to what I said sometime back about a certain criteria to be found, and at a moment of discovery certain things falls together. If you have fragments and phenomenon, but are able to grasp the unifying centering core of information. That will give insight and awakening.

Manmath Gharote:See a person like me who is giving every credit to the almighty. Whatever name you want to give it, but for me, my sadhguru Satan maharajah is guiding me.  He is an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshvara . So I can only give credit to him. Who am I to give credit to my limited intellect or mind, when these things are inferior to the governing of the divine.

Prashant Iyengar:We have the word buddhi, but buddhi cannot be rendered as intelligence, because buddhi is multifaceted. We can have dur-buddhi, su-buddhi or kartavya buddhi. So it is a wider concept. Buddhi is the first principle of intelligence, consciousness, awareness, and we need to go towards its authentic genuine condition, which is merely a state of being, without any becoming. So intelligence in its particle aspect is just a state of being. Then it also brings the process of becoming and being. Buddhi is that divine given faulty within us. K®ßña says in the BG:

sarvasya caaham hrdi sannivistho mattah smrtirjnaanam apohanam ca(I am seated in the hearts of all beings; from me comes memory, knowledge and also their loss BG 14:15)

So that’s the intellect, given by him. That’s what I said earlier. I want that to be used under His wish. Of course I can use my buddhi in any way I want. If I’m crafty at any particular time I can use my intellect in a cunning, selfish way, but I want this intelligent principle to be used under His wish and guidance.Bhadram karnebhih srunuyaamadevaah, .. “VyåΩema devahitam yad-åyuh.For that very purpose I should know his wish. If I don’t know his wish I cannot conduct my life according to his wish or in his servitude.

Satsangi:We may divide intelligence into four categories.  The first is instinct, like animals have and we have. These are of four types, the instinct for food, sleep, fear and procreation. These human and animals have just the same. As we evolved we began to think more rationally. But all of this intelligence is dependent on the external senses, which you may develop a refined way of relating to. Beyond this sensual intelligence there is pure intellect, which process these impressions in the mind. So, there is mind, intelligence and instinct, which are inherited within you. Intellect is the realm of buddhi, the discriminative faculty where you say,

‘ok this is good and this is bad, this is right and this is wrong, and I should do this and I should not to that.’ All of this is based on information you process in an intelligent matter through discrimination. Beyond this there is a factor called intuition, which functions without the senses. You don’t need to see, feel and touch objects, but you can have knowledge about the object through a higher mind. So, these are the four levels in how human beings process information. Through instinct, intelligence, intellect and intuition. Intuition is higher than intelligence.

Shraddhalu Ranade:Every gradiation of consciousness has its own characteristic powers of action, expression, creation, organization etcetera.  In the domain of matter the principle dominating is form. And there are other powers also. In the domain of life energy, prana, the principle dominating is the energy, the drive, the push. In the principle of mind, in the mannomaya, the dominating principle is organization. In all of these it is the same devine truth that is trying to express itself through these characteristic principles of each level of consciousness. In the mind, to put things in right order and to find the truth of things, is the fulfillment of mind. In the energy of prana to push forward to actualizing, to energetically move things, of course to create harmony in that energy, is it’s fulfillment. In the domain of matter, to express in form, in perfect form, in beautiful form, and in harmonious form, is it’s fulfillment. Seeing it this way, the characteristic power of mind to organize, is what we call intelligence. It does two things: it separates, it distinguishes what is true from what is not and then it puts in right relation, in right arrangement to complete the larger truth of which this truth is a piece. So mind is most effectively used when you’re able to separate the truth from the false, and when you’re able to assemble all the pieces of truth, the small truths to complete the larger picture of the greater truth. But still the limitations of this power of intelligence is operating in pieces only. Even when we put the pieces together to make a larger, it is still a larger piece. And therefore it can never know the whole truth in its essence. So it falls back, it meets it’s own limitations, and yet it is doing its work. For that it must turn to something about mind which can give it that larger truth. But that above mind is not able to articulate it in forms and pieces, it needs the mind to articulate it. Intelligence therefore, is the linking principle from the lower divided consciousness to the higher uniting consciousness. And it is the link through which we turn to the higher truths. And it is also the power to organize in the lower working of mind. In essence it is the representation of higher devine truths in mind as a power to organize in limitations.

Tejomayananda:Now, you know it is mind, it is matter, and when consciousness is reflected in that mind it is called life. Then the ability to understand is activated and that is called intelligence. Now that intelligence can be satvic, rajasic or tamasic, but when consciousness is reflected in a mind it becomes sentient. A light shines forth, which has the ability to illuminate and awaken people. Even criminals have that light. But unfortunately some people use their intelligence to trick and deceive other. Then it is perverted intelligence and that can only lead to further suffering. It all depends on what kind of qualities that manifest within our intelligence.

Vishveshvarananda:Intelligence is not muscular, it’s a function within the brain or we may say the mind. Its not an organ but a subtle energy you learn to awaken to.

  • Is it possible to refine or loose ones intelligence? How?

Ananda Balayogi:Yes certainly, when we get caught up in all our illusions and ignorance we forget who we are and identify with the wrong things. I am not my business card, credit card, passport or other gadgets I identify with that has nothing to do with who I really am. What would happen to all or your false identities if you would loose it? That is why Vairagya is important, through Vairagya you can begin to see things intelligently and realize a place free from fear, full of peace and where you can see things clearly.

Arya Veda Vrata:Yes, we can refine it by taking proper food according to Ayur Veda, by doing japa, meditation and living our lives according to guidance of the Vedas. It is equally possible that ones may intelligence diminish if one is not living his life according to the Vedas. According to Ayur Veda, if someone has a problem of acidity, he should be very careful in what types of food he consume. People should be very careful in the way they eat, because that is the building blocks for our health and a clear state of mind.

Atmananda:Surely, for that very purpose,sadhanais necessary. What you callsadhana,is that you gradually refine your impurities to a higher level, until you become equal to god himself. Your inmost nature is knowledge but you are covered with so many layers of ignorance, but slowly, slowly you need to learn to uncover those layers of ignorance. You remove thepanca koshas(five sheets) and finally you come closer and closer to the soul. So when all the coverings are gone, ignorance is exhausted. And then you will have the knowledge of Sat, Cit, Ananda.

Dr. Nagendraji:Certainly! This inner freedom we’ll have to execute it more and more, and has we do this intelligent principle becomes refined and one will get a deeper perception of what is ‘right’ where to go, what do etc. However, unfortunately most of the time we don’t use this, and we keep on reacting rather than act constructively. For example, if somebody comes and scold me, I’ll just scold you back. I don’t use my intelligence and freedom. Say if I scold you back will it help? If I remain quiet will it help? If I try to talk to you in a quiet friendly manner will it help? When you use your intelligence, you will know what is the appropriate action. As we learn to embrace this internal intelligence more and more, we’ll grow deeper, that sharpness of that intelligence will increase, and it will open up new values within you and they will take you to a conscious higher level.

Initially when I’m sick I don’t care what happens to you, I’ll cut others, beat others, terrorize others. I just want to make my money, have my wealth and comforts. But when you raise to the level of sattva, then you begin to understand that ‘oh, not only I should be happy, but all beings deserve to be happy’. Then you will have a win-win solution, rather than a win-lose solution.

Hari Brahmenda Sarasvati:Yes, the intelligence may go up or down according to how we learn to work with it. Thus because of this we have various trainings, in schools or wherever we may learn, there is certain discipline required to integrate a more refined skill of being. In the same way as we do asana, pranayama etc, to make the mind more centered and strong, and by following certain principles, we may experience a more integrated way of being, and a more refined experience of our intelligence.

Harshananda:This is a very intriguing question. The very peculiar capacity of our mind is that we are able to see our own mind. This is good, this is bad, do like this don’t do like that. So we are able to control the mind, and that is because we in essence are the conscious principle called the jivaatman, jivaatman is able to control the mind and because the jivaatman is able to control the mind it is possible for us to make it either good or bad and that is depending upon the tendencies we have acquired over previous lives. So we can say that in the capacity of the jivaatman being a conscious principle may be able to control our mind, but since our consciousness has been so engrossed and mixed up with our various personalities, naturally it will also effect our thinking. But if our mind has been purified over the past many lives, automatically that part of the mind is able to control other parts of the mind and elevate it to higher levels.

Mahan Maharaj:Certainly, again it is the bond that makes you unify more and more phenomena, and make you look at a thing and find out the fundamental thing about it. This is certainly something that can be trained.

Manmath Gharote:Unless and until you will lose, you will never find true beauty. People are afraid of loosing, but a true guru will take everything away from you. But you are not ready to give unless you get, and this is the misconception which makes people be filled up with all kinds of junk. You will not be able to fully receive before you have become empty and that is what a true Guru will give you. He will help you to empty out and find something of lasting value.

Prashant Iyengar:Oh yes, but it is not that you loose it. You create mutation to it. It becomes muted and spoilt. But you cannot eject nor can you import it. It is transmuted or muted. Our god given intelligence can be either be transmuted it for paramåtman or you can have a muted condition, for selfish purposes orlaukika(wordly) purposes. It cannot be added, increased etc. it can only be transformed.

Shraddhalu Ranade:Yes, as all other faculties and powers, intelligence can be trained, can be developed, can be perfected. You can treat is as a muscle as something to be developed. But there is more than that: it is a very sophisticated instrument, it has many facets of it’s working. Perfection of intelligence will be when all the facets are turned on, fully.

Tejomayananda:For all of us the purpose is to refine our intelligence. The purpose of the scriptures are there to guide us and provide insights, but all of this is based on choice. When there is choice, then instruction is possible. The beauty of man in relation to other creatures is that he has the opportunity to evolve and become divine.

Vishveshvarananda:Yes, it is possible because intelligence is a functioning of your mind and all thoughts in your mind affect you. They may either bring you up or bring you down. That is why they say every moment is changing and you can never attain the same moment again. Everything is changing within us.

  • Can a higher being (god) influence our intelligence? How and why?

Ananda Balayogi:I believe that everyone has intelligence that is given by god, nature, divine, or who ever. So, I don’t believe he influences us, we all have all the same amount, we just don’t know it. Some people come to realize it, others don’t.  Some people blame god for their fate or believe their destiny lies in the hands of god. I don’t believe that for a second, every moment belongs to us, we have to take care of that if we want our life to improve. Taking up responsibilities for our own life, that is acting according to ones dharma and fully taking part of life.

Arya Veda Vrata:God is constantly influencing everything and everyone in this world. But due to our own limitations we cannot fully perceive his guidance and internal sound within us. Due to our repetitive ignorant behavior we cannot feel his presence within us. He is the source of all intelligence.

Atmananda:He is influencing! He is the Antaryamin, the inmost controller. That is God! The jiva is the controlled, but the controller is Paramatma. The meaning of Ishvara is the one who controls, theshasak. God is theShasaka, the controlled and the jiva is being controlled, regulator and regulated.

Dr. Nagendraji:Certainly, god is the basis of intelligence, the mind, our emotions, everything may be influenced by that. Just like God has infinite freedom, now if I surrender to God, the process of surrendering is tuning to God. Tuning means coming into the frequency of, like if we want the information being transmitted from BBC we have to tune into the frequency they are broadcasting at. IN the same way, every god and goddess has their own frequency band, so if I use my intelligence I will tune my mind to that. For example Saraswati, she is the embodiment of all knowledge, so if I want more and more knowledge I have to tune myself to her frequency. This is how you may turn to any god and get the support you need. This is the process of  upaasana, or worship to the god. Initially it is a process of dhyaana  and then eventually it becomes samyama (absorption).

Hari Brahmenda Sarasvati:Yes, because God controls everything. We have already discussed this. In the same way, your intelligence, your mind and your subtle body are connected to the all-pervading essence (atma). Now, my intelligence and your intelligence may be different but we have some kind of connection because we are discussing. The same thing is there in the goras. Because Gods supreme energy is in everything that exists, in all beings and everything that exists. It’s the connecting principle everybody share. As a conscious principle within, as an active energy, as a power, everything is connected.

Harshananda:Why not? The ultimate cosmic intelligence is also able to work because of gods presence and power. Now suppose I pray to god; ‘Oh Lord my mind is not very pure I’m not able to think of you and there is not much of sincerity. You please help me! So when there is a sincere prayer to god and a when there is a response from that side, naturally the mind can become better and purer in the course of time. Greater the intensity of prayer, quicker will be the change.

Mahan Maharaj:I don’t know I would prefer not to bring god into all this. Because that fellow who is a terrorist is also doing what he believes is right. But when dogs are barking, or dogmatic leaders for that part, people or dogs are stuck up in their opinion and holding on to their point of view. These views on God may be full of conflict, but I believe in the unity of existence and the fundamental values of human lives. Spiritual values for me is compassion, knowledge and inquiring into truth. There may be a dichotomy between this and organized religion. Anything that fosters divisiveness and claims special rights for only that particular religion is violating the unity of existence. I feel very uncomfortable with organized religion which discriminate against other people or then again judge others for their believes. This I find unacceptable.

Manmath Gharote:Certainly everything is governed by him.

Prashant Iyengar:He leases out intelligence to us, intelligence is his particle, which is embodied in us, and it’s totally his.

Satsangi:Definitely, god is influencing everything in your life, but you don’t know it. He is pulling the strings. Well, I mean he is in control of most things in your life. Is your breath in your control?

Who’s controlling your breath and who’s controlling your birth? Are we were because of our own will? Are you going to die when you decide? It’s not in your hands! Then in whose hands is it? These are the things you have to question. There is a higher power and that is the ultimate of human existence. When you realize that you have done nothing that is why when you acknowledge that God has created all there is. I don’t take any credit for it, personally I can’t take any credit because I have only been an instrument in the hands of the almighty. At first you think you are doing everything, but then after some time realize, no he is making these things happen. So when you examine your life and look back and reflect on ‘what in my life was really in my control, ultimately you realize that nothing was. It was my destiny, so realization that I’ve attained is that god is controlling everything. But he is very clever; he will never let you know that he is in control. He is always one step ahead of you.

Shraddhalu Ranade:Yes, of course, God can influence intelligence. Generally it comes as an inspiration. You can be inspired by new ideas, new thoughts, new ideals, new push to do something. Every time a scientist has an insight, where did it come from? It came from above. It was not a product of his mind is thinking process, it popped into his mind, – from where? You can just say it came from the intuitive plan where all these things exist already, but isn’t that connected already  to the source, isn’t it coming from the source ultimately? The materialist/scientist will say “no, I caught an idea which was out there”, but the yogi would say “yes, but the idea was given to you by the devine”. Both are true. And then there are special occasions when there is a special afflatus ?? that comes from the devine which fills an individual or a group or even a whole civilization.  The French revolution and this ideal of liberty, quality and fraternity, Sri Aurobindo says it was inspired from a yogi in the Himalayas who was dreaming of these things. Dreaming means not our dream- he was in a state of exstatic realization of these great truths and that had the effect on a whole revolution in France. These are things that come from God, and that’s how entire civilizations are built up and great cultures emerge with ideals because God inspires them in a sense.

Tejomayananda:I’ve already answered that question.

Vishveshvarananda:When there is only one existence that we call God, of course it can influence your ignorant state of mind. What we perceive through our mind and senses is only an appearance of a greater reality we may not be able to perceive but once we do it will change everything about our state of being.