Three Questions pertaining to INTELLECT
(Verse nos. 30,31,32 of Ch.XVIII, The Gita)
Did the individual develop a good intellect which comprehends what must be done and what must not be done, what should be feared and what should not be feared, what binds and what elevates?
OR
Was his intellect confused without knowing how to decide between right and wrong?
OR
Was his intellect totally wrapped up in a cloud of misconceptions and looked upon right as wrong and vice versa?

Comment : What is safe for the soul, what is dangerous, is not always clear to the average intellect. What is to be feared and shunned, what is to be embraced by the will, what binds the spirit of man and what sets it free -- all this creates a dilemma between action (pravritti) and the attitude of abstention (nivritti) from action, from which the intellect never redeems itself. Nivritti is the attitude of 'not mine' (= na mama) and a consequent laying down of the Trust deposited in us by God. This redeposit of the Trust in God's hands is called 'nyaasa'. When it is well done it is 'sannyaasa'. The Trust is all His, never ours. It includes our wealth, our property, our body, our mind, our intellect, our will, in fact everything we may call ours. The proper 'nyaasa' removes both the reflection (in our intellect) and the reflecting medium (our intellect) and then, only the Subject remains. It is on this foundation of 'nivritti' that all our involvement in the world has to take place. The rules and regulations of society and religion are accordingly made so that when the time for total nivritti comes, we are ready 'with no regrets' either in the mind or in terms of habits and tendencies. That is why the attitude has always to be right, even in our 'secular' activities, right from the beginning. The attitude of the intellect has to be one of 'vairaagya' -- which is not be branded as renunciation and dispassion, but the attitude of putting everything in its place, or, in other words, giving everything only its due, neither more nor less. The average intellect, however, is steeped in its ego and ego-generated desire and therefore constantly stumbles into wrong decisions, born of its own nature, not necessarily consciously. The ignorant, the dull-natured, is, in addition, incorrigible in its ignorance, considers the opposite of law as law, and wrong as right. All things are seen by this intellect in its own dull light.
The individual secular intelligence should aspire to get into communion with the supreme cosmic intelligence, shed its fear of the spiritual and indeed should become subordinate to it, instead of 'thinking' its own 'intellectual' way to wisdom. This is the teaching of the Upanishads.

Copyright V. Krishnamurthy
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February 15, 1999
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