Read the article in the sequence of parts.
Let us find out how much intellect we have?
Suppose you went to a movie hall to see a movie. At the time of coming out after the movie – you touched the pocket and realised that the pen is missing.
What will you do? You will just leave it as it is only a pen or you will talk about it for few days or you will wait for the others to leave the movie hall and search for the pen or inform the manager and give your contact so that they can get back to you (in case they find the pen).
Suppose you have the pen but lost the watch. How will you react?
Ok, you have the pen and the watch but lost your purse. What will you do?
You have the pen, watch and purse – but the car that you parked in the parking lot is missing.
All these are there. Your fully paid house is in ashes when you reach home.
Everything is there but you lost your loved one.
If you are saying you will be collapsed by loss of pen then your intellect is very low. If you are saying you will worry only if you lose your house or loved one then the intellect is fairly developed.
Intellect is low, if
- If you are taking a long time to sleep or you are having sleepless nights. (If you have good intellect you will go to sleep in seconds after you hit the bed).
- If a crystal vase is broken and you worry and talk about it
- You cannot handle any small loss.
- Not having faith.
- Always fear of going wrong.
- Checking things so many times. Not having the confidence.
- No judgement and clarity in decision making.
Don’t worry as to where you stand.
Where you start really does not matter where you reach matters. Good news is that whatever is your age you can develop the intellect.
Basic intellect can be developed with,
- some life style changes
- Reading of the scriptures.
The strength of the Indians is their lifestyle. Our ancestors designed a lifestyle for us which will automatically develop the basic intellect.
E.g. 1: Desires keep popping up and we need the intellect to control it.
Desire to eat: In Indian life style, the food is served to God and then only the family consumes. On festival days all the food items are prepared without tasting it and kept before the God. The pooja is performed and served to God. Then the family eats the delicious food. Though the mind is asking for it they made a rule not to eat or taste it before it is served to God.
Swami Rama Tirtha (Tamil actor -Rajinikath’s Guru) said once he had the weakness for apple. All the time he used to think of apples and he would not eat anything till he gets apple. This became a habit and he was longing for apples all the time. One day he said to himself I thought I have conquered the mind but still you are having some likes and not allowing my intellect to control. He cut a few apples and kept it in a plate in front of him and decided not to eat. The desire of the mind gets killed when not fed. He did it for few days his desire vanished.
Did you notice the similarity of the Indian culture of serving to God and not eating it? This practice kills the desire of the mind and unconsciously the intellect is strengthened.
Now days we are not able to control the eating habits because we have fed the mind whenever it wanted. No system in our houses. Desserts are made everyday. The mind is asking for it all the time.
In those days, only simple food is cooked on a daily basis and on festivals and functions elaborate food is cooked.
I remember, when I was young we were waiting for diwali for ladoos(laddu). For each festival a menu card is ready. They follow it. Now -no rules. We can cook anything.
E.g. 2: I was blessed to be born in a family of living vedantians. I can give an example of the strong intellect my mother possessed.
I lost my father when I was in college first year. He died after 2 days of my elder sister’s marriage. What I mean is – It was a sudden death. He was hale and healthy. This is a huge reason for my mother to collapse. She is neither educated nor having any income. We do not know the savings of our father. We were in the joint family- so our perriappa (fathers elder brother) gave all the education and got me and my sister married.
On the day of my wedding, some lady started to talk about the absence of our father. Somehow the mood in the room changed and most of our relatives started to cry. My mother entered the room. These are her words – “what is happening here! I don’t want anybody to feel unhappy. It is my daughters wedding. My brother in law has done so much for my children. He is doing all this so that my kids are happy and not miss their father. If we cry then my brother in law will doubt – may be he is not doing up to the mark. Still they are missing their father. So keep quiet. I want everybody to be cheerful in my daughters wedding”. I was stunned and felt proud of my mother.
Just to tell you people – I am part of a family which didn’t collapse with the loss of a father. Rather we used this sorrow as a stepping stone to develop more intellect. Parents with strong intellect unconsciously pass it on to their kids.
So the lifestyle develops the basic intellect automatically.
(About Indian life style I will write a separate article)
Once the basic intellect is developed, then we can practice the two lessons I prescribed along with reading of scriptures.
What are scriptures? The Ramayan, Mahabharatha, Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, Upanishads are the scriptures.
What do these scriptures contain? How they develop the intellect?
When you read the scriptures – if you are going to think that it is a ready reckoner and it will give you some points to follow and you get the intellect. The answer is a big NO.
By following the Indian life style unconciously the intellect is developed. Similarly by reading the scriptures the intellect is developed unknowingly and you realise it one day. The day you realise your strength -you have got it.
I was reading Rig Veda. It was an English translation. I was reading it for many days and I didn’t understand anything. Got fed up. I clicked the Sanskrit verses. To my surprise, I knew every word of it. My father used to sing a song in sanskrit every day when he does the pooja. I did not know that it was Rig Veda. When I realised that I went back and read the English translation I understood most of it. Realising the strength is important.
Believe me there is no scriptures which gives the solutions as to how to develop the intellect. For that matter, no books written by any swamis have given that. I was surprised every book is talking about the importance of having a intellect but no book is giving solution for development. This was in my mind for a long time. I continued my search. Suddenly one day it strikes to me life style changes and reading of scriptures automatically develops the intellect. So it might look like a magic. If you adopt the Indian life style and read the scriptures suddenly you will get answers for your questions.
I can give a story to support this. In a monastery, all the monks if they reach a particular level were allowed to enter a special room where the words best book is kept. So many monks entered the room and came back. When asked about their experience -nobody answered anything except a smile. Two monks who were friends were very eager to know what this book is. They said to themselves, between us even one person reaches the level and enters the room we should tell the other person about the book. Finally the day arrived one of our curious friend was allowed to enter the room. Even his other friend was happy. As he will know the answer from his friend. His friend entered the room. It was a beautiful, huge, calm and an empty room. There was a meditation pillow in the center to meditate. Did you understand? The world best book is your mind. If you conquer it and develop the intellect automatically you get solutions. So the monks when the intellect is developed were sent inside the room to see what the mind has to tell them.
I know most of the Indian families have this lifestyle. But the uniqueness about my family is that they followed the ancient practices but did not develop any superstitious belief. Because of the intellect. If we follow our ancestors without the intellect there is a danger to develop superstitious belief.
What is superstitious belief? If somebody left for an important business and a black cat crossed his way. If by chance the business failed they will blame the black cat and form a conclusion that if the black cat crosses us when we leave for a business then it fails.
So, what I am trying to tell is- do not follow your ancestors blindly without the intellect. This can be dangerous. So again we need intellect to analyse the systems to adopt and follow.
This is what my mind told me: Westerners found that there is something superior with the Indians. So they analysed and figured out that the lifestyle is the reason and the scriptures. They tried both – but failed. Then they found a technique adopted by the Rishis to develop intellect i.e. Meditation. So they thought it is a short cut let us adopt it.
To do meditation we need to sit still. They observed that this is possible if we do the yoga exercises. So yoga and meditation became popular in the west.
See Part 4