Buddhi

बुद्धि - bʊd̪ˈd̪ʱiː

Intellect. (1) Discernment. (2)

Buddhi is one of the four aspects of consciousness. The analytical process of the intellect divides the world into different and manifold fragments. (3) The other three aspects of mind are manas (perceiving mind), ahankara (ego), and chitta (feeling). (4)

Buddhi allows for knowledge of the world.(5) After the perceiving aspect of mind records sense impressions, the aspect of buddhi divides and defines the impressions. For example, buddhi may label one thing as a person and another thing as an object. (3) When buddhi projects an object attributes such as size, shape, color, form, fashion, and relationship to other objects, it assigns the objects an identity in space and time. Whereas the insane person may perceive the world to be in a chaotic state, the functioning buddhi allows for vision of the world that is sorted into distinct, well-ordered components. (5)

Nevertheless, the activity of buddhi does not reveal the true nature of reality. Although the objects that buddhi identifies are really parts of the same unified reality, the divisive function of buddhi may lead one to lose sight of the interconnectedness of all things. Since buddhi deals in the world of variety, it is always at odds with unified nature. Buddhi may turn back on itself and judge to what extent it can know true reality, but ultimately it finds itself limited to the perceptions of the sense world. (5)

The consciousness of buddhi is centered at the point between the eyebrows, also known as the spiritual eye. (6)

References

  1. Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Sanskrit Terms and Names.
  2. Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 19, “Knowledge and Wisdom.”
  3. a b Intuition for Starters, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 5, “How to Recognize False Guidance.”
  4. God Is for Everyone, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 10, “The Science of Religion.”
  5. a b c Science and Religion (1924 edition), by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 3, “Instruments of Knowledge.”
  6. Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda. Book 1, Sutra 2, “Yoga is the neutralization of the vortices of feeling.”