Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

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Hari OM
Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality.

The BMI chart. Last week we explored just a little more on OET. Let us skip a layer now and go to BMI. Why? Remember that there are three parts to being in the world; that which is experienced (OET), the individual gaining the experience (BMI) and the result of their connection, the experiencing (PFT). The latter can only be adequately explored after knowing the two parts which must come together to create it.

BODY; one could just skip this saying, 'yup, got one, know all about it.' We are looking at this with the Vedantic eye, however, so let us remind ourselves. The manifest body is referred to in Sanskrit as the shtuula shariira. It contains the gross material parts of the individual being. It is the biology. Then there is the subtle part of the body (suukshma shariira), which incorporates the praanas. For the purposes of BMI, these are considered under "B". The remainder follow;

MIND; is very much part of suukshma shariira. It is, after all, unseeable despite doing the seeing, unknowable despite doing the knowing. Much research is put into assessing 'what is mind?' We are inclined to look at the brain and think of mind as being part of that physical structure. As the Sanskrit tradition separates mind from intellect, then it does seem that there is a physical component and of course we are now aware of neuro-transmitters and bio-electrical functions which take place as thinking goes on. The big question still remains to science, are those 'sparks' actual mind, or a consequence of mind? It is known that without those physical transmissions of thought, no action could be taken by the body. Even to lift our little finger requires, first, the thought to do it. That thought, in turn, requires something to set it off and, in Vedanta this is said to be desire, and those arise from the V portion.

INTELLECT; subtler still in understanding is the intellect. Most of us think of mind and intellect as one thing but it is important to understand that mind is mind and will not be otherwise, whilst intellect can grow and change, expand - or contract. Mind is merely the flow of thoughts and the spaces between those thoughts. Mind is the receiver and dispatcher of thoughts at that interchange in the brain which triggers action. Intellect is the assessor, the valuer, the quantifier, the judge, the jury. When we talk about someone being 'brainy' what we are really referring to is their intellectual capacity.

It is the intellect which gets educated when we are at school and university. The mind is the tool which carries the thoughts, but it is the intellect which can determine how much data is transmitted. It can be expanded by as much as the effort we put into it. Each of us is born with inherent capacity, but not all of us realise it, or have the opportunities which provide for intellectual nourishment. The intellect is closely associated with the ego and can sometimes be mistaken for it. Someone of lesser ability can feel that one with a stronger intellect is a threat and that is seen as egoism rather than the simple fact that the other person just has a different mode of thinking.  The ego more properly manifests in the experiencing layer.


Note when you are letting the mind roam unchained to the intellect. Daydreaming, following red-herrings, unfocused. The note when the mind is more present and under the control of your intellect. Raising doubts and questions, analysing, focusing.


  1. Since we can't see the intellect in action physically, we often separate it from the body but as you point out, its effects on the body in the form of commands to organs through the nervous system, are very much visible.

    1. Hari OM
      Small correction; it is the mind which is the interface with the bioligical functions - the intellect is merely the assessor. Be clear; mind is the mechanical function of thinking, intellect is that which determines the level of functioning in relationship to the world. Yxx


Hari OM
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