Sadhguru: In the yogic understanding, there are 16 dimensions to the human mind. These 16 dimensions fall into four categories. These four categories are known as buddhi, manas, ahankara, and chitta. Buddhi is the intellect – the logical dimension of thought. Unfortunately, the modern education systems and modern sciences have largely limited themselves to buddhi. That is a buddhu (foolish) way of existence.
The Limitation of the Intellect
Buddhi or the intellect cannot function without a certain bank of memory or data. Depending on the data you have, the intellect plays around. Suppose in your memory system, there are 10 gigabytes of memory. Depending on how sharp your buddhi is, one person can produce, let’s say, a trillion thoughts with these 10 gigabytes. Someone else can produce 10 trillion thoughts with the same 10 gigabytes of memory.
If you can think a little better than someone else, it is considered as intelligence today. If someone says one thing and you can say ten things to that, you may be socially smart, but you are not any more intelligent. Unfortunately, in today’s systems of education and academics, everything is determined by this. If you can make more things out of it, you are considered intelligent, which is not true – you only have a sharper buddhi. The buddhi will not take you beyond limits in any way, because it can only function based on the data that is already there. It is not capable of accessing anything beyond that.
The Memory of Your Forefathers
The next dimension is called manas. Manas is a complex amalgam of memory and has many layers to it. Manas is not just the brain – it is right across the body. Every cell in the body has a phenomenal memory – not just of this life but of millions of years. Your body clearly remembers how your forefathers were a million years ago. Top to bottom, there is manas – this is called manomaya kosha.
What you call as your body and your mind are a certain accumulation of memory. It is because of memory – or you can call it information – that your body has taken the particular shape that it has. For example, if a man eats a piece of bread, the bread becomes a man. If a woman eats it, it becomes a woman. If a dog eats the same bread, it becomes a dog. That’s a smart piece of bread! No, it is not the bread but the kind of memory that one’s system carries that transforms bread into a man, woman or dog.
Your very existence is an accumulation of memory. If we take away all the memory, you will cease to exist. This is what people mean when they talk about karma nashana – if you destroy all memory, the very being ceases to exist. That is a state of mukti because you are free from existence – you don’t have to exist anymore because your very existence is memory.
There is memory and intelligence in every cell in the body, but no intellect. Intellect is only in the brain. In English language, everything comes under one banner called “mind.” The idea that intelligence is only in the brain has produced human beings whose consciousness is seriously constipated. What is in the brain is intellect, not intelligence. Intelligence and memory are right across your body. But people have never been trained how to use this intelligence. Instead, they use their intellect for everything. No wonder they are stressed out whatever job you give them. The whole weight is on only one dimension of the mind out of sixteen. It is like loading a sixteen-wheeler truck and trying to drive on only one wheel – you can imagine the stress! That is what today’s world is going through.
People may be using other dimensions of the mind marginally, unconsciously, but they are not trained to use them. They have only been trained to use their buddhi, or their intellect. They are very smart. They know everything about everything, but they do not know how to figure their own life. They do not even know how to sit here peacefully and at total ease within themselves. If there is true intelligence, the first thing that you need to figure out is how to make life happen. You know how to make the world happen, but you do not know how to make your life happen. You do not know how to conduct your mind, your energies, your emotions or your body.
If you ask people to become fit, they become tight. If you ask them to live in a more natural way, they become fat. Where is the intelligence? There is only intellect. Intellect looks good only in comparison. Suppose you are the only person on the planet, your intellect will not mean anything. Only because there are a few idiots around you, you shine. By itself, intellect will not be of any consequence.
The Sense of Identity
The intellect directly connects with the third dimension of your mind, called ahankara. Ahankara is sometimes translated as ego, but it is much more than that. Ahankara gives you a sense of identity. Once your ahankara takes on an identity, your intellect functions only in that context. It is important to function beyond the intellect, because the intellect is seriously enslaved to your identity.
Our identities, such as belonging to a certain nation, community, or whatever else, are necessary for our survival in a particular society. But you cannot think beyond this because you are functioning only from your intellect, and the intellect takes its sustenance from ahankara. Only along the axis of ahankara, the intellect can function. The intellect cannot transcend this, because that is its nature. But there are other ways to know life beyond the identities we have taken on for our survival in the world.
The Cosmic Intelligence
The fourth category of the mind is called chitta. Chitta is mind without memory – pure intelligence. This intelligence is like the cosmic intelligence – simply there. Everything happens because of that. It does not function out of memory – it simply functions. In a way, what you call cosmos is a living mind. By “mind”, I do not mean mind in the sense of intellect. Chitta is the last point of the mind. It connects to the basis of creation within you. It connects you with your consciousness.
Chitta is always on – whether you are awake or asleep. Your intellect comes on and goes off. Many times it fails, even when you are awake. If chitta or the intelligence within you was not always on, you could not stay alive. Try to conduct your breath with your intellect – you will go crazy. Chitta is keeping you alive, keeping you going, making life happen. If you touch this dimension of your mind, which is the linking point to one’s consciousness, you do not even have to wish for anything, you do not have to dream of anything – the best possible thing that can happen to you will anyway happen.
The Divine Enslaved
When people touch this dimension of the mind, it is called ishwara pranidhana in yoga. This means God becomes your slave – he works for you. You know, yogis say, “Shiva is my servant. He does everything for me.” In a way, otherwise, I would not be here. Once you know how to consciously access your chitta, everything that is needed will simply happen in the best possible way. If you go by your intellect or your buddhi, today you think “this is it,” tomorrow morning you think “that is it” – like this it goes on endlessly.
But if you touch that dimension of intelligence that we call chitta, you can live in this entire edifice built of past memory, but you can be free of it, untouched by it. You can remain in such a way that this memory, which gives you a certain physical and psychological structure, has no influence on you.
Once you know how to consciously keep your chitta on, once the Divine is your servant, when someone really efficient is working for you, you do not have to do anything. Simply sit; the best things will happen – things that you could not imagine. People always think if their dreams come true, their life will be great. I think that is a very poor life, because you cannot dream about anything that is not at all in your experience. My wish and my blessing for you is things that you could not dream of, things that you never thought possible, must happen to you.
If these aspects of life do not come into the experience of individual human beings, they will naturally seek other means for excitement. If people are not offered a way to engineer themselves the way they want to be – joyful and blissful – drink and drug will become the biggest phenomena on the planet. It is already becoming so. It has already become prevalent in the West, and it is becoming very big in urban India too. In another seventy to eighty years’ time, if we do not sweep the world with a logically correct, scientifically verifiable spiritual process, I would say 90% of human beings will be on drink and drug – chemical solutions to keep themselves pleasant.
Larger Slice of Life
This will happen because every human being is trying to have a larger slice of life. Whether someone goes to the temple or the bar, whether someone gets doped out or meditates, they are essentially looking for a larger slice of life. The question is only about what is sustainable. If you want human beings to have a phenomenal experience within, but without causing damage to themselves, you have to turn them inward.
Turning inward can mean many things. One simple way of understanding it is that you touch chitta – that dimension of intelligence which is the very basis of your making. There is no such thing as your chitta and my chitta. It is just there. The question is whether you as an individual have access to it. This is not yours or mine. This is a cosmic intelligence – the source of creation.
Chitta is beyond ahankara, beyond buddhi, beyond judgment, beyond divisions – simply there, just like the intelligence of existence that makes everything happen. If you access this, you do not have to worry about what happens or what does not happen. It will happen in a way that you never imagined possible.
Once you have access to your chitta, it is also a multi-pointed telescope. It makes you see things that no one else can see – in every direction. It is your crystal ball. It is a magnifying glass that brings the very core of life close to you. For everyone else, it is far way. Everyone thinks the Divine is somewhere up there. Where exactly, no one knows. All they know is, it seems far away.
The moment you start looking at life through your chitta, where there is no memory, there is no karmic substance and no division, suddenly, the Divine is right there, bang on, in your face all the time. You cannot miss it. The Divine works for you from now on. You don’t even have to wish for what you want in your life. Everything that is needed will simply happen in the best possible way. Your life in the hands of an intelligence beyond you.
By: Sadhguru, Isha Golf Foundation