Buddhi

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Buddhi (devanāgarī: बुद्धि) from the root budh (to be awake; to understand; to know) is a feminine Sanskrit noun derived from the same root as the masculine form buddha. In Hinduism it refers to the intellect, the faculty of discrimination. It is the aspect of the mind that knows, discriminates, judges, and decides. It is frequently regarded as the higher mind, which can determine the wiser of two courses of action if it functions clearly and if manas will accept its guidance. In Hinduism buddhi is one of the four parts that form the antaḥkaraṇa (the "inner organ") the other three being manas (the mind), citta (the memory) and ahamkāra (the ego).

In Theosophy buddhi is not the mind (manas) although it can work in close relationship with it, furnishing manas with spiritual illumination. In the septenary constitution of human beings buddhi is the sixth principle. It is regarded to be the vehicle of ātman, and in this function it is frequently called spiritual soul.

Adi Buddhi

In one of his letters, Master K.H. talks about "the all-pervading supreme and absolute intelligence," which he calls "adi-buddhi."[1] In this letter he relates it to Yin-sin, the one “Form of existence,” and Dharmakaya.

For more information see Adi-Buddhi.

Universal dual monad

While atman, the highest principle, is a ray of the Absolute, buddhi is regarded as the first differentiation of the One and, therefore, its vehicle of expression in the manifested universe:

Âtma is said to have Buddhi for a vehicle, because Buddhi is already the first differentiation after the evolution of the universe. It is the first differentiation, and it is the Upâdhi, so to say, of Âtma.[2]

Because it is just the first differentiation, in itself, buddhi is still beyond any quality:

The Buddhi per se has nothing to do with any qualification of anything; it is simply the vehicle of Âtman, of spirit; and spirit is nothing. It cannot be said it is something. It is that which has neither beginning nor end. It is the one thing.[3]

Buddhi, being the vehicle of expression of atman, is regarded as the dual Monad:

The [word] Monad is from Greek, “One” the unit, whatever it is. . . . Âtma in reality is not a unit, but the one universal principle, and it is simply a ray. That which uses Buddhi as a vehicle is that ray of that universal principle. Therefore, in reality it is Buddhi which is the Monad, the one unit.[4]

Since neither of these two principles are individual, the dual Monad is regarded as universal:

Âtma and Buddhi cannot be predicated as having anything to do with a man, except that man is immersed in them. So long as he lives he is overshadowed by these two; but it is no more the property of that than of anything else.[5]

Universal consciousness

Buddhi is the first principle of sentiency in the universe, although still in a very universal plane:

Buddhi is nothing, per se, but simply the first differentiation. And it is the consciousness in the universal consciousness, but it is non-consciousness in this world. On this plane of finite consciousness it is nothing, for it is infinite consciousness.[6]

In this connection, buddhi is regarded as "the Spiritual Soul, the vehicle of pure universal spirit". Because the spiritual soul does not show the quality of individual consciousness, it is frequently regarded as irrational, except when acting in conjuction with manas:

As a pure emanation of the Universal mind it can have no individual reason of its own on this plane of matter, but like the Moon, who borrows her light from the Sun and her life from the Earth, so Buddhi, receiving its light of Wisdom from Atma, gets its rational qualities from Manas. Per se, as something homogeneous, it is devoid of attributes".[7]

In one of his letters, Master K.H. stated that the "remorse of conscience" proceeds "always from the 6th principle".[8] However, we must keep in mind that in the letters the sixth principle frequently refers to buddhi-manas.

Spiritual Ego

In order to be manifested or "activated" on the lower planes Buddhi has to be united to the manasic principle:

The supreme energy resides in the Buddhi; latent — when wedded to Atman alone, active and irresistible when galvanized by the essence of "Manas" and when none of the dross of the latter commingles with that pure essence to weigh it down by its finite nature.[9]

When united to manas, buddhi or the Universal Soul is generally called the Spiritual Ego. H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

The Spiritual divine Ego is the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union with Manas, the mind-principle, without which it is no EGO at all, but only the Atmic Vehicle.[10]

Spiritual intuition

When the nature of buddhi expresses through manas there is a phenomena of direct perception, beyond rational thinking, which is sometimes called spiritual intuition:

The Spiritual ego reflects no varying states of consciousness; is independent of all sensation (experience); it does not think—it KNOWS, by an intuitive process only faintly conceivable by the average man.[11]

In some of Mme. Blavatsky's writings there are some references to this principle forming a body:

In the normal or natural state, the sensations are transmitted from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual body, i.e., from the first to the 6th principle (the 7th being no organized or conditioned body, but an infinite, hence unconditioned principle or state).[12]

See also

Online resources

Articles

Notes

  1. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 67 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 182.
  2. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 609.
  3. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 639.
  4. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 566.
  5. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 644.
  6. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 610.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy (London: Theosophical Publishing House, [1987]), ???.
  8. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 85B (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 264.
  9. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 111 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 375.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy (London: Theosophical Publishing House, [1987]), ???.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VIII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1990), 96.
  12. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, Ill: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 101.