Intelligence is meant to be the mind’s instructor, not its instrument

We all have within us something that is impulsive and something that is reflective. Gita wisdom identifies the impulsive part as the mind and the reflective part as the intelligence. To function constructively, our intelligence needs to be our mind’s instructor; it needs to review, regulate and redirect our mind’s impulses.

Unfortunately however, the mind can sometimes overpower the intelligence and impel us to act short-sightedly. While the mind’s pushing aside the intelligence is dangerous, far more dangerous is the mind’s taking over the intelligence. Why more dangerous? Because when the mind sidelines the intelligence, we become hot-headed; whereas when the mind takes over the intelligence, we become cold-blooded. That is, we do wrong things slyly so that we can cover our tracks; we even congratulate ourselves for being so clever as to have gotten away with our wrongdoings. When the intelligence is reduced to the role of the mind’s instrument, all its intellectual power gets abused in justifying and executing the mind’s schemes.

Such inner role reversal characterizes demonic people, as depicted in the Bhagavad-gita (16.13). The demonic scheme to earn more and more money, which might sound like just normal human greed. However, such people go down from being merely covetous to becoming remorselessly murderous; they conspire to assassinate their rivals and delight in the success of their diabolical designs (16.15).

Even if we never do such things, we all are prone to the danger of our intelligence being taken over by the mind. How can we prevent such inner role reversal? First, weaken our mind by minimizing exposure to the stimuli that feed its impulses; second, strengthen our intelligence by studying the Bhagavad-gita; and third, purify ourselves of our lower impulses by connecting with all-pure Krishna.


Think it over:

  • What is the healthy relationship between the intelligence and the mind?
  • Why is the mind’s taking over the intelligence more dangerous than its pushing aside the intelligence?
  • How can we preserve our inner balance of power?



16.13 The demoniac person thinks: “So much wealth do I have today, and I will gain more according to my schemes. So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more.”

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  1. HK Prabhu,
    This one is amazing explanation with insightful plus distinguishing instructions and directions as how to utise mind and intelligence.
    Thank u.
    Umesh Dandawate

    Post a Reply
    • Dear Umesh P
      Nice to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words. Grateful to know that I am of some service to you.
      With best wishes,
      Your servant and friend,
      Chaitanya Charan das

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