Cleverness and Wisdom
The human mind has two distinct
capabilities. They are (1) the capacity to acquire worldly skills,
and (2) the capacity for Spiritual Discrimination. These two
faculties are called Medha Shakti and Buddhi
respectively. People do not have a clear idea of the difference
between (worldly) cleverness and (spiritual) Wisdom, and often
mistake Buddhi to mean cleverness.
This is not correct.
exclusively related to the phenomenal world,
Medha Shakti would help a person to be shrewd in worldly
matters and achieve success in Society. However, this is no
blessing. A clever man is restless, does not enjoy peace, and
often goes through mental conflicts. He is a slave to his ego,
which casts a veil over the Self and renders
Buddhi ineffective. Cleverness is not an attribute of the
Wise but unfortunately in this Kali
age a clever person alone is regarded as great and accorded much
lays great stress on the sharpening of the brain and can certainly
help people to become clever. But it has no positive effect on
Buddhi or the spiritual intellect. Our ancients, on the
other hand, were unanimously of the view that
Buddhi is superior to
Medha Shakti, and is any day to be preferred.
essentially the combination of Shradda
(earnestness), Sathyam (Truth),
Yoga (power of control), and Mahat
Shakti (Divine Power). Shradda
is the product of yearning and steadfastness. The
Sathyam aspect implies a proper
judgement and perspective, with Truth as the central focus. The
third aspect Yoga connotes a mastery over the senses. One cannot
speak of a person being with blessed with
Buddhi, if he lacks sense and mind control.
Sathyam and Yoga together
manifest as Mahat Shakti, the power
of the Divine. In short, all the aspects of
Buddhi are verily Divine.
understand clearly the difference between
Medha Shakti and Buddhi.
Cleverness would help one in securing good grades in examinations,
and in scoring victory in debates. It is associated exclusively
with worldly skills. Buddhi, on the
other hand, is spiritual in nature and close to the
Atma. Thus, one must never confuse a
Wise person (Buddhiman) with a clever
relationship of the various entities related to
Medha Shakti and Buddhi is as
follows: At the bottom of the totem pole is the physical plane.
Above it are the senses; then comes the mind or
Manas. Buddhi comes above the mind
and last of all is the Atma or the
Self. Buddhi is thus just a "stone's
throw" away from the Atma and is
verily a reflection of the latter. It is thus the height of
ignorance to equate Wisdom (Buddhi)
with cleverness (Medha Shakti). The
latter is associated to the senses and is thus intimately related
to the phenomenal world. It promotes ego, and as long as ego
dominates you cannot understand anything about the Self. A clever
person would never be able to achieve Self-realisation; only a
Wise person can.
a Divine Discourse of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
E-Magazine, December 15, 2003