Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 30 March 2014





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Intellect over mind:

The key to progress and peace

Over the years humanity and the world we live in had achieved a lot of progress. We owe it to science for this achievements. Humans are also said to have evolved from the cavemen to intelligent people moving around in supersonic jets. But when we make a closer look at the quality of the present human life we find that all the progress we have made is lopsided.

They have no time to enjoy their own achievements. They do not know how to relate to each other. Divorce, depression, militancy and terrorism are on the rise. People struggle for life in the quagmire of problems and pressures. All this outward development seems to have not enhanced the quality of human life.

Swami A. Parthasarathy

If we compare the human life as a voyage in a ship in the rough seas, one can sail faster if he raises the mast, the upward projection of the ship. But as one raises the mast if one does not deepen the keel below, the ship will topple. The same is happening to human life. We have all focused on the exterior aspects of life and failed to attend to the internal aspect of life. This is the lack of development and use of the human intellect. This has ruined the sap of human life.

Higher valves

Intellect here is the thinking aspect in humans which controls and directs the mind. It is that which conceives the higher values of life. Intellect should be clearly differentiated from the intelligence. People world over gather information from external sources such as schools and universities. They become proficient in one or more subjects. They use their skills to make a living. This is sheer intelligence.

The human mind is the seat of impulses and emotions, likes and dislikes. All these aspects by themselves have no direction or dimension. Any amount of intelligence cannot control or regulate the mind. This explains why even doctors and other highly qualified professionals fall a prey to addictions and other weaknesses. All that they have is intelligence not intellect.

Humans face a grave problem in the pursuit of their likes and dislikes without a discerning intellect. The problem stems from a strange paradox in life. Whatever experience is pleasurable in the beginning turns out to be detrimental in the end. And what is detestable in the beginning becomes beneficial in the end. People dislike exercise; they like to eat junk food. Their choice causes health problems later in life.

Instant pleasures

The human tendency is to grab instant pleasures through indisciplined living. Every aspect of life has a dilemma of choice. A wrong choice can prove detrimental or fatal. To make the right choices in life a human needs to strengthen his intellect. But there is hardly any systematic program available to achieve this end.

One such attempt is done by Swami Parthasarathy an internationally acclaimed philosopher, who has a multi-disciplined academic base including post-graduation from London University. He has researched for over 50 years on the state of human beings. His findings focus on the urgent need to revive and rehabilitate the human intellect. His resolve has emerged into four distinct avenues of service.

He has founded the Vedanta Academy which conducts a three year residential course to build intellectual stability and higher values of life in students from all over the world.

His public discourses and corporate seminars in this field have been appreciated world over. He has published 10 books which present ancient philosophical wisdom of thinkers from the East and the West in contemporary thought. Two of them are best sellers.

His daughter disciple Smt.Sunandaji has been imbibing his teachings for over three decades. Sunandaji also has addressed diverse audiences across five continents for the past 20 years. Her clear and powerful presentation of sublime philosophical truths in contemporary thought has been acclaimed by prestigious organisations including the young presidents organisation and many universities around the world.

As a part of this on-going program on value education in Colombo Sunandaji’s discourses on Bhagavad Gita have been organised for the past three years.

This year the lecture series was conducted on the topic ‘The Yoga of Supreme Being’ based on the 15th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. The lectures were held recently at the Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo 5.


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