Great intelligence or Good intentions?

In today’s world, high education, sharp intellect and smart manners are considered as pre-requisites for success. A school student considers getting into a top tech school or a B-school as the success. A university student considers getting into a big tech company with a fat pay cheque as the success. It is a fact that the intelligentsia is spearheading the growth of a nation be it economic, scientific, political and cultural. Interestingly, history shows that a part of this intelligentsia is also responsible for causing the greatest damage and evil known so far. The holocaust is a philosophically justified, well-engineered and systematically executed murder. Communism that is responsible for killing the largest number of people, has a sound philosophical basis. We see that Duryodhana is not leaving a single stone unturned in his attempts to destroy the righteous Pandavas. He is very proactive, emotionally intelligent and politically astute. Are all intelligent people evil? Definitely No. There is something else beyond intelligence that is not being accounted here.

We need good and pure intentions. Good intelligence is not sufficient. Our intentions are the driver of the car of our intelligence. To the extent our intentions are correct and clear, to that extent our journey of life will be smooth and successful. Actual intelligence is that intelligence which has the awareness and ability to differentiate between the right and wrong intentions (BG 18.30) and the determination to choose right over wrong intentions (BG 18.33). Are good intentions good enough? Don’t we need a good functional intelligence? Definitely, we need a good functional intelligence to make it out in this world. Everyone is gifted with a unique functional intelligence (BG 18.41) – a unique combination of linguistic, logical, aesthetic, kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. We definitely need to recognize the type of our intelligence and enhance it as much as possible to make a fulfilling contribution to society.  We need both good intentions and great intelligence which is vividly explained in Yudhistir.

We have within us – both the right and wrong intentions, always competing with each other. In this day-and-age, the wrong intentions – selfish and materialistic intentions are eulogized and inspired prominently through media and society. The good intentions we possess are always prone to be sabotaged by the bad intentions within us (BG 3.41). Therefore, it is very much important for us to develop and constantly strengthen this intelligence. How to do this? This can be done by scriptural education and spiritual purification. Education based on wisdom texts like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam helps in detailed understanding of good and bad intentions and way to differentiate between them and choose good intentions over bad intentions. Spiritual purification through meditation, worship and devotion removes the bad intentions within us (BG 9.28) and equips us with the determination to choose right intentions.