his is part X of our series on understanding our physical body. Since buddhi is part of jiva, it is susceptible to the influence of previous births. Every desire of ours whether accomplished or not, leaves an impression in our mind. These impressions always crave for its manifestation. If you are not able to control your craving, your mind starts controlling your intellect and result is misery. If you are able to win over the cravings, your intellect becomes the master. Buddhi is transparent and atman is placed closer to it. Because of the transparent nature of the buddhi, mind mistakes buddhi as atman. This mistaken identity by the mind makes you to think that atman is self. In fact mind only identifies buddhi. This situation leads you to believe that you have realised the atman. This is an illusionary self realization. If you have realised the atman, you will not be reading this. These types of articles at the most show you the way to the atman. They cannot show you the atman. Your professor can teach you, but it is you who have to write the examination. If you are a realised person your mind and intellect will always be with atman. If I am a realised person, I will not be writing this article. All realised persons will always identify themselves with atman. This is the stage great yogis are in. You do not feel the hunger, you do not get sleep and you are so addicted to such a brightly illuminated atman, you never move your consciousness from the atman. Individual consciousness is getting identified with the universal consciousness. This is samadhi. There are different stages of samadhi about which we will discuss later. We identify somebody as having a brilliant brain. This brilliance has come only from the illuminating atman. Though all the sheaths receive the rays of light from the ever illuminating atman, buddhi is more effulgent because its proximity to the source of light. We are not training our intellect not to concentrate on our sensory organs. What happens is that buddhi is always focusing outside our body through our sense organs, of course with the help of mind. Instead of focusing outside the body, if it focuses inside, or if it turns its attention inwardly or looks within, there it sees the illuminating atman. Therefore unless buddhi is trained to look within, we cannot attain self realization.
Upanishads confirm that atman is an infinite entity identified with buddhi and appears in the form of light in the midst of heart. Adhi Shankara confirms this in his master piece Vivekachudamani. Here we should not take the literal meaning for the heart. If you take the literal meaning of the heart, then it means that atman is only in the heart. Atman exists everywhere and hence it is called universal consciousness. Here the heart means the centre of our personality. In fact this reference is not required in this context. But rishis have chosen to identity a place for atman, otherwise persons like you and I will find it difficult to realise it. Therefore it is evident that we have to cross buddhi to realise atman. It is because of the light emitting from atman buddhi appears consciously perceived as intelligent. None of the sheaths we have discussed so far, including the sheath of knowledge has the ability to function on their own. Since buddhi is closer to atman buddhi draws its light from atman. Atman is like the sun which is self illuminating. Buddhi is like the moon which is not self illuminating. But the moon gets its light from the sun and illuminates. Moon also illuminates the earth, though not to the extent of the sun. In the same way buddhi shines with the help of the self illuminating atman. Buddhi then illuminates other sheaths with the light drawn from the atman.