Shining World

What is the Macrocosmic Intellect?

Dear Ram,

I’ve been pondering something for a while, and never seem to get a clear understanding.  In your cosmic diagram of the Self you place the Intellect just below the Causal.  Is this accurate?  If so how does the intellect give rise to the ahamkar?  In Samkya they refer to Mahat? Is this the same as Intellect?

I think this will do it.  I’m teaching another Gita class  It’s a joy and causes me to refine my own understanding.  Ram, I have to tell you—it took a few years to work out the kinks— but everything you taught us has sunk in.  Those nights in Portland, those summer camps at Mt. Adams, priceless🙏

Long years of study in my early days with Maharishi made it challenging at times to fully embrace the point of view of Knowledge as not a far off goal to eventually arrive at.  This was not a conscious resistance most of the time.  But at the peak I doubted you and I doubted the Teaching.  Of course, I kept at it.  I cannot claim any kind of special enlightenment.  I’ve relaxed deeply; but no sense at this point of having been “set free” of anything.   None the less I do have a gift in sharing it.

I also knew I had to own it and make it my own.  I went through one hell of a few years.  Damn near bed ridden at times, unable to hardly move.  I did lots of scripture study, Fire, Mantra, breath work, yearly Ayurvedic Panchakarma, and uncomfortable sojourns to the Amazon to work with native plant doctors.  People said I was depressed, suffering from PTSD, hormonal imbalances, etc.  All true from different perspectives.  But it was really a battle inside.

Much Love to you and Sundari🙏

Ram:   Lovely to hear from you!  I’m so glad Vedanta is working for you and you have found peace.  It’s always in inside job.  I admire your dedication and am so happy to hear that you are teaching the Gita, which is the essence of Vedanta.  

Vedanta borrowed Samkhya’s analysis of the world, even though it is a dualistic philosophy.  The word Mahat refers to the Macrocosmic Intellect or the Macrocosmic Causal Body, what we call variously Isvara/Maya, the three gunas, Causal Body (jagat karanam), God, etc.  It’s an impersonal principle, but it is sometimes personified as a Universal Person (purusha or purushottama).  As such, it is also known as the Cosmic Ego (mahat ahamkara).  Seeing God as a big Jiva is typical of dualistic religions. 

My chart can be interpreted from Isvara’s Macrocosmic or Jiva’s Microsmic point of view.  So from Isvara’s point of view the Intellect (Buddhi) is the ideas that are necessary to create, sustain and destroy the creation.  These ideas are embedded in Macrocosmic Sattva.  So Mahat is all knowledge, all desire (will) and all-pervasive (omnipresent). 

The embodied Self (Jivatma), what I refer to as the eternal Jiva, or an individual is  a reflection of Mahat, the Macrocosmic Intellect.  It has limited knowledge, limited desire (will power) and limited pervasiveness owing to its association with the body/karma, etc.  It borrows its ideas and powers from Mahat.   

So the Intellect is the Ahamkara, the “I sense.”  Aham refers to Existence shining as blissful Consciousness (satchitananda atma) and kara refers to the idea or “sense” of I, what we call a human being or a person.   I suggest you read my latest book, Existence Shining as Awareness, which is commentaries on Ramana’s Sat Darshanam, to get a clearer picture of the relationship between the I and the “I-sense.”

The Jivatma has three components: (1) original pure unborn Awareness, which is the ever-present ever-experienced I, (2) the reflecting medium (the material Subtle Body which is predominantly macrocosmic sattva because of which it is eternal Jiva’s instrument of knowledge and experience, and (3) the reflection.  The individual ego is purely conceptual, an idea in the microcosmic intellect.  It is born of moolavida (root ignorance or Maya) and is removed by Self knowledge.    



Your Shopping cart