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Three things that prompt us to speak, write & act

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Three things prompt us to speak and write: first is the intellect, the second is imagination, and the third is Prakriti. It has taken millennia to transition from instinct to reason, a radical cultural shift. When we speak and write, it is the intellect, a dimension of the mind, that speaks and writes. It is predominant in our day-to-day living. We use the intellect at home, work and in other places wherever it is warranted. We train this intellect right from school by reading and listening to academic lectures. Our intellect makes us what we are. Our rational mind makes us look externally and not internally. When we use intellect, it involves an effort that puts us through a lot of thinking and questioning, which is a functional aspect of intellect. Without this, knowledge would not have flourished. We would not have seen the phenomenal knowledge that has given us many things, including comforts. So, we cannot speak and write spontaneously. We think before we speak and write, having to exert considerable effort and energy.

The second is imagination, another dimension of the mind that borders on emotion. It is creative and expresses as art. It is also a way of communication, but it occurs through symbols and imagery. Intellect has given us knowledge and the imagination of art. Imagination is more important than intellect, for intellect is limited to knowing and understanding, while imagination embraces the entire world and beyond. The more one imagines, the stronger the mind gets and one can control one’s thoughts better. The power of imagination is the key to innovation.


Sometimes, the intellect collides with imagination to invent. This happens in science. Most inventions in science have happened this way. Pure intellectual inquiry can result in the culmination of ideas. But imagination makes ideas new, hitherto unknown.

However, this intellect also enhances our ego and makes us more self-centred. It is the intellect transformed into the ego that performs the twin functions of speaking and writing through the medium – the body. Similarly, imagination in which there is a presence of ego that prompts creation cannot be ruled out.

But there is another thing also that prompts and guides us to speak that we fail to recognise. It is Prakriti that takes the place of the intellect and imagination and performs the twin functions of speaking and writing. When Prakriti overpowers us, intellect and imagination have little roles to play. The body just becomes an instrument in her hands. In the realms of intellect and imagination, we have learnt that intellect and imagination are mere prompters and the body performs the twin functions.

When Prakriti uses us, our speaking and writing become spontaneous and natural. This can happen only when we establish perfect harmony with the Prakriti by our Jnana nishta, which refers to self-knowledge that is fully assimilated and established in our living. It brings us closer to Prakriti. Then we become instruments in her hands. It is then that Prakriti speaks and acts through us. Our speaking and writing become spontaneous and natural. We do not exert any effort. For this reason, sages speak spontaneously, without volition. They do not use intellect and imagination, unlike us.

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