“One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul is ever destroyed, actually sees.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.28)
samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati
Friend-One: What is intelligence?
Friend-Two: It is part of the subtle body. It goes along with mind and false ego.
F1: What is the gross body?
F2: Earth, water, fire, air and ether. Every living entity in the material world is made up of a combination of these elements [Bg. 7.4].
F1: Okay, but I want to know in a specific context, like when we say that someone has intelligence. Who would you say is a smart person?
F2: Well, you can use the same information as your way to judge. An intelligent person sees that every living entity is covered by these eight material elements.
F1: What do you mean by covered?
F2: The soul is the identifying force. You are spirit soul. So am I. So is the cat, the dog, the ant, the elephant, the tiger, etc. An intelligent person sees this.
F1: So you’re basing intelligence on vision?
F2: Yes, that’s one way to put it. There is a verse in the Bhagavad-gita that says that the person who sees the individual soul and the Supersoul within all bodies actually sees.
F1: I see, no pun intended. I’m assuming that the default condition is to see the material elements instead.
F2: Exactly. You can’t be blamed for that. They are gross elements for a reason; they stand right before your eyes. Yet we know that each person has a mind. We know that there is something called an ego. So we don’t have to rely on only the gross elements. And then delving deeper still the wise person sees what is driving everything.
F1: What is the difference between the individual soul and the Supersoul?
F2: Both are similar in quality. The intelligent person knows that both souls never die. They cannot be killed. The individual soul remains local, whereas the Supersoul extends. As I don’t live in you and you don’t live in me, the individual soul is limited.
F1: The Supersoul is the same in everyone?
F2: Yeah. And it’s not a division. The Supersoul is one way to understand God. He is both within and without. He is everywhere. As the Supersoul He witnesses everything happening, from past, present and future.
F1: Okay. I like that way of assessing intelligence. So is it safe to assume that the person who actually sees ends up seeing this spiritual quality all the time?
F2: For sure. In the highest state of consciousness, bhakti-yoga, the person sees God all the time. They are always in a blissful mood as a result. They cannot be phased.
F1: Okay, here is my bigger question then. Bouncing off of what you just said, doesn’t it mean that the intelligent person also sees everything bad that has happened?
F2: What do you mean?
F1: For example, a person typically has no problem eating meat, as long as they don’t remain conscious of how the food got on their table. A person does not object to abortion, since the entity being killed is small and behind the veil of the human body. So these are two instances of where intelligence is lacking.
F2: I’ll agree with that.
F1: So the intelligent person sees that there is violence in these instances. They see all the tragedies of the world. They empathize with what people go through. How, then, can such a person be happy? Are they not tortured by the suffering of the people in the material world?
F2: That’s a good question. But keep in mind what the intelligent person actually notices. They see spirit, which they know cannot be killed. So these tragedies are really no different than normal deaths, which represent the changing of bodies. There is a reason that one of the first instructions from Krishna to Arjuna relates to the changing body and how the soul is never killed [Bg. 2.20].
F1: How can they remain happy, though? Shouldn’t such tragedies make them lament?
F2: You should know that showing these negative images on a regular basis is the weapon of the demon, or the person who is against God. They know that the less intelligent will easily lament over something that happens to the body. Therefore they try their best to keep these images in front of people, as a way to control them.
F1: Like with television news coverage?
F2: That’s a great example from the modern times. You can think of the hostage video also. There are examples from the past too. The people living in Lanka a long time ago were Rakshasas, which is a species that is expert in black magic. They used to show images of the Supreme Lord Rama being killed as a way to scare. It works for a moment or two, but the devoted souls never go off their game. Sita Devi, Rama’s wife, was undeterred in her vow of chastity. The Vanaras working for Rama continued to fight despite seeing these false images.
F1: So are you not supposed to lament at all?
F2: You don’t have to go that far. It’s natural to feel pain at someone else’s distress. The key is to not let it take you off the righteous path. If you have the Divine Vision, you don’t want to lose it. The enemies of God win when these images are constantly shown to those who cannot see the underlying spiritual quality in all beings. The supporters of God triumph when more and more are armed with the vision that is indicative of the highest intelligence.
Poor vision of the people knowing,
So demons tragic images showing.
Intelligence from what one can see,
How spirit soul eternally vibrant to be.
Rakshasas in past this too tried,
On black magic to frighten relied.
But Sita and Vanaras not shaken,
Bhakti-yoga by them never forsaken.