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Impact of samskaras on intuition and innovation

Intuition is a wonderful subject. If you ask modern day CEOs, how they took major decisions in their lives, what caused the turning point in their lives, again and again their answer surprises us. Again and again they tell us that their success came from something beyond their intellect, something that gave them the energy or the guts to take the decisions. This is not just the case with successful CEOs, it is the same with scientists also.

The other day I had a chance to have lunch with Dr Charles Townes*. I asked him ‘Sir, how did your discovery happen? How were you able to do it?’ He answered in a beautiful way, ‘I was just sitting in a park in Washington DC; suddenly something happened. The conclusion was there in me. Suddenly the conclusion was revealed to me. I penned down what I experienced. Now I had a big difficulty. I had the conclusion but not the steps. I was not able to present this to anybody else because I knew only the conclusion, I didn’t know the steps.’

This happened not only with Charles Townes*, it had also happened with Albert Einstein*. He says, ‘Whatever new happened to me, came through intuition and not through intellect.’ He summed it up beautifully, saying, ‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.’

Whether we believe it or not or accept it or not, there is something called intuition. Of course, even Albert Einstein says this is a gift, because we are not sure when it will come and whether it will come or not.

But yogis, the mystics, say again and again, you can work for it and you can be sure about it. You don’t have to think that intuition is a gift. You can work for it. It can become a part of your life. Whatever new things have happened, have happened only through intuition, only when something has happened beyond your intellect  and your whole being is integrated.

When you are at your peak, something opens. You may call it revelation or intuition, which happens beyond intellect. Mystics have again and again said that it is a science. If you can tune yourself to this intuition or this energy, which is continuously available in your being, you can use this in your regular life. Mystics again and again say it is an incident, you can make it happen. They know how to make it happen. We will see how you can awaken that power inside your being. We will see how the intuitive skills can be linked to the workings of the mind which I discussed earlier.

Before we discuss intuition in greater detail, let us first dispel the myths that intuition is some kind of a ‘fluke’ of nature. I would like you to understand that intuition is a skill that can be developed just as any other skills that you acquire. It comes from you, from no one else! Because we have not experienced that zone, that part, that dimension of our being, we have forgotten it.

Someone asked me in a meditation program, ‘I remember someone and the next moment the phone rings and he is there on the line. I remember someone at a party and next moment I see him.’ I asked the people in the program if this kind of an incidence had happened to them at least once in their lifetime. More than seventy percent of the people said this had happened! If it happens in one person’s life once, you can say it is a coincidence. But if it happens with seventy percent of people, it cannot be called a coincidence! There is more to it. There is some logic behind it.

We may not be able to know logically but we cannot brush it aside. When you know the logic, we call it an incident. When you don’t know the logic, you call it a coincidence. Nothing can happen without a cause on planet earth. It is always cause and effect. When you know the cause and effect link, you call it an incident. When you don’t know, you call it a coincidence.

In trying to understand the process of intuition, let us refer back to the mind map we discussed earlier. We talked about how the process of taking information from a sense such as the eye

works through chakshu* (Digital Signal Processor), chitta* (memory), manas* (mind) and then takes a quantum jump to the ego where the decisions are clouded by samskaras or engraved memories.

The process in the gap between the eye and mind is conscious. You are aware of this process. It happens with your awareness. But you are not aware about the mind to ego process. Many a time, the process happens without your awareness. You decide against your logic. You decide against your thought process. For example, according to the data that you have collected, you know that smoking is injurious to health, it is not good for your body or mind. But when the mind takes an unconscious leap to the ego, you simply take the decision to smoke!

The conscious process says, ‘No, it is not good for health.’ But the unconscious process says…it doesn’t even say, it just takes the decision and you execute. These decisions are not under your control because the unconscious is very powerful.

The unconscious can be used in three ways – at the instinct level, intellect level and intuition level. As long as the unconscious is filled with negative memories and restlessness, it works at the instinct level. You decide just instinctively. You don’t even know why you are angry. Suddenly you burst. Sometimes, when you see some activities or some words that you speak, you feel it is not me. You do something and then you think, ‘This is not me, how did I do it? How did I allow this to happen?’ This happens because the unconscious is working in the instinct level.

Many times, you just associate things without even any logical connection. For example, if you have been disturbed by somebody who was wearing a white dress, the moment you see somebody wearing a white dress, the past memory comes up and you feel the anger. This is the instinct level. Without your conscious mind, without even you understanding, just like that it happens.

If your unconscious is loaded with samskaras, if your unconscious is restless, you will be at the instinct level. The next is the intellect level. You are conscious but you don’t have enough enthusiasm. You just go with a conscious mind but you are not creative, not innovative. You don’t take big steps, you don’t grow. It is just like a faithful servant as Albert Einstein* says. The intellect is a faithful servant. You can be a servant throughout your life. You can be just a servant, but nothing more or big can happen through you. You will be collecting the data, processing it and delivering it, nothing more than a computer. If you are standing only at the intellect level, you are not using your potential to the maximum, to the extent to which it is supposed to be used.

The next is intuition. To understand intuition you need to go deep into the whole science. Only then you will be able to understand what I mean by the word ‘intuition’. Intuition is something which happens to you beyond your intellect. Suddenly you know for sure that this is the right thing and you have enough energy also to do it. But you don’t know the steps how you came to the conclusion but you know for sure this is right.

This energy is needed whenever you are faced with a situation where there is no precedence – when you are stuck with minimum data and you need to take decisions or you have a lot of choices and you are not able to decide what you are supposed to do. In these type of situations, the intuition energy can help you. The intuitive power can give you the courage or give you the right choice. Intuition again and again gives you the energy not only to decide but to execute what you have decided.


* Dr Charles Townes – Nobel laureate in physics for work related to MASER and LASER.

* Albert Einstein – Scientist and Nobel laureate.

* Chakshu – Energy behind the power of sight.

* Chitta – Memory.

* Manas – Mind.

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