Buddhi in Yoga Meditation


Buddhi = inner wisdom or intellect, the function of mind that knows, judges, decides, and discriminates
Buddhi = one of the four functions of mind: manas, chitta, ahamkara and buddhi
Buddhi = individual intellect or inner wisdom, Mahat is universal wisdom and intelligence.
Ideally is it buddhi that instructs manas, which then employs the senses. Unfortunately, it is not always buddhi that leads the mind, but the samskaras that overshadow buddhi. Buddhi is always present and is always there to guide us, we can learn to tap into our inner wisdom, all we have to do is to start listen to it!


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Observe buddhi
You really want to know how buddhi operates within you, because buddhi is your inner wisdom and can guide you along the path. One of the most important practices on the path to freedom is to sharpen buddhi and to learn to apply it. You can start by observing how buddhi functions when a decision is made, as buddhi is the ability of the mind to know, judge, discriminate, and decide. We constantly make decisions that lead to actions. A decision means there are several options out of which you can choose. Choosing an option is making a decision. When several options present themselves whom or what makes you choose one? To whom/what are you listening inside when a decision needs to be made? Buddhi is the clear calm inner wisdom, that can playfully be described as the inner voice (you do not have to literally hear voices), that knows what is truly right for you at any given moment. But sometimes you listen to something else. Sometimes, or often, we do not listen to buddhi and it might feel that our inner wisdom or buddhi is absent, corrupt, sleepy, so quiet we can barely hear it, or gets pushed out of the way. There appears to be something stronger present in the mind-field than buddhi. What is this other force? It is the power of desire. When a desire is strong enough it can overrule the advice of buddhi as if this desire screams louder than buddhi. Thus when manas is asking for instructions of “what to do?” it will listen to the load screams of desire and will not hear buddhi. You can witness this within your mind-field. Have you ever did something of which you knew it was not the most desired decision, you knew what was actually needed, but you did the other thing anyway? For example, you should not eat that unhealthy food, wisdom was present, but you did it anyways. There is nothing to be guilty about, but it is a great example of the desire vs. buddhi. Over time, because of practice, the attachment will become less and buddhi will become sharper. The sharper buddhi is, the easier it becomes to not listen to the desires but act upon buddhi, this will decreases the desires in strength and coloring. Thus these two aspect of practice go hand in hand; decreasing the coloring and increasing the clarity of buddhi. Let buddhi become your guide in life, so that your choices are made with wisdom and life is lived free and happy. You will feel increasingly more in control of your life instead of being pushed and dragged around by your desire world that only leads to suffering!
Buddhi is also the function of mind that judges, discriminates, and knows. This means that at any time you can direct your attention to your inner wisdom or ask buddhi to make an assessment of a situation. First, know wisdom is always there, then learn to tap into this wisdom by asking buddhi questions, by directing your attention to it and by learning to listen to it. Ask buddhi what to do, or what is useful or not. Buddhi is always present and may answer you in words of is merely a feeling, like a gut feeling or a feeling in the heart. Buddhi can whisper all the secrets to you, as it is the one that knows. Over time it will appear as if you have more time in between the choices and the decision, because buddhi becomes more present in every here and now. It may feel as if you sometimes live life in slow motion, because there is a more all-pervasive awareness to the whole of life; you feel awake, alert and attentive, all because this inner wisdom has become your constant companion.
Buddhi can discriminate between not self and Self
To observe buddhi in daily life is extremely important; it will show you how this function operates. You can also take some time to just sit with buddhi and ask it questions; to have a dialogue with it to allow the inner wisdom to come forward. Remember that all the wisdom is inside and learn to trust, listen, and rely on this inner wisdom relating to choices in life, to what is important in life. Allow it also to help you in discriminating between what you think you are and what you truly are; between the collection of false identities and pure non-dual Consciousness. Buddhi is the function of mind that is able to discriminate between not self and Self, it is able to gradually remove the avidya and guide your whole being to vidya. Buddhi truly is an amazing tool on the path to realizing the true Self. The more buddhi is present in your constant awareness, the sharper buddhi gets and the deeper in can penetrate the unknown levels of your being. Eventually it will have to be set aside too, but that is the last step. Until then, use it fully, use buddhi constantly!
Buddhi and intuitive knowledge
Buddhi is able to guide you in removing that what you are not, but finally the real knowledge comes from beyond buddhi. True knowledge about the Self dawns from the Self only, this is called intuitive knowledge. What most people generally know as intuitive knowledge is actually instinctive knowledge, which is knowledge related to everything in the Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep states. To increase our awareness of what is happening in these three states is very useful, but real intuitive knowledge flows from the Center of Consciousness. It is the force of grace that descends to the sadhaka to guide the sadhaka to the summit. Eventually buddhi, which is an amazing tool within Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep, has to be set aside, as it is working within the domain of maya, within individuality. Intuitive knowledge comes from beyond maya, from Non-duality, and therefore buddhi must be surrendered so that the Self can fully reveal itself.


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Eventually buddhi will swim around in your awareness all the time, as it becomes a part of constant self-awareness. Also, becoming aware of buddhi will have the effect that you will increase your use of this word in your daily vocabulary to express yourself and you will discover how buddhi relates to other concepts, processes, or insights. For example, you might discover a link between living with a clear buddhi and ekagra, or you find out how buddhi functions when it is sattvic, tamasic or rajasic. Eventually you will discover how all these concepts dance together and coming to know this dance will guide you toward that which is beyond all the concepts. This is because as you increase your self-awareness, you will discover that everything you can observe is not who you truly are, you are not buddhi, you are the One that is able to witness all these concepts. Therefore buddhi itself will have to be transcended, who you really are is beyond buddhi. This will increase the non-attachment toward buddhi itself, while you can be in awe of the beauty of the Divine dance of Consciousness that appears to play as buddhi. Therefore practicing self-awareness is actually practicing not-self-awareness by which the True Self will eventually reveal itself.
Look at the self-assessment PDF (assessment-yymmdd.pdf) and a PDF that includes daily internal dialogue and daily observation (sumseven-yymmdd.pdf) on the website of www.abhyasaashram.org (when you are on this page scroll all the way down to find the downloadable PDFs) These PDFs can be used as tools to explore and expand your understanding on buddhi.


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Buddhi works through the layer of samskaras
Above we looked at buddhi as if buddhi and the samskaras are sitting next to each other, we either listen to one or the other. Another way to look at buddhi and the samskaras is to think that buddhi has to work through the samskaras; as if buddhi has to work through a lens that is made of the samskaras. Therefore, the fewer the attachments are, the cleaner the lens is. Buddhi will shine brighter. This way of viewing buddhi and the samskaras might help you in seeing that even when someone makes a decision between two “wrong” choices, like Mc Donalds or BurgerKing it is still done by buddhi. Buddhi has to operate through all the samskaras and when the samskaras are so deeply colored it seems as if buddhi only has limited options to choose from. This may then appear as if buddhi is gone, not present. To expand you choices and to see beyond you habit patterns is a way to offer buddhi more choices… it all begins with a desire for change.
Sattvic buddhi
Thus buddhi can also be seen through the eyes of the gunas. The gunas apply to everything within this manifestation, as they are the building blocks of prakriti, therefore the gunas apply also to buddhi, as it is made of prakriti too. Buddhi can be sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. When our lens gets clearer, then the decisions are made with more awareness; this means that buddhi has become more sattvic. When you initially start to walk to path of Self-realization buddhi may be not so pure. This explains why in the beginning our choices are often also not as pure as we want them to be. To see that the faculty itself gets purer over time explains the increasing ability to make skilled decisions. Have patience and keep purifying the samskaras so that buddhi transform from a tamasic buddhi, to a rajasic buddhi, into a sattvic buddhi. Yogasutra 3.56 tells us that we have to set aside even our faculty of discrimination, as even sattvic buddhi is not Atman, not our real Self. This means not that you can think; I need to set aside buddhi eventually so I will do this immediately. No! Use it and make it sattvic so it can guide you along the path, but keep in mind that you are not sattvic buddhi; YOU ARE ATMAN!
Buddhi; a spoke in a wheel
The four functions of mind are described in the Upanishads as being like a wheel with four spokes. The center of the hub never moves, which is the Self, on which the wheel of the mind seems to rotate, therefore the Self seems to operate in the apparent manifestation through the four functions of mind. When I was young, I once rode a bike where the spokes where not of equal length, so the hub appeared not to be in the center. When I would ride it there was the experience as if you were riding over little hills, while the surface was flat. Which to me is a nice way to look at the way the four functions of mind need to work together, all are equally important, otherwise I would experience the world as a bumpy road!



Buddhi and the koshas
There are five koshas or sheaths. The fourth one is called vijnana-maya-kosha. It is the second most inner kosha, one more subtler is ananda-maya-kosha. Vijnana-maya-kosha is the sheath of finest intellect, which is buddhi.
1. Anna-maya-kosha: most external sheath, our food-sheath
2. Prana-maya-kosha: sheath of prana, or energy
3. Mana-maya-kosha: this is the sheath of manas, of mind
4. Vijnana-maya-kosha: intellect or buddhi
5. Ananda-maya-kosha: sheath of bliss, of ananda (even this has to be transcended)
Beyond all five koshas lies the Self, pure Atman


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2.6 The coloring (klesha) of I-ness or egoism (asmita), which arises from the ignorance, occurs due to the mistake of taking the intellect (buddhi, which knows, decides, judges, and discriminates) to itself be pure consciousness (purusha/drig).
drig darshana shaktyoh ekatmata iva asmita
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3.50 To one well established in the knowledge of the distinction between the purest aspect of mind and consciousness itself, there comes supremacy over all forms or states of existence, as well as over all forms of knowing.
sattva purusha anyata khyati matrasya sarva-bhava adhisthatrittvam sarvajnatritvam cha)
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3.56 With the attainment of equality between the purest aspect of sattvic buddhi and the pure consciousness of purusha, there comes absolute liberation, and that is the end.
sattva purusayoh suddhi samye kaivalyam iti)
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4.22 When the unchanging consciousness appears to take on the shape of that finest aspect of mind-field (4.18), then the experience of one’s own cognition process is possible.
chitteh apratisamkramayah tad akara apattau sva buddhi samvedanam
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”Intellect, the decisive faculty of the inner instrument. This is the first evolute of Prakriti, closest to Purusha”
~ Bhagavad Gita pg. 468
Manas uses the senses to go out to the objects of the world. Manas imports and exports through the ten senses, but it has no power to import and export whatever it wants. Manas is called the doubtful faculty of your mind. Before you do something, first manas says; shall I do it or not? Manas has no power to decide. Sometimes you want to decide, but you wait.
Conflicts arise in your mind because you do not decide things on time. The nature of manas is to argue and to pose questions, but has no power to decide, to judge, or to discriminate. These are the functions of the faculty called buddhi. Manas the doubtful part of your mind, puts both sides before buddhi, the decisive faculty, and immediately buddhi makes a decision.
Buddhi has the very important post of financial adviser. Buddhi checks manas. You need to train your buddhi, which discriminates, judges, and decides, so that your mind can import and export according to your capacity. If you go beyond your capacity, the firm will fail. Is your buddhi prepared and sharpened enough to teach manas? Is manas listening to your buddhi?
Today’s intellectuals have a serious problem. They sharpen only one side of the intellect, and they do not know how to decide. They have not sharpened another aspect of the same buddhi that deals with decisiveness, discrimination and judging. When you have sharpened it properly, when you have not allowed it to remain dull, it can judge and decide. Then your penetrative nature will help you to understand that which is real and that which is not real. Viveka, or knowledge, is the product of a sharpened buddhi.”
~ Samadhi pg. 37-41
“If you train manas, and if you lead your ahamkara toward chitta and your manas toward buddhi, then you have accomplished something. Don’t do anything in life unless your buddhi, the counselor within, tells you to do it. You need to make internal experiments with yourself: you need to train your buddhi to give a correct, clear judgment to your manas. You also have to train your manas to take advice from buddhi. Perhaps you feel deprived of something of value and suddenly the idea occurs that you want to steal it. You know that it is wrong, you you want to do it. This is due to your mental habits. So you must train both your manas and your ahamkara, and that process is what we call polishing your ahamkara.”
~ The Art of Joyful Living pg. 82
“Human beings have tremendous capacity. You have all the powers. You are fully equipped with potentials. If you learn to understand those potentials and know how to apply them, you can be successful. First, you should be fully aware that you have potentials. You encounter only that superficial part of mind that is known to you, that which has been polished by you. You do not trust yourself. You tell others how nice you are. You do not want anyone to know how bad you are. You do not want to feel that you are bad, yet you understand from within, and when you touch only that part, you suddenly become disappointed and disperse the idea that you have potentials. You should be aware that you have the capacity to have control and command over the modifications of your mind. If you are not in touch with your potentials, you cannot have that faith which is based on reason and facts, that faith and conviction that have gone through the process of intellectualization by your buddhi. That conviction tells you, Here I am. This is like this. Then you do not doubt it.”
~ Samadhi pg. 56
Sattvic Buddhi
“The higher or sattvic buddhi has the following characteristics. (1) The power of discrimination is developed; (2) The buddhi that has learned to discriminate between the Self and the non-self, between the supreme Self in its unmanifest state and its power of manifestation, possesses the power of non-attachment; (3) Such a buddhi has one-pointedness and inwardness; (40 It has attained calmness, quietness, and steadiness; it remains serene, undisturbed, and undissipated; (5) It is free from the desire for sense gratification; (6) It helps one to decide right from wrong and to act in a timely manner; (7) It makes one selfless and giving, without any expectations; (8) it helps one to remain tranquil and even in all conditions; (9) It helps one to remain a witness; (10) It leads one to spiritual heights.”
~ Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita pg. 441
“Time is the greatest of all filters. Perhaps you are very sad today because you lost something – but after a few days you forget it because you keep yourself busy in other matters. The time span makes a different; time is a filter that heals, pacifies, and teaches. You should learn to use that filter of mind. Whatever information comes, let it go through the mind. The mind becomes rusty if you do not use it. The faculty of discrimination, buddhi, is one of the important faculties of your mind, the antahkarana. The mind becomes very sharp and penetrative when you learn to use time’s filter consciously.”
~ Path of Fire and Light II pg. 62
“Let us distinguish between buddhi and intuition and their respective powers. The aspirant whose buddhi is sharpened by the knowledge of discrimination is skillful in performing action and offers the fruits of his action for the benefit of others. But one who has acquired profound knowledge directly from the source of intuition, the purest of all forms of knowledge, has firm faith in the self-existent Atman.
Higher buddhi helps in discriminating and deciding what is right for one to do, but the knowledge of the pure Self is beyond the sphere of buddhi. Intuitive knowledge alone give one the power of Self-realization. Pure buddhi can penetrate to the deeper levels of one’s being, but the finest and highest level is attained not through the knowledge of buddhi or through the mind but through intuitive knowledge alone. Intuitive knowledge does not dawn bit by bit. It is a spontaneous knowledge received by the sadhaka when he has surrendered even the way of pure reason.
We disagree with the any writers and commentators who claim that pure buddhi can be the means of final emancipation because there are, in fact, two powers that are functioning. One is called the ascending power, and the pure buddhi leads that ascending power to the summit of human knowledge. But without meeting the beloved, the descending power, termed kripa or grace, even reaching the summit does not bring complete fulfillment. Fulfillment is the unity of the ascending and descending powers. Pure reason falls within human endeavor but intuitive knowledge is divine. Intuitive knowledge is entirely different than the knowledge of pure reason or buddhi. With pure buddhi one may fathom many finer levels of consciousness, but without intuitive knowledge one cannot attain the Self-illumined source of Consciousness. That intuitive knowledge dawns wen human endeavor is completed and exhausted.
~ Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita pg. 198


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Read the whole article “Coordinating the Four Functions of Mind” on www.swamij.com
Buddhi is higher mind: Buddhi is the higher aspect of mind, the door-way to inner wisdom. The word Buddhi itself comes from the root budh, which means one who has awakened. Buddhi has the capacity to decide, judge, and make cognitive discriminations and differentiations. It can determine the wiser of two courses of action, if it functions clearly and if Manas will accept its guidance.
Read the whole article “Sankhya Yoga, Prakriti and its Evolutes: Returning to Self-realization” on www.swamij.com
Mahat or Buddhi: This is the purest, finest spark of individuation of Prakriti (primordial matter). It is very first of the evolutes of Prakriti. It is individuation, but yet, without characteristics. Buddhi is the word, which applies to the individual person, while mahat refers to the universal aspect of this process.



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Vivekachoodamini, Adi Shankaracharya
Translated by Swami Madhavananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta
93-94. The inner organ (Antahkarana) is called Manas, Buddhi, ego [ahamkara] or Chitta, according to their respective functions: Manas, from its considering the pros and cons of a thing; Buddhi, from its property of determining the truth of objects; the ego, from its identification with this body as one’s own self; and Chitta, from its function of remembering things it is interested in.
96. The five organs of action such as speech, the five organs of knowledge such as the ear, the group of five Pranas, the five elements ending with the ether, together with Buddhi and the rest as also Nescience, desire and action – these eight “cities” make up what is called the subtle body.
98-99. Dream is a state of the soul distinct from the waking state, where it shines by itself. In dreams Buddhi, by itself, takes on the role of the agent and the like, owing to various latent impressions of the waking state, while the supreme Atman shines in Its own glory – with Buddhi as Its only superimposition, the witness of everything, and is not touched by the least work that Buddhi does. As It is wholly unattached, It is not touched by any work that Its superimpositions may perform.
135. The Supreme Self, different from the Prakriti and its modifications, of the essence of Pure Knowledge, and Absolute, directly manifests this entire gross and subtle universe, in the waking and other states, as the substratum of the persistent sense of egoism, and manifests Itself as the Witness of the Buddhi, the determinative faculty.
136. By means of a regulated mind and the purified intellect (Buddhi), realize directly thy own Self in the body so as to identify thyself with It, cross the boundless ocean of Samsara whose waves are birth and death, and firmly established in Brahman as thy own essence, be blessed.
141. The man of perverted intellect, having his Self-knowledge swallowed up by the shark of utter ignorance, himself imitates the various states of the intellect (Buddhi), as that is Its superimposed attribute, and drifts up and down in this boundless ocean of Samsara which is full of the poison of sense-enjoyment, now sinking, now rising – a miserable fate indeed!
184. The Buddhi with its modifications and the organs of knowledge, forms the Vijnanamaya Kosha or knowledge sheath, of the agent, having the characteristics which is the cause of man’s transmigration.
190. Though the Self of everything that exists, this Atman, Itself assuming the limitations of the Buddhi and wrongly identifying Itself with this totally unreal entity, looks upon Itself as something different – like earthen jars from the clay of which they are made.
196. The Jivahood of the Atman, the Witness, which is beyond qualities and beyond activity, and which is realised within as Knowledge and Bliss Absolute – has been superimposed by the delusion of the Buddhi, and is not real. And because it is by nature an unreality, it ceases to exist when the delusion is gone.
200-201. Previous non-existence, even though beginningless, is observed to have an end. So the Jivahood which is imagined to be in the Atman through its relation with superimposed attributes such as the Buddhi, is not real; whereas the other (the Atman) is essentially different from it. The relation between the Atman and the Buddhi is due to a false knowledge.
217. That which clearly manifests Itself in the states of wakefulness, dream and profound sleep; which is inwardly perceived in the mind in various forms as an unbroken series of egoistic impressions; which witnesses the egoism, the Buddhi, etc., which are of diverse forms and modifications; and which makes Itself felt as the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute; know thou this Atman, thy own Self, within thy heart.
218. Seeing the reflection of the sun mirrored in the water of a jar, the fool thinks it is the sun itself. Similarly the stupid man, through delusion, identifies himself with the reflection of the Chit caught in the Buddhi, which is Its superimposition.
220-222. Similarly, discarding the body, the Buddhi and the reflection of the Chit in it, and realizing the Witness, the Self, the Knowledge Absolute, the cause of the manifestation of everything, which is hidden in the recesses of the Buddhi, is distinct from the gross and subtle, eternal, omnipresent, all-pervading and extremely subtle, and which has neither interior nor exterior and is identical with one self – fully realizing this true nature of oneself, one becomes free from sin, taint, death and grief, and becomes the embodiment of Bliss. Illumined himself, he is afraid of none. For a seeker after Liberation there is no other way to the breaking of the bonds of transmigration than the realization of the truth of one’s own Self
256. That which is untouched by the sixfold wave; meditated upon by the Yogi’s heart, but not grasped by the sense-organs; which the Buddhi cannot know; and which is unimpeachable – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
266. In the cave of the Buddhi there is the Brahman, distinct from the gross and subtle, the Existence Absolute, Supreme, the One without a second. For one who lives in this cave as Brahman, O beloved, there is no more entrance into the mother’s womb.
269. Realising thy own Inmost Self, the Witness of the Buddhi and its modifications, and constantly revolving the positive thought, “I am That”, conquer this identification with the non-Self.
296. Therefore give up the identification with this lump of flesh, the gross body, as well as with the ego or the subtle body, which are both imagined by the Buddhi. Realizing thy own Self, which is Knowledge Absolute and not to be denied in the past, present or future, attain to Peace.
301. That which has been created by the Buddhi extremely deluded by Nescience, and which is perceived in this body as “I am such and such” – when that egoism is totally destroyed, one attains an unobstructed identity with Brahman.
323. Finding even a wise man hankering after the sense-objects, oblivion torments him through the evil propensities of the Buddhi, as a woman does her doting paramour.
349-350. Like iron manifesting as sparks through contact with fire, the Buddhi manifests itself as knower and known through the inherence of Brahman. As these two (knower and known), the effects of the Buddhi, are observed to be unreal in the case of delusion, dream and fancy, similarly, the modifications of the Prakriti, from egoism down to the body and all sense-objects are also unreal. Their unreality is verily due to their being subject to change every moment. But the Atman never changes.
351. The Supreme Self is ever of the nature of eternal, indivisible knowledge, one without a second, the Witness of the Buddhi and the rest, distinct from the gross and subtle, the implied meaning of the term and idea “I”, the embodiment of inward, eternal bliss.
354. Such imaginations as “thou”, “I” or “this” take place through the defects of the Buddhi. But when the Paramatman, the Absolute, the One without a second, manifests Itself in Samadhi, all such imaginations are dissolved for the aspirant, through the realization of the truth of Brahman.
369. Restrain speech in the Manas, and restrain Manas in the Buddhi; this again restrain in the witness of Buddhi, and merging that also in the Infinite Absolute Self, attain to supreme Peace.
370. The body, Pranas, organs, Manas, Buddhi and the rest – with whichever of these supervening adjuncts the mind is associated, the Yogi is transformed, as it were, into that.
380. Here shines eternally the Atman, the Self-effulgent Witness of everything, which has the Buddhi for Its seat. Making this Atman which is distinct from the unreal, the goal, meditate on It as thy own Self, excluding all other thought.
509. The passing states of the Buddhi, such as agency, experience, cunning, drunkenness, dullness, bondage and freedom, are never in reality in the Self, the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute, the one without a second.
560. The destruction of the body, organs, Pranas and Buddhi is like that of a leaf or flower or fruit (to a tree). It does not affect the Atman, the Reality, the Embodiment of Bliss – which is one’s true nature. That survives, like the tree.
571. Bondage and Liberation are attributes of the Buddhi which ignorant people falsely superimpose on the Reality, as the covering of the eyes by a cloud is transferred to the sun. For this Immutable Brahman is Knowledge Absolute, the One without a second and unattached.
572. The idea that bondage exists, and the idea that it does not, are, with reference to the Reality, both attributes of the Buddhi merely, and never belong to the Eternal Reality, Brahman.
Panchadasi, Sri Vidyaranya Swami
Translated by Swami Swahananda and Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai (Translation under Fair Use, and believed to be in the public domain.)
1.20. From a combination of them all (i.e. sattva portions of the five subtle elements) arose the organ of inner conception called antahkarana. Due to difference of function it is divided into two. Manas (mind) is that aspect whose function is doubting and buddhi (intellect) is that whose functions are discrimination and determination.
4.23. On the Kutastha is superimposed by imagination in the intellect (buddhi). The reflection of Kutastha in the intellect is animated by vitality and is called the Jiva. It is subject to transmigration.
6.156. Maya is comparable to a cloud and the mental impressions in the Buddhi are like the water-particles which make up the cloud. The reflected consciousness in Maya is like the sky reflected in the water-particles of the cloud.
6.226. The sheath of bliss and the sheath of intellect have as their conditioning adjuncts Maya and the modification of Maya called Buddhi respectively, but the basis of both is the one pure Atman, which is immutable.
8.43. A man may be mistaken for the stump of a tree; but the notion of the stump is destroyed when the man is known to be a man. Similarly, when the Jiva knows ‘I am Brahman’, his notion ‘I am Buddhi (the ego-consciousness in the mind)’ is destroyed.
8.44. Acharya Sureshvara in his Naishkarmya Siddhi describes clearly how Jiva and Brahman are found to be identical when the false notion about the Jiva (viz., its identity with the Buddhi) is destroyed. Therefore, the text ‘I am Brahman’ is to be understood in this sense.


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According to Wikipedia:
“Buddhi is a feminine Sanskrit noun derived from the same root as the more familiar masculine form Buddha (< budh- to be awake, to understand, to know). Buddhi denotes an aspect of mind that is higher than the rational mind and that is attracted to Brahman (i.e., to "Truth" (sat) or "Reality" (dharma)). Unlike manas, which is a composite of mind and ego deriving from an aggrandized "I-sense" that takes pleasure in pursuing worldly aims and sense pleasures, buddhi is that faculty that makes wisdom possible."   According to Dictionary.com:
“Buddhi: intellect, seen as an intuitive faculty giving increased spiritual awareness.”

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