Buddhi (Sanskrit: बुद्धि) is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit root Budh (बुध् ), which literally means "to wake, be awake, observe, heed, attend, learn, become aware of, to know, be conscious again". The term appears extensively in Rigveda and other Vedic literature. Buddhi means, states Monier Williams, the power to "form, retain concepts; intelligence, reason, intellect, mind", the intellectual faculty and the ability to "discern, judge, comprehend, understand" something.
In Sankhya and yogic philosophy both the mind and the ego are forms in the realm of nature (prakriti) that have emerged into materiality as a function of the three gunas (ग़ुण) through a misapprehension of purusha (पुरूष) (the consciousness-essence of the jivatman). Discriminative in nature (बुद्धि निश्चयात्मिका चित्त-वृत्ति), buddhi is that which is able to discern truth (satya) from falsehood and thereby to make wisdom possible.
The Sānkhya-Yoga View
According to the Sānkhya-Yoga view, Buddhi is in essence unconscious, and as such, cannot be an object of its own consciousness. This means that it can neither apprehend an object nor manifest itself.
- Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller (2002). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 733. ISBN 978-81-208-3105-6. https://books.google.com/books?id=zUezTfym7CAC.
- Ian Whicher (1998). The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga. State University of New York Press. pp. 18, 71, 77, 92–95, 219, 231. ISBN 978-0-7914-3815-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=_Qo9K9hPvQgC.
- Jadunath Sinha (2013). Indian Psychology Perception. Routledge. pp. 120–121. ISBN 978-1-136-34605-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=WmBGAQAAQBAJ.
- Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller (2002). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 124, 783–784. ISBN 978-81-208-3105-6. https://books.google.com/books?id=zUezTfym7CAC.
- Verfasser., Saksena, Shri Krishna. Essays on Indian Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-8248-8595-3. OCLC 1256407633. http://worldcat.org/oclc/1256407633.
- Patañjali. (1996). Yoga : discipline of freedom : the Yoga Sutra attributed to Patanjali ; a translation of the text, with commentary, introduction, and glossary of keywords. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20190-6. OCLC 34894404. http://worldcat.org/oclc/34894404.
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