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Illusion due to the Subtle Body
Here we give a simple illustration to show how the elements of the subtle body - the mind, the intelligence and the false ego -interact and how they can affect our spiritual and material life: Suppose you are participating in a singing competition. The false ego feels, "I am great. I must beat others."Regarding your ability to sing, there is a tussle between your mind and intelligence.The mind feels, "I am scared. I don't think I can do it. There are so many people here." The intelligence thinks, "So what? You have prepared well. If you can sing so well in the bathroom why can't you sing here? Come on!" If your mind is stronger than your intellect, it wins the argument. You are so overpowered by fear that your voice lets you down and you lose the competition. If your intellect is stronger than your mind, then fear is won over by its reasons. Your confidence increases and you do your best.
This is just a simple example but it applies to almost every situation -major and minor - in daily living, where a decision has to be made. There is a constant tug-of-war between the mind and the intelligence. Where the intellect is stronger, reason prevails and decisions are made after giving issues due thought. In this case, we are less prone to make judgements impulsively. Where mind is stronger, feelings and impulses are more important and decisions are made without much thought because the intellect takes a backseat. Here there are more chances of making mistakes because the way we feel is often strongly dictated by immediate needs, conveniences and pleasures rather than long term benefits or consequences. For example a boy is waiting impatiently to cross the road. His mind says, "Come on! Just cross. How long can I wait?" His intellect says, "The traffic is heavy. Wait for a few seconds more. Better to reach a few minutes late than never." If his mind wins, the boy dashes across the road and is likely to meet with an accident. If his intellect wins, he may go home three minutes later, but he has taken total care of his safety in this particular situation.
The same principle applies to spiritual life too. The false ego thinks, "I am a rich man with so many luxuries." The mind says, "Now is the time to enjoy. After all, the whole world is enjoying. I am not the first one to do wrong things. I have another 60 years to go before I get old and die. Why become like a monk now?" The intelligence says, "No, No. Who knows how long I will live? Death may strike at any time. All my wealth will be stripped off. When I come out of the body as a naked soul, I will be answerable to God for all my deeds. Let me be careful about what I want to do in life." From the above analysis we can understand the nature of the mind, the intelligence and the false ego.
The functions of the mind are thinking, feeling and willing. The mind is the storehouse of thoughts, unfulfilled desires and previous experiences. The mind is the common center for all knowledge-acquiring senses - eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin. All information that we gather through our senses is stored in the mind as impressions. Such impressions stimulate desire, hatred, attachment etc. and make us act in right or wrong ways. The mind is thus the reservoir of all ideas of sense enjoyment.The intelligence is the decision-maker. Based on knowledge, it is meant to discriminate whether the proposal made by the mind will be beneficial or harmful and to direct the mind and the body to act accordingly.The false ego makes one identify with the body. A person influenced by the false ego imagines that "I am great" in various ways. True ego is to understand that I am an eternal servant of God, Krishna.