Buddhi- The Indian Concept Of Intelligence

Buddhi- The Indian Concept Of Intelligence

Intelligence is usually thought and connected with only academic achievements. The Indian concept of intelligence has shown a great concern for human potential and explored its nature in the context of self, society, universe and beyond. The Indian view is holistic and emphasises on mental abilities both in the cognitive and non-cognitive domains and their integration. The word commonly used to identify this concept of intelligence in all its breadth and scope is ‘Buddhi’.

Buddhi can be defined as the mental vigour or power of forming and retaining conceptions and general notions, reason, intellect, judgement, perception, knowledge of one’s self consciences , will and desire, presence of mind, ready wit and skill. The Indian view emphasises on four competencies characterizing an intelligent person –

  • Cognitive- Includes sensitivity to context, comprehension, discrimination, problem solving and effective communication.
  • Social – Following social norms, service to elders, obedience, helping the needy, showing concern for the environment.
  • Entrepreneurial – Hard work, commitment, vigilance and goal directed behaviour.
  • Emotional – Control of emotions, honesty, politeness, realistic self appraisal, good conduct.

The Indian concept is thus not restricted to cognitive domains only. It emphasises connectivity with social aspects and the work environment. The tests today, whether in schools or in screening, only focus on the cognitive aspects. Testing a person’s ‘Buddhi’ would give a more holistic picture of the person’s abilities.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Very unique concept and well explained..

  • Rahul Singhai
    May 7, 2015 5:56 pm

    Very interesting title

  • Stephy Paul
    June 9, 2015 7:28 pm

    Very well written! India has tradition of explaining everything connected to nature. We have rituals that induce our intelligence and increase our concentration..
    Good work!

  • Anirudh Krishnadas
    August 31, 2015 7:27 am

    Nicely codified 😀
    Actually agree to the fact that 😀
    In India its is belived that every life form is connected to mother nature 😀
    The points are well structured and agood work 😀

  • Aishwarya Kakkar
    August 31, 2015 11:06 pm

    the indian notion of intelligence is the best

  • I have read about the concept of buddhi earlier too but you have explained it so well. Nicely written article 🙂


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