What is the role of intellectual judgement to gain Self-knowledge?
To acquire this Self-knowledge, purity of the intellect is essential. The intellect should be unwavering and totally free from attachment. The mind is subject to unsteadiness because of desires. Desires are roused by the impressions received by the senses from outside. The only way to avoid these external impressions is to turn the senses inwards. To effect this change in the use of the senses, the power of discrimination derived from the intellect should be employed. The intellect should be used to determine what impressions should be kept out and which should be let in. The intellect should determine what kind of company we should keep, what kind of food we should eat, what are desirable practices and what are undesirable. It is by the right use of their intellectual judgement that the ancient sages achieved spiritual eminence.
Divine Discourse 8 Oct 1997
What is one difference between man and animal?
The scriptures say: Of all living beings, human birth is the rarest (Jantunam nara janma durlabham). People are not different from other animals with regard to sleep, food, and procreation. How then are they better than animals?
A person has the power to discriminate between what is permanent and what is impermanent. This is also known as Constant Integrated Awareness. In the absence of this faculty, one is an animal indeed. Only humans have this power.
But people today have forgotten his power. This power is God’s gift to humanity. What you receive from God, you should offer it back to Him. You may be engaged in service to fellow people, but you should offer all your powers to God.
Divine Discourse 30 April 1997