Genius : Born or Built

Posted: 01.12.2010
Updated on: 02.07.2015

Genius: Born or Built

We all resolve: 'Let I be endowed with the power of intellect.' We always aspire to sharpen this cognitive faculty, because it is the gateway to knowledge. Indian tradition proposes various discipline such as meditation, contemplation, spell and rites that assist in enhancing ones power of intellect. All these aspects though appears orthodox in nature are not devoid of its significance.

Jainism in its philosophical inquiry about intellect describes a scientific procedure. I prefer to call it scientific because it is free from all kinds of dogmatic claims. Nandi one of the fundamental text of Jain tradition, devoted for epistemic problems mentions a set procedure for developing genius. This is true because genius are also built.

Procedure to sharpen the power of intellect:

    1. The first step towards enhancing the power of intellect is to have a strong desire to listen. It is to be ritually listened with complete humbleness from the learned ones. Even in the Christian tradition it is admitted by St. Paul and Luther that, "Salvation comes through the ears (listening)."
    2. The content what has been comprehended gets sometimes encircled with doubt or also becomes nullified. In such case one should repeatedly ask the teachers to construct the missing parts or meanings.
    3. After a careful listening the entire content one should concentrate on the meaning exclusively.
    4. In the fourth step one should move towards the right apprehension of the entire discourse. This is to say, that grammatical, technical (intentional) historical and contextual genre is to be authentically apprehended.
    5. The freedom and creative power of the learner should get manifested here. This means, that the entire discourse is to be independently brought to investigation.
    6. Here in, one should disregard all the other misleading and ambiguous aspects and arrive at an apt decision about the subject matter.
    7. At this point one should reflect first and then contemplate to firmly establish the entire learned subject.
    8. In this process of right apprehension one should also strictly follow the prescribed conduct.


Genius: A Mystical Power

Man moving in this procedure of learning develops himself as a genius. what all it demands is a proper training. Training in modesty, humility and loyalty towards teachers along with repeated practices and experience can discover genius with no loss of time. We however are taken aback by the genius mind of some who do not undergo all this procedure. Jainism admits both kinds of genius born and built. It admits a kind of intellect category intellect which even comprehends that which is unseen and unheard. This kind of intellect does not undergo this procedure explicitly as well as implicitly. It is a power a special kind of manifestation of consciousness. It is technically called as autpattiki buddhi (Intellect having the attribute of spontaneous apprehension).

If we are born genius-good, let us retain it. If not, let us grow genius. We aspire to be genius because it is the gateway to authentic and infinite knowledge.

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