Shrimad Bhagwad Gita mentions 20 items of Spiritual Intelligence.
Spiritual Intelligence develops spiritual knowledge which manifests itself in specific behavior.

According to Bh. Gita following constitutes spiritual knowledge.

Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching an Acharya; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth – all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.

A brief description of 20 items of SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE

1.    Humility: It means that one is not anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of a man in spiritual knowledge--who knows that he is not this body--anything, honor or dishonor, pertaining to this body is useless. One should not be hankering after this material deception.

2.   Pridelessness:  People are very anxious to be famous for their possessions and even religion. Sometimes it is found that without understanding the principles of religion, one enters into some group, which is not actually following religious principles, and then wants to advertise himself as a religious mentor.

3.  Nonviolence: It is generally taken to mean not killing or destroying the body, but actually nonviolence means not to put others into distress. People in general are trapped by ignorance in the material concept of life. Elevating people to spiritual knowledge, is highest form of nonviolence.

4. Tolerance: It means that one should be practiced to bear insult and dishonor from others. If one is engaged in the advancement of spiritual knowledge, there will be so many insults and dishonor from others. This is expected because material nature is so constituted.

5.    Simplicity means that without diplomacy one should be so straightforward that he can disclose the real truth even to an enemy.

6.  Adoration of “Acharya: An “Acharya” is one who teaches by his own behavior. Admiration, adulation and reverence of Acharya are essential. A spiritualist approaches him with all humility and enquires about absolute truth and various phenomenons.  One cannot progress in the spiritual science without the instruction of a spiritual master.

7.  Cleanliness: It is essential for making advancement in spiritual life. There are two kinds of cleanliness: external and internal. External cleanliness means taking a bath, but for internal cleanliness, one has to contemplate on self and super-soul. One must reject contemplation on the objects of sense gratification.  This process cleans the accumulated dust of past karma from the mind.

8.  Steadiness: It means that one is very determined to make progress in spiritual life. Without such determination, one cannot make tangible progress.

9.    Self-control means that one does not accept anything which is detrimental to the path of spiritual progress. One becomes accustomed to this and rejects anything which is against the path of spiritual progress.

10.Renunciation of the objects of sense gratification: This is real renunciation. The senses are so strong that they are always anxious to have gratification. One with spiritual intelligence does not cater to the demands which are not necessary. The senses should only be gratified to keep the body fit so that one can discharge his duty.

11. Absence of false ego: False ego means accepting this body as oneself. When one understands that he is not his body and is spirit-soul that is real ego. False ego is condemned, but not real ego. In the Vedic literature (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 1.4.10) it is said, “aham brahmasmi”, I am Brahman, I am spirit. This "I am," the sense of self, also exists in the liberated stage of self-realization. This sense of "I am" is ego, but when the sense of "I am" is applied to this false body it is false ego. There are some philosophers who say we should give up our ego, but according to many others it is not possible.

12. Understand the distress of birth, death, old age and disease. There are descriptions in various Vedic literatures of birth. The child's stay in the womb of the mother and its suffering, etc., are all very graphically described. It should be thoroughly understood that birth is distressful. Similarly at the time of death there are all kinds of sufferings, and they are also mentioned in the authoritative scriptures.  And as far as disease and old age are concerned, everyone gets practical experience of these. No one wants to be diseased, and no one wants to become old, but there is no avoiding these. A person in spiritual consciousness is aware of these.

13.Detachment: Attachment means accepting things for one’s own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment.

14. Freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest: It does not mean that one does not have feelings for these, as they are natural objects of affection. But his ‘contemplations’ are more important and one naturally becomes detached from them.

15. Even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events: In this world one can never be fully happy or fully miserable. Happiness and distress are concomitant factors of material life. One learns to tolerate them. One can never restrict the coming and going of happiness and distress. But if one is actually in the spiritual position, these things will not agitate him.

16. Constant and unalloyed devotion to God: This quality is undoubtedly a quality of spiritualists of high order.  It is said that the process of knowledge terminates in unalloyed devotional service to the Lord. So, if one does not approach, or is not able to approach, the transcendental service of the Lord, then the other (nineteen) items are of no particular value.

17. Aspiring to live in a solitary place: Naturally, when one is adapted to the spiritual way of life, he will not want to mix with gross materialistic men. That would go against his grain. One may test himself by seeing how far he is inclined to live in a solitary place without unwanted association.

18.  Detachment from the general mass of people: Naturally a spiritualist has no taste for unnecessary sporting or cinema-going or enjoying some social function, because he understands that these are simply a waste of time.

19.  Accepting the importance of self-realization: According to Bhagavad Gita, one with spiritual intelligence makes research, by philosophical discretion into the nature of the soul. One tries to find solutions to questions about self. “Who am I? Where I have come from? Where will I go after death? And what am I supposed to do?”

20. Philosophical search for the Absolute Truth: In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11) this is explained; vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam. "Knowers of the Absolute Truth have described Him in three different ways which are identical, as Brahman (soul), Paramatma (super-soul) and Bhagavan (The God)." That is perfection of knowledge.


Beginning from being humble up to the point of realization of the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Personality of God, this process is just like a staircase beginning from the ground floor up to the top floor. Now on this staircase there are so many people who have reached the first floor or the second or the third floor, etc., but unless one reaches the top floor, he is at a lower stage of knowledge.

As for actual advancement in spiritual science, one should have a test to see how far he is progressing. He can judge by these items.


  1. --- "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."― Dalai Lama
    --- Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
    --- Veil upon veil, thought upon thought-Let go of them all For they only hide the truth. Rumi
    --- There is a path from me to you that I am constantly looking for, So I try to keep clear and still as water does with the moon. Rumi
    --- "Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful."― Demi Lovato
    ---- Anything which is troubling you, anything which is irritating you, THAT is your teacher."― Ajahn Chah
    --- “Like a jug fills drop by drop, fill yourself with goodness.”― Buddha
    --- “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles."― Buddha
    --- Nothing is good nor bad. We are the ones who give adjectives things. All circumstances help us to grow.
    --- "Knowing your own mind is the solution to all our problems."― Thubten Yeshe


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