Intellectual analysis and determinations are of three types owing to three Gunas, hear it in detail without an iota left, defined distinctly, O’ Dhanajaya! (The victor of Prosperity).
(The intellect that distinguishes) between right engagement in actions and disengagement from, between doable and non-doable (not worth doing) acts, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation — know that intellect as Satwik, O’ Partha! (Doable means what should be done ethically)
It is important to develop an intellect that can analyse multi-fold causes and effects of actions and precipitate balanced advisory. Engagement into the act or disengagement requires conscious decision-making. In management we call it ‘Go’ or ‘No Go’ decision and even talk of ‘Escalation of commitments’. But in everyday life too, we have to decide where to give it a break, or continue to act. Such intellect can read between the lines, sense the soft issues (like fears and threats felt by stakeholders), weave the causal sequence, foresee the future, decipher the truths and draw intelligent conclusions. People with Satwik intellects are not carried away by conventional wisdom. They question the applications of prevailing norms contextually. Such researchers, fact finders and challengers often stand alone in a crowd and struggle to gather support. Intellect that distinguishes objectivity from subjective biases, distinguishes when to engage in action and when to sleep over, decides the right actions without ego, greed and attachments, is satwik.
In nature, every attribute and approach has its utility. A grass is quoted for its humility to survive, yet a mountain is also noted for its strength to withstand even the strongest storm. They both have their contextual worth. Reversal of decisions (the ugly U-turn) is sometimes seen as indecisiveness, but it can also be seen as flexibility and attitude towards reforms. In politics, opponent may use it to their advantage and brainwash masses When and what to quote and how to see fact of matters in logical and balanced ways, thus applying right strategies is Sankhya-yog. Satwik intellect provides this ability.
Intellect by which one is confused in understanding Dharma, the piety and Adharma, the impiety, doable and non-doable (not worth doing) and muddled in ethical quandary, unable to decide the righteous act—that intellect, O’ Arjun, is Rajasik!
Possessing half knowledge, having baseless prejudices, being judgmental and jumping to conclusions is dangerous. People tend to assume Adharma as Dharma in such confusion – unable to distinguish between two. Clearheaded Brahmanic thinking and listening to Kayastha (the element of God situated inside us) is needed to see truth and doable.
The intellect that justifies Adharma as Dharma, holding such views owing to their intellect veiled by tamasik knowledge and tendencies, they go in opposite directions (deliberately justifying the other way around, changing opinions subjectively) — that intellect, O’ Arjun, is Tamasik!
Ignorance is in kind, and this darkness is predominant in the world, unfortunately. Efforts are needed to seek enlightenment and come out of this darkness. Coupled with ego, and selfish wants the ignorant justify wrong notions and approve of unethical practices, inadvertently. Such superficial thinkers are tamasik and easily get carried away into drivel. Subjectivity and attachments rules their world. Prejudiced and single-mindedly they jump to act without much evaluation and make no attempt to sanctify their thought process. In blind faith, they justify statements to their advantage refuting all truths. For them logic has no meaning.