I am yet to come across a person who genuinely feels that he is not very intelligent. Generally, everyone considers himself or herself to be very intelligent. Now let us examine who is actually intelligent. One way to be sure is to go by the results. An intelligent person should be happy, peaceful and secure. How can anyone claim to be intelligent if he has not been able to achieve a reasonably peaceful, secure and happy existence ?
Can anyone claim to be intelligent who is a failure; remains constantly suffering over-stress ; needs sleeping pills to sleep ; has many health problems ; is obese, knowing full well that obesity is harmful ; gets depressed regularly ; is worried most of the time ; gets angry readily; laments over many things ; has a negative attitude ; is unable to find solutions to most of his problems ; who gives up all too easily when faced with adversity ; who argues endlessly ; is critical of others ; gets upset on trivial matters ; needs long hours of sleep ; etc.
Yes ! such a person cannot claim to be intelligent, but most of us are like this only, may be in different degrees. Does this mean that being happy, peaceful and secure is an impossible dream ? May be, no one can achieve this blissful state ; it is not practically possible. Do we really believe such a statement ? Is no one happy, secure and peaceful ? Can we make a statement like that ? No, there are people who are reasonably happy, secure and peaceful. This blissful state is definitely attainable.
Let us, therefore, find out how this is feasible. Our problems originate from our attitude of mental speculation. We tend to endlessly speculate on every matter that concerns us, with our limited knowledge. Lord Krishna has pointed out this fact very clearly in Bhagavad-Geeta : "He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination" (16.23). A human mind is not the best instrument to come up with all the right answers ; we need to go to the experts. And, the biggest expert is God Himself, Who has set out everything in great detail in the bonafide scriptures, like the Bhagavad-Geeta.
An intelligent person takes advantage of such instructions. "One should, therefore, understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated” (16.24). An intelligent person does not experiment with his life ; he follows scriptural injunctions which are time-tested and proven. This way he makes a success of his life ; this is real intelligence.
The story of Kalidas is very instructive in this context. In the beginning, he was not very intelligent. As a matter of fact, by the Brahmins, who were looking for the most stupid man on the earth, he was spotted trying to cut the very branch of a tree on which he was sitting. The brahmins wanted to take revenge from a very intelligent lady who repeatedly defeated them in scriptural discussions. They conspired with Kalidas and made him talk in sign language with the wise lady, while they interpreted the signs Kalidas made. They somehow managed to defeat the lady and as per the bet she was forced to marry Kalidas, but Kalidas's ignorance was soon found out. The wise lady shamed Kalidas for his stupidity and this prompted him to take shelter of the scriptures. As a result Kalidas became a great poet.
Likewise, we should give up our ideas, that is, whatever comes to our minds and which we judge by our limited knowledge, but should accept the scriptures. This is intelligence.