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Swami Chinmayananda introduced the Body-Mind-Intellect (BMI) framework as a simple
and effective model to understand the components of human personality and the
path to spiritual growth. This framework is rooted in Vedanta, and it helps individuals explore their inner world and progress on the spiritual journey. 

Source: Chinmaya Mission Mumbai

Explanation of BMI chart

  1. Om is the Sound Symbol to indicate the Our Real Nature: Consciousness or ‘LIFE’
  2. Vasanas are our innate urges & past tendencies, our desires in the seed form
  3. BMI – Body, Mind and intellect are the equipment of experience through which Life expresses itself in the Universe & we respond.
  4. PFT – Perceiver, Feeler and Thinker is the “experiencer” in us, the sense of individuality in each of us: I, the ego
  5. OET – Objects, Emotions and Thoughts constitute the world of things and beings, which in totality make up the field of our experience

Each Individual(PFT), due to ignorance and vasanas, is seeking Permanent Happiness amidst the temporary objects, emotions & thoughts (OET) through the Body, Mind and intellect using their equipment (BMI). Hence, one feels empty despite all achievements. 

Vedanta says that permanent happiness is not outside. It is our own true nature as the Self (OM). Reducing pressures from vasanas and destroying ignorance through self-knowledge is the way to experience permanent happiness.

Source: Bala Vihar presentation at Chinmaya Mission Ottawa

Unit of life

Life is a series of experiences, and three factors are necessary for any experience:

  • (1) The Experiencer (Subject)
  • (2) The Experienced (Object)
  • (3) The Experiencing (relationship between the two)

The quality and texture of our experiences determines the quality of our life

Instrument and world of experiences

Through the body, we experience the world of objects.
Through the mind, we experience the world of emotions
Through the intellect, we experience the world of thoughts

B-M-I: Instrument of experiences
O-E-T: World of experiences

I, the experiencer is different from B-M-I or O-E-T


Anushka, the experiencer…

  • Identified with the body, she becomes a perceiver, experiencing the world of objects
  • Identified with the mind, she becomes a feeler, experiencing the world of emotions
  • Identified with the intellect, she becomes a thinker, experiencing the world of thoughts

The Supreme Reality

The divine principle by whose mere presence the body perceives, the mind feels, and the intellect thinks – Brahman == OM == Self == Consciousness == TRUTH

  • The Self has no expression
  • The Self is something other than B-M-I
  • The Self is Life principle that enlivens the B-M-I
  • The Self is changeless and, therefore, the substratum for all changes
  • E.g. Electricity

The Self is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss)

  • (1) It is ever-existent; it lends existence to anything in the universe;
  • (2) It is pure consciousness that is witness to all our experiences (awareness)
  • (3) It is of the nature of Bliss why we always seek happiness because our true nature is that


  • Why do people do what they do?
  • Why doesn’t everyone behave, and think the same?
  • Even in exact same circumstances, why do people react differently?
  • Twins are born to the same parents, why does one want to be an engineer and the other wants to be a doctor?
  • Repeated past experiences build impressions in our personality
  • These impressions (Vasanas) dictate how people interpret and respond to the world
  • Everyone has their unique set of Vasanas