Samkhya philosophy teaches us that Purusha is “pure consciousness” and Prakruti is “the first power of action”. This active power gave rise to Pradhana which is the primal matter that arose at the start of the universe. The first product of Pradhana was Mahat.
Mahat means “great” and it is manifest in the great power of cosmic intelligence. Cosmic intelligence is the energy supporting all that exists in our universe. Its expression is translated into the multitude of different forms of matter that manifest in the diverse world in which we live.The fundamental elements of life are ether, air, fire, water and earth which are found both inside our minds and bodies and also in the natural environment that surrounds us. All life is due to the presence of Mahat. Even tiny creatures such as single celled organisms have a unique purpose and function.
Mahat forms the inner and outer boundaries of the whole universe. When Mahat first became manifest, the whole universe suddenly came into being. If Mahat turns out to be immortal - as some believe - the universe will never end!
In humans, Mahat is called the Buddhi. This is our own unique personal and powerful intelligence, it allows us to discern truth from lies and decide things such as what is good and what is bad. Through its power we can also gauge what is eternal and what is merely temporary and transient. If used correctly and uncorrupted by a selfish ego, it provides us with an excellent moral compass. If we follow its course, we can feel really great, be really great and help to inspire greatness in others.