Pragya-aparadh means "mistake of the intellect." The intellect, with the task of discriminating between "this" and "that" is constantly engaged in Pragya-aparadh (i.e., identifying with the part and losing the whole).
Charaka Samhita, defines pragya-aparadh as the lack of coordination of dhi, dhriti and smriti. Pragya-aparadh is the source of all disease, since disease originates when the heart, mind or body loses its connection with natural intelligence.
Pragya-aparadh is composed of two words i.e. "Pragya" meaning intellect and "aparadh" meaning crime or mistake.
The mistake performed by the intellect is classified into three groups:
- Dhi (intellectual) or mistakes due to lack of intellect or ignorance. It refers to problems occurring due to ignorance.
- Dhriti (awareness): mistakes inspite of the awareness when one does wrong things.
- Smruti (memory) or smrutivibhrast - refers to mistakes due to the loss of memory.
Mistake of the intellect involves disobeying the laws of nature.
There are three common mistakes listed in the Vedantic literature, Attachment (or addiction), desires (weak will power) and show off (ego). The basic description comes from the Epic Ramayana where Attachment or Kama is represented by Kekayi, desires or greed by the golden deer Marich and the Ego by Ravana. If any one of them would have been absent the storey of Ramayana could not have taken place.
"pragya aparadh or "mistake of the intellect" when the intellect, drawn toward and influenced by material consciousness, loses connection with the wholeness of consciousness. This is when we stop being centered within ourselves." (Mahairishi Mahesh Yogi)
Aging is "a mistake of the intellect. This mistake consists of identifying oneself solely with the physical body." (Dr Deepak Chopra in Perfect Health)
"The Ayurvedic texts define the source of all disease and suffering as pragyaparadh. This occurs when individuals (or even single cells) "forget" their connection with the wholeness of life and believe themselves to be isolated entities. Creating, and then eating, genetically engineered foods exposes us to pragyaparadh". (Dr Ram Kant Mishra).