What is Duality?

Question: Sir, is duality in brain?

Speaker: Whenever you say brain, it is ‘my’ brain. My brain means me and the world. It is duality. This is fundamental duality that ‘I’ exist as something different from the world.

Basic characteristics of duality are:

– Two sides of duality appear as opposites.

– Two sides cannot exist without each other.

– The two sides are always together.

If the world is not there, you cannot be there. Whenever you are there, world will be there. So, the two sides of duality are always together. Two sides appear as opposite of each other. So, I am ‘Me’ and there is this world which is a stranger, a foreigner, a separate entity. Getting it?

Duality is the very stuff of the brain. There is nothing in the brain which is not dual. Every single word will have a dual opposite, otherwise it cannot exist. The entire existence, the entire world inside the brain is dualistic. Pleasure-pain, happiness-sorrow, today–tomorrow, me-you, white- black, here-there, everything is of a dual nature. This is there only because it’s opposite exists. If opposite does not exist, this will not exist.

What does this mean? This means that if I am not absolutely stupid then I will never run after one end of duality. Running after one end of duality is like running after one face of a coin. Running after one face because you are afraid of the other face. And whenever you get one face of the coin, what do you actually get?

That face + The other face.

And what did you actually want? That face alone and that is not possible.

The one running after future will inevitably repeat the past, the one running after pleasure will invariably get pain, and the one fond of looking at color black will have to have a white background. This is duality. Implications of this for you are simple. Whenever something appears appealing or very disgusting, ask yourself in the process of chasing it or in the process of escaping it, ‘What am I getting?’ Confidence appears lucrative; ‘I want to be confident.’ Can there be confidence without fear? If I am not afraid why were I want to be confident? None of you sitting here are confident, even I am not confident. And why are you not confident? Because you are not afraid.

You need confidence only when there is fear.

So, the wise person never asks for confidence. He says that chasing confidence is a sure indicator that I am afraid, otherwise why I will want confidence. Confidence and fear are the two sides of the same coin; duality. Chasing a job or chasing security and stability in life is a clear indicator that currently I am hounded by insecurity. So, I am rushing towards security with great speed and energy only because I am so afraid right now. So, you will never say that security is a wonderful thing.

‘I want somebody in my life. Being young I need to have a partner’ and it’s such a pleasurable thing to have or to imagine, but that pleasure arises only from a sense of loneliness. You cannot be too keen about having a partner if you don’t keep feeling lonely. If the imagination of a person pleases you, it is just an indication that you keep feeling lonely. That’s how duality is present in every aspect of life, in our day-to-day functioning.

Those who had some sense, they said that it is stupid. ‘Whatever I chase, I get its opposite.’ In fact, getting the opposite is a fundamental prerequisite in chasing something. If the opposite is not there, that thing cannot be obtained. For happiness to be there, sadness must be there. So they said that it is stupid. ‘I don’t want to be in this game. Let me rather get something which is non-dualistic.’

Is there something beyond duality? And if there is something beyond duality, only that is worth obtaining. Is there something that does not have an opposite, that does not depend on its opposite? Only that is worth obtaining because that is the only truth.

Truth does not have an opposite, everything else has an opposite.

So, they lived in that way. They said that only that is worth getting, everything else is just rubbish.

-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyDQlrG_hhY


    1. There are various opportunities to connect to and meet Acharya Prashant. These are:

      1. Meet the Master:

      Meet the Master program is rare opportunity to meet Acharya Prashant personally, either physically or online. To meet the Master, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917.

      2. Advait Learning Camps:

      Advait Learning Camps are monthly retreats organized under Acharya Prashant’s guidance. These camps are about spending four days and three nights in the lap of nature, while reading, reflecting, learning and evolving. So far, scores of ALCs have been organised in places like Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, Chopta, KainchiDham, etc.
      Additionally, we organize dedicated bonding camps for kids and parents. To participate in the camp, write an e-mail to requests@prashantadvait.com, or call: Sh. Anshu Sharma at +91-8376055661.

      3. Course in Realization:

      Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is an initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world. In this course, a rigorous study of a scripture or a saint is undertaken each month.
      To join in, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

      4. Month of Awakening:

      For those who cannot attend sessions physically, the foundation does online streaming of few selected sessions via Skype or Webinar. Known as Month of Awakening, this facility offers live streaming of sessions and helps seekers listen to Acharya-Ji while being where they are.
      To receive the blessing, send your application to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

      5. Blessings from Beyond:

      Weekends with Acharya Prashant brings you the unique opportunity for a 2 day 2 night stay with the Master every month at Advait Ashram, Greater Noida. The getaway involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.
      To get a taste of the beyond, register yourself at requests@prashantadvait.com or contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

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      Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

      This reply comes to you from volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation who maintain this channel.


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