Individuality and Personality || Acharya Prashant (2014)


To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Question: Sir, when it is said that ‘Individuality is nothing’, then how is it correct to say that ‘Individuality is being yourself with self-awareness’?

Acharya Prashant: Very pertinent question.

At the root of the question lies image-formation.

“When we say individuality is just nothing, then how is it appropriate to say that individuality is being yourself with self-awareness?”

Whatever we say, we create an image of it. So, even when it is said, ‘Be yourself’, you mean ‘be something’. Be what? Be yourself. And that yourself is something. It is impossible for the mind to conceptualize nothingness. And that is the problem you are facing — If individuality is being yourself then how can individuality be nothing? Because I am something. So, how can individuality be nothing?

Do you realize her question?

She is saying, how can you reconcile these two statements — One says, ‘Individuality is nothing’. And on the other hand, Sir, you also say that ‘Individuality is being yourself’. Now, whenever I say – being myself – I have an image of that; some image of that. But you are also saying individuality is nothingness. Now, how can these two go together? The whole thing is, being yourself itself is nothingness, because you are nothing—

The whole thing is: Being yourself itself is nothingness because you are nothing—Anatta.  You don’t have a self. You aren’t that self.

You don’t have a self. You aren’t that self.

Difficult to grasp, right?

It appears just too abstract that ‘How can I be nothing?’ On one hand, you say individuality is the real me – which is very correct. When somebody says that you are an individual, that your reality is individuality, the fellow is saying absolutely the right thing. And the same fellow says, after taking a breath, says that individuality is nothing, he is still saying the same thing.

But probably, we cannot put it this way. Let us put it another way.

Individuality is not something specific. Now, it will be more acceptable that whatever you can think of as yourself is just Personality. So, do not ask, ‘What is individuality?’, just stay put it this way that, ‘Whatever I think of myself is just personality. What is individuality? Let’s leave that for a while.

Or you can put it this way:

Personality is impure you;

Individuality is pure You.

When all the dirt is wiped off from your mind, then the clean mind that remains; the clean transparent mind that remains is Individuality.

You can put it this way: Instead of saying it is nothing, just say that it is the purest end of you; it is the cleanest, purest, untouched, uncorrupted end of you — that will be more acceptable.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Individuality and Personality 

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Further Reading:

Milestones to Success

mtsWhile innumerable books have been penned down by contemporary motivational speakers and writers on success, ambition, motivation, positive thinking and accomplishments; very few books, if any at all, have talked of what success actually is and how it is different from a socially-defined set of parameters.

Author’s genius lies in the fact that he has very simply answered the most intricate and complex questions that arise in the mind of every student and working professional, giving clarity on success, a topic that haunts them perpetually.




  1. When all the dirt is wiped off from your mind, then the clean mind that remains; the clean transparent mind that remains is Individuality. Great lines.

    Is there a possibility of meeting Acharya Ji in person?


    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 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, 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 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 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 or contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

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      Send your application, write to: Or to register: Contact: Shri Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998
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      This reply comes to you from volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation who maintain this channel.


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