What is meant by awareness, or witnessing?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oQuestion: Osho said, “Love is a state of your being.” And Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’”, so if I am aware of my ego all the time, am I love? Or is there a different way to dissolve my ego?

Acharya Prashant: Osho said, “Love is a state of your being.” And Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’”, the question is “If I am aware of my ego all the time, am I love? Or is there a different way to dissolve my ego?”

There is no great fun playing a watchman, it is never relaxing when you are all the time keeping an eye on someone. One cannot become a spiritual spy. So much of what we call as witnessing or awareness is so frequently defined as something which is practically no different from playing a policeman. One says “keep an eye,” one says “remain conscious,” one says “remain alert”. What do all these really, practically boiled out of? They all fundamentally mean “Remaining in the zone of dualistic consciousness”.

What do you mean by watching the ego? What do you mean by that? Who will watch? And what do you define watching as?

The only watching that we know of is dualistic watching. In dualistic watching, you remain the subject and then remaining the subject you watch something as a subject defined object. What happens when you watch? What is watching? When you are watching a flower, you are somebody. And then that flower is something that, that somebody has defined as a flower. In this usual watching you yourself are the ego, how will you watch the ego?

Have you ever watched anything except as the ego? What then do you mean by watching the ego? But then this is such a common phrase, this is such a prevalent and most touted method. Everybody says “Watch yourself.” But how can I watch myself when the watcher itself is myself? Can the eye look at itself? Your eye looks at everything in the world, has your eye ever looked at itself? And if the eye looks at itself, it is only in a reflected way, only in a second-hand way. In this dubious game of watching oneself, one only deceives himself.

The self can never really be watched. I know I am going against a lot of conventional wisdom, but let me please say that, “The self can never really be watched”. The ego can either be messed with or it can be left free.

When you say that you are watching the ego, actually you are just disturbing the ego.

You are just poking your finger. In the name of watching, we just participate. In the name of witnessing, we just participate. Real witnessing does not involve any watching. Real witnessing is about doing what you must. Real witnessing is not about playing the peeping tom.

Kindly do not have the image of the witness. Kindly do not think that the witness does something. Even if that something is just watching. The witness does absolutely nothing, which means that the witness does not even watch. The witness is absolutely purposeless, which means that the witness has no motive even to watch. The witness is a totally non-interested one, which means that he is not interested even in watching. When you can be detached to that extent, only then there is witnessing.

But people have a lot of interest in watching. When you have a lot of interest in watching, then you are not watching, then you are supervising, then you are just the policeman. And, in that watching, you are dictating, you are driving, you are an authority. Not only are you watching, you are simultaneously also judging.

Have you not seen people say, “Oh, I watched myself and it felt so bad”? If it felt bad then certainly you were watching with a purpose. If it felt bad then certainly you were watching with an expectation. What kind of watching is this? But in the name of watching, so much of participation, and supervision and interference keeps happening.

What does it mean to really witness? To really witness is to be disinterested.

You know what is interest? Interest is greed.  Interest is motive. When you know that whatever the body does, whatever the mind does, is ultimately of no avail. It will happen and then it will happen away. It will happen and then it will just happen away, it will go away. It leaves no residue behind, that’s the thing with time. Time will destroy you and time will also destroy your residue. So everything just happens away. It is of no avail.

Because it really leaves nothing in the future, hence there is no point expecting anything from the game. It’s like the moon rising and the moon setting, it rises every day, it sets every day, it leaves nothing behind. That is the way of existence. That is the way of realwatching, that is the witnessing. It is just happening. There is nothing to it. How can I be interested in it?

The moon can give nothing to me. When moon can give nothing to you, then you can really be with the moon. When you know that this entire Prapanch, the whole drama can give nothing to you then you can really enjoy this drama. Then you are not fixated on the result of the drama because there is no result. Time destroys the drama as well as the result of the drama. There is no result. What result are you expecting? You will get nothing from it, in fact, you will not emerge from this drama alive. At the end of the drama, you are already dead. What do you expect?

When you are totally disinterested in the drama, it is called witnessing. You are disinterested when you know nothing is there for the grabs. When you know that all that you could have had, you have already had. Then you find no motive. Then you do not run about like a beggar. Then you are witnessing. 

But that witnessing is not at all an action, that witnessing is so subtle that you don’t even know that you are witnessing. Let me drop this, a little hint for you. If you know that you are witnessing, you are certainly not witnessing. Real witnessing happens in a total absence of consciousness of witnessing and this is such a great trap.

People come and say “You know what I was witnessing myself doing all that” and I would ask them “How do you know that you were witnessing? Surely then somebody was witnessing this witness? And what kind of flimsy witness it is that can be witnessed by another witness? And if this witness is being witnessed by another witness, who is witnessing the other witness? And this would be an infinite backward series.”

Ultimately you will have to come to someone who cannot be witnessed. So,

The real witness is the one who cannot be witnessed. You will never know the real witness.

Our knowing is dualistic knowing, our knowing is when something enters our consciousness. Right? Then you say that I know this thing. The real witness will never enter your consciousness. The real witness is nothing, a nobody. How then he will enter your consciousness. You will never know that you are witnessing.

So, when you are totally aloof, when you do not even know what is happening, then witnessing is taking place. When you do not have even an iota of interest in what is going on, then you are perfectly witnessing what is going on. As long as even a little attachment, even a little interest, even a little greed, even a little purpose is associated with the event, with the game of life, you cannot witness.

I would re-read your question. The question was, “Osho said “love is a state of your being” and JK said, “Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’”. Then, putting the two masters the questionnaire had asked, “If I am aware of my ego all the time, am I love? Or is there a different way to dissolve my ego?

You are love only when you are concerned only with your lover. When you are really with the beloved, do you really bother about what is going on in the world? That is witnessing. When you are really with the beloved, then the beloved is your only interest. You are no more interested in anything or anybody else. That is love. And that is also witnessing. Do you see how these two are related? Do you see how everything is interrelated?

When you are with the one you really love, call it Truth, God, whatever, then you are no more interested in the happenings of the world in the sense that you have already achieved, what you wanted to achieve. And that is the beloved. The world is not more a promise to you, the world is no more a temptation to you, so you are no more interested in the world, now you do not look upon the world with hungry eyes.

Your hunger is satiated, the beloved and the beloved’s company have fulfilled all your desires. So, the world is now merely a presence. The world now merely exists. The world is no more a temptation. The world is no more a destination. When you do not look at the world as a means or as a destination, that is love. And that is witnessing.

You have asked, “Is there a different way to dissolve my ego?” Kindly spare the poor ego. Why run after it? Why want to dissolve it? Let it be. The ego is your only opportunity, why do you want to dissolve it. The ego is your only contact with the divine, why do you want to dissolve it? Do not dissolve the ego, just see that the ego is God himself, there is nothing more beautiful than the ego, why do you want to kill it?

Killing the ego is like killing the waves in order to meet the ocean. Are the waves anything different from the ocean? And if you really love the ocean, how can you be the enemy of the waves? And do the waves really need dissolution in the ocean? The waves are already dissolved in the ocean, the waves are as much of the ocean as the ocean himself. Just see the ocean itself in the wave.

Kindly do not draw this artificial separation. There is no difference between ego and God. Only when you create an arbitrary difference between egos and God, does the ego become ungodly. There is really no difference between ego and God, the difference that you needlessly create between ego and God makes the ego ungodly. When you look at the ego, look at God. The ancient sages had found this out and that is why they could say that “I am Brahm”, “Aham Brahm asmi”. The ego (Aham) itself is Brahm.

Where else are you going to find Brahm? Where else does the ego come from? Do you want to worship the root and curse the fruit? If Brahm is the root, then the ego is the fruit, the leaf, the infinite number of objects that you call as the tree. When you worship the root, then you worship the tree in totality.

At this moment you are identified with the leaf, and that is no problem because the leaf in itself contains the essence of the entire tree, the fruit, the flower, every cell of the tree contains the essence of the entire tree. And if you are identified with one particular cell of the tree, that cell itself is your only opportunity. Go deep into that cell, go deep into that flower, that little leaf. And find the entire tree there. Don’t curse the leaf for its littleness, the leaf just appears little, the leaf is as great as the whole tree. The ego is beautiful, don’t try to drop it.

Trying to drop it means trying to achieve something that is anyway already vested in the ego. It is not very intelligent. This dropping business is not at all very intelligent. Whatever is there in front of you, whatever is there inside of you, whatever you think of yourself, whatever is going on, that alone is your only opportunity. Do not hanker after anything else.

Love is a state of not chasing, love is a state of not thinking that much is left to be achieved. The lover is not even bothered about dropping the ego. The lover is bothered only about the beloved, about nothing else. When you are not bothered by anything else that is love and that is also witnessing.

You would have heard of this little story “A Fakir was trying for enlightenment since long so one day at a particular point he had laid out his praying mat and he was bent down deeply absorbed in his prayers. When a girl crazy in love came running from somewhere, she was going to meet her lover, her boyfriend, and she was probably getting late and in the frenzy, in the excitement she had started running and not being mindful of the Fakir and the Fakir’s prayers, she stepped on his mat, she disturbed his prayer and she kept running.

The Fakir got disturbed. The mat, the cloth on which he was sitting had become crumpled, his prayer has been disturbed, so he called the girl from behind and he called out loudly, the girl had to turn back. Then the girl came to him. He said I have two questions to ask you and you will need to answer these two questions. The girl was in a hurry but because this man was a fakir so she said fine, kindly ask quickly.

He said, first question: Look at the state of your clothes, see how they are all over you, see how you have lost your dupatta (stole) somewhere, see how shabby you are looking, is it really dignified of you to run around publically in such a disabled way.

And my second question is: Could you not see that I am praying here? Could you not see that I will be disturbed?

The girl said that I will answer by asking you two questions just as you ask me two questions.

“The first question is: My lover is just a mortal man and even in the love of a mortal man I forgot all my clothes, your lover is the immortal God himself, how could you remember the cloth that your praying mat is? When I could forget even the clothes that are on my womanly body, how could you not forget this cloth that is being used just for the purpose of praying

And my second question is: Just as you ask me that why couldn’t you see that a Fakir was in your way. So my question is: When I could not see you, how could you see me? I was so much in love that I could not see you, how could you see me? The quality of my love made me blind to the entire world. What is the quality of your love for God that you can still see what is going around you? It is said that, that particular day the fakir got enlightened.

Do you now see the relation between love and witnessing? Do you now see what is meant by being disinterested? In love, you are not at all affected by what is going on around you. The ego remains wedded to the center. That is why the Fakirs have sung so much of the Piya, the Pyaara ( the beloved), the shaukh, the husband, the lover. The ego has found the lover, the ego remains there, the ego remains peaceful, it remains sleeping and now the world can go on, carry on.

You know where you are so you can allow the world to run its own course, you are going towards your beloved, you do not now bother even for prayers, and you do not bother even for Fakirs. Now you do not bother even for religion and spirituality. That is love. And that state of being disinterested is called witnessing.

In witnessing you will never know the details. That is the difference, a crucial difference between normal watchfulness and witnessing. In normal watchfulness, as your focus deepens, you will come to know more and more of details. In witnessing you will never know details, but you will know the essence. If someone comes and says “So you have been witnessing, now you tell me what was going on? You will never be able to tell. Because it is not normal conscious watching. You will not be able to tell anything, but yet you know everything.

To witness is to know everything, without knowing anything. That is why the witness will never be able to produce a proof of his witnessing. Only he will know. But if he questions himself he says, “How do I know? Is there a justification? Is there some kind of an evidence? Then there will be no evidence

To witness is to know without the eyes. To witness is to hear without the ears. To witness is to know without information. You have no information, yet you know everything. That is witnessing. How can you have information? Because you are not interested in the information, how will you have the information? Yet, you will know everything. That ‘everything’ is not details.

When I say, “You will know everything, that does not mean that you will know all the petty details, you will know the essence and that is witnessing. In witnessing all you get to know is the essence and that essence is not new, that essence is just that the thing that I witnessed was worthy only of witnessing. That is what you have known. When you are not interested, what have you known? You have known that the world is not worthy of being shown a great interest in. And that is witnessing.

So, what does the witness come to know? The witness comes to know nothing. Witnessing essentially then is nothing. The witness only comes to know that nothing deserves to be known, that is all that the witness knows. The witness only comes to know that what he already knows is sufficient, so nothing else needs to be known.

See, knowledge is interest, knowledge is power, knowledge is satisfaction, and the witness does not want any satisfaction or power or knowledge. He gathers no information. So, please don’t be in any kind of assumptions about witnessing. Witnessing is nothing, witnessing gives you no information after witnessing, if there is something called as after witnessing at all. However, for the sake of explanation, I am using these words.

After witnessing if you are asked kindly tell me what have you witnessed? You will not be able to reply. Because you have witnessed nothing. Are you getting it? To witness nothing is to really witness. When you usually do not know anything, it is because you are unconscious. But when you are super-conscious, then also you know nothing that is witnessing.

Usually, when you do not know anything, it is because you are in a state of slumber, it is as if you have fainted, it is as if somebody has delivered you with anesthesia. So you do not know anything. But sometimes you do not know anything because nothing deserves or needs to be known because you have already known whatever was there to be known. Because you are so ecstatic that now nothing means anything to you that is witnessing.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Osho and J.Krishnamurti: What is meant by awareness or witnessing? The transcription has been edited for clarity.

Books by the Speaker are available at:




Each one of us deserves the Truth. So, we made a conscious choice: to keep our work open for all, regardless of whether they can afford to donate.

A tremendous body of our work – around 10,000 videos, 3000 articles, and more – has been made freely available to all on the internet. Just one piece of statistic to put in perspective the magnitude of our charitable work: Around a million minutes of video content is consumed daily by our viewers on YouTube alone, absolutely for free.

This would not be possible without financial contributions from our audiences, who support our work from around the world.

We have upheld our independence in the face of the disintegration of genuine spirituality – with more and more contemporary spiritual content being just disguised commercialism, consumptionism, and egoism. We refuse to belong to any lineage or tradition, we refuse to identify with any ideology or community, nor do we pander to base sentiments to gain followership or financial assistance. This enables us to freely say the truth without inhibition.

Your financial support has meant we can continue to keep bringing you the truth and the undiluted essence of the scriptures. You have supported our independence, and we are grateful.

We need your support so we can keep bringing the truth to you. Any amount contributed by you towards our noble cause is valuable.

We need your support so we can keep bringing the truth to you. Support us from as little as $5 – it only takes a minute.

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $5)


Or, you can donate an amount of your choice directly at our website.

To know more about Acharya Prashant and his work, click here.

To connect to  PrashantAdvait Foundation, call at +91-9650585100, or mail to requests@advait.org.in


    1. Dear remembrance1blog

      Greetings from PrashantAdvait Foundation
      (This reply comes to you by the volunteers of the foundation who maintain, the blog.)

      It is beautiful and amazing to see that you are reading Acharya Ji with such devotion.
      Below are listed some of the initiatives by the foundation through which you can connect to Acharya Prashant.

      Connect to Acharya Prashant:
      1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya Prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, Contact Sh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998

      2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scripture based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, contact Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

      3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses, contact: Sushri Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

      4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Sushri 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. It involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.

      Contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

      Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

      6. A Day With Master: A day with the Master’ is a rare opportunity for genuine seekers from all across the world to spend 12 hours with the Master at the Advait BodhSthal Ashram – Greater Noida.

      To register yourself, to spend the day with the Master, send in your request at: requests@prashantadvait.com
      call at: +91-9555554772

      7. Triyog: Daily morning 2 hour Yoga feast for your total well-being. Comprising of Hatha Yog, Bhakti Yog and Gyan Yog.

      Contact: Shri Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998

      Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

      To join any of the above initiatives, send your specified application to:


      PrashantAdvait Foundation


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s