Question: Acharya Ji, what does J.Krishnamurti mean when he says, “the observer is the observed”?
Acharya Prashant: As you are, so you see the World. Simple.
That there is no objective reality about the World. The ‘subject’ and the ‘object’ are intrinsically linked; they are One. The subject and the object are linked; One.
You could further it, by saying, the observer is the observed, an honest observation dissolves them both. Or, the observer is the observed and both are false.
We lay a lot of emphasis on the World, assuming it to be the Truth. If the World is an entity independent of everything, then has to be the Truth, right? That is the definition of Truth.
Truth is that which is independent of everything.
Time, space, people, processes, situations, events; nothing can change it. And if something is totally unchangeable and independent, then it is the Truth. Now, we assign the same status to the World. We feel as if the World is independent of everything, right? That’s our normal perception. We say, this building was there before I went to sleep, and this building is still there when I woke up. Which means that this building is independent of me. In saying that, we have taken this building as the?
AP: Truth. Because now, we are giving all those qualities to this building that rightfully belong to the?
AP: Truth. When Krishnamurti says, “the observer is the observed.” he is saying, this building is you; it’s not Truth. You change, the building changes. So, it is not the Truth.
L: So, the observed is the observer.
AP: Same, same, good.
The World determines you, the mind;
and you determine the World. It’s the same.
And when you know these two together, then you have exceeded them both.
We never know these two together. When you are looking at the building, you are looking only at the building. You are not looking at the observer. When you can look at the building and yourself together, then you have gone beyond the building and also beyond? Yourself.
L: What is this ‘you’?
AP: When you look at this ‘you,’ you do not find it any different from the building.
L: I am watching myself, as well as the building!
AP: You cannot claim that. Because if you are watching both of them, who is watching you?
L: Third one is there, then the fourth one is there..
AP: Then that third and fourth and tenth are still ‘you’. You have not then observed fully.
L: Any other example? Like, I am saying, emptiness is there. Like we were discussing today. One of me is saying that I am not this emptiness, I am the one who is watching the emptiness. Second one of me is saying that I am empty, I do not like it, I want to run away. And now, Krishnamurti is saying, that the one who is saying that he is not emptiness, he ‘is’ the emptiness! What do you say about it?
AP: You see, whatever you say about emptiness or witness or awareness, is bound to be false and inadequate. With our little eyes, we cannot watch the immense.
So, there is not much virtue in discussing witnessing or awareness. Far better it is, to look at the mind. To listen to its stories. They are quite entertaining stories. Far better it is to, go to attachment, to attraction, to hope, to despair. They are the rightful topics of any wise discussion.
What will we do with awareness?
Awareness is already doing what it has to do.
L: Acharya Ji, may I say that attraction is false. And the one who is attracted towards the attraction is false?
AP: What do you mean by false? It is there. It is there.
L: But you are saying the building is not there, if you are there
AP: For you the building is there. Is it not there?
L: So, the building is false. The one who is watching the building is false.
AP: Is it false for ‘you’? Or is it academically false, because somebody said it is false?
AP: What do you mean, it is false?
You are eating the bread and saying, it is false. What are we doing? This building is false! This chair too is false, right? That building is false, this chair too is false! All down, please.
L: But your example was imaginary. Is it not a real example that you are now taking?
AP: The example said, this building is ‘you’. Do you take ‘yourself’ to be false? Observer is the observed. Till the time ‘you’ are real, how can the building be false?
L: Any other example?
AP: The chair is a very good example.
Try falling down. It hurts.
L: It is really like clicking type of a chair
AP: It was already clicking. Allow it to click.
False is not a word that you can use carelessly.
Only in deep contact with Truth, do you call the projections of Truth as false.
Otherwise, there is nothing false. Truth is all that exists. If falseness also exists, the falseness is Truth. Or are there two Truths? One truth Truth and one false Truth. Is there a True Truth and a False Truth?
So, then falseness by definition is that, which is not. Don’t call anything false very casually.
L: It might be my understanding which is telling me, it is false. Is it possible?
AP: First of all, “my understanding”, second, a conclusion about understanding. “My personal understanding”? Yes?
“My personal understanding” – does that exist?
L: Something which is happening according to me.
AP: So, you can have your personal opinions.
L: Understanding is one!
AP: Well, not even one.
L: Acharya Ji, but all Masters are saying that “all your problems are imaginary.”
AP: Sitting on the Truth, I repeat, sitting on the Truth, you can call the manifestations of the Truth as imaginary.
But even when you call them imaginary, all that you still reckon is that they arise from the Truth and dissolve in the Truth. So, the ‘false’ then is no less true than the Truth.
There is no point calling this building imaginary. It’s hilarious.
L: Acharya Ji, does this attitude deeply related to the desires? Because when we say, all of this is false then the one starts suppressing desires or condemning desires.
AP: That’s why I have repeatedly said that
When you go to the root of desire, you find that your ultimate desire is just one.
And that is Truth.
The Truth is what the ego wants, desires. No point condemning it.
Condemning anything is to condemn the Truth.
Because nothing but the Truth exists.
Calling anything as false, is to call the Truth as false. Because only the Truth exists. Even if you have to call something as false, call it with a bit of sweetness.
So false.. (saying sweetly)
Not as if you are insulting it, disparaging it, humiliating it. There is a video that has been put up and the title is “the sweet conspiracies of love.” Or, something like that?
L: Of the Heart.
AP: Of the Heart, “the sweet conspiracies of the heart”, “conspiracies” yet “sweet.”
Similarly, “false”, yes, of course, false; but still you must see the Truth in it.
You ask your lover, “so did you miss me?” and she says, “no, not at all.” Now, obviously she is lying. But, you must see how much she missed you in this. And you are an idiot if she says she did not miss you and you start weeping, Oh! she did not miss me, she is seeing somebody else.
You must see the True in the false also.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on J. Krishnamurti: The world is you, you are the world
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. Vishal Soam: +91-9358866667
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 +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 Sushri. Hiba Khan: +91-8512828430
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 over 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
call at: Shri Anmol Phutela: +91-8859069127, Shri Mohd Azaz: +91-9871952116
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 programs, send your specified application to:
Books by the Speaker are available at: