This is the Guru I had been searching all my life || Month of Awakening (2019)

It’s been more than a decade that Acharya Prashant has been illuminating mankind with the wisdom of world’s most ancient scriptures and texts from all times and places. His discourses are being watched by millions on YouTube and every month a few blessed ones also get to learn the same wisdom in its essence directly from him in the form of an online course series called ‘Month of Awakening’.

On the third anniversary of the inception of this community, a few of its participants couldn’t resist sharing their journey with everyone. Following is a message from one of the participants of this course:

Alok Bhute, USA (attending MAG sessions since 2018)

I have been on spiritual journey for more than two decades now. I was introduced to spirituality by Osho, through Osho I found out about many other spiritual masters of different time era.

In this journey at some point when I started feeling the need for a Master who is living and exists in physical form, I tried many existing famous names, attended their sessions and workshops. For some time I would feel I have made some progress and my perspective towards life has changed. But then I would start feeling miserable again and depression and pure helplessness would start raising its head.

In this disillusioned and hopelessness when I was searching through Osho’s videos on some spiritual topic, I came across a video of a simple man (Acharya Prashant) talking about – ‘what love is’ – to his students around him. I was curious how this discussion which apparently sounds like a chat could be spiritual? I decided to give a try. I realized video was far more gripping than I expected. Having watched the video I felt a new wave of life as if I found something magical which words can’t explain.

After this I started watching one after another so many Acharya Ji’s videos. More I watch more was my thirst to meet the Master would rise. I live in US and had just recently came back from vacation from India, the urge was so strong that I could not wait for my next India trip which would have been after another year. The only option I could think of was ask for emergency leave if not leave the job and go.

Then suddenly I realized there are ways I can meet the master online. MTM (Meet the Master) program and MAG (Month of Awakening) program which makes it possible to connect with Acharyaji, for all those seekers who live abroad and due to various reasons can’t travel to India. I decided to try that option and booked the MTM and MAG sessions with Acharyaji. Before the MTM session, I was asked to come up with all the personal or spiritual questions I have it written down to discuss with Acharya Ji. I almost had about 15 questions from my long spiritual journey of 20 years.

Biggest thing from the session was the shattering of myths. So many spiritual concepts which I thought I understood what they mean, after talking to Acharya ji, I realized how shallow my understanding was about those topics. First time I felt I arrived my home. This is the Master I had been searching all my life. Acharya ji not only gave me all my answers but he also gave me the clarity where I could see where I stand and decide for myself what my next step should be on this journey.

Many more are being blessed every month:

Online Course: Month of Awakening

Reading scriptures on a regular basis is most central to spiritual growth. Ancient spiritual texts like the Upanishads and Gita are more relevant today than they were ever before. Today, if mankind seems to be nearing catastrophe — if climate change, social injustice, and violence have become the norm — it is because man’s mind has gone astray.

Online courses with Acharya Prashant is a unique initiative to bring scriptures to our day-to-day life and hence impart clarity and wisdom in living.

In this course, a rigorous study of a scripture or a saint is undertaken each month. The methodology of this program is to engage in an in–depth and rigorous examination of scriptures by relating them to the everyday realities of life.

Relevant sections from scriptures like Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Brahm Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, etc. are studied to unpack the ancient mysteries contained in them. Sessions are conducted by Acharya Prashant himself and are streamed live to the seekers.

Course benefits:

● Place your questions directly to Acharya Prashant, online, via 4 Live Satsangs every month.

● Each Satsang is of 3 hours each.

● Access the recordings of live Satsangs in case you missed out on the live broadcast.

● Be a part of an exclusive group of Acharya Prashant and participate in intense discussions, share observations and relate with seekers of Truth.

● Access the PDFs of the course reading.

● Individual attention from mentors.

To join this online course community, please fill the following form: Enquiry Form



PrashantAdvait Foundation

Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Suffer, but suffer rightly

Editor’s Note: To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here

Question: Is suffering necessary to reach the Truth? Once I have identified pain and fear, or something like this, where I know that it is creating unpleasant situation or suffering for me, what are the next ways for me to be this….peaceful. What is next?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

A lot of suffering is just unnecessary. If it is unnecessary, give it up. A part of it is necessary. If it is necessary, go through it.

We can see the next question coming. What is the next question?

Listener: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

Acharya ji: How do we know which part of the suffering is necessary, and which part is unnecessary?

You see, you move about like a drunkard on the road, and get hit or keep hitting, and abuse and get abused, and blow up your money, and all of that has a suffering component attached to it. That is unnecessary. Even if you suffer for a thousand years, you won’t be spiritually elevated. Right?

If you get cursed by a thousand men, for a thousand years, it won’t elevate your spiritual status, even a  little. So that kind of suffering is totally foolish, just give it up. You don’t need to suffer. Ego finds a perverse pleasure, even in suffering.

People meet me, and so many of them say that all the great Yogis and Rishis(Sages), they suffered so much, and that is why they arrived at greatness. To this, I said that, not everybody who suffers, arrives at greatness. There has to be a particular quality, even in suffering. Not all suffering is necessary. Most of human suffering, is totally unnecessary. Give it up!

A monk met me once, I was in Dharamshala at that time. Had a very long conversation with him, he had come to visit. It’s a cold place, Dharamshala. And the fellow would be, always, in just one piece of cloth. I said to him, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” He replied, “Suffering is necessary.” I asked him, “Are you sure that this kind of suffering will lead you somewhere?”

But he was very determined. He was a senior monk, and he had done that all his life. It was very difficult for him to accept that all the suffering that he had accumulated, rather earned over his lifetime, is needless. It’s needless!

Technology is good. Science has provided man with medicine. All that is not just hot air, all that is meaningful. If you are having a great headache, don’t tell me that your peace won’t be disturbed. If modern medicine can help you get rid of physical disorders at least, that helps. No point quoting again and again, that you are the Atman, and nothing but the Atman, so no migraine, or no headache affects you.

Those who have headaches and migraines, know that these do affect. Keeping the migraine upon you, and saying that suffering helps, and suffering cleanses and purifies, is non-sensical. Give it up!

And then there is legitimate, and genuine suffering, that comes to you, in the process of self-realisation. You will have to go through it.

I will give an example. You think of yourself as a very worthy man. You think of yourself as an honest man. You think of yourself as a loving father, or a loving son, or a loving husband. Or you think of yourself as devoted wife, or a caring mother, or a loving daughter. Something.

The more you open your eyes in the spiritual sense, the more you realise, that you have been exploiting others, just every bit, as much as others have been exploiting everybody else. And then, it is not pleasant to come up on this realisation.

One suffers.

What I am saying is, that awareness brings suffering, in it’s wake. You cannot wake up, and not suffer. this is what I am calling as ‘genuine suffering’. And many people prefer not to wake up, just because they want to avoid the genuine suffering as well.

And, I assure you, what you call as ‘self-realisation’, is never going to be pleasant.

It’s not going to be blissful or something. It’s always a bit of a heartbreak.

One sees the futility of one’s life.

One sees that how tremendously misled, one has been. And all that hits the ego.

One gets hurt.

It is never pleasant to get hurt.

But one has to pass through that. One has to let that suffering come, and one has stand very vulnerable to it. One has to bow her head down. One has to say, “I see that I have been not only blind, but I have been needlessly blind. All my life, I have just deceived myself.” One’s self-esteem falls into pieces. One has to be prepared for all that. And all that, I said, entails suffering.

You will not reach Truth, with your ego intact.

Listener: To realise one thing, like somebody realises in one instance, I take ten-eleven instances, and then also I get half the part of it. It happens often. How do I reduce this gap, or time? Why do I need to get hurt so much, that I lose everything, and then only I realise?

Acharya ji: Love yourself more. Love yourself more. We have been taught to hate ourselves. We have been taught to hate ourselves, and therefore, love the world.

When you look at a nice shirt, what do you say? “Let me wear this shirt, this shirt will add value to me.” So, what do you hate, and what do you love? You despise yourself. You say, “I am of inferior value.” You think of even a shirt, that can add value to you, don’t you? And therefore, when you find people wearing expensive shirts, you look upto them.

We have been taught to look down upon ourselves.

Love yourself. Respect yourself.

And then you will not accept hurt.

And then, you will not be prone to inviting hurt.

We do not have basic, simple, innocent, self-love. We keep inviting hurt, and equally we are afraid of hurt.

Loving yourself is very different from improving yourself, or adding value to yourself. In fact, they are opposite in a sense. Understand this. I hope you don’t misinterpret me. By loving yourself, I do not mean that you should wear the best saree – “Because I am loving myself so much, so I am gifting myself the best saree.” No, no, no!

Loving yourself means, that you look upto yourself, and respect yourself, already as you are. You tell yourself, that it is not the world that will add value to me. The value resides within.”

O! The value does not reside, even in this structure of flesh and bones. It is somewhere else that the value resides. The value resides in neither in this(the flesh), or in this(the mind), nor in all that(the world outside). It is somewhere else that the value resides. And that somewhere else, is not a distant point. That somewhere else is, in here(the heart). And if it is in here, I love myself. Why do I love myself? Because that valuable one is, right in here.

Listeners: Within.

Acharya ji: I love myself because, this structure itself is the abode of the valuable one. I do not love the structure. The structure will fall into pieces. The structure might get killed tomorrow, who knows?

That is self-love! Love yourself a lot.

Listener: It seems too far.

Acharya ji: It is not too far. It is your natural state. It seems far, only because you have come too far from yourself. So return!

And returning is easier than coming so far. Just don’t remain too dependent on this and that.

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

Watch the session:  Suffer, but suffer rightly || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)

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

Where is your Home

Question: In the book, ‘The Prophet’, the protagonist wants to got to his home, his people are calling out for him.

Acharya Ji, what is ‘this home’, ‘his people’, and ‘journey back home’?

Acharya ji: ‘Home’ is where you are. ‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

‘Home’ is, where you are.

‘Outside’ is where you think you are.

Do you get the difference?

You are always in Home, but there are some people who open their eyes and see that they are always at Home. And there are some people, who are in the Home, and yet they keep sleeping and dreaming that they are somewhere far away.

And not only are they dreaming that they are somewhere far away, they are actually planning, of course in their dreams, to go further far away. That is the ‘Home’ that Khalil Gibran is talking of – where you really are.

And you can never go away from that Home. That Home is ‘you’. You are always homed. You are always at Home. It is impossible to be anywhere else. It is just that you don’t know that.

You think you are away from Home.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, why do these people call him?

Acharya Prashant Ji: We will have to look at this. When you say ‘these people’, it appears that there are many people at Home.

It is not as if there are ‘many’ people at Home.

In your dreams, what you see is ‘many’. All occurrence of ‘many’, is a dream. There are no ‘many’, except in dreams. To the extent we perceive many people sitting in this room, we are dreaming. However, among these people that you see in your dream, some call out. After all, you only dream of what you knowDreams do not come from anywhere else.

Some of these people in your dreams, you know them. They belong so much to your past, that they belong to the beginning of time. They belong to the Source of time itself in that dream. You know them, because they are your very past, your very Source.

In that very dream, where there are many people, some of these people call out to you. They call out to you, to wake up.

Have you not noticed, and I am saying something new today, that some dreams have the power to wake you up? Have you not noticed that when you fell down a cliff in your dream, you suddenly wake up?

Have you not noticed that?

Now, it’s a very dangerous thing to say, because mind the will misuse it. The mind will say, “Yes I am dreaming, but this is a very useful dream.” I don’t want to say that, but you raised it, so I am saying this. So, some of these people, they call out in the dream.

Remember, they are not really ‘people’. They are not really ‘people’. To the extent, they are only characters in a dream.

Questioner: Isn’t it the Source manifesting itself in the dream?

Acharya ji: You are the Source. You are Source. And that is why you know those people. And that is the only reason why they can be there in the dreams, because there is intimacy at a deep level. The other people that you know, your relation with them is only very superficial.

But, there are these ‘people’, and your relation with them is very-very deep. They are coming right from that Source, from where you come. They are identical to you. They are just the same as you. They call out. And they call out in a way, in which the dream can be broken.

That’s what he is referring to.

Questioner: But in this dream only, he talks about many things, and says most of the times some existential truth exists in that dream only.

Acharya Prashant Ji: When he is talking of many people?

Questioner: Yes, when he is talking of many people.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, of course. When he is talking of ‘many people’, ‘many’ that he is talking of are ultimately coming from his own experience. These people, who are calling him back to Home, are also coming from his own experience.

These people who are calling out to him are nobody else, but Khalil Gibran (the protaganist). If they can call out to him, that means he knows. He can surely talk of existential truths. It’s Khalil (the protaganist), in his own dream.

Are you getting it?

It’s Khalil in his own dream. The real Khalil in his own dream. And that Khalil will know far more, than the dreaming Khalil can know.

Questioner: Can real Khalil dream and go into dream?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, of course. That’s a part of his Freedom.

Think of it: Where else can dreams come from? Where else can illusions come from? If there is one Reality, one Truth, how can there be space for illusion?

If everything is just Truth, just Reality, how illusion is possible?

But illusion is there.

Questioener: Illusion is there to the illusive mind.

Acharya Prashant Ji: How can the illusive mind be possible? If only Truth is there, how can there be any space for any kind of ignorance? Tell me.

Ignorance is a part of Truth.

Questioner: We are validating Truth.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Of course.

Who are you to not to validate it?

Ignorance is the freedom of  Truth.

It is so absolutely free, that it is free even to be ignorant.

You are so absolutely free, that you are free to wake up, and you are also free to sleep.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: Where is your Home? || Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran (2013)  

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What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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What is meant by ‘oneness with all’

Question: What is the meaning of: meeting the other person with Oneness?

Acharya Prashant:

Meeting the other person with Oneness, does not imply – being one with the other ‘person’. It means – you are one within, even as you look at the diverse world of many-ness, spread in space around you.

Outside you might be fragments, distinctions, numbers, diversities, within is no such fragmentation.

How does fragmentation arise within?

It arises within, when the within becomes a mirror of the without.

If that which is outside you, gains a part of you, then you get divided.

Take this, right now.

Here is me. If you take me as someone outside of you, then this figure will occupy a bit of mental space. (Referring to a listener in the audience) There is him, he too will occupy a bit of mental space. (Pointing at the collage of posters designed on Acharya Ji’s quotes) One of these posters will occupy a bit of mental space. May be this colour appeals to you, this too will occupy some space. The brand of this equipment may be nice, that too will occupy some space. So, the divisions outside, will become the divisions inside.

Nothing outside of you should be allowed to occupy you within, because ‘the Within’ is the sacred province of the Absolute.

And the Absolute knows no divisions or fragments.

Inside must sit ‘the One’, and outside the world may keep taking various forms and shapes.

That is Oneness.

Oneness within.

There would never be Oneness in the world. If there is Oneness in the world, you will have to physically disappear, because then you and the Earth would be one. So, you are gone. Either the Earth has become you, or you have become the Earth. And then there is no atmosphere either, because there is just Oneness.

So, outside there is never really going to be Oneness, as long as you are an embodied being.

Oneness must be within.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, can you please elaborate on this. For example, I met Alok Ji and Pranay, what does it mean that meeting them will not create any division inside?

Acharya Prashant Ji: It means that the Absolute Truth within you, must meet Alok or Pranay. These two are outside, and they are different. But the point that meets them, must be the point of integrity – Oneness. It must not be that a figure created by Alok, meets Alok, and a figure created by Pranay, meets Pranay.

Normally, as we are, we do not meet a minister, and a miserable one in the same way. Even before we meet them, we have turned different, because of their influence upon us.

Are you getting it?

The minister might be five minutes away, but you have already changed in anticipation of his arrival. The one who is meeting the minister, is not the same as the one who is meeting the commoner. And I am not talking of your behaviour towards these two persons. I am talking of the entity that is meeting.

Of course, the behaviour is bound to be different. You cannot behave in the same way with everybody. I am talking about the identity of the one, who is meeting the different objects in the world.

Your identity, when you are meeting an object, is decided by the object that you are meeting. Is that not really a miserable condition? Even before you meet the minister, the minister has cast his spell upon you. He is still some distance away, and you are already bowing down. So, the person has changed in influence of the field of the object, he is meeting. That must not happen.

Who gave you the impression that the contents of your mind, are the Truth, or Sacred, or Absolute. That which arises within you, is just your mental content. Why are you according it a lot of sanctity?

Turning ego into God!

A rapists instincts too arise from within, don’t they? You don’t have to motivate him. You don’t have to really exert yourself to motivate a rapist. It’s strongly from within. It’s just  that their acts are definitely showing up as gruesome and horrible. So, you put them in jail.

But, the other hallucinating ones, might be holding respectable tags of spiritual seekers and yoga practitioners, so you do not put them in jail. But hallucinations are, hallucinations.

Questioner: So, is everyone hallucinated?

Acharya Prashant Ji: If you are hallucinating, how will you know what everyone else is doing? Why not bother only about yourself?

If you are in a dream, will you ever be able to know who are all the others, who are dreaming?

If you are asleep, will you be able to know who is awake?

So why not bother only on your own awakening?

This is one of the great fallacies: widely accepted, quite the norm, not merely socially circulating, but even in spiritual circulation.

You start calling your instincts, and feelings, and intuitions as the Truth. And you start saying, “You know, it is arising from within, so it must be the Truth,” without ever seeing that, that which is within, is just a pale imprint of that, which is without.

From where did something reach within?

Questioner: Outside.

Acharya Prashant Ji: From here and there.

Do not turn feelings and such things into Truth.

They are not.


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: What is meant by ‘oneness with all’? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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The speck of dust and the sky, you are both || Acharya Prashant on Rumi (2018)

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Questioner: Pranaam, Acharya Ji.

Rumi says ‘Wisdom tells us, we are not worthy, love tells us, and we are. My life flows between the two’.

Taruna asks, Acharya Ji could you please elaborate on the above. I feel that my life is a little short of love and self-acceptance. Am I just over-judging myself or is there any way, I can actually enhance self-love?

Thank You.

Acharya Prashant: That’s Rumi’s way of bringing out the difference and the oneness between the seeker and the sought, between the lover and the beloved, between the bhakt and bhagwan. Kindly, do not read his words to mean that love and wisdom are exclusive of each other.

I repeat, what he has said, ‘Wisdom tells us, we are not worthy, love tells us, and we are. My life flows between the two’. Kindly do not take these words to mean that wisdom and love are mutually exclusive. They are not. What is he saying here, he is talking of the last dichotomy, and we live in. And that dichotomy is the difference, separation between our fact and our destiny, our life and our destiny, our periphery and our center, our performance and our potential.

This is the separation between the lover and the beloved, the bhakt and bhagwan.

We are two, Taruna. We are the one, who is all the time, engrossed in littleness, doubts, fear, in separation, in time, in desires and anger. And then, we are also the one, who knows very well that to be a little and afraid, and shrunken is not destiny. That one is needlessly confining himself, so, we are two.

The speck of dust in the sky and the sky itself.

And none of them can be dismissed as false. How do you dismiss the daily facts of your life, how dismiss that you haggle over a few rupees, how to dismiss that one is suspicious of even his intimate ones, how to dismiss that there is nothing beyond doubt in one’s life, how to dismiss that nothing called immensity exists for us, and how to dismiss that the fear of death is always lurking close by.

That’s the life of the speck of dust.

And much as we may want to forget, we also can not dismiss that something within yearns for the infinite, and something within remains continuously thirsty, seeking unfulfilled thirst. His thirst is proof that something beyond the finite exists.

You see, there are these two things. We know only the finite but the finite never satisfies us. So, we are not quite equipped or authorised to talk of infinite. But we can surely talk of something beyond the finite. These are two different things, beyond the finite and infinite. If the human tongue ventures to utter infinite, it is just being loud-mouthed. What can a pity human being talk of infinite, but surely, one can say, that one wants to go beyond the finite. And beyond the finite speck of dust, is nothing but sky because all else is finite.

If the speck of dust is finite, then the moons and the stars are also finite. Just the degree of finiteness varies. But if the degree of finiteness varies, that does not mean that even the largest finite is anything more than that of finite.

So, if you can just say that I am longing for something beyond the finite, you have very honestly and very totally uttered the word infinite. That’s how, a man should talk of Truth, that is beyond falseness. Beyond falseness. And that is why, the sages of Upanishads talked in the negativa. They would just say, not this, not this, beautiful, very honest.

Not false is truer than the Truth.

When you talk of Truth, you are exceeding your limit. But, when you lovingly sing out to that which is not false, then it’s an honest song. Not false, give me something, that is not false. The speck of dust says, ‘Give me something, which is not finite. I feel suffocated. In this little less, give me something, where I cannot see boundaries’.

‘Wisdom tells me, we are not worthy, love tells, yes we are’.

Yes, you are both.

The little speck of dust and the infinite sky.

‘My life flows between the two.’

Yes, both are present because we are two. And the purpose of life is to accept your unworthiness, acknowledge your unworthiness, so honestly and so completely that you have no option but to move into the worthy, dissolve into the worthy.

Do you see how one is a door to other?

So, without the one, you cannot get the other. Hence, both have to be acknowledged.

Those who talk only stuff like pure consciousness, miss everything, because they are not acknowledging where they factually are. They live in the domain of impurity. Living in the domain of impurity, they constantly are yelling purity, purity. That doesn’t help.

The trick is to acknowledge the impurity, so clearly, so consistently, so honestly that you are left with no option but to clean-up. The speck of dust must acknowledge its limitations, must keep crying out, and must never forget the asphyxia it lives in.

And then, the boundaries break open.

Then, there is a great dissolution.

Sky, melts into the sky.

Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: The speck of dust and the sky, you are both || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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How to live as pure consciousness? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Question: Acharya Ji,


I read Ashtavakra and surprisingly, my mind quickly and completely accepted the idea that I am pure consciousness and that I don’t need to do anything to get enlightened. However, someone inside me knows that this is the mind’s game to show acceptance to Ashtavakra’s theory. Ashtavakra Gita is a sacred knowledge. However I am confused, as to how to live like pure consciousness in non-duality, not like a doer?

Acharya Prashant: If you will look at your question, you will realise why what you are asking, is impossible to get. You are saying that you want to live like pure consciousness. Right?

One can want to live like the beetles one day, one can want to live like Ramkrishna Paramhans, the next day and then Pele, the third day. Many of us think that spirituality is the best mask we can put on our face. We have spent all our life, wearing and changing masks and now you want to put on another one, which has been called as the purest, eternal, final, most hallowed one. And obviously, the most respectable one, the mask of the spiritual one, the one who is pure consciousness.

It just doesn’t occurred to you, does it that it is not necessarily to wear masks. It not even strikes us. Even the possibility doesn’t appear to us. Right? The best that we can think for us is a mask. Not that we are trying to do bad to ourselves, we want the good to happen. But that’s our utmost conception of the good. Right? The best mask. We say that’s the best that can happen to us.  I will give up the old masks and put on new ones. We are so, very under-ambitious. We even don’t desire beyond a point. And our self-worth is so compromised, that the best we can hope for ourselves is a better version of rags. It’s sad to see this.

Ashtavakra is not about you starting to live like pure consciousness. Ashtavakra is just a reminder to you, that you have the ability to see, what is impure,  corrupted, and unconscious about you. Pure consciousness is not something that you can put upon yourself. Pure consciousness is your very root. It is your center. It is not the last wheel on your periphery. It is not the loose cloak that will conceal all the other garments that you are wearing. It is your very center, it is your heart beneath all garments.

‘I’ will not live like pure consciousness, ‘I’ has to be seen as unnecessary, not just declared, it has to be seen as unnecessary. There is a difference between just mundanely making a declaration and actually, consciously seeing something as needless.

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Absence of action

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself. You do not do attentiveness.

Attentiveness is not something to be done. If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

You are free, to see what is happening. Just see, not do anything. This seeing not doing. Don’t burden yourself with it.

Knowing is ‘just’ knowing, It is not any separate activity.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?


Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?

Question: Kabir is saying ‘attentive at a time.’ I can either be gossiping with my friend or watching that I am gossiping. How is it possible to be attentive and watch all the impossible to be doing both, right?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, it is a bit difficult because we have been in practice of inattention since very long.

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself.

You do not do attentiveness.

This question is would I be doing one thing and also doing attentiveness simultaneously.

Attentiveness is not something to be done.

If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’


Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

Attention is not doing another thing that I am already doing five things and I started getting another six things and that six thing is attention. If that is attention that will add further to the chaos. If that is what we understand by attention then this kind of attention will act further to the chaos. You see my mind is already divided in doing this thing, that thing, and that thing. And there is the fourth string that sums-up by the name of attention. And then, of course, we are already so busy and then we add attention to work to do list. There is a lot to do throughout the day and there is one more thing, ‘attention.’ So, chaos can only magnify from that. Am I right?

Do you understand this?

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A sage is not sage if it does not look like an idiot

Do not take all these words as separate. Self, God, Awareness, Pure-consciousness, Samadhi, Turiya, Guru – they are all one. If you bring in too many words you are just creating confusion for yourself, you are just giving mind more toys to play with; you are just giving an erratic machine more fuel.

Simplify it, it is very easy to make things complex. To be spiritual is to see the simple reality even in all complexity. The worldly mind respects complexity, the spiritual mind loves simplicity. And, if it is the Truth, it is simple; as simple as a naked child – direct, forthright, not cunning, not manipulative, not hidden, not skimming, blunt, obvious, present, straight, here, not something to be attained, not something to be known, not a secret, not a mystery, not a puzzle, not a code.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a child, do you think there is a puzzle there? You must have a very complex mind if you see a puzzle there. That’s the Truth; there is nothing there. When it is nothing there then that is called innocence. When it is something there that is called cleverness, that is the difference between cleverness and wisdom. In wisdom, there is nothing in your eyes, empty. In cleverness, there is a lot there.

Ever seen a clever face? How does it look? How does his face look? Like a face of an idiot, or, the face of a sage, both are one. A sage is not sage if it does not look like an idiot, if you are not compelled to call the sage an idiot, believe me, he is no sage. A sage, who talks very wisely, is always correct, right, and proper, He is a very ‘cultivated sage’. He is a manufactured sage, coming from the assembly line, probably branded as well and packed nicely.

The real sage is a wild flower, untouched by man’s hands, untouched by fertilizers and pesticides, arising straight out of the heart of the earth.

Read the complete article: When you are helping without reason, it is compassion

When you are helping without reason, it is compassion

ALC 1.17 (1)Question: Sir, Do love and Compassion play a role in the process of awakening?

Acharya Prashant: Love and Compassion are not instruments. Love and Compassion are not stuff that can be used as a means or as a method. Awakening, Love, and Compassion are all synonyms. They are three different words only because we talk of them in different contexts. It is like one thing being looked at from different sights in different moods from different perspectives.

Essentially, all three of them are pure Emptiness. What we call as Awakening is not really an awakening. To awaken in the normal sense of the word means to become Conscious. To awaken in the normal sense of the world means to have a mind that is now ‘active’. You start saying that now you can think, analyze, see, determine, conclude and compare, that is what you do when you are awake; in the common usage of the word. Read more

One has to be deeply in love with oneself

It is not possible to be living in illusions and yet not suffer. But it is possible, to not to be conscious of the suffering. Or, to not to know that you are suffering.

One has to be deeply in love with oneself, one has to be deeply sensitive towards oneself to experience the suffering. If you don’t love yourself enough, then you will happily take suffering. And not complain.

After all, suffering is resistance towards pain. If you have no resistance then you have no suffering. Then there will be pain and yet you will not suffer.

Suffering is when you start saying, “No” to pain. When pain is welcome, then there is no suffering.

Read the complete article: Is suffering necessary for awakening?

Is suffering necessary for awakening?

SR Generic_ English

Question: When intense suffering is created, that usually wakes up people. But is it possible that one can wake up without suffering, living very comfortable life?

Listener: For example, if I am fed up with my husband, I just wake up. But that situation doesn’t come!

Acharya Prashant: You see, only the sleeping one can wake up. Please understand!

To wake up, there is a precondition. And that is that you must be?

Listeners: Sleeping.

AP: And if you are sleeping, then you would be suffering. So, to wake up, it is necessary, it is obvious that there would be suffering involved in the process of awakening. Otherwise, what are you awakening from? If there is no sleep, where is the question of awakening? Then you are abiding in your Buddha Nature. Fine. There is no question of any further awakening. And if there is slumber, and ignorance, and sleep, then it is always accompanied with?

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Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

We say, “If I am already fulfilled, why would I work at all?” No, there is a quality of a free, intense and a passionate dance in this kind of work. I want nothing, there is nothing that I want to get from what I am doing and yet I am doing it with all my energy, devotion and passion. I am almost worshipping what I am doing. What will I get from all these? Nothing. What is there in it for me? Nothing. Then why are you doing it? Just for fun.

Why does the river flow? Why does the wind blow? Am I not allowed to dance? Am I not allowed to love reasonlessly? Must I follow the prevalent dictates of cause and effect, of success and failure, of action, accompanied by the fruit of action? Can’t there be something called desireless action? There can be such a thing, it is not a hypothesis. In fact, if that thing, that quality of mind is not there then life is not worth living.

If we work only to get something, if all our actions, if all our relationships are just for the sake of achievement, if whatever we do is a calculated action, then the mind only knows transactions and business, it knows no love. Such a mind would forever be in a state of loveless desperation, crying for relief.

Read the complete article: To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

To be free, first discover the nature of your bondage

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion 1: What is success in life?

Acharya Prashant: What is success in life? What-is-success-in-life? Let me say, I am in a dream. In the dream, I am finding myself surrounded by all kinds of enemies and other hostile forces. There are demons, there are enemies and I want to fight them.

So, I ask a question, “What is the best way to fight them?” I ask a question, “When will I know that I have succeeded in defeating them?”

I repeat I am in sleep, I am dreaming, and in my dream, I am seeing the world as a dangerous place, as a competitive place, as a place where achievement is necessary. So, again and again, I ask the question, “What is the meaning of success? What is required to fight my enemies?” Would you answer this question? Read more

If not Silence, then music. Nothing else


Listener 1 (L1): Since the last few days, I have been with you, taking in what you say and the result is that I am clearly able to see the fakeness contained in the world in the ways of mankind. And that makes me ask what is the point of carrying all that madness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Very important question, because this is what breaches the whole flow of knowing, of realisation for so many people.

So, you are saying that the process of knowing, realisation begins and begins to identify what all is fake, artificial and conditioned in one’s ways, and as one goes deeper into realising this, one finds that there is no end to detecting falseness. Whatever you touch comes out to be false. Read more

When you are helping without reason, it is compassion

Question: Sir, I am thinking about love and compassion and if they play any role in the process of awakening like to love or to be compassionate, is it important to awakening?

Acharya Prashant: Do love and compassion play a role in the process of awakening?

Love and compassion are not instruments. Love and compassion are not stuff that can be used as a means or as a method. Awakening, Love and Compassion are all synonymous. They are three different words only because we talk of them in different contexts. It is like one thing being looked at from different sights, in different moods, from different perspectives. Essentially, all three of them are pure emptiness.

What we call as awakening is not really an awakening. To awaken, in the normal sense of the word, means to become conscious. To awaken, in the normal sense of the word, means to have a mind that is now active. You start saying that now you can think, analyze, see, determine, conclude, compare – that is what you do when you are awake in the common usage of the word.

Real awakening is actually more like going to sleep.

I repeat, real awakening is actually more like going to sleep. You have become empty of all that which use to happen during normal awakening. Let’s examine what happens during normal periods of waking consciousness — What is it that keeps happening? What is it that keeps happening when you are walking on the road? What is it that keeps happening when you are talking to somebody, or working in the office, or waiting at the bus station, or shopping? What is it?

Listener1: Senses are open.

AP: Senses are open and the world makes itself felt. The world makes itself felt as important. In fact, the world makes itself felt as the only reality, am I right?

When you are driving, do you say that the truck coming in front of you is an illusory thing? Do you say the truck is false? When you are driving let’s say, at 70 miles an hour and here the truck is approaching you, would you say, “Ah, False! It doesn’t exist. It’s a game of the senses, It’s just a dualistic mirage. Let me pass my awareness right through it.” Do you say that?

Where do all the teachings of the gurus disappear then? If the world is illusory, if the world is a dream; why don’t you go right through the truck? Then none of these teachings help us, right? Then we realize very well that we are not pure consciousness, we are the material body, or are we not?

I suppose, we have a lot of people here who have been through trucks, they don’t quite agree. I am an ordinary man, I avoid trucks; I take them to be real. What do you take them to be? (Smiles)

What do you take them to be?

Somehow, the spiritual ones do not like to talk of trucks. But to me, spirituality is hypocrisy if it cannot explain the behavior of trucks and truck drivers. To me truck drivers are the greatest puzzle on the face of this earth. What kind of spirituality it is that cannot talk of roads, potholes and truck drivers? Where do all the fantasies and concepts vanish when that massive thing is coming and wobbling at you? And the great artist is sitting at the wheel after three pegs of… (Smiles)

That is normal consciousness. The world forces the mind to take itself as real. If you don’t take the world as real, if you don’t accord it the utmost importance, then you face extinction. Then you’ll be no more. So the normal consciousness is all about taking reality as something out there. Normal consciousness is about assuming the skin as the dividing line between the world and you — that is normal consciousness. Outside the skin it is the other; inside the skin it is the ‘me’, right?

Now, when this happens, then only the material is taken as reality, which is alright. The truck deserves to be taken as real. Have you ever tried to move a truck wheel? Sometimes, in gyms, they keep the wheels of trucks. Have you ever tried to move it? You’ll realize that it is not a phenomenon; that it is not a wisp of imagination – it exists.

In normal consciousness, only the trucks and wheels exist; only the gross and the vulgar exists; only the material exists; or in other words, whatever is not material, does not exist. If you can see it, it exists. If you can detect it using your senses, it exists.

What is it that you cannot detect using your senses? What is it that can never be proven using the senses and the mind, never be seen, never be touched, and never be heard?

L2: Yourself…

AP: Bring it more down to the earth.

Anybody who has ever smelt Freedom?

Anybody who has ever seen Love?

Anybody who has ever tasted Joy?

Anybody who has ever held the Truth in his hands?

So these are a few little things that do not belong to the same category as truck. The truck can be seen, heard, felt.

Love, Truth, Joy, Freedom, Simplicity, Innocence – they cannot be touched, tasted, heard, seen or analyzed.

So if you believe the world to be material, if you believe the material to be the reality then your punishment would be that your life would be devoid of all that which is not material. And incidentally, all that which is valuable in life is not material. Trucks are material, Love is not material; if you take reality to be material then you are denying love and that’s a great punishment, is it not? Is it or is it not?

Listeners: It is.

AP: It is. So that is normal consciousness to take the material as reality. Awakening is to be empty of this consciousness. Awakening is to be empty of the belief that of prime importance, are the trucks and truck drivers. Awakening is to realize that the truck that is coming to me, yes, of course I have to avoid a collision there, but still there is something more important than the truck, than my safety, than the collision; something is far more important than that.

And if that which is of primary importance is at stake, I may even decide to ramp my vehicle into the truck. That real thing, which can neither be touched, heard, analyzed, thought of, smelt is of such great value that I will not hesitate even to sacrifice my life for it – this is Awakening.

The awakened one actually looks like sleeping to the worldly mind, because, if you are the normal waking one, then, you give utmost importance to trucks. The awakened one may see the truck and yet not give the first importance to it. Now what will you call such a man?

He is moving and he is watching the truck coming to him. He is not blind, his senses are perfect, he can see the truck coming, he very well knows the effect of the impact of the truck on the body and yet he is prepared to risk a collision for the sake of something else and that something else is imperceptible and intangible. Now, what would you, as a common worldly man, call such a man? You would call him mad.

You may go and say, “Are you asleep?”

Won’t you?

You may go and say. “Are you sleep-walking?”

So, the awakened one actually looks asleep to the sleeping one – that is awakening.

This same emptiness, which expresses itself as lack of knowledge when we talk of awakening, expresses itself as lack of miscellaneous attractions when it comes to Love.

In Love, again, you are drawn only towards a certain “nothingness”. Ordinarily, we are drawn to this and that. And whenever one is drawn to this and that, the result is disappointment.

Real Love is about being fully drawn, fully drawn, to what?

To nothing!

“I am totally committed,” to what?

 To nothing in particular!

Yes, my commitment is absolute, but if you would ask me what is it that I am committed to? I will not be able to tell.

I am not committed to a man;

I am not committed to a book,

I am not committed to an ideology,

I am not committed to my personality, my opinions;

I am not committed to any idea of a God;

yet I am fully committed.

And that is Love.

Are you getting it?

Similarly, what we usually call as compassion is just pity. Pity arises when you have a particular personal relationship with the other one; where in some way, you are identified with the other one. Compassion arises when you are empty of any relationship with the other one, yet you are connected in some ineffable way.

If you ask me, “Why do I feel like helping him?”

I’ll have no answer to give – that is Compassion.

If you ask me, “Why do I want to help him?” And I say, “Because he is my neighbor, or son, or because he is my loved one, or because he belongs to my country, or religion”, then this is just identified attachment which sometimes expresses itself as pity. Do we see the difference between pity and compassion?

If you are trying to help someone that you have a relationship with, that you have an interest in, with whom you have a certain attachment or identification; if you are feeling bad about his condition, if you are partaking in his sorrow, then this is pity.

But when a great help arises from you in spite of you having no ostensible connection with the other one, when you are helping without any reason, then that is compassion. If reason exists behind your help then this is just a very reasonable and hence a selfish help. For all reasons, belong to the petty self.

If you will investigate, most of the instances in which we try to help someone, the help is always for a reason.

“Oh! It’s my pet dog so I need to take it to the vet.”

My daughter, so, I need to take her to the school.”

You can always find a cause as to why you are trying to be helpful. If ever you find a cause behind your help, rest assured it is not yet That. But moments do come, it does happen in life, when you just want to give, give without reason; help without expectation — it’s an overflowing. You have so much that you cannot rest without giving it to somebody – that is compassion.

The normal worldly mind would then look at you and say, “Oh! Why are you doing all this?”

“Why do you keep giving so much?”

“Surely, you have some self interest. Surely, you are demanding or expecting something. Surely, at some point, you will ask something from us.”


A reaching out, a helping, a holding of hands – that happens for no reason. Since, it has no reason, so it will appear awkward to others; since it cannot be explained, so it will appear like madness to others.

Sometimes even to yourself. A change of mood and you’ll ask yourself, “Am I not just acting madly?”

“Hey, what am I getting out of it?”

“What am I making out of it?”

And somebody would come and whispers in your ears, “What is in it for you?”

And you would suddenly say, “Yes, what is in it for me?” Then you will find that there is…?

L1: There is something for us.

AP: Nothing. There is nothing for you.

When you act even though there is nothing in it for you,

that great nothingness is compassion;

that great nothingness is awakening;

that great nothingness is Love.

What we call as ‘something’ is mind stuff and hence all the suffering of mankind.

Be unreasonable.
Act without reason.
Let something far bigger than you, possess you, over power you, act through you.

What is that thing going to be?

Listener: Everything.

AP: Nothing. But its effects upon you will be so tremendous that it would become everything for you. So you can even call it everything – nothing and everything – just the same.

Kindly do not be lost in spiritual jargon. Love, compassion, kindness, mindfulness, awareness, pure-consciousness, pure-self. Akar, ukar, makaar, three states, five sheets, fourth foundation, eight limbs – do not get lost in this maze there is nothing here. Truth is simple — when you have nothing; that is Truth.

When the mind is empty of all concepts, believes and this and that including all spiritual jargon; including all talk of pure-self and the beauty of consciousness and the wonderment of bliss; when none of that is in your mind – that is Truth.

When you are absolutely empty, when you are not even thinking of God, when in the name of God there is just nothing then that is It.

Do not take all these words as separate – Self, God, Awareness, Pure-consciousness, Samadhi, Turiya, Guru – they are all one. If you bring in too many words, you are just creating confusion for yourself, you are just giving mind more toys to play with; you are just giving that erratic machine more fuel.

Simplify it! It is very easy to make things complex.

To be spiritual is to see the simple reality even in all complexity.

The worldly mind respects complexity;

the spiritual mind loves simplicity.

And if it is the Truth, it would be simple; as simple as a naked child – direct, forthright, not cunning, not manipulative, not hidden, not scheming, blunt, obvious, present, straight, here, not something to be attained; not something to be known, not a secret, not a mystery, not a puzzle, not a code.

Ever looked into the eyes of a child, do you think there is a puzzle there? You must be a very complex mind if you see a puzzle there, there is no puzzle there. That’s the truth – there is nothing there.

When there is nothing there, that is called innocence. When there is something there, that is called cleverness. That is the difference between cleverness and wisdom.

In wisdom, there is nothing in your eyes – empty. In cleverness, there is a lot there. Ever seen a clever face? How does it look?

How does an innocent face look?

Like a face of an idiot or a sage, both are one. A sage is no sage if he does not look like an idiot.

If you are not compelled to call the sage an idiot, believe me he is no sage. A sage who talks very wisely, is always correct, right and proper is a very cultivated sage, is a manufactured sage – coming from the assembly line – probably, branded as well and packed nicely.

The real sage is a wild flower — untouched by man’s hands, untouched by fertilizers and pesticides, arising straight out of the heart of the earth. Keep it simple!

The questions that are going to come now keep them direct, straight forward. Spiritual jargon never helped anybody. Never! Believe me. Since years I have been getting people who have been with this master, that master, have read all the possible spiritual literature and have only received high sounding answers.

This morning a lady came to me and said, “You know, I have been going to this particular guru, a very famous one and whenever I ask him about my immediate condition, my marriage, my joblessness, my fear, my insecurity, he just tells me, “Believe that you are pure-consciousness. You are not the mind, you are not the body. If you can drop the mind then no change is needed, you will be very alright wherever you are.””

And she says, “I have been hearing all these fancy stuffs but it doesn’t help me. Can you tell me something which is real, which is grounded, which is actionable, not some wonderful concepts hanging in the sky, not some distant heaven, not something to imagine but something to live?

The spiritual one lives truly. He does not think of himself as this and that. He has no business thinking.

He lives — truly, directly.

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

Watch the session: When you are helping without reason, it is compassion | YouTube

Further Reading:

The Beautiful Heart

The Beautiful Heart, a paragon,tbh_cover will introduce you to an extremely different way of living, not professed by many before; a way that is far away from calculations and manipulations and cautious, fearful steps that is conditioned into us since childhood. Living by the Heart is a harmonious way of living.



Self-Realisation is not the ending of the struggles, it is the ending of the struggler

Question: Is self-realisation for everyone? Many people would choose to live a life of illusion, take comfort in that. Do we really need to wake them up? And of course, the struggles of life don’t end even after self-realisation.

Speaker: It is something like that of a mountain bus driver – he has his challenges, of which passengers know nothing about.

Self-realisation is not the cessation of struggles. Self-realisation is the ending of the struggler. Self-realisation is not the cessation of troubles, it is the ending of the struggler.

Read more

One doesn’t wake up by switching dreams

Question: “To be alone, is to be against the whole set-up of the society.” J. Krishnamurti

Sir, what is ‘being alone’?

Speaker: Society is not one thing; society is the very substance of the conditioned mind. And it’s very deceptive.

(Here, ‘I’ is used for the conditioned mind)

‘I’ belong to a society of conservative people. And what do ‘I’ do? ‘I’ revolt. And then, what do ‘I’ become? ‘I’ become a liberal. ‘I’ become a liberal. Till yesterday, ‘I’ would say, “No, life has to be lead in very secure ways, and conventions have to be followed, and these are the people who follow the conventions. And ‘I’ am one of them. ‘I’ am..? One of them. And today, who am ‘I’? A liberal.

And these are the people who really enjoy life, who give two hoots to tradition. And who am ‘I’? Who am ‘I’? One of them. And what have ‘I’ done? ‘I’ have revolted against the..? Society. And ‘I’ am not careful enough to see that ‘I’ have only moved from one kind of society to another kind of society.

Listener: It is like first painting red, and then painting green.

Speaker: And look at the revolutionaries around. What are they doing? And look at your own mind. When you say that you want to revolt from something, all you want to do is, to move to the other end of duality, where another society exists, where another society exists.

So there is a boring society, and then an adventurous society, but the ‘society’ is still there. What is ‘society’? Society is not something outside. Society is a mind that does not live in the Self. Society is a mind, that does not live in the Self.

Society is not other people, other people would always be there. Other people are there for the Buddha also. He looks at them, he touches them, he talks to them. There are other people, but the Buddha is not social, because he does not have that mind. What kind of mind?

Listener: That seeks security from others.

Speaker: “Oh, ‘I’ hate India so much. India is crowded, polluted, and corrupt. And what do ‘I’ love? ‘I’ love the US, and all the time ‘I’ keep talking about the US, even though ‘I’ have never been to the US. But ‘I’ love to talk of the US. How lovely! It’s another matter that the US embassy will throw me away, and not give me a visa.”

“When ‘I’ go there actually, they won’t even let me stand at their reception. But I love to talk of, how the US is, and that makes me a revolutionary. India is stinking.”

All you want is to jump from one society to the other, nothing else. Nothing else. Remember that – One does not wake up by switching dreams. One does not become alone by changing societies.“I belong to a society of atheists.” And then? “I belong to the society of…the faithful.”

Whatever you do, aren’t there are others involved in it? And if there are others involved in it, how are you free from the society, by ‘doing’ something? Do you understand the all pervasiveness of the society, how deeply it permeates? It is occupying every single fibre. It is colouring all, even the minutest strands. If life is a fabric, then society is colouring it right up to its core.

Everything is society, everything is society. And rare is the man who can be truly alone. Truly alone! And of course, ‘being truly alone’ does not have to do with people. Aloneness is not the function of other people.

We are repeating: Aloneness is a particular mind. Aloneness is a particular mind. And it is not that as if that mind does not recognise, or realise people. It does. Do not forget, that aloneness does not exclude duality. Aloneness does not exclude this world.

To be alone, is to be fully of the world, and yet alone. To be alone is to be fully of this world, and yet alone, and then one has lived.

You know what does ‘alone’ mean? ‘Alone’ means – “Society will not limit my spectrum, that society will not limit the zone of my existence. I can be here, I can be there. I can even talk to the stars, and I may not talk to the stars.”

Listener: Like a lotus?

Speaker: Like a lotus, and sometimes not like a lotus.

“I am free to follow all the rules, and free to break all of them. Complete unpredictability – not here, not there.”

Changing opinions is easy. Aloneness is not another opinion.

“I used to think this way, and now I think that way. So now I am alone.”

“I first used to be a party animal, and now I love to live in my own room. So now I am alone.”

“I used to think that life is wonderful only when you are living with your family. And now I curse the family, all the time. So now I am alone.”

Aloneness is not a change in opinion. And that is a very cheap kind of aloneness, anybody can get it. Change your opinion. After all they are your opinions; you have the exclusive right of changing them. Change them anytime, and then you are alone.

Society likes those, who are outside its ambit. When I say, “Society,” I mean a particular type of society. Hindus would love Muslims, why? Because they give them a reason to remain Hindus. The Arab states would love Israel, because Israel gives them a reason to stay united. Today, when it comes to Israel, all the Arab states become united.

Iran and Saudi Arabia cannot look at each other, eye to eye. They are very much at crossroads. But when it comes to Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia are together. So society, is actually nourished by those, who are outside it. It’s a great show. Good, nice drama.

These are the fake rebels. These are the fake rebels. You know, let there be a vast room, in which all the action is happening in one corner, and everybody is gathered there. And what do you do? You go and set your small shop at the other extreme corner, the diagonal corner. And you say, “I am a rebel.” And it is a good way of attracting the crowd towards yourself.

That’s a good way of attracting the crowd to yourself – by acting as a rebel. That is not aloneness. You are still related to that other corner. In fact, you are in that corner, because that other corner, is heavily populated. That’s not rebellion.

Listener: Sir, what is individualism?

Speaker: See, individuality is meaningful only if you are talking of a highly influenced mind. Otherwise, there is nothing in individuality. In fact, religion is all about the dissolution of individuality. Individuality is ego

In fact, individuality is solid ego. Chaos is the amorphous ego, ego that can be kicked around. But even in chaos, there is individuality. The individuality of chaos says, “I am chaotic.” The individuality of the individual says, “I am an individual.” Individuality is there, in either case.

Individuality means – I am. Individuality means – I am separate. I am one, I am indivisible, but yet I am separate from the rest. Within me there may be no divisions, but still I am separate from the rest.

So, if you really have to look at the individuality, you will have to say, “I am indivisible, because space cannot be divided, because infinity cannot be divided.”

Mark this: Real individuality is, when there is no individual. Only then there can be real indivisibility. Otherwise, how can there be indivisibility? You are already divided. “I am an individual, and I am separate from the rest,” is there not a division, already? Division between what?

Listener: Me and the rest.

Speaker: Me and the rest. So what kind of individuality is this, which is resting on division? In real individuality, there would be nobody to be divided. So there would be no division at all. Not only within myself, but in the total.

Listener: Complete inclusiveness.

Speaker: Yes. Or complete exclusiveness.

Listener: Sir, can it not be said that when we move from the chaotic set-up of the society, to the individualistic set-up of the society, the ego gets crystallized, it is not fragmented, and then it can transformed to the no-division mode?

Speaker: See, it does not matter how many fragments, the ego has. Every single fragment serves only one purpose – its own sustenance, its own continuation. It does not matter whether the  mind is divided in a thousand ways, or whether the mind is one fragment, and is deeply divided against existence. At one point, you are living only in one fraction. Is that not so?

At one point, you are living only in one fragment of the mind. And that fraction is divided, against the rest. Understand this.

I may be a very chaotic person, and what does that imply? That implies that at one point in time I am the husband, at another point I am a son. At third point, whatever. So, I have a thousand identities, right? And at one point one identity is overpowering me, and at another point, I am a slave of another identity.

But at one point, there is the ‘one’. The very next moment, there is another one. But at one point, there is just ‘one’. This ‘one’ may be a combination of thousand identities, but at one point, there is just ‘one’, which this ‘one’ may be the sum of everything else. There is ‘one’. Ultimately there is a total. And this ‘one’, is not at all in alignment with the existence. Is that not so? This is the case of the chaotic individual.

At one point, there is this ‘one’ identity. This ‘one’ identity as well may be , “I am a husband, torn between mother and wife.” So it is a divided thing, still it is ‘one’. “Who am I? A husband torn between mother and wife.” It is ‘one’, one identity. And this one identity, is divided against the existence?

For a die-hard individual, there would be only one identity, let’s assume, at all times. But at any particular time, there is still ‘one’, and that ‘one’ is divided against the existence. What is the difference? Essentially, there is no difference. Essentially there is no difference.

Only in time, only at different points in time, you will see that the chaotic man is behaving in very-very contradictory ways. He was behaving in one particular way in the morning, and now it has totally changed in the evening, because some other influence has come upon him.

And the individual, he will not  be changing that much. He would have a particular consistency. But that consistency is of no value. It’s like there is a man, who gets one disease in the morning, and another disease in the evening. And there is a man who carries same disease throughout the day. Would you like to say that one is healthier than the other?

Would you like to say that one is healthier than the other?

Listener: But, would it not be easier for the latter to see that he is diseased?

Speaker: In fact, more difficult. Because for him, this disease is now his life.

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

Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: One doesn’t wake up by switching dreams

Seated already on the mountain top, why suffer dreams of climbing

Anatma-rupam cha katham samadhih 

Atma-swarupam cha katham samadhih 

Astiti nastiti katham samadhih 

Moksha-swarupam yadi sarvam ekam. 

~ The Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya (1.23)

Translation: How can a man attain Samadhi as long as he thinks of himself as something other than the Aatman? But on the other hand, Samadhi is not possible for a man who thinks of himself as the Aatman. How can Samadhi be attained as long as a man thinks that the Aatman exists and yet does not exist, and what need is there to attain Samadhi if all are one and by nature free?

Speaker: Rohit has quoted from the Avadhuta Gita: Chapter 1, Verse 23. He has been asking this question since three weeks now, and I had been unable to take it up. But it seems his enquiry is quite insistent.

Dattatreya says that if you think of yourself as anything other than Aatman, where is the question of Samadhi for you? This first sentence is just a first sentence. It introduces the reader into thinking that probably taking oneself, thinking of oneself, as the Aatman is necessary to enter Samadhi. In the very next line, Dattatreya strings a surprise; he says, “When you think of yourself as Aatman, how is Samadhi possible for you?” He starts of by saying, “If you think of yourself as anything other than Aatman, Samadhi will elude you.” He proceeds by saying, “If you think of yourself as the Aatman, Samadhi will elude you.” He now knows, that it is evident that he is out to attack the notions of the mind, so quite brazenly, in the next line he says, “For those who think that there is, and for those who think that there is not, where is the question of Samadhi?” Till this point he has only said what will not lead to Samadhi, but in the last line, he totally destroys even the remnants of mental support. He says, “What is the need for Samadhi? Who needs Samadhi? What is the point in Samadhi if all is but one?”

Opinions and TruthLet’s take it again from the beginning. A man thinks of himself as something other than the Aatman, and another man thinks of himself as (Stressing on the ‘as’) the Aatman. What is common between these two men? They both think of themselves ‘as something’. They both have a self-concept. The mind is active in the case of both of them. The mind is looking at itself and sizing itself up. A man insists that an ultimate Truth does exist, and another man insists that nothing of that sort exists. What is common amongst them? Both are talking of the Truth within the plane of existence that the mind is familiar with. After all the word ‘existence’ whether we say Asti or whether we say Naasti, the word, ‘is’, or the word, ‘exists’, has definite meanings for us. It refers to something in the time-space plane. Somebody says, “It is there in it”, somebody says, “No! It is not there in it”, but both are referring to the same plane. It’s like two ignorant people who come across something that is beyond their knowledge, their experience and their intellect. None has any idea of what he is seeing, there can be no idea of what they are seeing. What they have come across is beyond ideation. But one of them start insisting: I know what it is. And the other one start insisting: Well, I do not think there is anything to be known and what you are insisting as existent, simply does not exist. This second one simply denies the existence of what he is seeing. Is either of them any better than the other? What is common amongst them is their ignorance. One says, “God exists”, and the other says, “God does not exist.” The question is, have you any understanding of what you are saying? What does not exist and what are you claiming as existent? What exactly? What are you affirming and what exactly are you denying? What exactly are you denying? And in confirming or denying you have stirred a mental agitation which has taken the mind away from its fundamental peace. So it doesn’t matter, whether the Truth exists or does not exist, but what is certain is that in the process of asserting your opinions about the Truth, you have entered into opinions. That much is pretty much certain, that right now it is the opinions that are ruling. And where there are opinions, there can be no Truth. Your opinions about the Truth have ironically pulled you away from the Truth, but that is mind, it is more interested in having opinions, knowledge, and experience about something, than being with the thing itself. It is more interested in talking about peace than being peaceful. It is more interested in lecturing about love than being loving. It is more interested in theories about meditation than meditativeness itself. Theories sustain the mind, knowledge inflates the mind, but the Real, about which all theories and knowledge is purportedly there, that punctures the mind. So the mind has great interest in talking about it, but great resistance to approaching it. And you will find that happening at many stages of your life. It might even be a routine experience. News about something might excite you, but closeness to the thing makes you nervous. Take for example a teacher, words from a teacher appear nice, knowledge gathered from a teacher appears valuable, but the teacher himself appears a little bit of a crackpot, a little eccentric, even a little scary. So let me read his books, let me follow his methods, but I won’t go close to him, because that’s dangerous, that threatens me. Now what is this ‘me’ that is threatened? This ‘me’ is probably what Dattatreya is referring to. This ‘me’ is the thinker. This ‘me’ is the one who likes to declare: This exists, that does not exists, I know, I do not know. This ‘me’ is that. Dattatreya is the head of Avadhutas. See how peacefully we have taken his words and are discussing them. See how composed we all look. Everything is alright as long as what we have with us the words of the Avadhuta. Now what if an Avadhuta, a real one, in all his wild, natural and beautiful nakedness, comes right over here, what would happen to your composure? And chances are, he won’t be interested in lecturing. His life is his teaching. His methods are spontaneous.

He has no great regards for etiquette or politeness. Most of us might not be comfortable. That’s actually an understatement. Most of us would actually, actively avoid him. As long as it is a cosy and convenient environment, where his words are being taken up in a setting orchestrated by you, you are alright. But when the real one enters and smashes all settings, obviously not as violence, but a statement, that real one does not appear very likeable. The words in Avadhuta Gita represent some of the purest utterings on Advait. As pure as the verses of Upanishads, if not more, and I am tempted to say, actually purer than that. Most strict and uncompromising in their rejection of duality than Ashtavakra and Krishna. Such is the worth of the Dattatreya’s words. Such is the worth of Avadhuta Gita. But please see that the Avadhuta Gita never became as famous and as popular as the Gita of Krishna or even the Gita of Ashtavakra. Much lesser scriptures have been liked much more by us. The reason is obvious. The Truth is alright for the ego only from a distance. Proximity to the Truth is life threatening for us. So all kinds of miscellaneous scriptures are all right. Those others scriptures too have their worth, some value, but none comes close to matching the naked staunchness of the Avadhuta. Nobody. And that is why we have not been able to really accept and appreciate this one.

And ultimately, Dattatreya dissolves the final concepted ‘Self’. He dissolves the very concept of dissolution. He says, “When the Truth is one, where is the question of reaching the Truth?” That is how Samadhi has been classically defined – Reaching the center, settling down into the Truth. I can actually see him laughing to a fellow Avadhuta and saying, “How will you reach that from which it is impossible to escape?” “How will you reach that which you can never leave, even if you want to?” He is saying, “What rubbish is this, all this talk of Samadhi? As if you are in any other state, at any other point of time. You are already in Samadhi. There is no other Truth. If you think you are in some other state, you are dreaming. So wake up. You do not need to reach Samadhi.” There is a difference between reaching somewhere and simply waking up. You are already there, you are just dreaming that you are somewhere else. Wake up. You are already there, nowhere else to go. You are already at the pinnacle of your life. This is the climax. It can’t get any better than this. And what are you searching for? Had you been so unfamiliar with that which you are searching for, how would you have searched for it? To make matters complicated for yourself, you say, “The Truth is distant, the Truth is unknowable, the Truth is unapproachable, mind cannot think of It, man cannot reach It.” If that is so, then how is it that you are incessantly on the lookout for the Truth?

All you want is peaceIf Truth is such an unknown entity to you, why are you so restless? One doesn’t desire for something one is very unfamiliar with. Does he? And you are desiring for that one, all the time. In your various desires, in your various movements, ultimately all you want is Peace. Whatever you may say that you are chasing, at the end of the chase lies the promise of Peace. The promise is what gives the chase its energy. Right? And you are chasing all the time. You are convinced of the promise. From where does this conviction come? This conviction comes from the fact that you know Peace. You know that the promise is real. You know that Peace is your natural state. And that is why in whatever you do every moment, and whosoever you meet, all you look for is peace.

Seen anybody who wants anything except Peace? Even when you are chasing excitement, you are chasing Peace through excitement. Even when you are being violent, you want Peace through violence. Ultimately you want nothing except Peace. Would it not be then foolish to say that you do not know peace? Had you not known it, how could it have been echoing inside you constantly? Not only do you know it, you remember it without break. It is a continuous music, an incessant resonance within you. You don’t even need reminders. If you are going in some direction, you are going in the direction of Peace. If you are trying out something, you are trying to get Peace. If you are entering something new, the objective is Peace. Even in taking a position against Peace, ultimately you want to feel Peaceful. Dare we say that we do not know Peace? That which is the central attraction of our lives, we want to fane unfamiliarity with it? Seriously? Dattatreya is saying that you are just pretending, you already are there. If you know it so clearly and intimately, it is impossible that anything can stand between you and it. You see, the first thing is to realize and see clearly, that you know it clearly. The first thing is to see that peace, which you may also call as Truth or God, is the center of all mental activity. The mind may be going in miscellaneous directions, but it wants to reach that particular center, even in going hither and thither and randomly flying around.

An Indian sage has given a very apt image for it. He says that it is just like a bird on the ship. A ship sailing in the seas, the bird is on that ship. The bird flies from the ship and goes in various directions, but ultimately it returns to the ship. The ship is where the bird starts from. The ship is where the bird has to return to. Now can the bird fane ignorance of the ship? Without the ship, there is no bird. The bird’s very own existence is a proof of the ship. Otherwise, what are you doing in the middle of the seas? The very fact that you, the bird, is to be seen here – Where? In the middle of these turbulent seas, is the proof of the ship. Had there been no ship, how would you have been here? You hence are the Truth. No need to search for it, you are it. The search assumes a separation and in assuming a separation, the search actually creates a separation. Dattatreya is saying that see that this is it and there is really nowhere to be reached. All talk of Samadhi is just talk. Stop talking and there is just Samadhi. There is just Samadhi either way, but you can either talk about it or straightaway enter it. Even in talking, you are ultimately talking about Samadhi. So it’s Samadhi either way. But it depends upon you.

Talk about it and if you are talking about it, then too, the center is Samadhi, because all talk ultimately is about Samadhi. But you have an option, you can either keep talking about it, and it’s nice to talk about it. It’s so nice to talk about it that Kabir says that he can even reject the invitation of Ram. There is a great pleasure in talking about Ram. In listening to Ram’s story. Such a great pleasure that I can even reject the invitation of Ram.

राम बुलावा भेजिया, दिया कबीरा रोए |
जो सुख साधू संग में, सो बैकुंठ न होए ||

(Ram is calling Kabir. Kabir is weeping. For he says, the Joy that I find in the company of this Truth and in the company of the seekers of the Truth. That joy is greater than the Joy of heaven.)

Do you see what this is? Samadhi runs in your veins. Just talking about it brings joy to you, does it not? That is the attraction of SatsangSamadhi is so close and so dear to you that when somebody talks about it, your heart just opens up. You feel a depth of pleasure that no other occupation can give you.

जो सुख साधू संग में |

And then there are others who say, “Well we have had enough of talking now, let me just enter it.” There is not much difference between these two. Samadhi is complete Freedom. On one hand Samadhi is choiceless-ness, because there is nothing but Samadhi. On the other hand, it is the power of absolute choice. You can decide to talk about it and that’s wonderful. In Samadhi, you can decide to sing, talk, act, run, and work. Or in Samadhi you can dissolve. In either case it is Samadhi.

Listener 1: Sir, how has Satsang become so dear?

Speaker: There is no reason. It’s just that one has unlimited freedom in Samadhi. You have never gone away from it. Your freedom is so absolute that you are free to even forget your freedom, and then start clamoring, “I am not free! I am not free!” Your freedom is so absolute that you even have the freedom to forget your freedom and then like a madman start yelling, “I am in bondage! I am in bondage!” Even in your yelling that, it is a proof of your freedom.

Listener 1: Can this become a barrier itself? The last barrier?

Speaker: A barrier towards what? You have decided something and you are not accountable to anybody for the decision that you made. You have decided something in your absolutely free will, where is the question of a barrier? The moment you will really want, you will change your decision. Where is the question of a barrier? Barriers are external. Here all decisions are internal, there is no barrier. You have made a decision to forget. It’s your decision, it’s your sovereign expression of your absolute power. Remember, you never forget anything. As long as you are, that remembrance is there. Do you ever forget yourself? So there is no question of forgetting, reminders and remembrance. You anyway always remember. You just have to decide to proclaim that you remember. You don’t have to be reminded. You have to make a decision, and that decision will be your decision, a sovereign decision. Nobody else can be a participant in it. You are the ultimate authority. Yes of course depending on the situations you have chosen, somebody might push you a little, prod you a little, nudge you a little, but all of that is of no value. What are you reminding him of? Yes? The student is sitting in front of you, what are you reminding the student of? The student already knows. When I talk to you, there are only two kinds of faces. One that are exclaiming “Yes! We know what you are saying and we’ll go with it.” And the other “Yes! We know what you are saying but we won’t go with it.”


There is no third face. There is nobody here who doesn’t understand what I am saying. Everybody does. In fact you understand what I am saying even before I say it. You already know everything, it’s just that, ‘your decision’. Nobody here is ignorant. There are only two kinds of faces. How else can you resist me? And you know how deeply you resist. How can you resist me without knowing what I stand for? Your very resistance is the proof that you understand. You very well know what I am saying and that is why you so stubbornly raise your armors and defend yourself. You know from where the arrow is coming and you know it is aimed towards your heart. That’s why you are able to place your armor so accurately. “Place it nowhere else. He aims only the heart. Defend that and you are safe.”

Listener 2: Sir you say that ‘you’ have the absolute power of freedom. Who is this ‘you’ here?

Speaker: This ‘you’ is the same Peace that we are continuously referring to. The Peace that manifests itself sometimes as itself and at other times as the mind. What is mind? Mind is the power of the Self to manifest itself, nothing else. Or do you think that the mind is something separate from the Self, from the Truth? Then mind is the Truth itself, expressed in space-time. They are one.

Listener 3: Sir, suppose there are a number of birds who have floated away from the ship, then why are only a few number of birds able to return back to the ship? Why only some of us are able to remember? To go back to the ship?

Speaker: No bird can float around in the sea for too long. It has to be perched somewhere. It has to go back to the ship. ‘ जैसे उड़े जहाज़ को पंछी, फ़िर जहाज़ पे आवे | ‘

Listener 3: Right, but that duration is too long?

Speaker: Even in the duration of the flight, where is the bird coming from? Where is the bird going to? Who brought the bird here? Are we saying that the bird has forgotten the ship? You are coming from the ship, you will go back to the ship. You have no other resting place. Yes, it is a part of your freedom to fly around a little. Go and fly around. Depends on your mood.

Listener 4: Sir you say that by our every action we are seeking Peace. But I made out that this Peace is very temporary. So do we keep on looking or is there any continuous flow of Peace which exists?

Speaker: See, you can either have Peace or you can have seeking. A child is with the mother and they decide to play hide and seek. In playing hide and seek, what have they done? They have become invisible to each other, they have become hidden from each other; but even in playing hide and seek they know very well that they are with each other. When you are so intimately with each other, you feel like playing hide and seek. That’s Maya. A loving expression of the Truth. We are so close together, we can anyway never be separated, so let’s be separated. (Chuckles) Otherwise what’s the fun in always being together? Now that we know that we are destined to be together, we are one, we may appear like infinite varieties and diversities but we know, we are one, there is only that One, let’s play a little bit of hide and seek. Deliberately we blindfold each other for the sake of some ‘divine’ entertainment. That’s it. So sometimes you have peace and other times you have the seeking. ‘Seeking peace’.

~ Excerpt from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Seated already on the mountain top,why suffer dreams of climbing

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After dropping all, you’re left with nothing. Now drop the nothing as well.

Speaker: Ashish says, “Whatever was once important to me now seems insignificant. I wonder whether there is anything worth doing. The feeling has made me lethargic. Or is that just another trick of the mind?”

You have got it right. It is just another trick of the mind.

Now, let’s start looking at the three states of the mind. There is an important lesson for you there.

In the vacant state, the mind has an object. That object is called as the world.

In the sleeping state, again the mind has an object. That object is called the dream.

And in dreamless sleep, the Learned ones have said, the mind again has an object. Now this is quite strange. First of all you are sleeping. So, there is no world at all. Secondly, you are sleeping dreamlessly, so there is no dream either. Neither the world nor the dream, then what now is left to be an object?

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