Do you really need to know the source of thought? || Acharya Prashant, on Raman Maharishi (2018)

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

Do you really need to know the source of thought

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I want to know the source of thought.

I remember Ramana Maharishi’s words,

“I is the root of all thoughts because in the end very though occurs to the ‘I’.

So, first try to get hold of who this ‘I’ is, which will lead the enquirer dissolve and merge in the source.”

Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging. How to get that intensity in the enquiry?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What enquiry do you want to do Ashish (the questioner)? Why do you want to know the source of thought?

Why is an enquiry needed at all?

Don’t you directly see where your thoughts are coming from? Don’t you know ‘desire’? Don’t you know ‘jealousy’? Don’t you know ‘competition’?

Where else are your thoughts coming from?

That which is directly available to be known, must not be unnecessarily made mysterious.

You are saying, “Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging.” You cannot dig deep because there is nothing to dig at. Only the Truth is deep, and you cannot dig your way down to the Truth. When you will dig, you will come to your own, personal center. And that’s all. And that center is shallow, so how deep can you dig?

Your digging cannot take you to Atman or Truth, please.

As long as the digger is there, as someone separate from the Atman, as long as there is someone doing the digging, how are you going to reach the Atman? The very act of digging, will keep the digger intact. The very act of trying to know the source of thought, will keep the striving one, the effort-ful one, intact.

You want to know where your thoughts are coming from?

Your thoughts are coming from the same point, from where the desire to know the source of thoughts is coming.

“From where are my thoughts coming?” Exactly from the same point, from where this question is coming. Where is your question coming from, Ashish (the questioner).

Where is your question coming from?

It’s life that is giving rise to your question.

It is the sum total of all biological process, and the social influences, that is giving rise to this question.

It is the material present in your consciousness, it is the material absorbed by your consciousness, that is giving rise to this question, this enquiry.

I am asking all enquirers: What happens to your enquiry when you go asleep? Please. What happens to your enquiry, the moment you fall asleep? Don’t you see your enquiry is just a wave with a crest and trough – rising and falling.

You want to know – ‘what is thought?’ I am asking you to find, what is this ‘enquiry’. This enquiry is nothing but ‘thought’. So here we have thought trying to know the origin of ‘thought’ – a dog trying to catch it’s own tail.

How aesthetic or successful that can be – ‘a dog trying to catch it’s own tail’?

Are you always enquiring? Yes, enquiring can be successful if you are always enquiring. But look at your enquiry. You enquire for half an hour a day, two hours a day, when you find the moment opportune. And then? So, your enquiry is nothing but a figment of your mood. Your enquiry is subservient to something else.

The situations are good, you say, ” I want to enquire right now.” Would you enquire when there is a fire in the house? You don’t. And if you can understand what this thing called ‘enquiry’ is, you will also understand what all your thoughts are. And vice-versa.

“We identify ourselves with this body, the Guru appears in a physical form, but his work lies in spiritual realm.”

~ Ramana Maharishi

Question 2: As the disciple is not aware of this dimension, how to be aware about Guru’s Grace?

Acharya Ji: Why do you want to be aware about Guru’s Grace? What will you do with that? Why do want that knowledge? Remember that knowledge means power, and power means control.

You are not asking: “How to be recipient of Guru’s Grace?” You are asking: “If the work of the Guru lies in spiritual realm, how do I know that work? How do I know the dimension in which the Guru is operating?”

What will you do with that?

Go to your question itself, therein you will find the questioner. And that’s who you are. Rather, that’s what you take yourself to be.

It’s very important – what you take yourself to be. Because if you do not know what you are taking yourself to be, then you will never know the falseness of what you consider yourself.

Let the Guru do, what he would.

There is no need for you to know.

Your ‘knowing’ would be an interference.


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

Watch the session: Do you really need to know the source of thought? || Acharya Prashant, on Raman Maharishi (2018)

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

Support our work:

  • Donate via Patreon: Become a Patron!
  • Donate via PayTm @ +91-9999102998

    Donate via PayPal:

    (In multiples of $10)


Gems from Articles, April’19

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


The condition you have come to, is not sudden. It has taken millions of years of evolution, for you to come to this state. It’s a very, very old habit.

It is like dust, that has settled over something, since centuries, millennia, aeons.

Time has brought you to your current condition.

And that which time has given you, takes time to go away.


The one whose dissolution you are talking of, is he the Truth? Obviously he cannot be the Truth. Why would one demand the dissolution of the Truth? Why would one think that the Truth can be dissolved at all?

So you are demanding the dissolution of the one, who is not the Truth. Who is he then? He is a product of time. Truth is not a product of time, and therefore Truth does not bother you. And therefore, you are not demanding the dissolution of Truth.

You are demanding the dissolution of that which is, false.

Now see, now see. You are demanding the dissolution of the false. Just as it is silly to demand the dissolution of Truth, isn’t it equally silly to demand the dissolution of the false?

Truth cannot be dissolved, because Truth is timeless. And false cannot be dissolved, because the false does not exist at all. But surely, you are asking for the false to be dissolved, which means you take the false to be…..Truth.

Because you take the false as Truth, therefore you stumble, and get deceived, and get hurt.


If you identify with the false, is a quick movement into the Truth possible? No. It will take time. ‘Sadhana’ is the way. You will have to be constantly embattled against yourself. And you will have to be constantly engaged with the ones, who appear closer to the Truth. These are the only two ways of ‘saadhana‘. There is no third way.

Fight against yourself, and side with the Saints, both are needed. In fact, just proceeding on one leg of the saadhana, without bothering for the other, is more dangerous than not beginning with saadhana at all. You have to both – fight against yourself, and side with the Saints.

If you side with the Saints, without fighting against yourself, then you will use the Saints, to fatten yourself. And if you fight against yourself, without siding with the Saints, then you will go mad, because you will keep destroying who you are, what you are, without finding anything.


You need to have both – a determination to defeat yourself, and devotion to be with the lovers of Truth.

And both these things take time, because you are firmly convinced that you are a product of time.

Not that time is a necessity in the process.

It’s just that you have declared yourself at a position, that makes time a necessity.


Invest that time in two things: in fighting against yourself,  and in being in the company of Saints and lovers of God, Truth.


It is very difficult to break away from the Truth, and habituated as we are to ourselves, it is probably equally difficult, if not more difficult, to overrule ourselves, and leap directly towards the Truth.

So ours is a funny situation.

Can’t go away, can’t directly come close. And at the same time, we want to tell ourselves, that we are busy and occupied, and doing something constructive. So we start with the merry-go-round, maintaining a safe distance from the center, as if that safety is any less discomfiting, than a total separation from the center that invites us.

This is complexity, and this is dishonesty – the in-between-ness, the safe, middle path. The position, the movement, the locus that convinces us that we are not totally dishonest.


You see, without a love for honesty, there can be nothing called ‘dishonesty’. Obviously, we love that which is real, that which will not deceive us, that which we eagerly want. But in spite of our love, in spite of our deep, and true desire, we still deny ourselves, we defy ourselves.

We defy the command of our own hearts.


Dishonesty is – to not to see what you are seeing, to not to get what you want, not to be what you are, not to live by what you know.

If you don’t know, you cannot be dishonest.

If you don’t love, you cannot be disloyal.


It’s absolutely fantastic, that we know, we want, we love.

And it’s equally tragic, that in spite of, knowing, wanting, loving, we somehow still choose to remain deprived.



The more certain you are, that you are approaching the person, with the only intention to show him the light, the easier the process will be.

If the intention is pure, then the process is quicker.

And this empowers you a lot, because now you have something to work upon.

If you just say that the other person does not listen to you, then you are helpless, because you anyway have no control over how the other person thinks, and responds, and reacts, and lives.

But once you know, that the other person’s response, is dependent on purity of your intentions, then that enables and empowers you, because now you can work upon yourself.

And by working on yourself, you can cause a quicker change in the other person.

So work on yourself.


in the mind, there is nothing without a purpose, or a reason.

And as that reason or purpose gains purification, the place of that person in your life, that is your mind, changes. And then, working becomes far easier, with respect to that person.


You have to be absolutely certain, that it is only because of love, and only because of kindness, that you want to bring the light to the other.


The world is a habit, but drugs are a worst habit.

At least when you are free of drugs, then you can look at the facts. Under the influence of drugs, you cannot even know the facts. And I have repeatedly said that – the facts are the door to Truth.

If you do not know even the facts, then you are one step further away from the Truth.

The one who is finding refuge in drugs, is fed up of the usual stuff of consciousness. That is certain.

But, he is taking a very wasteful route.


See, what do most people feel?

They feel a particular type of universe, just because they live in a particular type of consciousness.

They feel the universe, in a particular way, all the time. So, they start taking the universe, as Truth.

After all, what is Truth? That which does not change.


Dedicate your time to something sublime, and then you will not be available to get hurt.

You are hurt. because you are available.

Why are you walking around with free mental space, and spare time?

Be fully dedicated to something worthy, then all these little bruises, and wounds, and rubs, will not bother you.

Life hurts, and wounds, only those who are jobless.

Why are you jobless?


To be born, is to be born into one great job.

What is that job?

The life-long mission of liberation.

You have to be fully employed there. It’s a full-time job, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year.

But you do not do justice to real occupation, you steal time.

And then your punishment is, that the world will hurt you.

Your theft costs you very dearly.


Be fully consumed in the one, great, divine mission.

Otherwise, life will beat you down, very badly.

You have been entrusted with time, not so that you while it away.

You have been entrusted with your fifty, or eighty years, so that you make the best use of every second. Your time is not your personal property. It has been entrusted to you.

You better use it for the designated, and assigned purpose.


If you are suffering, there is nobody, but you, who is responsible.

Unless you fully accept this responsibility, there is no freedom.

If your suffering is just incidental, then how can there be freedom from it, because incidents can happen any way, any day?

You have to first of all clearly realise that suffering cannot come to you, without your consent. Not only your consent, but your active participation is needed in your process of suffering.

Not only your participation, but your active doership is needed, for you to suffer.

Otherwise, you cannot suffer.


Any bit of suffering, is a clear indicator that you have been messing up with somebody’s trust.

You know whose trust I am talking of? The one who gave you time.

He gave you time, trusting that you will use time piously.

He didn’t give you time to smoke it away.


You don’t have to ‘do’ anything, to escape from body.

You ‘do’ a lot to stick to the body.


I say, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the result.”

I am saying, “Do the right thing, and do not bother about the results.”

But to those, who are not doing the right things, I say, “Look at the results of your actions.”


‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’ – is the utmost and final condition.

‘Do the right thing, and forget about the result’- that condition is possible only to someone, who is already liberated of the future.

But those who are not liberated, those who have even an iota of doubt, about the center from where their actions are arising, must use the results of the action, to know the source of the action.


The source of the action, and the result of the action, correspond with each other.

If the action comes from the center of holiness, then the results are bound to be – holy.

If the actions come from the center of nothingness, then the results are bound to be – nothing.

Similarly, if the actions come from the center of vice, or deception, then the results are bound to be distressing.


An action which has led to peacelessness, could not have come from the right source.

An action that leads to lovelessness, has definitely come from a loveless center.

So, do mind the results.

The results will tell you where you are standing right now.

Much later will you come to a point, from where you will not need to bother about the results.

That is liberation!


Man is really not born to go beyond.

Going beyond, is the highest, and the most exquisite pursuit.

If you don’t pursue that path, you are not a sinner.

You are just, normal.

If you not spiritual, you are not a sinner.

You are just normal!


Spirituality, is a most exquisite pursuit.

It is only for those, who are not at all contended with, what the world can maximally offer.

Not only are they not contended with what they already have, they are not contended even with the best, what the world can potentially offer.

Those are the ones, who must take the spiritual path.

Others must satisfy themselves, with the worldly beauties.


Most people are condemned to, almost succeed in the world.

The misfortune of most people is, that they never get beaten up so soundly, that they will see the futility of the world.

So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised. They should continue with the worldly life.

They should not, unnecessarily, invite the spiritual trouble. You know, for the sake of it, just because some great names have talked of spirituality, you too start dabbling.

And then, you burn your fingers.

Spirituality, is for the ones, who are ripe enough.


The first thing that is needed is, viveka (discretion).

The second thing that is needed is, vairagya (dispassion).

The third thing that is needed is, shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan).

And finally, and most importantly, you need, mumuksha(desire for liberation).

When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn, a seeker.


Science is fully contained in spirituality.

Spirituality, that does not contain science, is superstition.

However, science is too small, to overlap with, all of spirituality.

But one thing is certain, when you are scientific, you are spiritual as well.

However, all spirituality, is not science. Spirituality goes, way beyond science.

Spirituality begins, when you have a strong feeling, that things are not the way they must be.


The effect cannot be dimensionally, beyond the cause.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, cannot be dimensionally superior to the action.

Which is to say – the fruit of the action, is actually just the quality of the actor.

The result is dimensionally the same as the action, and the action is dimensionally the same as the actor.

Therefore, the result is in the same dimension as the actor.

~ Excerpts from ‘Shabd-Yoga’ sessions.

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

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)


Quotes, April’19

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


If you want to most definitely reach,

Take the most difficult route.


What is It?

More than everything, in general.

Less than nothing, in particular.


If your lover speaks to you in a language you cannot comprehend,

does your love diminish?


You may not comprehend his words, but still, you do understand.

What do you understand ?

Nothing in particular.

Not everything has to be intellectually comprehended.

Love is enough.


Freedom is the backdrop in which bondage appears as bondage.

Freedom is the Light in which darkness looks like darkness.

If there is only darkness, there is no darkness.

Darkness means anything only in the presence of Light.

To not to feel bondage is to not to be in Freedom.


Grace is available to you unconditionally, but not compulsorily.

She would come to your doorstep,and knock.

She will wait,not break open your door.

Answer the knock quickly,or the knock keeps getting dimmer and infrequent.

She isn’t short of patience,but you’re short of time.


Those who are winning the war, matter.

They need to be saluted.

Those who are losing the war, matter.

They need to be helped.

Those who are absentees from battlefield, do not matter.

They need to be ignored.


What you collect for your security makes you all the more insecure.


Except for Prakriti,

who will tell you

of all the stories of


And, well,

all his secrets?


What does it mean to say “God is One? Truth is One?”

It simply means: Do not allow the many to lord over your mind. The world is many things. The world is many thoughts, moods, emotions, ideologies, objects, relationships.

Do not let these turn into your gods.


The lover, the mystic, looks at the moon

and knows fullness itself.

Is the material just material?

A thing is the Source behind itself.

It appears as a thing only because you watch as something.

Watch as nothing,

and the thing reveals itself as it’s own genesis.


~ Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait

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

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)


God, Love and Gratitude

God Love and Gratitude

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: Acharya ji, how are Gratitude and Love connected with each other?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Love is the urge to move towards That.

Gratitude is the lightness you keep experiencing, as you move towards That. 

Love is what brings Sudama to Krishna.

Gratitude is what Sudama feels, as he keeps coming closer to Krishna, and as he returns, after meeting Krishna. 

Out of these, obviously, love will come first. You love Him, you move close to Him, He showers his bounties on you, Gratitude arises. But obviously love cannot be in expectation of bounties. 

And that also explains Gratitude. Gratitude says, “I did not even want it, or dream of it, and I am still receiving it. How fascinating! I don’t even deserve it, and yet I am being blessed with it.

Question: Acharya Ji, how to show Gratitude?

Acharya Ji: You distribute it.

Gratitude is the realisation, that you have something beyond your capacity, beyond your eligibility.

Once you are grateful, you stop measuring others, on the eligibility scale. Just as you received something, irrespective of your eligibility, similarly, you start distributing it to others, irrespective of their eligibility.

Question: Acharya ji, why are there so many forms of God as Krishna, Ram, or Shiva?

Acharya Ji: Because you are so many. Even here I have to speak in two languages. You are so many, that different words, different names are needed. And if there are eight hundred crore of you, currently alive, then how many names and how many definitions and forms will be needed?

God is one, but you are many, therefore gods are many.

Listener: So, there is no difference between…

Acharya ji: For you, there is a lot of difference.

Listener: Yes, they were different for me. Now, should I try to understand the commonality and singularity that all of them represent?

Acharya Ji: The singularity is there, whether you understand it or not. I wanted some normal Dal, and my hotel waiter tells me that a normal dal, with a bit of spinach in it, is ‘palakura pappu’.


And I have been so fascinated by this word, ‘palakura pappu’, while driving the car, I was singing of it, – “Palakura pappu..” It is just dal. Dal-palak. Just little bit of distance, and ‘dal-palak’ becomes ‘palakura pappu’.

And God is so very distant from the common egoistic human being. Obviously, there would be a great diversity in names.

Question: Acharya Ji, are there any simpler and direct ways of Remembering?

Acharya Ji: The Zen way is there, but it is very direct. It is as direct, as a stick- straight and forward.

Zen teachers had very great respect for time. They would not even waste time in explaining. So many of them, would simply beat up.

That is the way of instant remembrance, for the forgetful mind.

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

Watch the session:  God, Love and Gratitude || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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

Donate via PayPal:

(In multiples of $10)


Books by the Speaker are available at:




Acharya Prashant: What is effortless action?

Slide3(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Acharya Prashant: It is true, where there is no action, there is no effort, but is it also true where there is no effort there is no action?

Is that true as well?

There is something called effortless action as well.

It is true where there is no action there will be no effort. True, that is right because effort itself is an action; because effort itself has born out of thought, and that thought itself is an action, whether or not it translates physically, but is it so that for action to happen there must always must be accompanying effort?

Is that so, if that is so then life is hell, because life is then labour. Life is action, and if action is effort then all the time you just have to keep labouring.

There is effortless action, what is effortless action?

It happens, happens without your planning, without your intervention, without your ownership. That is the fun of life, we don’t even know whether it is complete or incomplete, we don’t bother to give it a name.

Simple and direct, just like a raindrop falling down. Somebody has said like a flower opening in the morning. It is nothing but the mind and body expressing the Source.

Where there is mind there will be action.

Action in the form of movement in space, what you call as physical action.

So mind and body exist to act. That is the only way they know of being, action. So if they want to be in service of the Self — we talked of a faithful mind right — what can a faithful mind do?

Act in the service of the Self, act to express the Self, act as if it is the Self.

The mind has just become like the Self, the body has just become like the Self.

Read more

Does the Aatma (soul) leave the body after death?



Acharya Prashant: What is the Aatman?

Do you already know what I am going to tell you?

Listener: No

AP: Yet you will understand, right? Now, how do you understand, without knowledge? How do you understand, without having already known? How does something absolutely new come to it and yet you are enamored by its beauty?

That, which remains active, even in your absence, even in the mind’s absence, even in knowledge’s absence, is Aatma.

Hence, it is utterly reliable. Because it is not a product of circumstances, because it is not a product of time. So, it can never desert you. It never came to you. It is not a product of some happening. Did somebody teach you that these mountains are beautiful? Then why are you captivated by them. You have been looking at them, over and over, again and again, and your eye seems to have some strange fascination for these mountains. Every day or the other, I am seeing, somebody or the other, just standing, lost, absorbed. Who taught you exactly that these are beautiful?

That, which you know, without being taught, is the Aatma.

Who taught you that silence is soothing? Who taught you? Then why do you all look so peaceful in silence?

Aatman is innate. And that is what is peaceful, and that is what is soothing.

That, which is so intrinsic, so innate, that man has neither made it, nor can man comprehend it, is the Atman.

And the proof of Atman is everywhere. Just open your eyes and you will see nothing but Atman. And that is such a relief that man does not have to do everything. That there is something so beautiful, so all encompassing, present before us, present in spite of us, and would be present, even in our absence. Is that not a great relief?

That takes away, a lot of burden from our shoulders. You don’t have to try to understand. You don’t have to define beauty, you don’t have to enter in love. You don’t have to fall silent. You don’t have to be liberated. All this just is. Peace, relief, I don’t have to do all these things, not my responsibility. The Atman is ready-made (smilingly).

Listener: Does the Atman leave the body after death?

AP: The Atman does not reside the body, how can it leave the body.

The Atman, mind you, is the foundation of that which sees the body take birth and die.

I repeat. There is somebody who is talking about birth and death. There is somebody who is saying, “I take birth and I die.” The Atman is the foundation of the one, who is talking about the body, who is talking about birth, who is talking about death. Even as you say, that I have died. Surely, there is somebody who is talking about death. So, not all is over. Or, is all over? If all is over then who is asking this question?

L: Others.

AP: Where do others exist?

L: In their body.

AP: If they are existing in their body, how do you know of them? If they are totally outside of you, how do you know of them? In fact, not only you know of them, you are utterly sure that even after your death, others will be there and would be talking about you. How are you so sure?

After the death, there is no talking. But still there is so much of talking. And, this talking never ceases. The Atman is the source of all this talking, of all this wondering.

The Atman does not reside in the body. The body is material, the body is an object in the Mind. And the Atman is the very source of the Mind.

May I repeat it? The body is an object in  the mind, the body is an object in the consciousness. And the proof of that is that as your consciousness changes, your body too, keeps appearing and disappearing. Does the body exist for you, when you are snoring away, at dawn? Does body exist in the thick of your sleep? Had the body been an absolute reality, how can an absolute reality keep appearing and disappearing. The body is just an apparition in the Mind. And hence, as the Mind keeps on changing, the body also keeps on changing.


When you talk of the body, you are actually talking of the Mind that is perceiving the body. The Atman is the very foundation of the Mind. In the Mind the bodies keep on appearing and disappearing. In the Mind, there is birth and death. In the Mind, there are all these changes. The Atman is that which is unchangeable. Within the Atman, within the expanse of the Mind, a thousand births and deaths are taking place every moment. Those are births and deaths of objects and appearances. The Aatma, the Truth, is not affected by objects and experiences. All of them are happening within the Aatma.

You walk into a room, you come out of the room, does that change the room? But your question is analogous to, “What happens to the room, after my death?” The room was there before your birth, the room would be there, after your death. All this drama is taking place within the room. People are coming, people are going. But there is a very common misperception that there is Aatma inside the body.

There is no Aatma inside the body, the body is inside the Aatma. Kindly, totally get rid of this idea that the Aatma resides somewhere in the body. The body is material, the body is space – time. Everything that is inside the body, occupies space. Is the Aatma, in space? No. Space is an expression of Aatma. Aatma may express itself as space and it may not express itself as space. It may express itself as time and may not express itself as time.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Does the Aatma (soul) leave the body after death?

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, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scriptures 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: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

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

Books by the Speaker are available at:



The Source is one with the material and the movement


The source and the manifestation-the progeny

and the material, the body

and the actions of the body-the kala,

are all one.

Shiv Sutra(1.3)

Acharya Prashant: The source and the manifestation-the progeny and the material, the body and the actions of the body-the kala, are all one.

The ‘source’ refers to the origin of it all. ‘Kala’ refers to activity or movement. ‘Sharir’ obviously refers to the body or the material. The source, the material and the movement all are one. They can be one only if you stop expecting that the source lies elsewhere. Please understand what is being said. If the source is one with the rock as well as the movement of the rock, then do you need to transform the rock into a temple? If the source is one with all this, then the source is just one with the fact of all this. Then you don’t need to have a creator God. Read more

Krishna is that within you that already knows


Krishna is that in Arjun that already knows. In a physical setting Krishna appears like a man outside of Arjun. Actually speaking, Krishna and Arjun are not separate. Krishna is the one that Arjun goes to, when he wants to validate all that which he already knows. Krishna is the Heart of Arjun. That Heart is also known by the names – Lover, Friend, Guru. Are you getting it?

That within you which already knows, is Krishna. Now, That may appear outside of you also, just take a form, a shape, a name but essentially That is not outside of you. That is your own heart, your own core, essence, centre. Whatever you may call it – source. That is the relationship between Krishna and Arjun. Arjun is confused mind; Krishna is the centre of that mind. Arjun is the problem; Krishna is the solution.



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Krishna is that within you that already knows

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, ContactSh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998 

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

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

4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

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

Books by the Speaker are available at:




How to come back to the Source?

Question: What method is now needed to come to the Source?

Acharya Prashant: We have already used many methods. The methods have already taken us far from the Source. That is why you are asking this question that what method is now needed to come to the Source. Read more

Guru is neither a person nor a qualification, Guru is the mind surrendered to learn

Question: Is the mind a product of duality?

Acharya Prashant: Mind is duality. Do you want to say duality is something apart from the mind? No, it is not. Mind is duality.

Listener: Duality in oneness?

AP: See, the source of all duality has to be something non-dual.

L1: If the mind is silent, peaceful, calm…

AP: Then, this duality, is silently resting in its Source. It is still there. The duality has not gone anywhere, it is still there. It can exist as a dissolved entity; it can exist as a sleeping entity but it is still there. But now, the very touch of the source has sanctified this duality. The mind is still the mind; the body is still the body, but now it is a sacred mind; now, it is a sacred body because it is in touch with the sacred.

L2: Sir, my question is on duality. The source is again Advait. The source of duality is…

AP: … non-dual.

L2: So, nothing is dual?

AP: Whatever you call as ‘is’, is dual. This wall, this floor, and all of this is dual. That is the reason why the Buddha had to say that – “The Source is not”. And in fact, that is the proper way of using language. Because when we say that, “The body is, that the earth is,” then, we cannot say in the same flow that, “The Source is’, because they are not in the same dimension. If the wall is, if the mud is, if the sky is, then the Source is not. Getting it?

But that way, you solve one problem and move into another, because in our language, is not is the opposite of is. And the opposite of a thing is always in the same dimension as the thing — Black and white are always in the same dimension. So, to get rid of is, you go to is not. But when you go to is not, you find that you are still in the same dimension. So, the sage says, “I will just be quiet. I will not speak anything about the Source because to say anything is to use language and our language cannot stand the strain, the weight of the Source. It cannot stand that.”

Language is small; language is the product of human mind. It is unbearable for the language to accommodate the source.

L3: If every element is created by some source, whether it is matter, or consciousness, or the light. When, the source is one which the man can observe in oneself. At some position, un-duality is there. You reached the state where the things are non-dual. The language, the words, speeches, expression, they are the same. Then there is no difference in calm and quietness and the words coming from that source. They are the same. Word is the guru, the guiding source and the disciple is the same and the creating words of this universe are the same. So, this realization is basically the words with which we can come to know?

AP: No, not really. Essentially, all words are just the same. Be it the crying of a toddler, the ranting of a mad man, or the utterances of the wisest man ever – they are all the same. To credit a man with the ability to cause a change in another man’s mental condition, is to say that there surely exists a benevolent ego.

There is something that happens between two human beings. Here is Priya (addressing one of the listener) and she says that there was a dog she recently met, who acted as her guru. Now, what great words is the dog uttering? I didn’t say that. What great words is the dog uttering? It is just Grace. Neither is there anything in the dog nor is there anything in the guru. That same for His own reasons, unfathomable to you, sometimes presents himself in the form of a man and sometimes in the form of a dog.

Could the guru do anything, we had a ready-made recipe in our hands. (Sarcastically) Bring the guru in front of ten people per day; he will create ten more and in no time, will there be a transformation in the world?

The guru himself is helpless. What can he do? Without grace shining on the disciple, what can the guru do? And is the guru a guru, if there is no grace shining on him? And with grace, the dog is a great guru; the greatest guru!

L3: Sir, it is not the existence of physical body. It is the intellect I am talking about, that Guru.

AP: The intellect is worthless; the intellect accounts for nothing. There have been so many intellectuals and the world is just too full of intellectuals. An intellectual is not at all a mystic.

L3: Wisdom you can say…

AP: No, wisdom is not intellect. Wisdom is not raw intellect. And to think just because somebody can speak well, has read few books, appears confident – none of that.

There is only one guru — the Super Boss.

Go to That.

And that Super Boss does not tolerate middlemen.

He can only be approached directly.

That is one of His commandments — Middlemen not tolerated.

You must have your own unique, personal relationship with the Super Boss.

Is that clear? No middleman is needed, not at all. Or are you saying that you are less worthy? Or are you saying that grace is selective?

Yes, of course, Guru is wonderful; Guru is divine; Guru is God, simple! The Guru is the Source itself. What else is the guru? Why do you need another guru?

The Source itself is the Guru — always present, always ready, always knocking.

Closer than the closest.

L2: Sir, you said about middlemen. So, any way, any method, any discussion, reading, anything that we used to reach the source, is it acting as a middlemen?

AP: You don’t use the methods to reach the Source. You do things situated in the Source. Is the source somewhere that you will reach it! Then what do you mean by reaching the source? Is it located somewhere that you will reach it?

You can be in it;

you can play in it;

you can have fun in it;

you can exist in it;

you can dive in it;

you can swim in it;

you can breathe in it.

But you cannot reach it.

How can you reach it? 

L3: Sir, there are two persons, one blind and one with the eyes. Blind one cannot support the other, while the one with eyes has the power to hold the blind one and bring him out.

AP: The analogy is all right in affairs of matter. When you say, that a man is blind, all you mean is he cannot see matter. So in affairs of matter, you are very right. But here, are we talking of affairs of matter? Nobody is blind. Forget about a human being, even a blade of grass is not blind. What do you mean by blindness? There is no blindness. Nobody is blind.

To think that the Source creates imperfection is an insult to the Source. What you mean by blindness is imperfection. There is nobody blind. Nobody is blind. There is only the illusion — I am blind. And that illusion is there when you are separate from That. And the more you search for a guru, the more you will be separated from the Real Guru.

Do you know who are the people who never meet the real guru? Who never get the joy of submergence in the Source? Who are those people?
Those who are always in search of a guru. And that is their punishment. Because you are always searching for a guru, you will always be separated from the real guru, which was always present but you never cared for it. All your illusion is because all your life you have been hunting for a guru. The guru is there. Closer than the closest.

A man is driving a truck. There are two ways he can wake up. One, he meets an accident. Let’s say, a small accident or let’s say, a pot hole on the road. The truck falls on the pot hole and comes out and he wakes up. “What a shock, what a jerk!”

The other way is there is somebody sitting by his side and says, “Sardar Ji, neend aari tussi(Hey, mate! You are feeling a little sleepy) and he wakes up. He has woken up. The other man is just as much of a guru as a pothole.

Life anyway does a lot of things to everybody which help them wake up. We are just one of those things, we are no special. That fellow may fail in his semester exams and wake up. That fellow may break up with his girlfriend and wake up. The girlfriend is a guru, the exam is a guru. We are only as much of a guru. If you want to call us a guru, then the exam is also a guru; then the girlfriend is also a guru because life itself is presenting situations and these situations are present in front of everybody.

Buddha woke up by looking at a corpse – a dead body! Life is giving you opportunities all the time. Life is the guru. We are a part of life. Yes, we are a guru, of course! Why not? Because when the Source itself is the guru, everything in the life is guru. So we are guru but that does not mean that the piece of chair, the wood is not the guru. Wood is also a guru. All is guru. It is just incidental that how the light of the divine will shine upon someone.

Some get it through dancing, some get it through singing. Some get it just through serving somebody. Some get it through listening to a man but that does not mean that the man is somebody special. If the man is somebody special, then the ornaments of dancing are also equally special. Then that dead man, that Buddha saw is equally special.

Uddhava Gita lists 24 gurus of an Avadhuta. And what kind of gurus are they? What kind of gurus? Snake, pigeon, Vaishya (Prostitute).

All guru! Life is a guru.

Do you want to know what is it to be a Guru?
To be a guru is to be That; because the Source itself is the guru.
When the mind is immersed in the Source, you are the Guru

Only then you are the guru.

So, do you want to know who the guru is in this room?
Anybody who is immersed in the Source.

Guru is not a qualification.
Guru is a state of mind.
An immersed mind is the guru.

It may be quite possible that I, the speaker, might be speaking from a state of disturbance. Whereas, somebody over here, might be totally immersed, who is a guru? Me or the person?
That person.

Just because somebody appears to be speaking a lot, he does not become a guru. The guru is one who is in the Guru. And what is the Guru?

Listeners: The source.

AP: The source. The one who abides in the source is the guru.

L3: What we have named as “guru”, what can he do?

AP: Why to bother about that?

L3: But the thing is he has bliss, powers, and…

AP: You are still personalizing the whole thing. What do you mean by what can a guru do? Guru never does anything. Everything is done by situations. Guru has never anything to do; he has no agenda. Whatever is done, is done by situations because doing itself is a metaphor applicable only to the world. Guru is the Source. There is no world there. So, what can he do? He never does anything.

L3: There is some effect?

AP: Effect is felt. Yes, of course! But not because he wants to do anything, it’s the presence – simple and direct! And that presence is not a personalized presence. That is a more important thing because the moment you utter guru, the image that comes to your mind is that of a person. Please get rid of that notion.

I mean this is a personality cult. You are running after personalities. You have personified the guru.

L4: Sir, you are speaking, you understand, you are doing everything. Is it not that the guru exists within us?

AP: Yes, of course. Within us, outside us.

L4: The introspection that we do with us, the exploration…

AP: Always, yes.

L4: Right perspective, right direction?

AP: Right and wrong, both.

L4: Both?

AP: Both.

L4: So somebody is the source, we can say.

AP: (Smiling) No. It’s not somebody.

L4: I mean there is an existence of wisdom inside…

AP: It does not exist. We said that whatever exists, is here. The samosa (referring to a food item) exists, this fan exists. The source does not exist. It does not exist, because, “existence” is the word that you use for the bird and the trees and the stones.

L4: Omniscient, omnipresent. It doesn’t exist?

AP: Never use only one side of the duality to describe the Source.

When you say “all”, also say “none”. When you say, “It is everything”, also say, “It is nothing”. Only then you will be able to make some sense of it, if any sense can be made at all. So, all and nothing; everywhere and nowhere; always and never; ever and never.

L4: Combined?

AP: Not combined; not not combined.

That’s the reason why Koans are needed in Zen. So that we may not be able to capture it, you cannot capture a Koan? You want to capture the Source, you cannot capture a Koan.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Guru is neither a person nor a qualification, Guru is the mind surrendered to learn


Further Reading:


Commentaries on Ashtavakra Gita

Commentaries on Ashtavakra Gita is a collection of 8 Questions asked by a seekers when they were not able to relate the verses of Ashtavakra Gita in their daily living.

Even the greatest texts in the world can be just a mental load if they don’t bring you to peace. This text on Ashtavakra Gita is essence of Ashtavakra bringing one to his/her essential nature and simplicity of life.



That which you do to solve your problem becomes the problem


Question: I suffer a lot because I do not know my child has an incident, I suffer, I cry. What can I do then?

AP: Whatever you do, if you do, knowing that you are going to do it, are you doing it or is the thought doing it?

Listener 1: It is the thought.

AP: And we have just discovered that you need not have thought before the doing.  You really do not need to have thought before the action. Thoughtless action is possible and it is not as bad as the popular culture makes it out to be. We use thoughtlessness almost as an abuse.

We say, ‘What a thoughtless man!’ Don’t we? When someone acted in a stupid way then, we say what a thoughtless action. First of all, that is not a thoughtless action, secondly, if it indeed happens to be thoughtless actions, it is something of the highest quality.

That which we want to do in order to solve our problems, only feeds our problems.

My request is, for a moment stop resisting your problems.

Read more

It requires a Seer to see

It requires a Seer to see that the Truth is that which powers the eyes to see but which the eyes themselves cannot see;
that the ears are powered by some other source to hear;
that the tongue is powered by some other source to speak;
that source is so vast, immense, beyond description that the tongue cannot mention or capture that source in words.

It powered the tongue to speak, but the tongue cannot speak of it.

It powers the mind to think, but the mind cannot think of it.

It requires the humility and wisdom of a Sage to remember this.

Cessation of mental suffering


Question: Sir, can you please speak on suffering and cessation of suffering?

Acharya Prashant:

Cessation of suffering is to know the suffering as false.

Cessation of the suffering is the cessation of the confidence that you place in your suffering.

Cessation of suffering is not the same as the stopping of something Real.

Cessation of suffering is just like waking up from a dream.

Cessation of suffering is just like getting rid of an imagination.

That is why the word “nirvana” is so beautiful word. It does not mean that you reach into another elevated state. It means your burning has seized. You are burning internally and now the flame is gone.

Suffering does not occur without your active consent.

Can you be happy without being full of acceptance for a situation? And your acceptance comes from your expectations. Can you suffer without being full of resistance for a situation? You suffer only when you do not want something to happen. Your resistance is the suffering and who is the one that resists? The one who feels himself to be threatened, insecure and small. So he says, “If this happens, then I am in danger. So let me resist.”  The moment you resists, suffering starts.

Suffering itself is a concept based on another concept.

The mother concept is “I am small”— a concept and hence, “I must resist.”— a concept. “I resist and I am unable to defeat that which I resist”—another concept. Do you see how the whole chain flows? At the center, of all this, lies a perception that you are limited.

Unless you are limited, you have no reason to feel inflated because of something, and hence you cannot be tied to pleasure.

And unless you are small, you have no reason to be afraid of something and hence you can have no reason to resist.

Then you stand in front of the winds, open chested, and then you say, “Come what may, I am not resisting something because nothing is so powerful that it can influence me or defeat me.”

Now you are not resisting. Now the universe is flowing into you, and then through you. You are a part of everything.

Do you see this?

I am again asking you—Can there be suffering without resistance based on self-preservation? There can be a lot of pain, we agree; But can there be suffering?

Suffering is always psychological.

Suffering is always tied to your inner sense of well-being.

Suffering is related to the question “Who am I?”

Pain is a fact.

You can be in a lot of pain but suffering is always dependent on whether you live a real or an imaginary life. The one who really lives, cannot suffer. And do not take me wrongly. Pain and pleasure will still come to him. You might find him in tears. You might find him groaning and grimacing but he would still not be suffering. Psychologically, he would still be healthy. Even in the moment of the greatest threat or in the moment of the greatest deprivation, he would still not be feeling bad about himself.

I know that’s loose language but I hope you are getting what I mean to communicate.

There is no way you can avoid pain if a rock hits your shoulder. But you very well know what it means to suffer. You can say, It’s a conspiracy of the universe against you and suffer. You can say you are especially born unfortunate and suffer. You can say your Guru has not blessed you and you got this and suffer.

And there are ‘n’ other ways.

This mind is very fertile.

It is just that it yields only one type of crop, which is suffering.

Man is a creature of imagination. That is probably the difference between man and the rest of the existence. Man alone lives in thought. Man alone is intellectual. The others live; we live intellectually.

It’s we who have a “tail”. The tail is the intellect. What do you think animals have tails? No, they just live. We live and then comes the tail. I don’t know when man will be able to drop that tail? Evolution has failed.

Listener: And people have been proud of carrying that tail.

AP: Yes. Monkeys have no tails. Man has a tail.

L: So do I suppose to live just…

AP: Even when you say supposed to, do you see the assumptions contained here? That there is some power outside you that will come and dictate, come and decree how you are supposed to live. What do you mean by supposed to live? Who is the authority outside of you that will declare how you are supposed to live?

But that is the sense of inferiority that we have internalized. We ask “Am I supposed to live this way?”  And who will answer that? But you know, this mind is dominated by the corporations, the media, religions, priests, mothers, fathers, teachers, books, scriptures, markets, ideologies; and when we say that Am I supposed to do this? It is their sanction that we seek.

Can someone bigger than me, outside of me, please approve? Can one of the holy books please come and grant their sanction? Am I aligned with one of the accepted ideologies? This is what you mean by—Am I supposed to just live?

As long as you ask this, you are not living.

Living is not a favour that somebody grants you.

By virtue of being, you are free to live.

Free to live and free to live freely.

You need nobody’s approval.

No God has the power to sanction your being.

If you are, you are.

And who can deny that?

You have become so burdened, so indebted, so differential that even to breathe, you require permission. Even to love we require somebody’s approval. Even to be, we seek acceptance in somebody else’s eye. Don’t we?

L: Sir, this quotation of yours says, “You will have to look at yourself as you are.” When I say ‘as you are’, I have an idea about myself and on the other hand, you say, ‘You are perfect as you are.’ How to understand this?

AP: Unless you know yourself to be perfect, you cannot look at yourself as you are.

You know what perfection means?

Perfection means it is alright the way it is.

And what does an idea of yourself say?

It is alright only if it is this particular way.

Perfection is very dynamic and flexible. Perfection says—whichever way it is, it is perfect. Which means you have all the freedom to be in diverse ways. And ideal says- It is alright only when it is in one particular way. Now, if you look at yourself with an eye full of ideals, then you will want yourself to be aligned with those ideals. So your vision would be compromised, manipulated. You would have a stake, you would be an interesting party.

I am saying, ‘I am looking at my face and my idea is that my face should be green.’ Now I look at my face and found my face to be blue. What would happen? The ideal says, “Unless your face is green, you are not worthy of living.” And I look at my face and found it blue. What would happen? Would I simply accept that the face is blue? I would say, “No, it is bluish-green or greenish-blue? Or it is blue turning into green.”

Do you see how I would cleverly manipulate the situations?

I will not be able to look at myself as I am. I will not be able to do that. But if I know that all is perfect, and I look at myself and found green or yellow or brown, and I have no compulsion, no pressure upon myself to manipulate or misreport, I will say, “Oh! It is violet.” It is violet and perfect. The next moment I say, “Oh! it is yellow.” Yellow and perfect because perfection is flexible.

Perfection means in this vast space, wherever you are, you are still in the space. So there is no way you can go away from home. You are always in perfection. There is no way you can be denied home. You may be a saint or a sinner, you still are perfect; you may remember or forget but you are perfect. So, it is blue and perfect. Someday, it is colorless and perfect. Now, you can look at yourself as you are and can just state it that way.

So to know a fact as a fact, first required a tremendous confidence upon yourself. Otherwise, you will not report the fact as fact. Otherwise, you will enter the zone of, what you call as, “creative journalism.” They look at something and they send back a very imaginative version of what they have looked at.

So only when you are powered by the Truth, only when you have no imagination that you have strayed away from the Truth, then you get the sureness to know the fact, to acknowledge the fact, simply and directly without a need to distort it.

L: This is also a very violent attitude towards the blue or to violet or to the green.

AP: Of course. Because you see, we are creatures of change. You are violet now, and blue the next moment and then green and then red.

If your perfection is an ideal,  it can never able to take into account your infinitely diverse nature.

The emptiness that we are, manifests itself in an infinite diversity.

If you are tied to some part of that diversity, you will miss the Whole.

Then you will say, “I am good only when I am behaving mercifully. But existence also requires you sometimes to hit really hard. Then you will reject yourself. Then you will fall in your own eyes. You will say that I am good only when I am abstaining from, let’s say, physical gratification. But existence has it, that one day you will find yourself in a physical embrace with someone. Then you will again fall in your own eyes. And then you will look for perfection. Then you will ask forgiveness from the God, which means the priests.

Do you see this?

L: If I have cancer, I could say that it is okay, and I could also say that I have cancer and I could want to change it.

AP: Yes. Of course! I am the one who wants to change it and this want is Perfect.

L: Yes. Everything is perfect and I stay there.

AP: Yes. It does not mean that you have to be a status quoist. When I am talking of the infinite diversity, that we are, of course, those infinite diversities, the various currents, keep mingling into each other; it’s a process of continuous change. And in that desire is included. So if I am desirous, it’s perfect. It is perfect. It’s a subtle thing. We must go into this.

I am desiring to change the situation, knowing fully well that the situation is perfect. Knowing fully well that the blue is perfect, today I decide that I want green. And who is anybody to tell me that I must not want that?

The green leaves, doesn’t it turn yellow and then brown? And then soil? Who are you tell the leaf that the brown is any less perfect than the green? Today green, tomorrow yellow, the day after it, it is brown and then it is a part of the soil. Change is happening all the time. But all the change is contained in perfection.

I repeat this.

You want to change something so that it may become perfect. Our attitude usually is, it is not perfect, I want to change it so that it may become perfect.

What I am saying is, everything is already contained in perfection and now, let’s change. It’s like all these posters in this hall. They are already contained in this hall. Now let’s change their location. Doesn’t matter where you put one thing or the other, it is always going to be within this hall. Doesn’t matter what you desires to change, all desires and the pre-state and the post-state, are going to be within perfection, which means I am never going to say that I am trying to make something perfect.

Do you get this?

“Oh! it’s already good. Now let’s throw it away. It’s already perfect. Now, let’s discard it totally. Let’s come out of something new.” Why? “Maybe just for fun.”

If perfection includes everything, perfection also includes the right to refuse perfection.

Blue was perfect, but now I want a little bit of yellow. May I have it please? Who are you to declare me a sinner because I want yellow? That doesn’t mean, by the way, that yellow is anymore perfect than blue. I am not saying that; not at all. Blue is perfect and so is yellow.

L: Sir, you see a pattern and you see it happening again and you are dissatisfied with it. You want to break free of this pattern. Maybe it is green and you want to go to yellow. You don’t know what the next pattern is or maybe you have a glimpse of it. So how to be contended with all this?

AP: Feel greatly contented with the pattern. With the existing pattern. there is nothing else, everything else is just an imagination. There is the pattern and there are you—the carrier of the pattern, the expression of the pattern. It’s all right.

Who am I? The one who lives in patterns.

The pattern gets energy with your resistance to the pattern.

The day and the night are patterns; such a beautiful pattern. What’s wrong with them? The child, the young man, the old man and the death, are all patterns. Are they not? To eat, to excrete, to eat again and to assimilate, are all these not patterns?

Live with the patterns. And know the pattern as a pattern.

Don’t attempt to change anything.

Change is the law of the universe.

Just as this pattern comes from somewhere, it will go somewhere.

It is held in its place; it is tied to you by your own resistance.

Resistance is attachment.

We all live in patterns.

There is nobody who here is not wedded to some kind of pattern.

What do you do with them?


“Oh, just a pattern; I realised perfectly that I live in patterns.” And be not concerned about what will follow or replace the pattern? It may be nothing; it might be another pattern. How does it matter? All is within the sky. All is within this space. All is within this hall.

You might be a very restless bird, but will you flow out of this sky? Ever seen a bird that flew out of the sky? With all your restlessness you will keep flying within the sky. All your restlessness is nothing. It’s a child’s game. You are the bird. You are the sky. Keep flying.


It is not so difficult. You will see that it is possible to be contented along with the existence of the pattern. You must not make your contentment contingent upon the disappearance of the pattern. The pattern will be there and you would still be contented—these would be parallel. It is possible.

The limited span of the wings and the infinitude of the sky, they are both possible parallelly and together.

The pattern will be there and your infinite contented nature will be there.

Both co-existing.

L: It is also that fear also prevents you from looking at the blue; looking at what you really are.

AP: Yes and the fear that we always have is the fear of an object. Our fear is never just a fear. You fear something and if you go deep into your consciousness, you will be able to dig that out. You fear the authorities who told you must be ‘green’. And hence you fear to look at yourself when you are ‘blue’.

You must be free of your investment in those authorities who keep promoting ‘part living’; who keep saying that this particular way of living is the right one. They are the one who keeps promoting the ‘greens’ and the ‘violets’ at the cost of the whole of the spectrum.

Do you see this?

Till the time you give those authorities acceptance, validation, strength, approval, the right to be an authority; till the time you internally keep bowing down to them, you will find that your life remains divided. A narrow part you accept and the rest you will reject. But who can partition the sky? Who can tell the bird to not to fly to that particular part of the sky? The bird will fly. It is the bird’s nature to fly. Then you will curse the bird, abuse the bird, and will say that the bird needs to taught enlightenment.

L: Sir even if I did not give the authority to somebody outside of me, still I have this ego. I am ego. I live with it.

AP: Where did it come from? Did it come from your core?

L: No, Sir.

AP: So you have already given authority to someone outside of you if you have given authority to the ego. The ego is not yours. The ego is the world sitting inside you. It is a dangerous thing to give authority to a person, an ideology,  a thought, a religion, a cult, or something. It is a dangerous thing to do that.

But it is even more dangerous to vest authority in yourself. Because now those things that were outside and clearly and obviously outside have made their way into your psyche. You have internalised them. You are calling them your own. And when you call something your own, you allot to it all your energy. All sense of belongingness, all sense of mine. You say, “It is mine, it is my opinion.” But it is not your opinion at all. It is somebody else’s but given that now you are embracing it. You will protect it far more.

L: Can I say that guilt is very much similar to fear?

AP: Of course. One very well knows the relation between them. One very well knows that they co-exist and that they are part of the same phenomena.

L: Sir, there is the conflict between understanding and conditioning and it is a continuous process? Every time a situation comes, there is someone who understands, okay. But conditioning always wins. It comes and hence comes the suffering.

AP: I will not say that a day will come when this will be stopped. As of this moment, as of today, it suffices to say that it is continuous. The moment I say it is not continuous, one day, the conflict will stop then you will keep looking forward to that day and that day will become the day of judgment or the day of enlightenment for you.

So, be all right, be contented, even with the conflict. There is conditioned part of you and then there is that part, which you called, the understanding part and you see them in conflict, let the conflict be there. Even with the conflict, be all right. It is not difficult. There is no method in this.

Have you ever had a bad churning in the stomach? Is it not possible to remain all right with it?

L: It is possible.

AP: Same way. There is no great way. One part of you can be up in arms against the other part and some foreign stuff too has invaded you—some bacteria or something. So, there are many parties now; it is a multipolar contest. You can still be alright, right? Let the things fight and when it is your turn to heave a  sigh; or to groan a little, do that. What can you do?

Be comfortable with not being comfortable and be comfortable when you want to challenge the discomfort.

If you are not comfortable you have only two options: Either you keep living in it or you challenge it and try to change it. Be comfortable in both the situations. It’s all right.

You are feeling restless in your stomach and you are still continuing to sit. Be peaceful in sitting. A moment comes when you get up and walk towards the loo. Be peaceful with the decision to go away. Do you get this?

You need not say only in a particular way of operating, only in a particular way of living, only by taking a particular decision, do I get the right to feel all right. You must be all right when you are sitting here and you must be all right when you get up and walk away. All of that must be happen in the sky of contentment, it is already happening in the sky of contentment. Just that we think a little too much.

L: It is so tricky to operate like this.

AP: That is tricky, only when you think about it. If you think about it, it is trickier than you can imagine. In fact, it is so tricky that you will not be able to come to terms with it. It is so tricky that you, by yourself, can never be able to operationalize it. It can be executed, it can happen, only on its own. You interfere and you will fall to the trick.

L: If I enter with an objective to implement this, then I end up becoming insensitive.

AP: The moment you enter, you enter only because you are not contented. Otherwise, why will you enter? So your entry itself is the defeat. It is not what will you do post entering will be the defeat. The very decision to enter is the defeat. Do you get this?

L: Sir, now the question is, how not to enter into this? It’s a futile question, but…

AP: It is because you are already all right, why do you want to enter? And if you must enter, enter again in peace. Alright, I have entered. I am habituated to enter. Even when I enter, I enter not with the objective to get peace. I enter in peace. Not aiming peace.

You know and you are peaceful.

You do not know and you are still peaceful.

You are highly agitated, and you are still peaceful.

Your peace is greatly disturbed and you are still peaceful.

That’s the knack.

L: It is that corner that knows agitation and that stays away from agitation.

AP: And in saying this, so cleverly, you have lost it and it is still perfect.


Do not try to conceptualise it.

You will never get on top of it.

The bird will never have the wings large enough to span the sky. Never.

L: So sir if one tries to conceptualise it and then tries to implement it, then one ends up in having an insensitive relationship with himself.

AP: You are operating, then in some other universe. You don’t have a relationship actually. If you see some kind of relationship, it is purely coincidental. It is not happening. You are assuming.

L: Basically, if I say what we are talking about is equanimity. And one’s conceptualised, it becomes completely insensitive.

AP: Yes. Equanimity would then become indifference.

L: Sir, what is this personal relation? I mean…

AP: Live it fully. Live it fully, fully. The fear that comes to you when you express that living force within you is the fear of death. You are alive so that the mind and the body can express the Self, the great core. That is the only purpose of this body and the mind—to continue to express the greatness you are. And that greatness is not a thing of concept. When I say “great”, do not start thinking of “greats”.

That which you are, continuously expresses itself. 

That which you are not, continuously strives for its life.

Live fully.

There is no reason to hold yourself back.

L: What holds us back is mainly because of fear?

AP: Only because of fear.

L: Fear and ideal, these two are related?

AP: They are greatly related.

L: Then, what is all this?

AP: Nothing. Just life. Just life.

L: How much planning is important in life? Should we forget planning?

AP: It depends. All of these things you have complete freedom to sometimes remember, sometimes forget. In all these matters, you have all the leeway to go this way or that way. See tell me, in your own house, do you think so much before entering the one room or other? If you are in your own house, does it matter to you so much? Do you seek the advice of the Gurus, “Should I enter the drawing room or the kitchen or should I stay in the hall?”

So wherever you want to go, do go. You stay within your own house. One day, you may decide to go there, another day you may decide to go there. How does it matter? Even if it does matter, you have complete freedom.

L: Sir, I am a bit confused now. There are two situations—One is when I am agitated or fearful. So there is this and then the other thing, living totally in fear in order to get through it. How does the two happen? How to operate at all?

AP: Live in fear. Sometimes fear does come.

Live in fear. Do not become fearful.

Let fear come; experience it.

Fear is nothing but the experience of fear.

Let it come.

See that in the middle of fear, you can still maintain your well-being.

L: It is very difficult thing to do.

AP: It is most difficult rather the impossible thing to do.

You place a great confidence upon yourself, who cannot be relied upon.

And you place no  faith on That which can be totally relied upon. 

So immediately you start talking the language of doing. Who will do? You?

You must have the ability to be and to operate as a healthy being even in the middle of sicknesses, difficulties, and imperfections.

And there is no limit to it. You can carry it to extremes.

L: The bigger problem than fear is: the idea that you should not be fearful.

AP: Wonderful! And that is an ideal. That is an imagination of perfection—you must be courageous.

Courage does not mean the absence of fear.

Courage means that there is something untouched by fear; bigger than fear. 

Fear is there. You might be trembling in fear. Yet there is something more important. This sense of knowing that there is something more important than all the difficulties, than all that which is going wrong, is extremely important. Otherwise, you simply lose perspective. Perspective—that’s a beautiful word. You must know what is it that is significant.

L: And for that, you require a little trust upon yourself.

AP: Of course.

L: And that wouldn’t come till the time you trust what is and you are too much infatuated about an ideal. Too much infatuation with the ideal, no contact with what is there and hence no trust upon yourself, thus resistance, thus fear.

AP: Yes. All this is one stuff.

It is not difficult. It is not impossible. You see at this moment we all know how important is to record this session. But we very well know that both of these are discharged (recorders). Nobody charged them. And nobody has taken care to put a mike on this.

But does that mean that I should bother about that? It happens, it is happening and we are all right in the middle of that. Do you get this?

It is not difficult, not impossible, in any way.

L: Sir, I suffer, and then I get to a point where I just let go and then it again starts. Again you let go and then again it starts.

AP: It will start again and again. Do not ever think that it is going to come to an end in the future.

L: It seems like its capacity is increasing. It seems that if I understand, I have to take more.

AP: Yes. That is the reward of knowing.

See, this world will remain as it is. You are a limited being, a limited body. You are aging. You are moving towards death. Are you not? All of us are. Now can there be a bigger hell than this—to be moving towards death each moment? People think that in the future lies enlightenment. For sure, in the future lies death.

Can there be a bigger hell than this? It is what it is. Now, what do you want to do? Cry hoarse? Curse the heavens? Attempt suicide?

L: Sir, once you understand this, even if you want to run away you cannot run away.

AP: Ah! It’s stupid.  

L: It’s like you are stuck in understanding; which is very weird.

AP: And sometimes you do run away, which is again very stupid and still perfect.

L: But that thing is there and it becomes a cage in a very different way.

AP: (Smilingly) A perfect cage.


Change whatever you want to and whatever you can.

You have all the freedom to go, play around and create a mess.

You have all the freedom to do whatever you want to do. It’s all yours.

At most, you will die in the mess; that you will anyway.

Let none of this encroach upon your fundamental, essential stillness. The world is a chaotically randomly moving affair. Or at least that how it appears. Some may come and say, there is a great harmony and peace. And they are equally right. It doesn’t matter how you look at the universe. One thing is certain, there is a flow. In the middle of the flow, you are still. It doesn’t matter how it flows, it doesn’t matter where it goes, it doesn’t matter from where it comes.

Stillness is the essence of the flow.

What does that mean?

That you can flow freely. When you know that stillness is the essence of the flow, then you need not arrest yourself from flowing. Then you need not dictate a particular type or kind of flow. Then you need not say that there is a virtue in one kind of flow and sin or vice in another kind. Then you give yourself the freedom, the authority, the licence, to just flow.

When you just flow, you do not know whether you are flowing or just still.

To flow freely is just the same as being absolutely still.

Do you get this?

It is your resistance to the flow, which is still all right.


L: One thing is that there is noise and when you see that what is disturbing me is my aversion to noise and not the flow of the noise. So then what you do is, you try to find peace. You do it for some time and then the noise overpowers you.

AP: You are not obliged to bear the noise. In the noise, you are all right if you bear the noise and you are still all right if you want to go out of out it.

Let spirituality not tell you that you must be in the noise and bear it and then say that you are all right with the torture. If you are in noise, you are all right. And if it happens that you get up and rebel, it is still all right.

L: For example: If you came to know that If I go to Devpryag (A place in) there will be noise and I don’t like noise. So it is like fear of going to Devpryag. You know that there is noise there and if I go there, I will not like the noise even though if I can manage or find peace. So you remain away from Devpryag? Is it okay?

AP: For a while. You see this mind is quite flippant. How long will you stay away from Devpryag? The very fact that you are thinking about Devpryag will one day take you to Devpryag. As long as you stay away, stay away not feeling bad about yourself. The day you go, go without feeling defeated.

Back yourself. Not feeling like going, not feeling like going. One day you feel like going, back yourself. Support yourself. There is no need to censor yourself for every step. You are no authority to censor yourself.  It is not that censoring itself is problematic. It is just that the entity that is trying to assume the authority of censorship has no authority at all.

“The pot is calling the kettle black.” Have you heard that?

Who are you to pronounce judgment upon yourself?

L: Like in campus there used to be some parties. So in front of me there used to be two options; whether to go and not to go? So for two years, I tried both the cases and in both of them, I feel bad.

AP: Just go, or don’t go.

Don’t vacillate. Don’t fret. Don’t hang about.

Okay, vacillate! and still feel all right.

This end is all right. The opposite end is all right and everything in between is also all right.

L: Sir in all of this it seems as if I made a decision

AP: Your decision is a decision only if it differentiates. You come and say that you are a sinner and I decide that you are all right. You come and say that you are a saint and I decide that you are all right.

Now does my decision mean anything? So keep deciding, but let the decision always be one. Decide if you are habituated to deciding.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Cessation of mental suffering

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Morality makes the mischief of the world your personal suffering

Article 2: Mercy and sympathy – agents of suffering

Article 3: Suffering is the disease in which the sickness becomes the doctor

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant :


Acharya Prashant: God is a cat


Acharya Prashant: What is love? What is the definition of love?

A lot has been said on this subject and I can add to it. Even, I have spoken hundreds of times on this, but I want to ask you something—when you are really dallying with your lover, and we are adults, I am not prepared to believe that we have never known the immersion of love, when you are really dallying with your lover, do you suddenly pause and ask, what is the definition of love?” “Can you please define what we are doing right now?” Read more

Whom to call a real saint?


Question: If man’s nature is intelligence then why ignorance is so prevalent and there are very few intelligent people in the world. There have been very few Saints compared to the overall population of the mankind. Why is it so?

Acharya Prashant: It cannot really be explained but what is certain is that if a Saint is able to speak to you, it is because you have a Saint within. So, I do not know to what extent we can accurately count the number of Saints we have had. I would rather like to say that—Every person is a Saint; all that we have is Saints.

There are saints that appear as Saints, and there are saints that are waiting to appear as Saints. All’s said and done there is only Sainthood, nothing else. Of course, you can say that there is the Sainthood and there is the waiting. Yes, there is the waiting and waiting means time. So, there is Sainthood and there is time.

The thing is waiting is nothing. You are waiting for something to happen. Now, is anything happening in the waiting? Waiting means that the happening is postponed. The real thing is just being postponed, not that the Real thing is being substituted with anything Real. It is just being unduly, unnecessarily postponed.

So, of course, one can give a lot of classical, theoretical answers that there is Maya; anyone cannot explain the origin of Maya; or that it is the very desire of the source and one cannot read into the desires of the source; or that, this question can come as long as the mind is disturbed when the mind is not disturbed then one does not ask where does disturbance come from. So, I can give all those answers but I would rather like to give a more useful answer.

The answer is that a Buddha is not rare, or a Kabir is not rare.

Had they been rare how could you have sung of Kabir, and you sing Kabir with such fondness. Very recently you have uploaded a few of your songs, have you not? So, in those moments you are Kabir. You are Kabir.

In other moments, you are waiting to turn Kabir, eagerly waiting. Walking in the street, sitting in your office, driving your car, typing an e-mail, what are you waiting for? You are waiting just for those few moments when you can be Kabir. Is it not happening? Don’t we spend the entire day just in hope of those few moments of sanity? What are those few moments?

What are those few moments?

Let those moments not remain so rare. Support them. When they call you, respond affirmatively. And then, you find that slowly your life is becoming more and more full of Kabir. I am not referring to the man who lived a few centuries back; the weaver. You know what I am referring to. I am referring to the peace that you are when you are singing Kabir. That peace is what beckons you all the time. That is Kabir.

That is Kabir.

So, there have not been just a few Saints; everybody is a Saint. Some people are Saints in the present and some people are postponed Saints; deferred sainthood, scheduled for the future.

Stop this scheduling business. Let it come to you right now. Let it come to you more and more.

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

Watch the session:  Acharya Prashant: Whom to call a real saint?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Your own essence is the Guru, the essence of everything

Article 2: Only the fake saint conforms to the idea of a saint

Article 3: On Lalleshwari: The saint is not obliged to conform to your expectations

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON:

The Essence of Religion

If we look at our lives, and the life of the man sipping tea in his balcony, or the man out to take a walk, is there anything that we are doing and is not a product of recommendation of others? Our education, our social relationships, our very consciousness is composed of the teachings and advices and examples and experiences of others.

The more this consciousness, this mind, grows and gets filled up, the more difficult it is to return. Man is a restlessness and the restlessness keeps growing, growing. The more it grows, the more man seeks advice. Unfortunately, he seeks advice from those who themselves need advice.

The restlessness is a proof that you are being called. I’m very sure that the day you will not be called, you will not wake up in the morning.

You wake up in the morning because another day, another possibility awaits you in which something can happen. You wake up to search, you wake up to find. Your eyes open in a longing.

When you know so much, when you know that you are being called, then you surely have some connection with the One who is calling. Otherwise, how would you have felt the longing?

Instead of asking Jack and Jill, him and her, this and that, about how to go back, how to take the road back, why don’t you ask the One who is calling?

He is calling, ask Him; directly and simply. That is the essence of Religion: having no intermediary, a direct connection between you and your Home.

~ Excerpts from the article, What is religion?

How will you ever know?

One needs to ask,

“If man is all the time trying to return, to what he can call as peace, or fulfilment, to completeness, why does he not simply return?”

The observation would be quite interesting. It should be easy to return actually; but what if a thousand, a million ways to return have been drilled into the mind?

What if a simple stroll away from the Home becomes a story of getting lost forever? Because having come out, you get confused with the various road signs that you see, and the various advices that you get from the well-wishers, the religious teachers, the community counselors, the teachers, the academicians, the philosophers.

The centre to which man really belongs is not a possessive centre. It gives man ample freedom to roam about, to wander.

The mind has all the right and all the freedom to project a world, to playfully toy with the world – Leela. So the mind steps outside that great empty centre, just as a sport, but outside what awaits is a long tradition of evolution and experience and scholarship.

When so much of advice is available on how to get peace, how will one ever get peace? When so many people are intent upon telling you what to do with your life?

How will you ever know what to do this moment when you are repeatedly being told, and told, and told, about what Love means, what money means, what work is, what relationships are, what society is, what God is, how will you ever know any of these?

~ Excerpts from the article, What is religion?

Allow yourself to be pulled by the Truth

Allow yourself to be pulled by the Truth and don’t bother yourself with questions about the way, the experience, feelings, right and wrong and such things.

Anchor yourself to the Truth, the Truth will pull you and when you are being pulled by the Real, you need not ask too many questions.

Just remain Faithful and don’t snap the chord.

~ Excerpts from the article, Once you have reached the destination, you can begin the journey

Beware the man who thinks he understands

Question: In a recent discourse, one listener asked you about committing foul acts and then saying that even those acts come from the Source, the Truth.

Sir, is not non-doership, understanding, necessitated for this to occur? In other words, could one be unconditional without an understanding of knowing that the Source is the only doer? Read more

The Whole gives rise to parts, yet is beyond them

Speaker: Parts change, the whole remains unchanged.

First of all, this whole, that is being talked of, is not a sum of the parts. Usually, when we refer to a whole, what we mean is, that there are the parts and when they are taken together, we get the whole.

In the existential sense, the whole is not the sum of the parts. The whole is from where all the parts emerge and yet the whole remains whole. Read more