How to know whether a person is fake or real?

Questioner: How can we judge whether the nature of a person is coming from the core, or whether he is just maintaining the gloss?

Acharya Prashant: That’s how we live. How do we know whether what we are seeing is fake or real? Can I put the question this way?

Q : Yes, Sir.

AP : She is asking, “how do I know whether what I am seeing is fake or real? I come across a person, how do I know whether what I am seeing is the authentic face, or just a mask?

That’s what she is asking. Look at the question. Look carefully at the question. The question is asking everything about the object that is being seen. She is asking, ‘Sir, how do I judge the other person?’ But the question is totally silent on the ‘seer’.

She is not asking, ‘Sir, tell me something about me?’ She’s saying, ‘I am what I am, I go somewhere, I look at a person, how do I judge that person?

How can you judge anything if your eyes are closed?

‘You’ will look at the other person, right? Who will look at the other person?

Q : Me.

AP : You. Who do you say is going to make the judgment? You. Where is the judgment going to come from?

Q : Myself.

AP : Your mind. What should be sharp and clear in order to make a judgment? Whatever that means. What should be sharp and clear?

Q : The mind.

AP : The mind. So what should the question be about?

Q : Myself.

AP : You have a camera. From that camera you want to click my picture. You click my picture and you find that the picture is coming hazy. What do you do? You get up from your seat, come up here (to the stage) and start wiping my face? Or do you clean the camera?

Q : Clean the camera.

AP : Are you understanding what I am trying to say? In order to know the other person what should be clear? Your own mind. If your camera is not clear, how will it take a clear picture of any object? You take a picture of the moon, and the moon is coming blurred. Will you go to the moon to take care of the moon, or will you first look at the camera?

Q : The camera.

AP : But we will not ask that. We will not ask, ‘Sir, how do we have those eyes that can see clearly?’ The real question should be, ‘Sir, how to have the eyes that see clearly?’ Don’t ask, ‘How do I know whether that person is real or fake?’ Ask, ‘Am I real or fake?

If you are real, then you will know the reality.

But if you yourself are carrying a lot of fake-ness, then you will only be attracted to the fake. If you only know personality, then you will only care about the personality.

I am somebody who knows myself only in terms of my qualifications, degrees and religion. The moment I come to another person, what will I ask him? ‘What is your qualification? What is your religion?’ Is that not so?

In order to really know that person, first of all I will have to stop identifying myself with qualifications and religion. Right? If my self-concept is, ‘I am a Hindu and only Hindu’s are respectable’, then the moment I come across a person I will ask him, ‘What is your religion?  O! You are a Christian? Game 0ver!

In order to really know a person, I will first have to stop thinking that my religion is my first and foremost identity.

Don’t ask about the world. Ask about your own mind. Can I have a mind that sees clearly? Can I have a mind that is not identified? If you are biased, prejudiced, if you are carrying concepts and notions, you will look at the entire world only according to your limited concepts and notions. You will never know the Truth. You will not know the Truth because you ‘believe’ that you already know the Truth.

Have we not read Chuang Tzu say, “To know the truth, get rid of your opinions”? Have we not read that? “To know the truth, get rid of your opinions” And that Truth includes everything. Whatever is going on, persons, objects, the entire universe. To know that, first have a clean and empty mind. When the mind is not full of rigid concepts, then it becomes very simple to know the fact and enter the Truth. Very easy.

Stop bothering about the other person. When you meet somebody next time, stop bothering about what that person is like. Let the question turn inwards. Ask yourself, ‘Am I attentive?’ If you are attentive, whatever you will know will be the Truth. Don’t bother yourself with this and that. Bother yourself only with this (the mind). Is this in the right place? Is this close to the heart?

If the mind is close to the heart, it will know the Real. Otherwise, there is no way of knowing. There can be no formula, no test, nothing.

Look at a person with clean eyes. The reality will be self-evident. Alright?


– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: How to know whether a person is fake or real?

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