Where is the real me? || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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Acharya Prashant: It has been told to us that there exists two centers. I suppose it has been very freshly told to you, very recently. He says, ‘How do I know that I am living out from the right center? How does a young man know whether he is not being made a fool of? That the ego is not taking him for a ride, how does a young man know that?’

You can not know the Truth, the reality, what you call as the right, unless you first know what is false and that must be the first step. You cannot directly jump on the Truth. Reason is simple, our lives, our minds are full of the false. You say, the ego, the false center, what this ego is about?


This is about acquiring an identity given by the external. Someone comes and tells you that you are brilliant. This is the statement made by an external agency, that you are brilliant. And what you do, you say, ‘I am brilliant’, this is what ego is:

Internalizing an external influence.

Do you see this?

So, something external has been taken-in by me, and I started believing that this is me. This is what false center is; and unfortunately our minds are full of imported beliefs. To be more accurate all beliefs are imported beliefs. Taken from outside, someone comes and tells you something and you take it in. Our minds are full of that only.

Our religion has been given to us by somebody else. Name, way of life, definitions of what life is, success is, livelihood is, work is, career is, love is, freedom is; all of this has come from outside. We have not understood them on our own. The entire script is coming from outside and we are just living that script. That’s what our life is. If life is like this, why should we ask what is real?

First step is to look at this life that we are leading.

Why ask for a real?

Which would be nothing but just an imagination for you, right now.

Understand this, considering the kind of false lives that we are leading currently, even if the real is brought to you, it would not mean anything to you. The first step hence is to look sharply at this life and see what is unreal. Do not ask for the real center, Pranav, look clearly at the false center, first thing.

Do not ask for truth, first look clearly at the false; because your lives are full of false only and that’s easier to look at, that’s much more available, that’s there morning till evening, falseness, falseness, falseness, imported ideas, beliefs, borrowed ways of living, habits; that’s the way we are living day-in and day-out. It’s easier to look at that. That must be the first step, in fact you can look only at that, right now. Look at that, find out that falseness. Point it out wherever you see it. See, how your thoughts are influenced by others. See how your very concept of life is a borrowed one. See what is mean by a good life, and who told you that this what constitutes a good life?

See, how you have been duped into believing that respectability, reputation, power and money; that’s what makes a good life. Don’t you see that this is a borrowed belief?

You didn’t investigate it, you didn’t find out on your own. You have been told that such, and such are the ways of living, and you run after that.

‘If you get all this then you had a successful life. A good fellow is the one who does this, that and that’ and you have bought that; you’ve accepted that, you have believed that.

Inquire into all this.

This is what is the false center.

Once this false center is revealed, once you look into the falseness of this, in that looking, in that knowing, itself is reality, the truth. Are you getting it?

At every moment do not be bothered by, what is right. Just catch yourself whether you are acting out of intelligence or acting out of conditioning. Don’t just react in situtations, catch yourself, catch the falseness, and that is sufficient; you need not do anything more.

The Truth is not an object to be obtained from somewhere. You can not go and fetch Truth from that room. The Truth does not lie there or there that I am acting from the right center, the true center. The true center can not be obtained. It is there within you. It is just covered, layer upon layer by falseness. The moment you are able to look at those layers the Truth will reveal itself to you.

Truth is nothing to be obtained, truth is nothing to be sought.

Falseness goes truth is there.

You are acting out of the right thing, what does that mean?

That means that from morning till evening, find out what is the reality of what you are doing. Look sharply how you attend sessions, how you come to the college — this is what you do everyday — with what kind of thoughts your mind is filled with, your insecurities. Look honestly at the truth of your relationships.

See, what you spend your time doing. And that is what will reveal the falseness to you.

See, how afraid you are, see, how insecure you often are about the future, and look at the falseness of all that; and that is sufficient.

That is what ego is, none of the fears are real.

Somebody has surely planted the fear in you and that is the false center. That fear is the false center; that belief is the false center. Anything coming from outside and taking roots within your mind, that is the false center.

When you identify it as false when you catch it as being false you are free from it. You need not do anything extra.

Just watch out what is happening. See, why you are studying, see who gave you your concept of career, and from where did that come, see, how you are influenced by the crowd, see, how difficult you find it to remain alone — go into these things — see how ambition and desire take control of you; go into these things, these things happen with you everyday.

When you catch them, like an intelligent person when you look at them, when you investigate like a student of Science in an unbiased way, just as one conducts an experiment without imposing his beliefs upon the equipment, without imposing his prejudices upon what is happening, that’s how you conduct an experiment, right? That’s how you stand in the lab. Do you impose your desires upon the equipment? No. You only observe what is happening. When you observe all this happening then the falseness is completely revealed. And that is the Truth.

The revelation of the falseness is itself the Truth.

Then you are free. Then you are really young. Then you will find lot of energy; then you will need no habit. Energy will flow spontaneously. It will not require the momentum of habit.


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

Watch Full Discourse: Where is the real me? || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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


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