Tag Archives: Advait

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

What is meant by Oneness with all

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

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

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

How does fragmentation arise within?

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

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

Take this, right now.

Here is me, if you take me as someone outside of you, then this figure will occupy, a bit of mental space. There is him, he too will occupy a bit of mental space. One of these posters will occupy a bit of mental space. May be this color appeals to you, this too will occupy some space. The brand of this equipment may be nice, that too will occupy some space. So, the divisions outside, will become the divisions inside.

Nothing outside of you, should be allowed to occupy you within, because ‘the within’ is the sacred province of the Absolute. And the Absolute knows, no divisions or fragments. Inside must sit ‘the One’, and outside, the world may keep taking various forms and shapes. That is Oneness, oneness within.

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

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

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

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

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

Are you getting it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listener: So, is everyone hallucinated?

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

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

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

So why not bother, only on your own awakening?

This is one of the great fallacies: widely accepted, quite the norm, not merely socially circulating, but even in spiritual circulation. You start calling your instincts, and feelings, and intuitions, as the Truth. And you start saying that you know, it is arising from within, so it must be the Truth, without ever seeing that, that which is within, is just a pale imprint of that, which is without.

From where did something reach within?

Listener: Outside.

Acharya ji: From here and there.

Do not turn feelings and such things into, Truth. They are not.

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

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

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What is secularism? How to become secular? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

What is secularism How to become secular

Question: Please tell us how we can keep a fine divide between the religious and the secular, and grow holistically, as an individual and as a society?

Acharya Prashant: There is no divide between the religious and the secular. True religion is about eliminating all divisions. How are you trying to have a division between religiosity and secularism?

What do you mean by ‘secularism’? You mean that no person should be blinded by his creed or belief. No person should just turn unjust, or biased, or prejudiced, because of his ideological or religious inclinations.

But that which you are trying to achieve through secularism, can actually be never achieved through secularism, because this, that you are trying to achieve – an unbiased and just mind – is exactly what religion and only religion can deliver you. So, secularism is self-defeating.

You have to understand this.

When you say that you want a secular person, or a secular state, what is it that you want? You want someone, who is not prejudiced, not blinded by belief, who can keep a distance between his duties, and his conditioning, who must know what the right action to do is, in spite of what his religious condition is, right?

You want a person who does the right thing, irrespective of whether he is a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or whatever. Right? That’s what you want to achieve through secularism.

When you say that X is a secular person, what you mean is, that he is prepared to read the Quran, even if he is a Hindu. And that he is prepared, to respectfully go to the Upanishads, even if he is a Muslim, right? When you say that a country Y is a secular state, what do you mean? You mean that in that country, people are not discriminated on the the basis of their professed religious association, right? If this is what you want, then you should be deeply religious.

Who teaches you equanimity? Religion.

In secularism, you want to be equanimous. But who teaches you equanimity? Religion.

In secularism, you want a certain detachment. But who teaches you detachment? Religion.

In secularism, you want to be respectful towards divergent opinions. But who teaches you, to be respectful towards divergent opinions? Religion.

In secularism, you want not to hurt the other, even if the other is holding beliefs, that go against yours. But who teaches you ahinsa (non-violence)? Religion.

So, truly religious person, and only a truly religious person, can be secular, in real terms.

In other words, if secularism is dear to you, you will have to turn to religion.

If secularism, is in strife with religiosity, it means, both are misplaced. The religiosity is fake, and the secularism is shallow.

You need not teach, a truly religious person, to be secular. In fact, ‘secular’ is such a small and shallow word, in front of religion.

If one is deeply religious, truly religious, then one is not only secular, one is way, way beyond secular.

Secularism only wants you to tolerate differences.

True religion, celebrates differences.

So, when you will talk about secularism, to a truly religious person, he will laugh. He will laugh, not because he opposes secularism. He will laugh because he has gone..beyond secularism.

There is communalism. Higher than communalism, is secularism. And much, much higher than secularism, is religiosity.

So, obviously you see, that communalism and secularism are at odds with each other. But, not secularism and religiosity. It is naive to say, that secularism, and religiosity, confront each other. No! Shallow belief, shallow communalism, that is what, is at odds with secularism.

Secularism is a, short-term treatment. You have bigots on this side, you have bigots on that side. None of the sides, is prepared to listen to the other. It is in this kind of an environment, that secularism is irrelevant. Only in this kind of environment.

So seeing that there are just bigots all around, you say, “Alright, keep religion, to your houses. On the street, everyone has to follow secular principles.” So only in a very, very poor quality environment, does secularism has some place. In a truly religious environment, secularism has no place.

In fact, a truly religious environment, is so much better than secularism, that if you impose secularism on a really religious place, it would be a deterioration of that place. So, it is great if you are not communal. If you are not communal, you are probably, secular.

Now if you are secular, and you want to do still better, then move into religion. Then you would forget everything about secularism. you would have transcended secularism.

You would have entered into something far more joyful.

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

Watch the session:  What is secularism? How to become secular? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

Books by the Speaker are available at:




Acharya Prashant, with students: The need to impress

Acharya Prashant: How many of you see, this, a very important factor in your life? Actually, we have been able to look at the issue right in the eye then we say that we need English to impress others.

Someone talked of communication. ‘Communication’ is an expression, right? And that’s a pure thing. Uncorrupted, unadulterated. But when ‘expression’ becomes a desire for ‘impression’, then are we really aware of what is happening?

You have the photographs and words of this man (Sh. APJ Abdul Kalaam), all over this place. Have you heard him speak? If not, look at some of his videos on youtube, expression is happening, communication is purely happening. But is there also a desire to ‘impress’ anybody? Did he proceed with a particular kind of accent? Does he proceed with great fluency?

Listeners: No.

AP: Is ‘communication’ happening or not?

L: Yes.

AP: And is communication happening with great felicity or not? ‘Felicity’ means, ease, smoothness. Is communication happening in a very smooth and spontaneous way or not?

L: Yes.

AP: But is he also inflicted by a desire to impress somebody?

L: No.

AP: And what would have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience? What would have happened? Let’s try to understand, what might have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience?

L: The pitch goes high and higher.

AP: What have you printed here? His accent or his words, his content?

L: Words, content.

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Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.

Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

What is meant by living totally?


Acharya Prashant: The question is that both of these statements appear to be imperative.

First, “Whatever you do, do it totally.”

Second, “Whatever you do, you remain unaffected by the doing.”

How are these two to be put together? Is there a contradiction? If yes, how is to be reconciled? What is meant by doing something totally?

We need to go into this to understand this.

Usually, when we say that something is to be done totally, we equate that with an expanse in time, an expanse in energy, instead of investing five units of resources in it, I invested fifty units of resources because I wanted to do it totally. Instead of going one mile, I went all the way for ten miles because I wanted to do it totally. So we equate this total-ness with a stretch, with an expanse. In other words, what we say is “doing something totally” means going as far as our desire, our motivation wants us to go, right?

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Man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all.

When we say consciousness, what we mean is the perception that there is the universe and there is the me. If you cannot perceive things, if you cannot perceive the universe, then you will not say that you are conscious. And because we are what we are, we have taken consciousness as the consciousness that we experience; that is what is ego centered behavior.

What is our consciousness? Consciousness is the content of mind. Consciousness is our thoughts, ideals, emotions, feelings, relationships. What is our consciousness? Our consciousness is doubt, fear, convictions, beliefs, attachments, imaginations, effort, attainment, beginning, end. That is what we call as consciousness.

In the language of spirituality, all of that is not consciousness at all. What we call as consciousness is the interference of “I” in the facts of life. That is what we referred to as consciousness. And if we take that to be consciousness, then we would be mislead into believing that Vasugupt is saying that ego is the self because he is saying, “Consciousness is the Self.”

And if consciousness means our consciousness, then our consciousness is an ago centered consciousness, an “I” centered consciousness. We look at the world as we are. We are greatly attracted to that which has a meaning to us. We are repelled by that which we have been taught to dislike.

So man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all. If a sage would look at the expanse of our consciousness, He would say, “This is so mechanical. Why do you even call it consciousness? Why do you even label yourself as conscious? You are not conscious at all.”

To be conscious means to know and to really know you must be free of the blockage to knowing. You yourself, what you take yourself to be, are the biggest blockage to knowing. You don’t really know.

Read the complete Article: Common consciousness is a burden

Common consciousness is a burden

Triyog at PAF 3

Acharya Prashant: Shiv Sutras are the basic, canonical aphorisms of Advait. They come from a ninth century sage called Vasugupt from Kashmir. Very brief, very secant, they contain everything that there is to the understanding of non-duality. The first sutra says:

Chaitanyam aatma

Consciousness is the Self.

If we go carefully into this one, this Sutra alone, the first one alone would open up everything that deserves to be known about self enquiry. It will open up the beginning, the end and also the method of Self Enquiry. What does it say?

Consciousness is the Self.

You will have to keep coming along with me. If I am an active speaker, you will have to be an active listener. Yes? I like it when we all move together.    Continue reading