Knowing right and wrong

SR Generic_ English

Acharya Prashant: Can intelligence be wrong sometimes?

Tell me, all of you, “What is right and what is wrong?” How do you know what is right? And how do you know what is wrong? Someone told you what is right and someone told you what is wrong and not only that, someone also told you that there is something called right, and something called Wrong. And you have started believing in it so deeply, you have been made a fool of.

What do you mean by right? What do you mean by wrong? All our sense of right and wrong is a borrowed sense of right and wrong. All this ethics, morality, they are coming from outside, we never found it on our own. You are this old and mamma says, “Don’t hurt others, be respected to elders, speak the truth, be a loving person.” And all this is right. And the opposite of this happens to be wrong. But if you are a smart kid, you turn around and ask “Mamma why should I speak the truth always?” But mamma doesn’t know because her own mamma told that to her, and her mamma got it from her own mamma and nobody really knows. But a mantra is being repeated, “Speak the truth” And the world is now full of liars. Would have all been told in the childhood, “speak the truth”.

All have been told, “Respect others, don’t hurt others, don’t be violent.” But the world is entirely full of rapists. Have you not wondered why that happens? That happens because nothing comes out in our lives from our intelligence, all comes from outside. And when it comes from outside, that’s what we get, a botched up human being, a caricature of a human being, not a really healthy intelligent man.

All these rights and wrongs that you soak it like a sponge, from here, from there, have you ever paid attention, you would have discovered how incomplete and false they are. What is wrong in one country is right in another country, what is wrong in one house is considered right in other house, what is wrong in one age is right at another age, what is wrong in one religion is right in another religion, what is wrong in one’s viewpoint is right in other’s viewpoint.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

What do you mean by right and wrong? The only wrong if you are insistent on asking “What is wrong?” The only wrong is to be stupid. That is the only wrong. Don’t be stupid. This course that you are undergoing is essentially aimed at making you foolproof. You understand this? Not being stupid. Not being foolish, so foolproof.

The only wrong is to be stupid, and what does stupidity mean? Being distracted, not being attentive, not understanding, not exercising one’s own intelligence. And just taking things as they come. And we have only taken things.

We have taken so many beliefs, we have taken religions from outside, we have taken a sense of patriotism from outside. We have taken a sense of purpose from outside. All our life is nothing but the garbage bin and everyone keeps on throwing his rubbish into it. Nothing is our own. That what really is your own, your own intelligence, you are afraid of it. You are insecure about that, that how I dare be intelligent? That’s your right. you are intelligent, you must act intelligently. Don’t be afraid of that. Right? There is nothing wrong.

You know why you are asking this question that Sir, what is right? Because the moment you act intelligently, the first time you are afraid. Because till date what is right has come from others and that makes you feel secure. You know, I am happy and I am feeling safe that I am doing the right thing. Why? Because so and so told me that this is the right thing to do.

And everybody does it, so it must be the right thing to do. When you act on your own, like an individual, like an intelligent being, then you are afraid. Face that fear. Face that fear, don’t run away. The only wrong is to not be your own man. To not to be an individual, that is the only wrong. And the only right is to act intelligently. Nothing else is right.

When you will act in your intelligence, let the society say that you are wrong, let them keep on saying, let them keep declaring you a fool or a criminal, but still you will know, you will know deep within that you are right. You will know it so deeply that nobody will be able to convince you that you are wrong. Are you getting it? But that will require some guts. And that will require a great deal of understanding which I am so sure that you are capable of. You are surely capable of that. Yes. I know, it is a little scary, but don’t you want a life that is totally your life, not a dictated life. Yes, don’t you want that?

“Sir we want that but there is a too heavier price to pay. We have to give up these luxuries and comforts and we have become so attached to them. What to do? Our false sense of security. We have become too attached to it, Sir what to do? This course threatens us.”

If Truth threatens you, then surely you are living in lies. And I repeat, You are capable of understanding. You surely are capable of understanding and you have to a particular age when you must understand. You must act intelligently. You are no more six years old.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Knowing right and wrong

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, Contact Sh. 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: Sushri 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: Sushri Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

5. Blessings from Beyond: Weekends with Acharya Prashant brings you the unique opportunity for a 2 day 2 night stay with the Master every month. It involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.

Contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

6. A Day With Master: A day with the Master’ is a rare opportunity for genuine seekers from all across the world to spend 12 hours with the Master at the Advait BodhSthal Ashram – Greater Noida.

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7. Triyog: Daily morning 2 hour Yoga feast for your total well-being. Comprising of Hatha Yog, Bhakti Yog and Gyan Yog.

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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

Who is a real hero?



AP: So today, we are going to take a look at something that perhaps fascinates all of us.


We’ll talk about heroism. Heroes enthrall us, fascinate us.

Who is a “Hero”? Whom do you call a ‘Hero’? And we must keep in mind that the question of heroism is intimately connected to our lives because the mind has a deep-seated desire to be heroic.

Who is a ‘Hero’?

Alright! When we say, “Hero”, what kind of images come to the mind?

Listener: Fearless.

AP: Fearless. And?

L2: Powerful.

AP: Powerful. And?

L3: Excitement.

AP: Excitement.

L4: The man who fights.

AP: Fighter.

L5: Who brings a change; who does something good.

AP: Who did something good. Who brings a change. And?

L: Inspiring.

AP: Inspiring. And? Continue reading

Let Faith make your decisions

Slide4Questioner: If I have to make a decision and there are two options, my thoughts don’t bring me any further, then I try to listen to my heart and that also does not bring me any answer. So, how can I find a way to the solution?

Acharya Prashant: If there are two options, if there are two paths, then do not choose any of them. When there would be a right path, then there would be only one path. The right path never comes as alternative to something ‘existing’. The alternative to that which is ‘existing’, will always be related to that which is ‘existing’. In some sense, it would be an opposite of that which is existing.

‘A thing’ and its ‘opposite’ are always in the same dimension, in the same plane. Never say that I have to choose between A and B. A, and B are both in the same plane. If one side of the coin is not good for you, the other side too, would not be good for you. Because with the other side, will come, the first side as well. If a thing is not proper for you, mind you, its opposite too cannot be proper for you. Shun both the options. This is the fundamental law of duality.
Continue reading

What you call as normal is abnormal, and also highly insane


Question: A gentleman was saying that a person, who is drinking or is drunk, he still has got some kind of stability on mind, and he too, can judge. That is what I felt to be perhaps wrong. A person who is drunk probably loses his judgement and whatever we have heard from doctors and other people, anybody who takes liquor is likely to lose self control, his thought processes are likely to become distraughted, and he is likely to lose his good judgement. We have seen drunkards moving around and we see that they probably lose self control. That’s my perception or observation.

Acharya Prashant: In an otherwise sane world, drinking might probably need obfuscation of consciousness. But when you say that you see drunkards moving along and you see what kind of things they are doing, do we also not see non drunkards moving along and doing what they are doing?

Listener 1: But if we compare their behavior, Sir, we find that the behavior of the drunkard person is deviated from the normal standards.

AP:  What is the normal? And who sets the standards? What if the normal itself is highly depraved? Continue reading

The myth of the soul or the inner self


Slide1Question: At times we have to take decisions, how to know that we are listening to our inner voice or outer voice?

Acharya Prashant: You see, there are those who remain enslaved by the outer, by outer forces, outer situations, outer voices etc., and worse than them are those who start believing in the inner. There are those who are compelled by forces outside of themselves and then there are those who say we are impelled by forces inside of ourselves. These two are not different, in fact the latter is even more deeply self deceived than the former.

What is this ‘outer’ and ‘inner’?

Reading a few texts in spirituality, very quickly you come to the conclusion that all outer is just a mirage, and if outer is a mirage, what do you say of the inner? Does the inner exist without the outer? If the outer is gone, what is the question of the inner? What is this thing called ‘inner’? Where does it exist?

Listener: Soul

AP: Soul, inside what? What do you mean by ‘inner’?

L: In ourselves, in our hearts.

AP: When you say something is ‘in’ something, then you mean it is enveloped, it is enclosed.

L: In the body

AP: So, the soul is inside the body? Then how is the inner any false, because the body thrives on the outer. When you say, the soul is ‘in the body’ and at the same time you decry the outer, tell me how is the outer false? Because the body feeds on the outer. Remove the outer, would the body exist?

L: No

AP: So, look at what you are saying. The soul, which you call as the supreme Truth, lives inside the body, and the body feeds on the soil, the grass, the sun and the air. So, the soul too, by definition, lives on these, right? Because the body is so big that it contains the soul.  And if the body lives on soil and grass then the soul too, must be feeding on these. If the body is dependent on soil and grass, then the soul too has to be dependent.

L: It is not dependent

AP: If it is not dependent, then it must be able to live without the body? What is it doing inside the body? The body is always dimensional, the body is always a happening, temporal, the body is in space and time. And by saying that the soul is inside the body, you have located the soul too, in space and time.

L: The body cannot be like this without the soul

AP: That is fine, but how does that mean that Truth is inside the body?

L: It pervades all over

AP: If it pervades all over, then why are you calling it inside the body? Why don’t you say, it is upon the table? Don’t you see the deep ego contained in that? “I am so great that I envelope the Atman. My measure is of a dimension that can encircle the Truth itself.” If the Truth is somewhere inside your body, then where will you bow down? What then is the need of bowing down? I am carrying it in my back pocket, I am carrying it in my kidney, I am carrying it in my nostrils. Now, what is the question of submitting?

Neither inside nor outside. Inside and outside exist only as long as you are looking with your eyes. For 8 to 10 hours in the day (in your sleep), where do these inside and outside disappear? Are they real? What happens to all inside and outside in your sleep? What will happen to them, after the body is gone? Who is this one, talking of boundaries and insides and outsides of the boundaries?

This is one of the deepest fallacies that religion has bred that the soul is inside the body. And this has led to mass illusion and great suffering. On one hand you say, “I am not the body”, on the other hand you say, “inside the body is the Truth.” Don’t you see, what that implies? You are saying, “I am not the Truth.” And it is not about any one line of thought, or any one philosophy. Across religions, and across the thoughts and ages, this belief holds way.

L: Many a times people say, we are going for meditation to find ourselves. Isn’t that when we are meditating, our preconditioned mind is answering to these questions.

AP: Of  course. All these things, inner self, inner voice, inner reality, all of them are just illusions. And because they have come in circulation, they have taken the form of mass hysteria. Everyone wants to dig out something from his insides.

We don’t even ‘look at’ the facts of living. Don’t you see that this that you call as ‘inner’, always speaks in a language that you have acquired? Has your inner voice ever spoken to you in French, in Russian? Has it ever spoken to you in your deep dreamless sleep? Don’t you see that it only tells you that which you are anyway conditioned to do? Don’t you see that your deepest conditioning speaks to you in your so called ‘inner voice’ or ‘inner reality’. And that is why I am saying that this concept of an ‘inner truth’ has done mankind great damage. It has enabled man to justify all his rubbish in the name of the ‘voice of conscience’ or the ‘voice of inner truth’. Justify, not so much to other, but firstly justify to himself.

Why do you need to look at facts, why do you need to be present, when an ‘inner voice’ can come up with solutions? Why do you need to know by ‘attending to’ the reality, when the substitute to the reality is assumed to be present inside you?

L: Spirituality says that you have to ‘find yourself’. If there is no soul inside us, then what are we finding?

AP: Spirituality is not at all about finding something inside of you. Who said that? Show me, where it is said that you have to find something inside of you. What are these popular illusions?

Spirituality is simply ‘Silence’.

The Upanishads say and they put it so beautifully -“That which powers the mind to think, is THAT which the mind cannot think of; That which powers the tongue to speak, is That which the tongue cannot speak of; That which powers the ears to hear, is That which the ears cannot hear of.”

You don’t need to go inside the body, the body itself ‘is the proof’ and ‘THAT’. In another instance, the Upanishads say, “the ear behind the ears, the eye behind the eyes, the voice behind the voice, the mind behind the mind.” Looking at the mind, you require ‘the mind behind the mind’. ‘Seeing how you hear’, you have started ‘listening’, (shrotrasya shrotram = the ear of the ear). That does not mean that there is another ear inside your ear.


That does not mean that there are eyes behind the eyes and behind them is some soul. What kind of model making is this? Have you read no Biology?


I think a basic course in Anatomy is a prerequisite to basic spirituality. Before you touch the Upanishads you must first go to the textbook on human anatomy. So that there remains no confusion regarding any vacancies inside the body, where the soul can take refuge. People have gone far to conduct very clever experiments. Actually, there is a verse in ‘Kathopanishad’, where it is said that the Atman is of the size of the thumb.

People have taken that literally. And they have gone to great lengths, in trying to find out where that pocket is, where this thumb shaped cavity is there. And then there are others, who objected, Buddhists and Jains. They said, if the Upanishads are right, then tell me where is that thumb sized cavity inside the body of an ant? So, then came another clever reply, that in the case of the ant, the thumb refers to the ant’s thumb.


After all the soul is supposed to be inside the body. Nonsense.

But then the Vedantists were not to be left far behind, they said, “how about the fish, they have no thumb? What is the size of their soul?”

So, what is said from opposition of meditation, must be understood in the same meditative way. When it is said that the soul is the size of the thumb and inside of you, what is implied is, that it is small. It is an idiom, it is a way of saying, a metaphor. It is said that it is not so large that you can look at it with admiration, it is not the size of a mountain. It is not something imposing, it is subtle. Hence the metaphor of the thumb was used.

Similarly, when it was asserted, and it comes in the Bhagavad Gita as well, Krishna does say that “I live inside of you.” When it was asserted that the soul is inside the body, it was only to counter the feeling that the soul is outside the body. ‘Inside’ has to be read as, ‘not outside’. But when somebody is under the impression that the Truth is outside of him, then it is even more dangerous for him to start believing next that the Truth is inside of him. Because, the inside and the outside go together. If you start in the inside, you will also have to believe in the outside.

Truth is neither inside nor outside, ‘it is the basis of all insides and outsides’. ‘It is the substratum on which that mind rests which thinks of all insides and outsides’.

As the Upanishads say, “the mind underneath the mind.” So, inside and outside are mind. The Truth is that which is both beneath the inside and outside. Outsides, insides keep coming and going, the Truth remains. Bodies keep coming and going, the Atman remains. Were you talking of any inside, before you were born? Would you be talking of any outside after you are gone? Does that mean that the Truth came with you and will go away with you? Your outside and inside will be washed away by the time, the Truth remains.

~ 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: