Consciousness is a ‘kite’

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant: Ego was not really ‘created.’ Ego is being created all the time.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

Consciousness is a ‘kite’ that feels it is flying freely. It does not know that it is being controlled by the Master, sitting deeper than its flight. The controller of all thoughts is the ‘deep mind,’ the ‘latent tendencies.’

Why do different people have different thoughts upon being subjected to the same stimulus? It is because their ‘deeper patterns’ are different, it is because their ‘deeper tendencies’ have been differently created.

What is it that determines our actions, our thoughts? What is it that determines the whole movement of activity that we see around? Whenever action happens from where does it arise?



Read the complete article:  How was the ego created?

How was the ego created?

Question: How was the Ego created? 

Acharya Prashant:

Ego was not really ‘created.’

Ego is being created all the time.

Would silence ever ask this question? So ego has been given a fresh breath of Life, when one professes ‘ignorance’ or ‘knowledge.’ If you ask something about ego, if you say what is ego? The answer would be this, “the one who is asking.” The question itself is ego. How was the question created? By asking. How was the ego created? You tell me, you asked.

How did you come to believe? How does you continuously keep believing that you do not know and secondly the knowledge is important? In this moment from where did, this thought arising you that you did not know? And this beautiful moment of Silence, what makes you think that something additional in form of knowledge needs to be added?

If two people are sitting together in intimacy. Is the moment not already complete? Do they further need to beautify the moment by adding questions to it? Ego is this that which feels that knowledge is needed, that which feels that the world is incomplete, that which feels that it needs support. A beefing up, a furtherance, that is Ego. If you are silent there is no ego because you will not be asking about the genesis of ego. And remember that any question you ever ask is ultimately a question about the Self.

You may ask a question about nuclear technology but if you go deeper into it, you will discover that it was the question about the ‘Self.’ Ego is that which feels that the Self is not yet fully revealed. So, knowledge must be further used to know it, explore it, to reveal it.

Ego is a belief in ignorance and hence knowledge.

If it is not there, it is just not there. Then even the question that from where did it come is just not there. Moment this question, springs up in the mind, that is the moment the ego is born. The moment when that question receds goes off to sleep, is the moment when the ego to is put to sleep.

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I will not become a slave to my opinions.

You are standing at a crossing and you do not know whether you go right or left? Because you are clueless, you start walking towards the left. That is some kind of an opinion, alright let’s go to the left. It may come from your past experiences, it may come from the condition of the road, it may come from something that you see towards the left or towards the right, so you start walking. But you go a little distance to the left and you discover that you should have gone right, then you immediately turn around. That is what is meant by being opinionless.

I will not become a slave to my opinions. The moment I discover, that something else needs to be done, I will oblige, I will comply. There will be no resistance, there will be no inertia. I’ll be a slave to the Truth. I’ll go in the direction it commands me to. I’ll not take even one-second dithering over what to do. The moment it is seen that I should have gone to other direction, I’ll correct my course. I’ll not say that I have invested so much in walking towards this direction. How do I, now suddenly take a U-turn? I’ll suddenly take a U-turn. Irrespective of how much I have invested in my current opinion. I’ll give it up.



Read the complete article: What does it mean to be opinion-less?

What does it mean to be opinion-less?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oListener 1: Sir, what is the meaning of being opinionless?

Acharya Prashant: It is not the same as being shirtless. When you are shirtless, it means you are not wearing shirt at all. And if you do that we’ll object to it.

Being opinionless means not taking your personal opinion seriously. Having a near-total flexibility when it comes to opinions. Your opinions must be a slave of the facts. The way the mind is, and the way one is bound to operate in the world, you will necessarily have to tether yourself to some opinion or the other, just for the sake of functioning, just for the sake of functioning. Continue reading

Our opinions are not at all our opinions.

Only two places, from only two places, do all our opinions come. One, either the body. Second, the society. There is no third place. How do pinions come from body? The tongue tells you, something is tasty, so now your opinion about it. Being born a man, you will have a particular opinion about women. Women do not have the same opinion about women that men have about women. Right or wrong? So, is it your opinion or the body’s opinion?

And what is the body, is nothing but a random event of X chromosome versus the Y chromosome. And you call it my opinion, and you’re so serious about it. Somebody contradicts your opinion and you are ready to fight. What are you fighting for? If you study in a particular kind of University, your mindset is bound to become communist. Marx would become your hero. You’ll be looking at Lenin and Che Guevera.

And you go and study in an Australian or an American University, and you’ll have nothing to do with these people. Now you’re talking only of the great economists.

Our opinions are not at all our opinions. Think of how one acquires opinions. And when I say, “opinions,” that includes the entire family of opinions, thoughts, attitudes, likes, dislikes everything. The entire content of the mind, is it really really mine? Or, has it come from random influences?



Read the complete article: Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present

Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present

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Acharya Prashant: Sourabh is saying, what is the value of our own thinking when we know that the mind is so vulnerable to being manipulated by others?

When we know that the mind is full of influences coming from others, then what is the value of our thoughts?

Sourabh, if you really are feeling this, then the first thing is to stop saying “Our thinking and my own thoughts”, right? Because our opinions, our thoughts are anyways not our. Our likes and dislikes, they are anyways being dictated by the influences around us.

Born in India, you like cricket so much. Born in Argentina or Brazil, you wouldn’t have heard cricket. And today you say “Oh, my God! I’m all the time thinking of cricket.” Maria Sharapova recently said, “Tendulkar who?” Born in her country you would have said the same thing, “Tendulkar who?” But, we take our opinions very seriously, without realizing that they are no value at all.

Being an Indian you’re bound to have a certain opinion about Pakistan, and being a Pakistani you are bound to have a certain opinion about Afghanistan. Sitting in this college you will have one particular opinion about other colleges. Other colleges will have an opinion about these colleges. It all depends upon where you are sitting. And that is so very random. So random. What is the value of these opinions?

Only two places, from only two places, do all our opinions come. One, either the body. Second, the society. There is no third place. How do pinions come from body? The tongue tells you, something is tasty, so now your opinion about it. Being born a man, you will have a particular opinion about women. Women do not have the same opinion about women that men have about women. Right or wrong? So, is it your opinion or the body’s opinion?

And what is the body, is nothing but a random event of X chromosome versus the Y chromosome. And you call it my opinion, and you’re so serious about it. Somebody contradicts your opinion and you are ready to fight. What are you fighting for? If you study in a particular kind of University, your mindset is bound to become communist. Marx would become your hero. You’ll be looking at Lenin and Che Guevera.

And you go and study in an Australian or an American University, and you’ll have nothing to do with these people. Now you’re talking only of the great economists.

Our opinions are not at all our opinions. Think of how one acquires opinions. And when I say opinions, that includes the entire family of opinions, thoughts, attitudes, likes, dislikes everything. The entire content of the mind, is it really really mine? Or, has it come from random influences?

Born as a Hindu you will have a certain attitude about Muslims. Born as a Muslim you have a sudden attitude about Jews. Of course, little bit of variation might be there, but broadly it is defined. Broadly it is well defined. So there is the Israel-Gaza conflict, don’t you see that most of Pakistan has sided itself with Hamas, and if you go to US or Canada or any European country, they are pretty sympathetic with Israel. Now how is it possible that such lopsided statistical distribution is there?

The Pakistani will say, “Hamas is doing just the right thing.” Now is the individual saying this or is the Pakistani saying this?

L: Pakistani.

AP: The American is saying, “Israel is doing just the right thing.” Now is the individual saying or the American saying this?

L: American.

AP: So, are their opinions, their opinions, or are they opinions of the influences around them? But what will they say, “My opinion”, and they are prepared to die for it. The Pakistani and American if they meet they’ll kill each other, “My opinion versus your opinion.” Is it really your opinion? Really, your opinion?

I’ve narrated this incident earlier, but this is such a rich one that I need to do it again. When I reached IIT after taking admission, so based on my rank and my entry number, they allotted me a hostel. It was a purely random event. You have a rank and you have an entry number in the Institute. First of all, based on my rank, I could have gone to any other IIT as well. It’s a random event that I am taking IIT Delhi. Then in the IIT, I have a particular entry number, my entry number could have been different. I didn’t choose my entry number. There is nothing sacrosanct that entry number.

So, based on that entry number I have been allotted a hostel. So, I reached the hostel, and after the initial ragging and everything, the senior called us. And they said “Now we are going to the terrace of the hospital.” I said, “Wonderful, for what?” They said “There we’ll abuse all the other hostels. From there we can see everybody else, so together we’ll abuse them with the choicest kind of expletives”.

So, we were trained for half an hour. Three dimensional, fourth dimensional, fifth-degree abuses. They said “Today we have to rock the campus. Today we have to show the entire campus that our hostel is this and the other hostels, we know all about your mothers and sisters.” So, I was also enthused, but I said, “Tell me something, why do I have to abuse them?” They said, “Because you belong here”. I said “I belong here only because of an entry number. With a little bit change here and there. With some random event happening, I could as well have been in that hostel. It’s such a random event, and you’re asking me to abuse them.”

They said “Ye hostel drohi hai. You’re not loyal to your hostel”. I said, “What loyalty? I could have been somewhere else as well. And tomorrow this hostel can be split into two hostels. Just as countries are split into this country and that country. What do you mean by loyalty? To What? To a coincidence?” So, ultimately instead of abusing other hostels, they all ended up abusing me. They said, “This is a wrong kind of man that has come to the hostel. He’s not loyal. Because you are here so you must display loyalty.”

Then there were loyalties of other kinds also. You belonged to this department. But the fact is, had I got a better rank I would’ve belonged to some other department. It was not my grand dream to belong to that department. Not that, that department was horrible. It was alright. But the fact of the matter is, with another rank I would’ve been in another department. So, they are saying that now we belong to this department, so all other departments are now your enemies. Don’t talk to them. Don’t disclose our secrets. We’ll have an inter-departmental meet, and we’ll beat everybody else. And it’s better if your friends are from within the department.

And it was great. You know gang wars. Mechanical versus Civil. Biotechnology versus Electrical. For what? And every biotechnology student feels electrical is worst. Same opinion. And all electrical students can swear that biotech is hell. Same opinion. What is the worth of these opinions? What is the worth of these opinions?

Does that mean that there is nothing worthy possible in the mind? No, this does not mean that. The mind is the most wonderful thing. If corrupted, it is worse than hell. But if clean, shining, then it’s the most valuable. More valuable than everything else that can be thought of or not thought of. When the mind is corrupted, it is conditioning. When the mind is clean, then it is pure intelligence.

When the mind is corrupted, conditioned, then you’ll be full of opinions. But when the mind is clean, then you’ll not have opinions at all. Then you’ll just have the capacity to understand in the moment. See, look, there two ways you can come to this session. One, “I already know what this seminar, what this course is all about.” So, then you have an opinion, a kind of attitude about the course and about me. That’s the fool. That’s a conditioned mind.

And there is another kind of mind possible, which says, “No, I do not know anything? I do not know anything, but surely I have the capability to understand. So I will go and I will sit and I will listen. And as I listen, I’ll understand. Why do I need to have readymade opinions coming from the past? Intelligence is enough. Understanding is enough.” And that is valuable.

Now, it depends on you, what do you want to use your mind as? You can use your mind as a storehouse of opinions, or you can use your mind as the seat of intelligence. What do you want to use your mind as? The question was, is there any value in all this? There is great value. But not in opinions, but in intelligence. But that intelligence is not something of the past. The intelligence does not come from influences. That intelligence is the real you. That intelligence is not about thinking hard. That intelligence is about being so still that you just understand. Are you getting this?

Intelligence is not about having a lot of knowledge. In fact, knowledge will only give you more and more of likes, dislikes, and opinions. Intelligence is about being fully alive, being fully present. It depends upon you, what do you want to use the mind as? What is the mind for you? Just a dead inventory, containing the memories of the past or hope for the future, a storehouse, or, is it a great instrument of understanding.

And, understanding happens only in an atmosphere where attitudes are not there. Attitudes and opinions means I already know. When you already know then how can you know? When you already know then how can you know? So, the one who already knows ends up knowing nothing.

Getting it?



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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Intelligence is being fully alive, fully present


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Be bothered about the mind, that is far more important. 

I just do not think that technological progress is a barrier to spiritual growth. I give no vintage to the allegations that science and technology and evils. Because science and technology simply do not lie outside of man’s mind. It is man’s mind that is primal. If the mind is at the proper place then whatever it does, this technology, that technology, any technology that may arise in the future would be auspicious. And, if the mind is not in the proper place then even if you take away all the technology, and turn man back into the forest dweller, still man would remain uneasy, restless, and harmful to himself and others.

So, if this technology is available today, in the right frame of mind, please see how it can be used to reach more people. This technology is there because it is necessitated by the state the world is in today. When there are eight billion people obviously you cannot use your tongue as the channel to reach them. Talking, speaking, discussing was alright when there were limited people and lots of qualified teachers, then small groups could have sufficed. Today, given the way we are and at the point at which we stand these technologies are necessary in fact these technologies correspond to the world we live in, you cannot deal with this world leaving out those technologies. 

This world and those technologies go together. The state of the world is always parallel to the state of technological progress. They are together. So, you cannot cut one out of the other. Be bothered about the mind, that is far more important. 

And, how does one bother about the mind? How does one take care of the mind? The third quality of knowledge is always available and the third quality of knowledge is non- knowledge. It’s a deep meditative understanding that is available and one has to just ask for it, one gets it, use it. That is why in various cultures this third quality has even been called as God’s blessings. It has even been called as God’s direct word. Certain books have been said to be coming directly from God, not from man, for this reason.



Read the complete article: Mind and technology