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

real me

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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)

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Real communication can happen only from the Heart || Acharya Prashant (2018)


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Questioner: I want to increase my communication with my mom and dad or with my friends; because this is what which is trembling me: They want something from me, and they think I think only of myself, but I am not able to do either of them. What to do?

Acharya Prashant: When an insecure mind talks to another insecure mind, anyway there is no communication. There is only an apparent exchange of words.

Only the heart can talk, only the heart can listen, so conversations are either genuine or they are not. Fake communication is no communication. So, when you say that ‘I am afraid of consequences, how do I act because my parents might feel bad, how do I take them into the loop?’

Please understand, the situation is already very bad and whatever else happens will be better than this. The key to improvement is to realize that you are already at the rock bottom. Things cannot go any worse, we keep waiting for more damage, we say this much damage is acceptable.

You know, that is the nature of mind, everything in the mind is limited, so even your perception of the damage being done to you is limited. You can never know the full extent of your loss. In the domain of mind everything has boundary, so when it rises to figure out how much it is losing, even that has boundary, so it says I am not losing anything beyond that. No! You are losing a lot! And when you see that then these inhibitions and concerns become very petty then you say how can I stop because of these hindrances.

Listener: You mean I must do whatever I want to do?

AP: You will not do that if I advice you to do that. You will do that only when, you see that you are causing a lot grief to your parents by not being authentic, only the action of true love will give you the courage to really go, and tell someone that things are bad. You must have great love for that someone, otherwise it is very easy to just offer consolations. It is very easy to just maintain the status-quo. Don’t we all do that?

Listener: That’s what we have been doing for years.

AP: And it requires great love. It requires tremendous courage to put your relationship at risk. Only when you love somebody greatly, only then you will want to put the relationship at risk. If you don’t love somebody, then you will want to maintain the relationship. That’s a paradox. You must understand this: The one that you love greatly, for the one that you love greatly, be prepared to break your relationship with that one; and if you are not prepared give up even on what you get from the relationship, the relationship itself. Then you don’t have love, and if you don’t have love the why do you want to do something?

Listener: Sometimes, it happens that to maintain the relationship hatred increases…

AP: Of course, you are maintaining a disfigured system, everyday will be a burden. Your entire face, your mind, whole personality will get so distorted, you will not be beautiful anymore.

Listener: You mean I must be truly loving to my dad and mom?

AP: You must first discover that the condition you are in is not love. Even though it is called as love, you cannot force yourself to love. Start with your immediate reality, which is not love, do not have fanciful projections about what is love. Start with this.

What did the lyrics say? What did they say?

‘A little close’.

Here, (pointing towards the heart) start from near.

What do you about love?

You only know of distances.

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

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant: Real communication can happen only from the Heart

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All thoughts arise from external influences || Acharya Prashant, with Students (2013)

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Questioner: Most of the thoughts are coming from society and family. So, how can I judge that which thought is mine or not?

Acharya Prashant: No thought is yours; no thought is ever your own. You have very rightly said that all thoughts come from this place or that place, this influence or that influence. No thought is your own. Understanding is your own; that can be your own.

Let me give you an example: Continue reading

Acharya Prashant, with students: Brain and Intelligence


Acharya Prashant: We can live in two kinds of worlds. How? Even as I am speaking to you, some of you are listening, and the others might be thinking and wandering and lost in imagination, Right? Do you see that? You have to be together in this. Is that alright?

So that means that it’s possible for man, and each of us is a human being right? So whatever is applicable to us is applicable to mankind in general. We can easily generalize whatever is applicable to us. So, it is possible for man to be simultaneously living two kinds of lives. One is that you are sitting here. The other is that you are thinking about something else. Correct? The very fact that which really is known as reality. Whereas that which is imagined, which is thought of, is called ‘the mind.’ Can you see this that even though you would be sitting here, it is possible for the mind to be at a totally different place? You could be in Disneyland or at your home or at any other place. Now is that for real? Where is a reality? Reality is that which is. Everything else is imagination. This imaginary aspect of us is what is the ‘mind’. Now, what is this thing called the mind? Write down. The mind is ‘brain + intelligence’.

Brain — Matter, Product of Evolution, Just like a computer hard disk, Just like a computer hard disk, Automatic, Prone to Conditioning, Like the Fan.

Brain is like the fan in the sense that it’s totally material. It is a slave to the commands of somebody else. You switch on the fan, you switch off the fan. Does the fan have any intelligence or any will of its own?

Remember it’s very efficient. It keeps working all the time. But does it work according to its own understanding? Does the fan know what is going on in its head? Does the fan understand what electricity is, what electromagnetism is, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, anything? Does it understand? Yet it keeps working. It keeps working according to the design provided to it by external forces.

Who has provided the design to it? Man – an external force. Not the fan itself. The Fan is a mechanical device which is a slave of others, albeit very efficient, efficient but dumb. With the result that everybody else can exploit it, can make use of it. It’s mechanical, dumb. You can write all these things for a brain. Everything that applies to the fan also applies to the brain. Alright? Except for one thing that the fan does not have a memory chip, the brain has a memory chip as well. The fan cannot really recall the events of yesterday. And that too can be done. You can have a fan with a memory chip. That’s not difficult at all. That’s not at all difficult.

You can have a fan that can keep registering what is happening day in and day out, and after one year when you will take that chip it will have all the data accumulated on it. That on which particular day how many hours of rotation was there, at what time, at what speed, all that can be done, right? That’s not at all difficult. You can do that as a project. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Then it’ll become exactly like the brain. Are you getting it?

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Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ and Sage Ashtavakra: The world is a river; use it to cross it


Acharya Prashant: Two excerpts are with us.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”


(JOHN 2:15)

“Prosperity, pleasure, pious deeds. Enough! In the dreary forest of the world, the mind finds no rest.”



The questioner says that he is astounded at the commonality between Jesus and Ashtavakra and asks why are both saying that engaging in the world will not be a way to peace. What does it mean to engage in the world?

The world is a tricky thing. The world has to be understood.

The world has utility but the world is not the end.

One uses it.

Ever seen a man swimming? What is he doing? Why is he swimming at all? He is crossing a river. Man is swimming. Man is crossing the river. Why is he crossing the waters? Because if he doesn’t cross the waters, he will drown in the waters. If he doesn’t cross the waters or the river, he will drown in the river.

And what is he doing to cross the water? He is using the waters themselves.

Continue reading

Acharya Prashant on Veganism: Vedas and Milk


Question: Acharya Ji, there are people who quote the Vedas and say “A Hindu is a good Hindu only if he drinks milk from the mother cow.” What is your take on that?

Acharya Prashant: See if you have named the Vedas, what is the central teaching of all the Vedic literature?

If you want to really know what the Vedic teaching is, you will have to go to the Upanishads. The Upanishads are called the “Vedanta”, which means the summit or the climax of Veda. And they go into the reality of man. What is the reality of man? The Upanishads are very forthright and unequivocal about it. They say, “Man is the Truth itself (Aham Brahmasmi).” Nothing else except the Truth. You are the ultimate finality. You are the total.

Now, if this is the position that the Vedic literature takes, then one cannot operate from a point of incompleteness, hollowness or desirousness. A lot of what we do, please see we do just in order to gain fulfillment. We say that the purpose of human Life is progress, don’t we? And we asses a human being according to how much he has been able to progress and contribute to progress.

And what is progress for us?
Knowing more; collecting more.

I’m not trying to unnecessarily be simplistic. Please go into it.

When you know more, when you collect more, is it something that happens only on the outside or does it also affects your self-worth? When you know more, your self-worth rises; when you collect more, again your self-worth rises. The Upanishads say, that your self-worth, that which you are, is any way infinite, you are anyway total. Now, go out and play. You are anyway perfect and complete. Now, do whatever you want to do. But do it from a point of perfection. Do it from a point of completion.

Do not do in order to gain something. Do not do in order to rise.

Act as if you are already there as if you are already complete.

That is what Vedas are all about.

Now, around this center, a lot has been said. Just a whole lot.

Continue reading

Who would believe in poor Jesus?

When you follow even without understanding, that is Surrender.

That is what Surrender is. You do not know what the whole thing is about and yet there is something that tells you, to just go along with it.

AP: You have a beautiful body; how will you use it to make people come to you?

L: Display it.

AP: Now look at Mahavir and Lalla. If you want people to listen to you, they must first of all be present in front of you. Why not attract them this way?

Stories have no use, in fact, those stories must be dropped, after a point. After a point, if you are really wise, you will see the foolishness and the falseness of those stories.

L: Why are Miracles added to all the stories?

AP: We need them.

Otherwise, who would believe in poor Jesus.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories